Author: Nell Stark & Trinity Tam
Release Date: October 2009
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance, GLBT
Book Source: Authors
About the book:
When medical student Valentine Darrow is bitten by a Vampire on her way home to propose to her lover, Alexa Newland, her life becomes a nightmare. She is consumed—both by a craving for human blood, and by an obsession to find her attacker and bring him to justice. Alexa is determined to be everything that Valentine needs, but when Val’s appetite outstrips Alexa’s ability to nourish her, Alexa decides to undergo a dramatic and risky procedure in order to save her lover’s soul.
Will Valentine be able to control her thirst—for blood and for vengeance? And can Valentine and Alexa’s relationship endure against seemingly impossible odds?
What I’m talking about:
On the what should have been the biggest night of her life, Valentine Darrow, daughter of political big wig, is brutally attacked and wakes to find her life drastically altered. She discovers that she’s been infected with a virus that consumes her red blood cells from the inside, and in order to live she must consume blood. Yep, she’s a vampire.
Ever supportive is Valentine’s true love, Alexa. Alexa is determined to make their relationship work under the strain of Val’s growing blood lust. Together they are introduced to a world they only believed to exist in fantasy. They are driven to find and bring down the mysterious vampire that not only attacked Alexa, but other socialites as well.
I will admit I had a tough time getting into this book at first. The story line was interesting – I loved the analytical view of the vampirism – breaking it down into medical terms and biological processes. But I wasn’t emotionally bonding with Val and Alexa. I think it’s because their love was fully and deeply developed before the book even began, and the reader is expected to take this as fact. However, without the slow development of the relationship within the context of the story, it was hard for me to connect.
As Val grew into her new lifestyle, her constant concerns over harming Alexa, her never-ending nightmares over her attacker and the drive to identify this elusive vampire began to grow old and repetitive. But right at that point when it began to bother me, there was a significant change in the book.
In the very center of the book, the story shifted from Val’s point-of-view to Alexa’s POV. It was introduced following a dramatic scene in the storyline. I enjoyed the dynamics, however, all to often I would get confused thinking Val was speaking, when it was truly Alexa. It seemed that in both situations, the woman who was behind the POV was strong and the partner was more needy or weak. Because both voices felt similar – down to using the same arguments to protect their partner, there were times I had to re-read a passage to clarify who was talking.
All gimmicks aside, there is a very good reason for the change in POV, and after this point, the book really picked up steam. I enjoyed looking at the world from Alexa’s POV, especially as she makes a daring attempt to create an ideal situation in which she will be able to safely satisfy Val’s need for blood.
In addition to the changes in POV, the story began to move forward at a much quicker pace. The women started tabling their anxieties over harming the other and began working on finding answers about the attacks.
The book ended with a satisfying conclusion in the mystery of “whodunit,” however, unanswered questions remain – namely WHY? and who is ultimately responsible for the attacks? I have my guesses… and at the top of the list is the head of New York’s Vampire community, Helen Lambros. Alexa is right to be leery of Helen!
everafter is a solid introduction to Ms. Stark and Ms. Tam’s everafter world. There was a lot of information to convey to the reader, and even with the bumps I encountered in the beginning, I find that I couldn’t put down the story after a while.
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)