Series: The Vampire's Gallery #1
Unlucky. Unloved. And now undead.
Maria hasn’t been touched in years and sustains herself on her friends’ sexual encounters. She's coerced into trying out internet dating, and she soon attracts the attention of a stud named Jamie. When he invites her out for a beer, she accepts, her mind focused on the one thing she wants—a warm body pressed against hers. Jamie makes her laugh and she invites him in, never guessing that he’s doesn’t want to bed her, but drink her.
The Vampire’s Gallery follows Maria as she leaves one life of dull city apartments for another of sex, sensation, and blood. She rattles the stilted hierarchy of Jamie's home when she makes the ancient, distant vampire feel again.
But what about the vampires that surround Jamie? Who are her enemies, who are her friends, and who’s just pretending?
Warning: This book contains sanguine vampire seductions, M/F/M scenes, waltzing, and light bondage.
I actually got through about 75% of this book before putting it down. But then I got curious how it would end. It seemed to be marketed as an erotic romance but it just didn't feel like much of a romance to me so I wondered if it would have an HEA. I jumped to the last chapter and mostly skimmed through until I got to the end. I probably only missed out on about one and a half chapters worth of story in total. So I get to the end and...WTF? Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. I'll get to the WTF moment a bit later. ...
I had problems with this story from the beginning. It started when Maria finds out that Jamie, her internet date, is a vampire. There is basically no disbelief at all. She just accepts that he is a vampire and he is going to feed on her and kill her... but damnit, she didn't get laid yet! She hasn't had sex in five years so if an internet vampire is going to kill her then she is going to have sex first, daggumit! Priorities people! Jamie is so impressed with her for keeping her wits about her in the face of death to get what she wanted before dying that he turns her into a vampire instead of killing her so he can keep enjoying her. In addition, much like her easy acceptance of Jamie being a vampire, she doesn't seem to be all that distraught about waking up as one herself.
As a newly minted fledgling vampire, she immediately addresses Jamie as "Master" upon waking. Ugh. Maria actually questions this herself. She doesn't like it but is compelled to behave that way. Well apparently, in this vampire world, new vampires are automatically protective and adoring of their sires. It is supposed to fade at some point, but in the meantime... blech, every time she calls him Master I want to gag.
I didn't really like Maria or Jamie much at all. I felt no connection to them nor any connection between them. I really couldn't have cared less what happened to them. The dialogue felt contrived and the sex scenes were not well...sexy. One thing that really bugged me about them is Jamie repeatedly having to announce what he was going to do. "I am going to insert tab A into slot B." No, he didn't actually say those words in the book. It is just an example of what it came off sounding like to me. It made the sex scenes feel contrived as well. A well done sex scene can do a lot to create that needed connection between the main characters in a romance. In this case, was it erotic? Yes. Was it sexy, romantic, or emotional? No. This book failed in that respect for me.
So, I get to about the 75% mark and I realize nothing much is happening. He turns her into a vampire, they have lots of sex, he introduces her to the other vampires, some of whom don't seem to care for Maria (ooh, some conflict) there is some more sex and then I give up and put the book down. I kept hoping that the story would get better or that there would actually be a story. Something did seem to happen in the chapter I skipped. A nasty and threatening note is left for Maria and then it happens again in the last chapter. So finally, some story conflict is being set up, but...but... the book is almost done by now. How will this get resolved? So glad you asked...
As I skim through the last chapter wondering how it will all end, I get to the end of a paragraph, click the next page button and find... the author bio. And here is my WTF moment. Not only did this book not have an HEA, it didn't even have a freaking ending! No resolution whatsoever to anything that happened in this story (on the other hand, not much happened so there you go). It didn't even feel like it was the ending of chapter, it felt like it was the end of a paragraph within a chapter and the author decided to just chop off the rest of the book. It wasn't even a cliffhanger. It just stopped. So I think to myself, after grumbling nonsensical admonishments of annoyance, maybe this is a serial, though badly done, and I missed that in the description. Maybe that is the reason for such an abrupt ending. I checked out the description on the author's website, GR and Amazon... nope, no mention of a serial whatsoever, but it does say #1 after the series name so I assume this is a series of "some kind". At this point I can't even say this is a romance. Fair warning to readers expecting a romance with an HEA and a full story...ya ain't getting it. I assume the story will continue in the next book, but I'll be taking a pass on it.
Heat Level: Erotic
Word Count: approx. 23,000 (novella)
Kindle locations: 1496 (story text ends at 98%)
Print Length: 82 pgs (Amazon estimate)
Ebook includes Table of Contents
Source: LibraryThing Giveaway