Book Title: THE DARK VAMPIRE
Author: Kate Baxter
Series: Last True Vampire
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Category: Paranormal Romance
Main Characters: Jenner/Bria, Others
Author’s Website: http://authorkatebaxter.blogspot.com/
Sales Links: Release Date May 03, 2016
Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley, ebook.
Rating: 3.5 FULL MOONS
PASSION RULES IN DARKNESS.
Jenner is a newly turned vampire who stalks the night like a wild beast of prey, hunting and feeding his appetites with a string of willing women…and always wanting more. Nothing can satisfy the aching hunger that burns inside him—until he crosses paths with a beautiful, innocent vampire who sets his soul on fire.
Bria has never been able to escape the confines of her uncle’s home. But when the smolderingly sexy Jenner saves her—and promises to be her bodyguard—Bria is brought to a dark world of dangerous, insatiable desire. But once they feed upon each other, they expose themselves to an evil that they never saw coming…and now there’s no turning back. Will they divide and conquer—or stay together and lose it all to lust?
My first draft of this review was all over the place. I liked this, I didn’t like that, it was a mess that ended up saying, “read it for yourself and decide.” But that’s kind of a chicken position for a reviewer. I’ll try to break down some thoughts so they’re a bit more clear than “I liked it! Except…”
One thing I HAVE to point out that I didn’t realize before I started reading was that this is the THIRD book in the Last True Vampire series. Totally my fault for not paying attention to the notes and realizing that. When I started reading I felt a little lost, like there was something I’d missed. The story stands alone, but I think it would read far better if you read the first books beforehand. ( The Last True Vampire (Last True Vampire, #1) , The Warrior Vampire (Last True Vampire, #2) )
* The sex is HAWT. I mean searing hot. Mind you, it was a slow burn, even a little frustrating wait to get there. Although I have to confess, even the wait was sexy, which is rarely true for me. A problem with the wait is the conflict keeping them apart, which I’ll talk about next. Sometimes it read a little dated, but… I’m old. I like it that way. Another thing I like in my fictional sex is DIRTY TALK. I realize a lot of readers don’t like it, and it’s not common to see outside of erotica. This tells it like I enjoy it, and extra points for that.
* The plot contains a romance trope that tends to get on my nerves: the contrived conflict between the main couple that would be easily solved by a serious conversation. I won’t spoil the actual misunderstanding and lack of communication that stands between the heroine and hero, but suffice it to say, it felt like it was dragged out too long simply to keep the heroine and hero apart.
* I’m of two minds on the hero and heroine. On one hand, Jenner is majorly sexy physically. I loves me a big man. And I understood why he wasn’t happy with his existence or his past, but sometimes his stubborn attachment to his guild, darkness, and “unworthiness” grated a bit. The heroine acted like a spoiled teenager, which was understandable to some degree due the way she was raised, but still annoyed. Luckily, she was interesting in other ways.
* That being said, the other major plot lines, both the macro-plot and the subplots, were really engaging. The mythology here made me want to read the earlier books, and any later books as well. The characters surrounding the main couple in this book feel familiar in their own right, which makes me want to go back and read their stories.
In conclusion, I had to give this book 3.5 moons. It’s not just average, but it has some flaws that keep it from being really great. I have to wonder, though, how much of that is due to my ignorance of earlier mythology-building in the series.
It’s definitely worth the read for the characters and the SMEXY. Give it a try today, but make sure you read the first two first.
OOOOO – Five Full Moons: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!
OOOO – Four Full Moons: I REALLY liked this. Well worth reading, and possibly re-reading!
OOO – Three Full Moons: Good! Worth a read.
OO – Two Full Moons: Not really to my taste, but not terrible.
O – One Full Moon: Has serious flaws that make it difficult to read and review fairly.
DNF – Did Not Finish: Poor writing, flimsy plot, badly drawn characters, etc.
I also use half-moons as necessary. I should make it clear that I do review books on a number of levels, emotional and structural being the major ones. I might read a book with serious grammar and spelling flaws, but it could still win my heart due to characterization or story. Or a perfectly structured novel might leave me feeling nothing, and won’t get a great review. I DO always try to find something positive to say about a book, or I won’t say anything much at all. I DO NOT engage in mean-spirited snark, although I do give constructive criticism. As a writer, I can’t stand the former, and always appreciate the latter, even if it’s “negative.”
Hope this makes sense. Any questions, comments, or vague misgivings are welcome in the comments!