I was very much looking forward to reading Dark Gold. Not only is it a contemporary romance with a vampire/Carpathian element, but it is also set in San Francisco. In the end, however, the romance didn’t grab me, the lead characters were forgettable, and the setting wasn’t utilized particularly well.
Alexandria Houton is about to have an interview with Thomas Ivan, a prospective employer, at a cozy little restaurant. Outside is her six-year-old brother, Joshua, whom she leaves with a homeless man she knows because the babysitter was drunk. Throughout the meeting, Alexandria senses evil is growing closer, and it’s not just Thomas’s smarmy have-a-drink-sweetheart behavior. When she does leave, she finds the homeless man dead, and a blood-fanged creature merrily disposing of three women. After the creature, Paul Yohenstria, threatens Joshua and attacks Alexandria, leaving her almost (un)dead, a golden-haired savior arrives. Aidan Savage, the Carpathian hunter Paul was avoiding, saves her life by making her drink his blood – to dilute the poisonous vampire blood she was forced to take.
After a painful transformation, Alexandria and Aidan spend much of their time arguing, fending off vampire attacks, arguing, making love, and arguing. I kept turning pages back, wondering if this was the same scene I had read before. “You are my lifemate,” Aidan proclaims. Alexandria bites her lip hard enough to draw blood. She pouts about being one of his kind. She makes a play for Thomas Ivan. She and Aidan make love. “You are my lifemate,” biting the lip, pouting and whining. . . .
I have been told I can be too demanding on heroines, but in Alexandria’s case, I found little with which to sympathize. She goes to her interview in an “outfit (that) had cost a month’s income.” She lives in a place “patronized mainly by prostitutes, alcoholics, and drug users” but she will spend a month’s income on an outfit? Her idea of something polite and fairly intelligent to say (her words, not mine) is, “Do you come here often?”, and when Paul Yohenstria tells her she will be his bride, what does Alexandria say? “It really isn’t my kind of lifestyle,” and then she offers to introduce him to some girls who are into kinky stuff.
Aidan Savage claims that Alexandria is his lifemate, his match in every way, and sadly, I was inclined to agree. He spends much of his time behaving like a three-year-old when Thomas Ivan is around. He uses his supernatural powers to spill Thomas’s coffee and smear him with cream, to make him sneeze, to have a bee chase him around. All because Alexandria is playing games and using her “syrupy voice” when she talks to Thomas. I, for one, am happy they found each other because they truly deserved to spend eternity in each other’s company.
Because there were several villains who appeared throughout the story, none seems truly threatening. There was Paul, Ramon, and Diego – they would attack, fight with Aidan, be disposed of. And the writing seemed overly dramatic at times, especially when Alexandria would whine about being a Carpathian and how Aidan had tricked her and lied to her. “Primeval ape.” “Thousand year-old playboy.” “Hound dog.” “Swine.” I don’t know if Aidan just had an amazing amount of patience, or if he simply was too happy to see colors again – which he could only do after finding his lifemate – to put up with Alexandria’s non-stop whining.
I have heard good things about this trilogy and am always looking for a good vampire romance. Sadly, Dark Gold is not one I can recommend.
|Review Date:||May 2, 2000|
|Book Type:||Vampire Romance|