I was into vampires way before True Blood. Before Twilight. Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer—both the excellent TV series and the not-so-excellent, yet still a hell of a lot of fun, movie. Before Francis Ford Coppola tried to win an Academy Award for Vlad the Impaler. (He wasn’t successful. Gary Oldman as Dracula—riveting, even with the creepy bouffant wig. Keanu Reeves as Mina’s vampire slayer husband—not so much.)
My vampire fetish began much earlier. I was 11 years old. It was 1979, and I was hit with a vampiric double whammy—Love at First Bite and Salem’s Lot. The first taught me that an average girl could find happily ever after with a blood-sucking fiend. (Interesting aside: before there was the “sparkly” vampire, there was the tanned vampire. All the white face paint in the world couldn’t hide the amazing orange of George Hamilton’s skin.) The latter taught me that vampires could be pretty freaking scary. (To see Salem’s Lot, I had to wait until my parents were asleep, sneak downstairs, and watch it at 2 am. By myself. In the pitch black. Was I brave or what?)
So why am I rambling on about vampires again? Oh yeah, as a convoluted introduction to one of my favorite vampire series. But first let me set the stage. The year was 2008. Twilight Fever had raged out of control. And I found myself feeling something unexpected—vampire ennui. I’d had it up to my fang marks with the vampire books, movies, and TV shows.
I was in the library with my son when I caught a glimpse of an attractive redhead lounging on a gravestone. I always judge a book by its cover, and it was a pretty sexy cover. So I picked it up. Sigh. Another freaking vampire book. I went to put it back on the shelf, and then hesitated. I wasn’t at a bookstore (R.I.P. Borders). I could walk out with this book for free! Bonus: I wouldn't get the long-suffering look from my oh-so-tolerant husband who no longer bothers to remind me that I have an entire room full of books waiting to be read and reread. So I tossed the paperback in with my son’s manga selections.
The book sat on my dresser until I got the email that it was due back. I looked again at the cover. (Like I said, it was a pretty sexy cover.) In the end, I couldn’t resist. In fact, I’ve never found a book I was able to resist. Plus, this one was right there for the taking. And I am so glad I did. Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave was amazing. Cat was a flawed, kick-ass heroine. And Bones?
Bones…Bones…How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Bones was Mr. Darcy with a bite. He came across as cold and unfeeling, but melted fast for the feisty half-vampire Cat. And I melted fast for Bones. Really fast. Like, couldn’t put the book down fast. I read it in 2 days. (Don’t you hate when work gets in the way of your reading?) His back story was intriguing—a former prostitute in 18th century London who was turned against his will by his best friend. Today, Bones works as a kind-of vampire bounty hunter, tracking down and taking out all the big baddies and leaving the sexy walking dead in peace(s).
Bones' vocation puts him on a collision course with Cat, who is out to stake all the vampires she can. Cat’s mom was raped by a newly-turned vampire—hence the birth of our heroine, a half human, half vampire hybrid. But this blog is getting long in the tooth—pun intended—so let me put a stake in it. (I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself). Bones and Cat join forces. Have crazy hot vampire sex. Kick some serious vampire ass. And are wrenched apart by a shocking ending that left me running for Amazon and praying the second book in the series had already been published. It had been. So I ordered both books and anxiously waited for them to arrive. (As much as I despise e-readers, the immediacy is tempting.) The second book in the series, One Foot in the Grave, was even better. But perhaps I’ll save that for another blog…