Author: Lana Griffin
Page Count: 186 pages (e-book format)
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
50 words or less: Directly from the story-
There wasn't much action here in Havenshire. Nothing much to do at all. Just go down to the park at night, I thought, and try to pick up the local vampire dude, hoping he seduces me and falls madly in love with me.
I'll come right out and say it: any book that opens with characters drinking Genny by the river is going to grab my attention (Ms. Griffen and I hail from the same region, it would seem.) Dusk, while not a book that would necessarily ring everyone's bell, does bring something new to the table of vampire romance and sets the stage for the rest of the series in a pretty novel way.
For me, the jury's still out on a variety of facets of this story. I was definitely intrigued by the premise of the story- a reincarnated voodoo priestess falls for a vampire from the same family she's tangled with in the distant past, and they have to deal with issues of "bad blood" if they ever hope to be together. Seriously, these two together is like trying to cross pigs and elephants. They knock boots and seriously weird stuff starts to happen. For another visual representation:
It's surprisingly hard to dive into the nuts and bolts of this story without giving stuff away, and I think that forms the basis for my main issue with this story. The pacing never really comes together in a cohesive way, and some of the side plots were kind of distracting. Case and point:
I thought the tie-in with the bad blood was good, but after awhile I kind of felt like doing a shot every time this drug's name was mentioned in the story.
I also think, due to the short length, that there wasn't really time for me to get invested in what was happening with the characters in the story. I found Alex's voice as the narrator to be kind of bland; for someone who's just uncovered the fact that she's Marie Laveau and now can do all kinds of crazy voodoo shenanigans, she seems pretty bored. She discovers all kinds of juicy secrets about her two best friends, and seems pretty bored. She starts SLEEPING WITH A VAMPIRE and is excited for a couple of minutes, but then seems pretty bored. I admit that there were times that I wished someone else was telling the story.
Vadim (who I sincerely hope doesn't really look like the cover of this book- there, I said it) begins to really come into his own at the end of the book, but it does take awhile to get there and I found myself hitting fast forward a couple of times. Easily the creepiest, most fleshed out character (literally) was Haiman, Vadim's beyond-creepy sire, and I found the scenes with him to be the most memorable for me (and really were what formed the connection between Mr. Loaf's music video and this story in my mind as well.)
Don't let my musings thus far convince you that I didn't like the story, because that's certainly not the truth. This story takes a lot of classic elements of PNR (ancient hero, heroine who suddenly gets sucked into the supernatural world and finds out she has powers all her own, nefarious dudes who want bad things for our characters, secrets, lies, murder, mayhem) and twists them up into something entirely new. The elements of voodoo were definitely unique as well, and encompassed my favorite parts of the story. I'm also interested to hear more about what happens to Alex/Marie's friends, and where the series will go from here.
Overall Grade: B-
Blog with Bite rating: 2.75/4