Tour’s Books Blog

December 16, 2009

Short Review – Vampire’s Witch by Rebecca Airies – Erotic Romances

So part of this is catch up with some ebooks I bought I earlier this month.  I rarely read holiday anthologies, but this year I have several to get thru and I’ll review one before Christmas.  I’ll be away the end of the month, but releases are slowing down, so I’ll be able to too what’s what in erptica when I’m back.  Here we go with a pair for this week.

  • Title: Vampire’s Witch
  • Author: Rebecca Airies
  • Type: Paranormal erotic romance
  • Genre: Vamps and witches
  • Sub-genre: Witch turning vix (vampire witch) works with hot vamp to take down rogue
  • My Grade: C+ (3.5*)
  • Rating: PG-13 to NC-17
  • Length and price: Sold as a novel for $5.95;  est, about 55,000 words, short novel
  • Where Available: ebook available at Elloras Cave
  • FTC Disclosure: ebook purchased on publisher website

Vampire’s Witch, a recent release from Ellora’s Cave, is new paranormal contemporary romance.  It a decent read, but not gt great or über sexy.  I haven’t read many books by Ms Airies, but I did read her Fire Prince’s Bride, an alternate world ménage romance, and enjoyed it enough to give another one a try. I’ve come to have somewhat limited expectations of books sold by the usual erotic romance outlets.  Of all of the, Samhain seems to offer the best quality while other run more hit and miss.  With little interest in m/m erotica or books geared to BDSM content, I do go through dry spells.  Recently, several of my usual sites seem to have a glut of m/m books and the rest have been rather short novellas/short stories (I find the vast majority of the short stuff unsatisfying and overpriced), or just had nothing to appeal to me.  Besides, I spent a small fortune on various books sales, including the one at Ellora’s Cave, so I have plenty of older titles to entertain me.  Still, I do love paranormals, so I bought Vampire’s Witch.

Serena Blackwell finds herself dealing with an unexpected complication from her work with the Protectorate, a group that helps police rogue paranormals staffed mostly by well trained, but normal humans.  Serena is becoming a vix – a vampire witch.  Six months ago a rogue vamps scratched her arm with his fangs.  She didn’t think much of it at the time, but now she’s learned that she’s so far along to converting to vampire she is literally just weeks away from full fangs.  The doctor offers her some meds that will slow the progress of the conversion, but only by a few months, no more.  While there she gets a call from the head of the Protectoret asking her to an afternoon meeting.   While waiting for him to be free a big, dark haired man comes in.  Both are shown back to to Stephen’s office.  There’s a rogue vamp killing women.  He’s alluded the vamp enforcers because he is also a magic user and they need a witch to help them.  Now Serena has another worry, will the vamps know she’s undergoing conversion?

The vamp hunter, Marcus Castillo, isn’t thrilled about needing the help of a witch.  It doesn’t help that he’s also very attracted to her and despite all her protests, he can smell her arousal when he’s around.  The rogue hunt means they need to get into clubs and try and capture him.  Despite her presence, the rogue escapes the first encounter, and a second.  After that first encounter, Marcus demands Serena stay with him for her own safety and she gives in to her desire for him.  But the need for her meds – which she must take daily, and her fear Marcus will be able to detect her conversion, sends her back to her own place.  But the rogue knows where she lives and attcks her there.  Serena calls forth another supernatural, a shadow warrior.  This wasn’t explained as well as I’d like, but the shadow warriors aren’t magical constructs, but very real, living beings.  There’s a scene later in the book that suggests one of the women attacked is under the protection of a shadow warrior because she is ‘important’.  I was left feeling they we appear in a story of their own, but it did kind of dangle a bit.  This direct assault on Serena in her apartment leads Marcus to demand she stay with him.

Trying to capture, rather than just kill, the rogue leads to the series of encounters, including one where Serena gets cut.  The moment the vamps smell her blood, they realize she’s a vix.  In the next encounter, the rogue has a female partner who stabs Marcus with a poison blade that sends him into a period of near insanity.  I couldn’t quite figure out why the vamps hadn’t developed a better way to deal with rogues than this repetitious ‘catch and release’ program.  I am at heart a practical soul.  LOL

The attraction between Marcus and Serena worked for me.  Serena’s mother, a ‘pure line’ witch snob reacts way over the top when she learns that she’s a vix.  Witches also have ‘mates’, a bond that vamps don’t have.  I would have liked to see more about that.  Vampire’s Witch lacked the polish that I felt Fire Prince’s Bride had.  Marcus was not as well developed as he could have been and the whole ‘world building’  was shallow and both vampire society and witch society, as well as their relationship with ordinary humans, needed to be fleshed out a bit to give the story more context and depth.  It was the lack of character depth and somewhat shaky world build that kept it from a B- rating.  For a short novel, it was a decent read with plot and a splash of hot sex.  More spicy than erotic.

At $5.95, Vampire’s Witch is a bit pricey for an ebook, but not completely unreasonable.  If Ms Airies writes about the shadow warriors, I’ll likely buy the next book, as I expect this might become a series.

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