10 March 2011

Gothic Reading Challenge review: Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister

Click image to read about the challenge
My second Gothic Reading Challenge book, but the first to be reviewed. I’m working on the review for the other one.
Fits the Gothic theme because: a lot of it takes place at night, there are vampires, ghosts and demons involved, there is angst, the heroine shows some genuine Too Stupid To Live behaviour (a required plot element in the Gothic novels of old), and the hero is tall, dark and dangerous, and was alive during the Gothic era.

Genre: Urban fantasy, romance
Year of publication:
No. in series: 2
Setting & time: London, UK; contemporary

Inexperienced Summoner Allegra Telford is in London to prove she can summon and bind ghosts when she begins to have dreams about a wounded, bleeding man. Coming across him for real wasn’t in the bargain, but she does and is swept into an adventure involving ghosts, demons and Moravian Dark Ones (aka “my vampires must be unique” by any other name). There are hardships to overcome and the reward is one Christian Dante, the nearly hero of the previous book in the series, A Girl’s Guide to Vampires. But Dante is a very masterful man Moravian Dark One (why do these nomenclatures always have to be capitalised?) and Allegra was hurt badly in the past by a domineering man, so getting her to trust him may be even harder for Christian than overcoming a demon.

I found this story better put together in many ways than the first book in the series, but didn’t like the hero and heroine as much as those of the previous book. As before, the sex is scorching but fortunately there are no gratuitous sex scenes - they all serve the purpose of bringing the heroine and hero together and strengthening their bond. This time it’s not a serial killer that provides the suspense, but an actual demon, but it was never really clear to me why he needed Allegra to complete his nefarious plan (maybe I read it too fast and missed an important detail?). There are genuinely dark and creepy horror elements to the story, but they are offset by humour so it manages to just skirt the borders of horror territory. But, as in the first book, the heroine does some truly stupid things which earn her a TSTL blue ribbon and that alone was enough to lose the book a half star. 2+ stars.

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