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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Desire After Dark

**** Desire After Dark by Amanda Ashley. Contemporary paranormal romance.

Vickie Cavendish is a waiter in a small-town diner. For a couple of nights in a row, a stranger comes into the diner and seems interested in her. He chats with her and orders dinner, but he always leaves without eating it, and twice now he's left after speaking with red-haired women, who end up dead.

The town's beginning to panic, but Vickie trusts the man, despite his odd behavior, and the fact that she's a redhead herself, to the point of allowing him to walk her home for protection because of the murders.

He turns out to be vampire Antonio Battista, and he's tracking the other vampire in town, Falco, the one who's doing the killings. Also on the scene is a vampire hunter.

Desire After Dark is an entertaining story, with the good and bad vampires, and the vampire hunter who's not sure there's a difference. There's also an appearance of characters from previous books, though it's not to the point where you feel lost if you don't recognize them. I particularly appreciated the former heroine who befriended Vickie and helped her deal with being a human woman in love with a vampire.

I wasn't quite so happy with Vickie's TSTL tendencies. She knew redheads were being killed; she knew Antonio had met with at least two of them shortly before their deaths; she knew he behaved strangely; and at that point, she didn't know him at all. Yet she walked home with him, alone, and even invited him in.

The denouement was brief and tidy, and there wasn't a lot of heat in the story, but those are both characteristics to be expected from an Amanda Ashley novel, so I wasn't bothered by them. They're worth mentioning, though, for those who aren't familiar with her style.

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