Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner (paranormal romance)

Everybody thinks Michael Brandt is a millionaire tycoon playboy with nothing on his mind but his money and his seemingly endless string of beautiful women. Jessie Morgan, a freelance reporter of Native American descent (she was raised by her grandmother on a Cherokee reservation) is on assignment from a tabloid to get the scoop on Michael's latest alleged starlet romance.

In pursuit of her story, Jessie gets by Michael's security and stumbles onto the truth: Brandt is actually the latest in a family of generations of vigilante vampire hunters. Now that she knows, he can't just let her go, so Michael takes Jessie back to his Bruce Wayne–style headquarters/mansion and opens himself up to her.

They soon fall for each other — the fair Eastern European and the dark Native American — and this causes Michael pain because he doesn't want to lose Jessie the way he lost Charlotte years ago. He's lost one love to these creatures before. Will he lose another? He will if vampire overlord Jefferson Rendell has anything to say about it. Some people just never learn....

Author Livia Reasoner (also a writer of popular mysteries under the name Livia J. Washburn) offers readers all they expect and more in her Harlequin debut for the Silhouette Nocturne paranormal romance line. Traditional romance and vampire tropes get a good workout (as do Michael and Jessie in a steamy locker-room shower scene), but mostly The Vampire Affair is just a ripping yarn.

It's full of action and suspense, teeming with emotional conflict and sexual tension, and peopled with engaging characters in surprisingly plausible situations that make it easy to suspend the necessary amount of disbelief. Reasoner exhibits considerable talent in the equal effectiveness of both romance and battle scenes — with an exciting scene of bloodlust well balanced with a steamy scene of the other kind.

It's a bit on the long side, and the ending will surprise no one, but the Native American connection offers an original twist. The Vampire Affair is more than worth your time. It's pure pulp, with few surprises but lots of entertainment. Its combination of romance, suspense, action, horror, and adventure are just the kind of escapist reading this reader seeks.

Reasoner is currently working on her followup to The Vampire Affair, a werewolf novel (Enemy of the Wolf) that was changed from a shape shifter novel (Shifting Affections) due to the demands of the marketplace. Reasoner is a true professional who never forgets that publishing is a business, and you must change to meet its needs, not the other way around. Read about it in her blog post Do You Write from the Heart or for the Bucks?

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