Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
A Witches of the Big Easy prequel
Vampire Slayer Valen Beauchamp has an old score to settle with Julian Montague. It all started in the year 1733, when Valen narrowly survives an attack by centuries old vampire Julian Montague and even receives a minor bite when Julian’s teeth scrapes his skin before he manages to get away. The venom from the bite almost kills him, and he soon discovers that Julian is searching for him everywhere to either finish what he’d started or kill him outright. Neither option is attractive to Valen, so he flees to the New World. As time passes and he doesn’t age, however, he comes to realize that the vampire had perhaps not destroyed him, but instead cursed him with an unwanted gift—immortality.
When he learns that victims of deadly vampire attacks are dying in large numbers in Paris, Julian’s home, Valen decides he’s tired of hiding from monsters and travels back to Paris to use his formidable Slayer skills to end this thing once and for all. During a tense confrontation in the dark cellar of an opera house, Valen finds himself mesmerized, overpowered and seduced by Julian and finally succumbs to his charms. And even that wouldn’t be so bad if every vampire slayer in Europe weren’t out now to kill them both. Valen is falling deeper and deeper in love with the vampire while trying to figure out if the vampire who bit him is one of the good guys or not, and if their love will mean his ultimate damnation or his salvation.
Insatiable (Witches of the Big Easy 0.5) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney is a prequel to the first story in the Witches of the Big Easy series and reads like one. It’s relatively short, ends abruptly with little resolution to a major dramatic development. And doesn’t explain some last minute major character introductions…and exits.The authors make an assumption that the readers will be automatically following them into the next story.
Not an assumption I would make unless you are a huge fan of these writers and their stories are on your TBR lists.
For myself, I found little character development or attention paid to creating much of a relationship between the main characters. It’s all along the “found mate” trope so no need to deveope one between them. Instant love, instant mate via bite and semen so lots of biting and sex instead of getting two people getting to know one another or actually having much depth exhibited during their scenes together. I felt a lack missing. Here is a young man who obsessed about being a hunter and killing the vampire who bit him over 150 earlier, seemingly having spent all those years doing relatively nothing with his life. So what? A poutish ignorant young man, who didn’t do research, practice with weapons or do really anything for over 150 years excerpt be immortal, than (in a huh moment) get tuberculosis (which is easily spread), decides to take himself and his disease on a ship to Europe. Please! SMH.
Then this untrained naif, coughing his brains out, joins a group of hunters. Well. I never connected, obviously, with the characters, the situations, or the writing. More talking towards the beginning with some action happening at the end. But there is little foundation laid for the characters, no vampire politics, or of the hunter organization. Its as though the authors are leaving everything for the first story and nothing here except for the story of Valen Beauchamp and Julian Montague getting together, and how they ended up in New Orleans. But this is just too bare bones and needed much more fleshing out.
Cover art by Painted Heart works for the characters and is very dramatic.
Sales Links: Amazon
Published September 26th 2019 by Painted Hearts Publishing LLC
Edition Language English
Series Witches of the Big Easy 0.5