Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Jason Thorpe, former military, opens a quaint little shop in a home he inherited when one of his former buddies was killed in action. He meets a gregarious and beautiful woman named Ode, who becomes his best friend and business partner and settles down. Little does he know, however, that New Orleans is heavily populated by a vampyr population—some born and some made (result of a vampyr and human mating). Oddly, when he’s around, the two groups don’t feud, but it isn’t until later in the story that we learn of his personal connection to the world of vampyrs when he meets Prince Varic, his apparent mate.
Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I had hoped. I’m a huge fan of Mary Calmes and rarely dislike one of her characters, but in this instance, I couldn’t warm up to either Jason, the “everyone loves me” character, so typical of her stories, or to Varic, the vampyr prince—dark, handsome, alpha male.
Like the Change of Heart series, the author needed to build this world from the ground up and though it was interesting, there was more on-page time devoted to the background and world-building than there was for any romance. While building the vampyr world, the author also introduced a whole host of vampyr characters, including those who were pure and those who were made. There was also the world of the royalty: not only Prince Varic, but information about both his parents, the courtesans, and two other characters who had a major role in Varic’s life and in this story.
And then there was Jason and his host of friends, because of course, he’s one of those people who are too good to be true and attract friends like flies to honey. He didn’t work for me because his character didn’t seem to fit with his past behaviors, like his military background and the life choices he’s made. And then that background and life experience didn’t fit with someone who would swoon at his vampyr mate and more or less play the role of a dainty maiden. Granted, he fought alongside the vamps a few times, but he continued to be super sappy over Varic, and I couldn’t warm up to him at all.
Now Varic is another story. In fact, I didn’t like him at any point in the story. He was, as one would expect a vampyr prince who is hundreds of years old to be, quite full of himself. Self-centered, know-it-all, super-alpha male, not considerate of how his actions affect Jason, at first, and simply too OTT. Definitely not my cuppa, and as I said, even toward the end, I was not a fan.
Add to the fact the characters weren’t believable as loving mates, the overabundance of new facts in the world building made this much less than I’d hoped. I liked it. Yes, the story was complex and interesting once I understood the various factions, but I never moved beyond minimal liking it.
The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous, long-haired man in a black suit—the perfect representation of Varic.
ebook, 284 pages
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English