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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Seducing the Vampire

Seducing the Vampire (Hqn)Title: Seducing the Vampire
Author: Michele Hauf
Page Count: 376 pages
Publisher: HQN (Harlequin imprint)
Copy for review obtained via NetGalley in anticipation of an honest review

In Marie Antoinette's Paris, the beautiful vampire Viviane seeks a male patron who will allow her to live on her own terms. Courted by two feuding brothers, Viviane succumbs to the handsome rebel, Rhys. She's unaware that Rhys has other, darker, motives. He seeks vengeance against his brother, Constantine—by stealing Viviane and tainting her with his blood.

But just as Rhys is realizing the depth of his love for Viviane, his brother takes his revenge. By casting a spell on the woman they both desire, he condemns her to a living death inside a glass coffin.

Two centuries later, Rhys hears the legend of the Snow White vampiress, imprisoned deep in the tunnels under Paris. He must find her and set her free, but will he be able to save her from the evil still intent on destroying them?

As I begin the epic journey through my NetGalley review queue, the first book up for examination is Seducing the Vampire.  I read and enjoyed Her Vampire Husband and was interested in reading another book by the same author, so when the opportunity arose I grabbed the opportunity.

I totally wish I'd gotten to this book a lot sooner because it has all kinds of elements that are right up my alley. A retelling of a great fairytale (Snow White, in this case.)  Spicy paranormal romance.  Vampires and werewolves.  A great fusion of historical and contemporary elements.

The enmity between vampires and werewolves in the story is deeply rooted, so a romance between a beautiful lady vampire in pre-Revolution Paris and a half vampire, half werewolf would seem like a really bad idea, but in spite of everything, Viviane and Rhys do fall in love.  Unfortunately for Viviane, Rhys's half brother, Constantine, who happens to be a leader in the vampire community, had his eye on Viviane as well, and if he can't have her, well, nobody can.

Constantine comes up with a ghastly punishment for Viviane, and that would have been that, but flash forward to the present day, when Rhys comes aross urban legends and gossip that make him think that Viviane might still be alive.  He's determined to get her back, but he realizes that she may just hate his guts after a couple of centuries of torture. Is true love strong enough to prevail?

The descriptions of the settings and events are positively decadent.  Switching back and forth between the past events and the present developments was smooth and the two stories were woven together very closely.  The relationship between Rhys and Viviane was almost soap opera esque; admittedly there were times when I wondered why they were so adamant in pursuing a relationship.  The ending was intriguing, and the next book in the series almost seems like a continuation of this one, so it will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.

Overall Grade: B
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