Series: #1 Glory St. Claire
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley
Released on February 5, 2008
I was in the mood for a lighter style Urban Fantasy and so I picked up this one off my pile. I enjoy humor in my vampire stories and also creative quirks to the worldbuilding which this one offered. It did its job of amusing me and getting a laugh out of me now and then, but the main character was a bit vacillating for my taste.
Glory St. Clair both appealed to me and drove me nuts. She is the main character and the story is entirely from her perspective. She was a cute and perky vampire who had been made back in Shakespeare’s day when she had a fling with a smoldering hottie Scottish vampire named Jeremiah Campbell. They had/have an on again off again relationship. Glory loved him then, but his he-man care suffocated her plus she didn’t feel adequate to be with someone like him who was Scottish nobility. Then there is her self-esteem issues over her figure and being a vampire. They go their separate ways and come together now and then. Jerry always looks after her and she both resents it and loves it.
In this case, Glory has been in Vegas long enough for the humans to start figuring out that she doesn’t age so she has decided to move to Austin and start an antique boutique with all her own vintage clothes and things plus those of other paranormals who have collected and want to unload their things over the years. Jerry wants her to come to him instead because there is a vampire hunter on the loose that has already taken down a powerful friend.
Glory, along with the magical guard dog Valdez that Jerry gave her, insists on Austin where she has several vamp friends. On arrival, she reunites with her friends Frederick, Cici and Frederick’s lover Derek, but she also meets the amorous Damien and his fabulous sister Florence who becomes Glory’s roommate above her shop that she’s renting from Damien. She also meets up with Diana the vamp who lives in the building and owns the coffee shop next door and gets her first worker when the werecat across the hall becomes her day gal. All would be perfect if there weren’t vampire hunters both staking vamps with wooden crosses and shooting them with wooden arrows. Glory insists to the worried Jerry that she’s fine and will be fine.
In the meantime, she gets tangled up with Damien and has mixed feelings about Jerry. She hopes for an uncomplicated tryst, but can’t help jealousy when Mara seems to be making a play for Jerry. Glory gets distracted by so many things including the mysterious new day worker Ryan who acts oddly and then she has an epiphany moment after an attack that could have killed her. She will no longer shun her vampire self and will learn to embrace her powers so she can keep herself safe. So between exercising her vamp mojo, navigating romance and darting out of danger’s path, Glory is your every day woman trying to make a living and live a fulfilling life who just happens to be a vamp.
So about Glory, I loved the regular gal part of her who isn’t that big bad she-vamp heroine in most of the vampire books. I liked that she had her flaws and even her insecurities along with her strong sense of doing right by her friends and taking care of herself. I enjoyed that she gets into simple womanly stuff. But that being said, she drove me nuts the way she acted with Jerry. She got mad at him for wanting to protect her, but yet she really was kinda dumb and helpless much of the time. She had so many TSTL moments that I stopped counting. Honestly I have no clue how she wasn’t taken down right off the bat. As to her relationship with Jerry, she couldn’t make up her mind and it was beyond irritating. She’s like a toddler with a toy. She throws it aside, but when someone comes along to pick it up, suddenly she snarls and snatches it back. She tries to tell herself that it’s only the physical with Jerry that is good, she can’t be with him because she doesn’t like him getting bossy and protective with her and she says she loves him as a friend. But when he backs off like she tells him too, lets her have her space to run her shop and hunt down clues about the killings and calls her a friend like she called him, she starts sobbing and needs a girls night because apparently all this means that he doesn’t want her and just wants to be friends. Yeah, she had me pretty confused.
All that being said about Glory and her issues, I loved the paranormal world the author created, the light, humorous tone of the writing, the fabulous cast of characters including Valdez the powerful, talking guard dog, and I know this sounds odd, but I also liked Glory. I’m hoping that she’s going to grow, change and figure stuff out as the series progresses and I definitely want more scenes with Jerry.
Those who enjoy a blend of humor, strong paranormal worldbuilding, spicy romance, and some excitement all rolled into one should give this a try.