Release Date: January 1st 2011 by Harlequin
I was quite mesmerized by this book. There were uneven segments, but overall I am so glad I read this. Part historical, part contemporary, all paranormal-romance goodness. ^_^
Review:In Marie Antoinette's Paris, the beautiful vampire Viviane seeks a male patron who will allow her to live on her own terms. Courted by two feuding brothers, Viviane succumb to the handsome rebel, Rhys. She's unaware that Rhys has other, darker, motives. He seeks vengeance against his brother, Constantine—by stealing Viviane and tainting her with his blood.
But just as Rhys is realizing the depth of his love for Viviane, his brother take his revenge. By casting a spell on the woman they both desire, he condemns her to a living death inside a glass coffin.
Two centuries later, Rhys hears the urban legend of the Vampire Snow White, imprisoned deep in the tunnels under Paris. He must find her and set her free, but will he be able to save her from the evil still intent on destroying them?
Have you ever watched the Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction? You know how it jumbles up the story's timeline, beginning the film with the "end?" Well, that's this book. In the very prologue, we find out the result of some as-yet untold story. We're treated to the mental and physical torture of a female vampire powerless to change her fate (don't worry: there's nothing too hard to read through). From there, we go a bit back in time (same Paris, same 1785) to follow the life of one Viviane LaMourette. It doesn't take much to realize you're being made to watch the circumstances under which a sweet and unassuming woman finds herself in the unfortunate situation.
That timeline is interspersed with cuts to "present day" Paris. You'd think a story might be less exciting, going in knowing so much about certain major occurrences. One knows early on who will fall in love, who will survive, and who will meet a gruesome fate. But the progression--of both timelines--is very arresting. The transitions between temporal settings are seamless, even as they create tremendous tension.
From the get-go, the dynamic between the three main characters--Viviane, Rhys, and Constantine--was addictive. All three are seductive and powerful creatures, yet ultimately bound by societal expectations and limitations...some human, some paranormal. The love story's emergence and progression is no surprise, but I was pleased to see it well-weaved into an intricate game of posturing and scheming. Rather like "Dangerous Liasons," in a way.
There was a section of the book--what I'd liken to the third or fourth of a five act story--dragged on a bit and was bogged down by a great deal of angst and lengthy character indecision. (Think, "I should buy a Snickers. But no, it'll make me fat. But yes, I'm hungry. But no, it costs a whole dollar. But yes,....") I wouldn't have minded if that particular chunk was cut down, and the subsequent "act" filled out some more. But that's just me..."grain of salt" and all that. And at any rate, the story eventually picked back up and remained extremely engaging through the end.
Indeed, this book should have been called "Seducing the Reader," because that's certainly what it did to me. I absolutely cannot wait for the release of Forever Vampire, a book that takes place after the events of this one.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars