This book is definitely a paranormal romance. I’m 95% sure that vampires are involved. I think the main characters had sex? Kind of a 50/50 chance.
What’s it About?
Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen is the only one who believes a suspicious death is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her. Her neighbor Stephan Zoriak is a prime suspect. While working for a major pharmaceutical company, he is exposed to a dangerous organism that changed him. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help Mel find the truth when the deaths continue. In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find more death and continued distrust that make them wonder if love can defy death.
The novel begins way, way, way back when. I’m talking like 1000 BC here. Basically there’s some sort of creature who drains people of their blood, and a bunch of priests trap it so it can never escape. Flash forward a couple thousand years to a small town where a mausoleum was broken into, and strange deaths start happening all over the place. Honestly, the plot itself was kind of frustrating. We as the audience know that something paranormal is going on, especially because we were provided with that little introductory story at the beginning. However, the main characters aren’t really convinced of this until the very end of the novel. I understand that having a vampire-like creature come back to life to drain multiple victims of their blood can be hard to believe, but after a while you just gotta call a spade a spade.
We know that this creature is probably a vampire, although I can’t remember if this word was ever said aloud at any point in time. But then we have Steve, and he’s a confusing individual. He’s some kind of scientist, and was recently infected with something which makes him crave blood and black out from time to time. Steve comes to believe that he might be responsible for the strange deaths which have been happening. So…he craves blood. Does this mean he’s a vampire too? Or does he just have some strange disease which I pray to God I’ll never have in my lifetime?
Another aspect of the novel which gave me pause was the relationship between Mel and Steve. The two are smitten like kittens, and there is an insane amount of sexual tension between them. Mel is hesitant to act on her feelings, considering Steve puts the strange in stranger danger, and Steve holds back because there’s a chance he might suck her dry of blood. Whenever the two start to take things to the next level they get interrupted, which is just so sad. Although there is one pretty vivid sex scene towards the end of the book, there’s a chance it was just a hallucination/dream sequence. To this day I still don’t know for sure if they bumped uglies.
The paranormal story draws you in right from the beginning, but after a while it seems like the story just drags on and on without really going anywhere. Sure, people keep dying, but so much of the book is Mel wondering what the hell is going on, and Steve trying to cure his infection. It’s also evident that some of the townsfolk know more about the supernatural than they are letting on, but this is never really discussed in full detail, which was kind of frustrating.
The most disappointing aspect of the novel was probably the creature. He is presented as all powerful, and unstoppable. At the very end the main characters decide to set a trap where they’ll entomb the creature in concrete in the mausoleum. And they do. With little to no problems involved. There was so much build up to this point, and after all their plotting there really isn’t any final speech or direct conflict with the creature. The whole scene was carried out so fast that it was kind of a let down.
The most dynamic character, and probably my favorite of the bunch was Mel’s boss, Chief Howard. This really surprised me, because not only is he a hard-ass, but he’s also a misogynist. That being said, he really cares about the safety of his officers, as well as that of the entire town. You’ll hate him at first, but after a while he kind of grows on you.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Rhodes End, book 1
Should you read it? I do think there could have been more depth to the story, as well as the characters. I especially wish we could have focused more on the townsfolk, and had more of an exciting climax with the creature.
Smut Level:Talk about delayed gratification! There were so many interrupted sexy moments, but at the same time the characters did have some more important things to focus on.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 336 Pages.