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Monday, April 25, 2011

Forever Vampire by Michele Hauf

Forever Vampire by Michele Hauf
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (380 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Verbena

Vail the Unwanted is a pure-blooded vampire. But raised by Faery, he has neither home nor peace, and when his aid is sought in the recovery of a priceless diamond gown, his price is information. Specifically the whereabouts of his accursed father. His goal is revenge, and the supernaturally sexy Lyric, the icy blond vampiress with whom he must work, is a distraction he can't afford.

Outwardly as cold as the diamond dress in which she was kidnapped, Lyric has her own secrets. Desperate to break free from her criminal family, she aligns herself with the brooding Vail. Together they seek justice while each secretly works for freedom and a fresh start. For Lyric that means holding herself apart, even from the smoldering blue-eyed Vail. For Vail, it means a battle to the death for revenge—and for a temptress he can't deny.

Take one vampire who grew up in a world of fairies and refuses to drink blood, add another vampire who’s on the lam from a powerful fairy who wants her dead, and you get a bloody good story (pun intended!) that’s chock full of adventure and enough romance to make you swoon.

Vaillant, who prefers to be called Vail, is one messed up dude, to say the least. He’s been raised by an unloving fairy stepmother in a world apart from his own kind. When he’s cast from the only home he’s known, he has to figure out how to live in the mortal realm. Having been raised by fairies, he’s been taught to despise vampires (despite being one) and that drinking human blood is dirty. Luckily for him, there are plenty of fairies in Paris who are more than willing to share their ichor (blood).

Lyric just wants to start a new life. Maybe even join the circus. She loves working out on silks and thinks she’d make a pretty good addition to a traveling show. Unfortunately, the Lord of Midsummer Dark, known as Zett, wants her dead to prevent knowledge of a mistake he made with her several years ago from being known. She’s also got this persistent, albeit gorgeous, junkie-vampire on her tail (in more ways than one) who’s determined to make her reveal where she’s hidden her only bargaining tool (a dress that belongs to the fairies) and take her back to her mother, kicking and screaming if need be.

Can Vail, who’s never known the love of family and despises his own kind, learn to change his errant ideas about vampires and give Lyric a chance to give him what he’s always desired? Can Lyric let go of her Ice Princess persona and let this bad-boy vampire who’s got a few deep issues to contend with breach her reserve and fill her heart with an emotion she thought she’d never feel another? It will take a lot of give and take on both ends to conquer their deepest fears, learn to trust, and protect the real prize they’re about to discover.

Forever Vampire is one of those stories that steadily grows on you. Ms. Hauf does an excellent job with character development. She doesn’t blatantly tell all about Vail and Lyric in the beginning, but rather reveals bits and pieces of their personalities—good and bad—as the story unfolds. She has an impeccable knack for giving little details along that way that keeps you engrossed and interested in what’s coming next. Even though there were a lot of players in the story, she provided enough information about the secondary characters so you weren’t overwhelmed, but knew and understood what part they played. I really liked that she didn’t introduce people who were merely fillers with very little effect to the story as a whole. I tend to get lost in the names when authors do that.

As for grammar usage and punctuation, I don’t recall any flaws in editing. Almost every story has a mistake or two. If there were any, I was too engrossed to notice. I’m a stickler when it comes to point-of-view violations and I can honestly say Ms. Hauf handled this expertly. I never felt jumbled around or confused about whose “head” I was in. Her transitions were clean and clearly marked with an extra space between paragraphs. I can’t think of anything that would have made this story any better. Thank you Ms. Hauf, for giving this reader a tale that fulfilled everything I like to see in a book—great characters, an interesting plot, just enough sex to keep me turned on, and no loose ends. I’d sure love to see some more of these characters, particularly Trystan. Perhaps the author will see fit to give him a story of his own.

If you love complex characters, great sex, an interesting plot, and a whole lot of excitement, run, don’t walk, to your computer, your book store, or wherever you purchase your romances. This one is not to miss. I definitely consider it a keeper.

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