Dear Ms. Dean*:
I guess this is your ode to Laurell K Hamilton and Buffy the Vampire slayer. To which I say, haven’t we had enough of that?
Candace Steele is a vampire hunter. She lives in Vegas where she made her home after leaving San Francisco and her vampire lover. Having had a little vampire blood in her, she is made to be a little stronger, a little quicker, and she is able to discern humans from vamps which gives her a big edge. There are some very slight changes to the ordinary vampire mythology but otherwise, it’s the same world I’ve been reading about for the past 6 years or so.
What saves this book from being a total wall banger is that the pace of the book moves quickly although for an action book, there is almost no action until the big climactic movement at the end. The story is told in two parts. First is the current day story in which Candace has a satisfying relationship with a homicide detective from Las Vegas. The second is the flashbacks which reveal Candace’s past relationship with Ash, a vampire she met and fell in love with in Vegas. Of course, her past and present collide when Ash comes to Vegas to reclaim her. Ash wants her to live forever with him and Candace enjoys being human.
Candace’s current challenge is to protect a celebrity act that is taking place at her casino. This job is made more difficult by the fact that the manager of the act is a tremendously strong vampire. Then there are a couple of headless vamps in Vegas which seem to be unrelated to the new vampire in town.
This is the first book in a trilogy and you left with the story being unresolved. The mystery is solved, but how the mystery is solved doesn’t involve any sleuthing. Steele happens upon something accidentally. This is not a romance as Candace has a physical and emotional relationship with two characters in the book and ends up with neither at the end.
The funny thing is that I read this book in one sitting but when I sat down to write the review, I realized how poorly plotted, weak in characterization, and derivative it was. So how to grade it? I guess a B-. If a reader is jonesing for another vampire read, like LKH, and doesn’t want romance, this isn’t a bad way to spend your time. I did buy the second book in the series but never finished it and I doubt I’ll buy the third. Unfortunately, the Amazon synopsis told me the resolution of the conflict and because I remain totally uninvested in these characters, I can’t be arsed to finish the series.
* The copyright in this book says “cameron dean” and “parachute publishing llc” and googling cameron dean turns up nothing. So I guess that Dean is a pseudonym?