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Friday, May 25, 2012

Vampires Are Forever by Tony-Paul de Vissage

Vampires Are Forever by Tony-Paul de Vissage
Publisher: Class Act Books
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (149 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

A hundred years before, the villagers of Balleywalegh drove the vampire preying on their womenfolk from their midst…and that should've been the end of it. But now, it's 1929, and the monster's back. Or is he? Someone's definitely occupying the abandoned manor house again. Karel Novotny has the same name as the former Undead resident but he's much, much younger, and more up-to-date. He even drives a Stutz Bearcat! With his movie idol good-looks, he's enthralled the local lasses, especially Seamus Flannery's daughter Brigid. Seamus isn't much for believing in vampires or any other creature of the night but he's a little worried about the pale young man's attention to his daughter. And when Brigid becomes suddenly and unexplainably ill, he has to make a decision.

Is Karel Novotny the monster returned or not, and if so, what will the good men of Balleywalegh do this time?

Are the superstitions of the town’s folk silly, or is there really something to fear in the dark?

Seamus Flannery’s peaceful life is shattered the moment his wife, Maeve, starts shrieking uncontrollably when she sees a light in an old deserted manor. Like Seamus, I wondered why something so simple would send a woman into hysterics. Maeve isn’t the only one who has seen the light. Seamus soon learns that the people in the town believe a vampire has taken up residence in the old manor. At first Seamus laughs it off, but after meeting Karel Novotny, the owner of the manor, he isn’t so sure. After Seamus does a bit of digging through the town history, he learns there was indeed a vampire in the town over a hundred years ago. Seamus begins to wonder if the vampire has come back to exact the revenge he promised.

Karel is certainly intriguing. I thought he handled the attention of the town’s folk very well. While he seems to genuinely want the people to like him, I also got the impression he was playing with them a little bit. I was pretty sure he wasn’t actually a vampire, but it's clear he IS hiding something. I found myself racing through the pages determined to figure out his secret.

I liked Seamus immediately. He’s a very pleasant, down to earth man who provides the much needed voice of reason when the men of Balleywalegh want to charge up to Karel’s house and destroy him. Seamus admits Karel is odd, but he won’t convict a man of being a vampire without concrete proof. I found Maeve’s test of a garlic laden dish at the town potluck to be especially entertaining.

Seamus’ weakness is his daughter, Brigid. When she and Karel start to become close, Seamus can’t help but feel overprotective of his child. I couldn’t help but smile when Seamus managed to interrupt the romantic interludes between Brigid and Karel. However, when Brigid falls prey to a mysterious illness, Seamus lets superstition get the better of him. He and the rest of the men in the town decide to take matters into their own hands. I was on the edge of my seat as Seamus and his friends marched up to the manor. Would they discover a bloodthirsty vampire, or were they about to make the biggest mistake of their lives?

I was completely surprised at the way the story ended. I did have a few things figured out, but I never saw the truth about Karel coming. I did find the ending a bit abrupt for a story that had so much build up. However, I still found the conclusion satisfying and I certainly had a smile on my face when I finished the story.

Vampires Are Forever is definitely a fun, fast paced story. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. Readers wanting to know Karel’s secret should certainly pick up a copy of Vampires Are Forever today.