Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review - The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner

From Silhouette Nocturne:

"The world knew Michael Brandt as a playboy tycoon. The underworld knew him as a fierce vampire hunter. Armed with a wooden stake and superior strength, Michael targeted the most powerful overlords in a clandestine do-or-die operation…and then tabloid reporter Jessie Morgan uncovered his secret.

Only once before had Michael allowed a woman into his secret lair. Now he'd fight heaven and hell to keep Jessie from the same fate. But he couldn't fight the attraction that drew him to her like a bloodlust. An attraction that might prove deadly…or worse. For Michael was going up against the most powerful of the undead—and that vampire had his fangs bared for Jessie."

The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner is a quick read that hearkens back to the classic days of paranormal romance, when vamps were evil minions of darkness and slayers were the called upon dispensers of holy justice. Enter Michael Brandt, the alpha-male hero who's a flamboyant playboy by day and a superhuman crime fighter by night. He's kinda like batman without the latex. And, unfortunately, without the dark, brooding sex appeal.

While Jessie Morgan is a feisty heroine who all but leaps off the page, Brandt didn't became anything other than a romantic archetype. Emotions and motivations were hung on him like clothing, but he never really donned them. Because of this, the romance between Brandt and Jessie just seems a little...flat. The love story is best described as the difference between watching a play in person and hearing a recap of a play from a friend who saw it. The story may be the same, but the level of engagement doesn't even compare. And the subplot dealing with Brandt's previous lover and her tragic fate feels forced. The secondary characters, Brandt's sidekicks and Jessie's grandmother, are scene stealers. Partly because they are very well written, and partly because the action between the main characters simply isn't engrossing enough to keep readers focused solely on the main storyline.

The Vampire Affair is by no means a bad or boring story, it simply doesn't live up to the potential you can feel on the page. If this were a single title (with a large word count) I think it could be a more engaging and intricate story. As a category story, however, the word count limits seemed to restrain what could be a truly fantastic paranormal romance.

Rating: 2.5/5



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