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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

After Twilight. Contemporary paranormal romance anthology.

I waited too long to post about this one, I think. A lot of the details have escaped me.
  • ***½ "Masquerade" by Amanda Ashley.

    This is a pretty standard vampire romance, with the added theme of the Phantom of the Opera--the heroine's in the chorus of the play, and the vampire hero identifies with the phantom. I appreciated the believability of the romance: he asks for her autograph, then invites her for drinks, and they begin spending more and more time together. I'm not, however, a fan of vampires who hate their un-lives, and the method of cure in this one was just a wee bit cheesy.

  • ****½ "Dark Dream" by Christine Feehan.

    This is one of Feehan's Carpathian stories that I'd missed. Falcon is one of the Ancients the old Prince sent out to fight vampires, and he's on his way back to the Carpathian mountains for one last look at his homeland before ending his life (he's close to turning), when he unexpectedly discovers his lifemate. Sara has been hunted by a powerful vampire for the past 15 years, and when she and Falcon first meet, she tries to protect him. I think this is one of my favorites of this series. The writing, at least for the first 2/3 of the story, is Feehan's best--even the dialogue, which normally bothers me. But mostly, I like these characters. Sara is strong without being stupid about it, and Falcon, amazingly, trusts and respects her and doesn't try to control her or be overprotective. (shocking behavior for a Carpathian)

  • **** "Midnight Serenade" by Ronda Thompson.

    The hero's a werewolf/veterinarian, and the heroine's a wildlife advocate. This story was more emotional, with the hero hating that he becomes a monster during the full moon, and worrying that he's infected the heroine. Both characters' emotions and motivations were very clear, and I could really get into their heads. I loved this one... until the ending.

I'm not exactly sure what it is that bothers me so much about the vampire or werewolf stories that include a cure at the end. Part of it is just that it's hard to root for or identify with a suicidally depressed romance hero, whether he's a "monster" or not. The other part is that a cure just seems too easy. Instead of working out the problem, it's magically eliminated. Additionally, it means that all their worry, and everything they did to try to work out the problem, was for nothing.


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