Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: 2/18/2014
Number of pages: 384
Take a road trip with the undead . . . in this latest in the Argeneau Series by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands
For Basha Argeneau, anything is better than facing her estranged family. Even hiding out in sweltering southern California. But when a sexy immortal in black shows up determined to bring her back to the clan, she’ll do anything to keep far, far away from the past she can’t outrun.
Marcus Notte isn’t here to play games—especially not with someone as crazy as the infamous blonde. Asked by Lucian Argeneau to bring her back for questioning, Marcus is determined to carry out Lucian’s request—no matter how the seductive little mind-reading vamp feels about it.
Basha doesn’t mind fighting fire with fire, especially with a hot immortal involved. But if he wants to take her away, he’ll have to catch her first . . .
About the Author:
Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. For more information, go to www.lynsaysands.net.
The first thing I have to confess is that I haven’t read a book in this series since the first four or five, so there were a few times I felt like I was missing important backstory, like names I should have recognized, and past events that might have shed light on current ones. I tried to set that aside and judge the story in its own right. Ms. Sands does put in a fantastic effort to include bits of what is by now a massive mythology for those who haven’t read one in the series before, so points for the book there, especially when it comes to our heroine, “Divine,” and her branch of the family. That is a truly great (and disturbing) story that I found really interesting.
The second thing I should mention is that I am really not a fan of the life mate/soulmate/etc trope. I don’t like a couple that is “meant to be” without putting much work into it. What I want to see in a love story is two people/beings coming together by accident or in the course of their daily lives, and… having to put some work into it. Love at first sight, no, but instant infatuation, lust, dislike, like in spite of themselves, being forced to depend on each other because of danger, etc, are okay. There are a million ways for characters to fall in love without stamping them “lifemates” for each other and each other only. In VAMPIRE MOST WANTED, that bugged me. I’ll hold off on more detail so as not to spoil, but suffice to say, Divine is very, very old and smart. She knows she should run from the hero, a representative of her greatest enemy. But because he’s her lifemate, she never makes a real effort to get away, even if it means her life and that of her son is in danger. If falling in love turns a character TSTL (too stupid to live), that’s a turnoff.
MORE SEX PLEASE, and hotter. This book has better than average sex, but there just wasn’t enough, and it was a bit too euphemism-heavy for my taste. A big problem was that the same euphemisms were used in both sex scenes. This might be the habit of this very long-lived and beloved series. If your readers expect a certain kind of sex scene, you can’t suddenly turn around and write some hardcore stuff with out-and-out descriptors. I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt.
The last negative (and it wasn’t that bad) was the pacing. Things should have moved much more quickly, considering the stakes for the heroine and the hero individually and together. Instead there was an awful lot of sitting around and having nice chatty moments rather than running and screaming and battles. Even truly dangerous moments seemed too low key for their importance.
Don’t worry. There was still plenty to love in VAMPIRE MOST WANTED. For example:
* The opening and the meet-cute were great scenes. I love a heroine who kicks ass. Or… other places.
* The initial setting of the meeting and interactions. Again, won’t spoil, but I don’t think I’ve seen this environment used in quite this way in PNR or Urban Fantasy Romance, and it was done with real thought and creativity by Ms. Sands. Nicely done. I love Las Vegas, too, but I wish there had been more of it.
* The giant twist that I can’t really describe (DARN SPOILERS!) that changes everything for pretty much every character in the story. The twist in itself is a story, and filled in some of those historical holes that I was missing. The story is fascinating and heartbreaking. I couldn’t put it down during that section.
* Once that twist hits (which I wish was MUCH sooner!) the stakes of the overall plot definitely crank up. Sadly, that’s the end, and we don’t get to see any happily ever after. I don’t know if that’s a negative, because I enjoyed the end 1/4 of the book. I just wish there had been more.
Overall, I have to give VAMPIRE MOST WANTED 3-1/2 Batty Moons. I can’t fault the story for my not being up to date with the series, so I tried not to mark off for that. I almost never give a 5 unless I’m completely blown away. So essentially, I was starting with a four. The lifemate trope, the lukewarm sex, and the slow pacing really could have taken off more than a half-moon, but I liked the rest of it so much, I left it as is.
VAMPIRE MOST WANTED is worth a read if you’re a fan of the series, and maybe if you’re looking for a good, old-fashioned PNR (you should probably start at the beginning, though.) I definitely enjoyed it! If you’ve read it already, let me know what you thought!
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