Nick Johnson Johnson desde 3062 Totzenbach, Austria
*I received a copy of this book courtesy of BelleBooks, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review* 4 1/2 stars Cynthia Leighton left her job as a cop to be a private investigator. She's always worked better alone, and lacks the people skills to deal with most of the public. After one successful case, she's found a benefit for her strange hours she keeps and late nights, working on referrals for the local vampire community. At least it breaks up her bounty of cheating spouse cases. Raphael, the local vampire lord, finds himself the center of a trap where one of his own is kidnapped. He knows he needs the best to help him get her back before it's too late, so he turns to Cyn for help. Unfortunately neither of them expected the feelings when they meet or the problems they bring. Whew! I won't claim instant love when I first started the book but after 20% I was hooked and found myself sad when I read the last page. I am always on the search for paranormal romances that stand out in the crowd. Constantly disappointed in most vampire books, most can't get the balance between making the main characters have strength on their own while feeling complete together. I'm not a flowers and poems kind of girl so when a 220 lb muscle bound male vampire who is supposed to be bad ass started spouting Tennyson because he's in love, we have a problem. Same with female leads, I love a male lead that is protective and stands up for his lady but she can't be some weak trembling virtuous maiden that wouldn't survive physically without someone coming to her rescue. Cyn and Raphael hit all the right marks in the first book in the Vampires in America series. Raphael was absolutely diabolical in his alpha personality while showing hints of vulnerability regarding Cyn and his unfamiliar feelings, and also having redeeming qualities with those he interacted with. I am in love with him! No, seriously, I don't care he's not real I'm running away with him ;). I can't flaw his character, or even the way the man dressed. He was an ass and I loved it, but not beyond redemption, just more of a man in power sarcastic kind of way. Cyn has to be in my top 5 heroines, which is quite an honor being as picky as I am in that category. Her position as a private investigator and x-cop has certainly taught her things but she has a brain. It's sad that an intelligent heroine is considered refreshing lately but there you have it. The side characters did exactly as they should, showed three dimensional aspects of the main characters, helped build the world, and set up the reader for the future books, leaving them wanting more. The writing was smooth and transitioned beautifully from one character to the next. There was no choking on the world building, it was blended in a way you never noticed, just absorbed every detail in vibrant chapter after chapter. I jumped into the next book right away, which I will be reviewing shortly! This may just be the first series I read from beginning to end consecutively in a long time.
A long time ago, I used to devour everything written by King. In high school, I remember preferring his horror stories over the boring Dutch WWII literature we were expected to study. Christine and Carrie gave me goosebumps throughout and kept me awake many a night. We only kept goldfish when we were little, but Pet Cemetery felt very close to home anyway. I'm pretty sure that The Langoliers gave me nightmares, because I was afraid that used up time - obsolete and empty - would catch up and erase me. Of his newer books, I quite enjoyed Cellphone and Dreamcatcher. The list of books I enjoyed just goes on and on. But then his terrible car accident happened and I think King needed to process this through his writing. And somehow, I could not really relate to him anymore. Every time I passed through a bookstore and saw a book of his, I'd hesitate and continue on. That is, until Full Dark, No Stars appeared and I felt his familiar pull again. I think old and new King fans will appreciate the four stories collected in this book. It's a study of how perfectly normal human beings - like you and me - react when put in a stressful situation. By stressful I don't mean overtime at work or a busy schedule that won't fit into your planner anymore... but circumstances that will change your life forever. Let's take a closer look at the first story to get a better idea of what I mean. The protagonist is a farmer who lives out a pretty content life with his wife and son. They are not wealthy, nor are they poor. Everything changes when his wife, who has always disliked the countryside that he loves, inherits a very valuable piece of land. She wishes to sell it to an industrial cooperation, but that will devaluate the land they are on. Also, she prefers to start a new life in the city, with or without him. What is a man to do when faced with such a dire situation? Some men may go through with a divorce or sigh and go with their wife's choice. But our protagonist starts to plot murder. The other three stories have the same concept: what would you do when confronted with rape and murder (Big Driver and Good Marriage) or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transfer your bad luck to someone else (Fair Extension)? Would you do the same as this book's protagonists? Or would you go on and act as if nothing has happened? Once again, King has succeeded in creating a spine-chilling read, one that will stay with you for a while after finishing it. Chapeau! And welcome back, Steve.