The Vampire's Seduction
Remember those episodes of Angel that were just too fight-y? The ones when all the great interactions between Angel and Cordy or Lilah and Lindsay became lost in a sea of grunts and kicks and stakings? I found myself thinking of those less than stellar moments as I read The Vampire’s Seduction, the first book in a new vampire series by romance authors Virginia Ellis and Susan Goggins using the pseudonym Raven Hart. The characters they’ve created are fabulous, but, as for the story itself, too fight-y – or, maybe more accurately, too action-y – pretty much sums it up.
But let’s start with those great characters. The two main protagonists – and the reasons to read this book – are William Cuyler Thorne and Jack McShane. William is a 500 year-old vampire and wealthy pillar of Savannah society who also runs a secret business ferrying European vampires to America. He is a “good” vampire who takes his blood from willing human donors who seem to get off on the sexual aspect of being the victim of a vampire. William is autocratic, maybe a bit smug, and most certainly a bit too comfortable in the security of the position he’s managed to attain.
Vampire Jack McShane was made by William and, thus, is his reluctant minion. The son of poor 19th century immigrants who became a vampire after the Civil War, Jack can probably best be described as a born and bred Southern good ol’ boy. A former moonshiner who now runs a car repair shop, Jack – who believes he would be driving the NASCAR circuit if it wasn’t for that pesky sunlight problem – is William’s polar opposite. But, even though he’s often resentful of his autocratic boss, just like William, Jack is one of the good guys.
The tenor of William and Jack’s lives is abruptly disturbed when Reedrek, William’s sire and a truly evil vampire from whom William hoped he had successfully hidden, appears in Savannah. As his monumentally evil doings soon illustrate, Reedrek, clearly, has plans that don’t spell good news for William, Jack, and the world they know.
Truly, more of a plot summary than the above would give a way much of the story, something that isn’t, as I indicated earlier, the book’s strength. Suffice it to say that a few more vampires appear who may well show up in books to come and, yes, there is an awful lot of action, action, action – a lot of which caused my eyes to glaze right over.
But then there is William and Jack. There is something . . . well, human about these vampires and I found myself caring about their futures and their relationship with each other. The authors also do a very nice of introducing intriguing secondary characters with whom the two can interact. A particularly fabulous example of this is capable and forthright Officer Conseula Jones of the Savannah PD , the object of Jack’s long-standing crush – and, yes, there is definitely the promise of romance at some point in the air.
Still, even though there is all that action, action, action to get through that’s sometimes, quite honestly, very tough going, both William, Jack, and many members of their cast of secondary characters are more than enough to carry this book. I liked them. I was intrigued by them. And, yes, I’ll definitely be there for their further adventures.