This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on June 30, 2013
I am really not sure what to say about this story. The concept was interesting and intriguing, the character personalities were fun, the humor that permeated the piece left a smile on my face and I’m always up for a good vampire story that doesn’t drift too far into the horror side. That being said, there was much about this book that left me puzzled because it felt stilted and there were jumps that left me checking to see if I’d accidentally skipped ahead when I hadn’t. The characters engaged in a lot of introspection in the middle that didn’t make sense to me because there hadn’t been enough time nor evidence that they had developed to such feelings in their relationship. I felt off balance with the rhythm and the pacing of this one.
The story is about wealthy, successful businessman, Oleg Petrosian, who is in London to cement a deal. He is bored with his meeting and his life until he is distracted by the delectable chocolate mousse that is served for dessert. He hunts down the creator of such a scrumptious tasting piece and finds temporary chef, Sam Latham. On the spot, he decides that she must cater his next business dinner and she accepts.
Sam is disappointed to be shunted to potato peeling duty even though her talents would normally place her as a chef in the restaurant if not for the owner’s niece. Oleg’s invitation is just the chance she needs. It doesn’t hurt that she finds him very attractive. With the help of her quirky sister, Zoe, Sam determines to take advantage of this big chance to show her skills. In the meantime, breaking up with her boyfriend doesn’t hurt as bad as she imagined it would and she suspects that her emerging feelings for Oleg are the reason.
Oleg is more than attracted to Sam. After two encounters, he’s determined that he’s keeping her. He puts it to her that he wants her to cater another dinner for him, but this time at his villa in Russia that sits near the Black Sea.
Sam agrees and along with Zoe, Oleg’s assistant Lev and Oleg’s even more quirky sister, Tatya, they fly to Anapa. There, Sam starts to sense a mystery surrounding Oleg and has to decide how she really feels about him and if she can accept his secret.
I was doing alright with the unusual feel of this book’s tone until about three-quarter of the way in. I thought the characters were amusing and the plot light and fun, but then Sam and Oleg are agonizing over feelings that I just hadn’t sensed up until then. They were thinking about commitments and forevers based on something that didn’t feel like love to me.
I didn’t see much evidence of Oleg’s vampire side either. It was his big secret and he made adjustments in his life to accommodate his condition, but it never really factors into things any more than any other personality trait he might have other than the sudden mob scene.
The mob scene, the ease of Sam’s acceptance about Oleg’s vampirism and the ending just left me confused and wondering if I had missed something. He says he’s a vampire and she treats it like he says he wears blue suits. There was literally no reaction.
The mob arriving to ‘kill the vampire’ was out of left field and was never fully explained. There’s no explanation of who told them about Oleg or who they all were beating down the doors like some scene from Dracula.
All the stuff referenced back to in the epilogue just kept hitting me with confusion because it spoke of things in the past that hadn’t even been hinted at before. I won’t go over what those things are because of spoilers, but I wish there had been an extra chapter telling the story of those events since they were big things instead of just a few sentences stating they happened.
I found it a bit raw and rough in the transitions. The vampire element is never really explored other than it makes Oleg seem mysterious to Sam. The relationship needed more as did the ending. I liked the general story line and the details about the characters. Zoe and Tatya were a scream and had me laughing often. Those who want a quick, light and fun vampire read might try this one.