Author: Sarah McCarty
Page Count: 392 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was from my personal library
50 words or less: Take two things that most people seem to like (cowboys and vampires) and put them together. Shake vigorously.
This was my first foray into the world of books by Sarah McCarty, and I'm sort of in the middle of the road at this point. The story was kind of lukewarm (minus,) the characters were really detailed and well done (plus,) the dialogue was almost painful to read at times, and not in an emotional way (big minus, ) but the happily ever after was genuine and sweet (plus.)
Caleb was a rancher who was turned to a vampire in the 1860s. He ended up turning his brothers as well, and they're still pissed about it all these years later, but they have to understand- if there's going to be a series, there have to be other male leads. Nobody rides for free, after all. Caleb is definitely an alpha and he considers himself responsible for everything and everyone, a trait that came up over and over again throughout the course of the book.
Allie, on the other hand, is a thoroughly modern woman- she owns a bakery, handles her own business, is frankly not convinced that she can trust anyone except herself, and thinks a push up bra may be, to steal the words of Homer Simpson, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. When Caleb turns her in a fit of bloodlust, she has a tough time accepting it, which is understandable, but beyond her being stubborn and free-spirited we don't really get to know anything else about her. She's flighty and frankly kind of a danger to herself and the people around her; Caleb is kind of a Tarzan character who prowls around waiting to rescue Allie at least a thousand times per day.
The real kicker is, Allie's pregnant. This isn't supposed to be possible, but apparently it is.
The supporting cast of this book was interesting, I guess- Caleb has brothers who are going to be the stars of upcoming books in the series, Derek the werewolf is a friend of the brothers and sort of a go-between between them and a clan of werewolves that hate the brothers' guts, for reasons that are never fully explained. There's a really creepy villain, Vincent, who thinks he's going to carry Allie off. I admit to being more interested in what happens to the D'Nally weres than anyone else in the book.
There was a lot of clunky, stilted dialogue (Caleb and Allie love to talk, among other things) and a lot of fighting and actions scenes that were supposed to raise my pulse, I guess, but ended up reminding me of the Great Pie Fight from Blazing Saddles:
I'm giving this book a Scandalous Books designation for the naughty scenes, which weren't all that awesome, but also because there are a lot of awkward themes and moments that come up frequently that can take this book from awkward to creepy in a hurry depending on your point of view.
I'm so sad- I had heard such great things about this book but can't for the life of me see any of the referenced elements. I do have other books by this author so I'm sincerely hoping that those will be better.
Overall Grade: D