Thursday, December 30, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Seducing The Vampire By Michelle Hauf

(of the books I read for review)
Also posted at THE SEASON

HQN Paranormal Jan 1 2011

384 pages by Michelle Hauf


He was mesmerizing, a vampire like none other...but the fire between Viviane LaMourette and Rhys Hawkes would begin a centuries-long clash between two powerful vampire brothers.

In Marie Antoinette's Paris, the beautiful vampire Viviane seeks a male patron who will allow her to live on her own terms. Courted by two feuding brothers, Viviane succumbs to the handsome rebel, Rhys. She's unaware that Rhys has other, darker, motives. He seeks vengeance against his brother, Constantine—by stealing Viviane and tainting her with his blood.

But just as Rhys is realizing the depth of his love for Viviane, his brother takes his revenge.

Two centuries later, Rhys hears the urban legend of the Vampire Snow White, imprisoned deep in the tunnels under Paris. He must find her and set her free, but will he be able to save her from the evil still intent on destroying them?

Michelle Hauf has crafted quite the paranormal world that stretches across her Harlequin Nocturne and HQN lines. But it is not a continuing saga, so the books stand on their own. It is a
fascinating mix of vampires, magic, werewolves with angels and demons thrown in. A real paranormal buffet.

Seducing The Vampire was a fantastic, riveting read. The book begins in 1785 Paris, Michelle immerses us into the decadent reality of the era. We first meet the heroine, Vivane La Mourette, a pure-blood vampiress, in the middle of a random wolf attack on her carriage. She is more than able to handle herself. She impressed me right out of the gate. Tough, cool, unflappable.
Until a few weeks later at a ball, she meets the hero, Rhys Hawkes. Not so unflappable after that meeting.

What can I say about Rhys? To die for. Totally. He strides into the ballroom, all virile masculinity, no powdered wigs or lace on this man. Vivane is immediately struck with him, and vice versa.
Vivane is in need of a new patron, a male vampire who acts as a food source, and protector, as hers has been brutally killed, along with his wife.
One man who is eager to have Vivane for his own is Constantine De Salignac. And he will stop at nothing to possess her. Constantine not only wants to be her new patron, but also make her his wife. Constantine longs for children to carry on his line. Love does not really factor into his decision.

Neither Constantine nor Vivane counted on Rhys Hawkes. A curious mix of a man, half werewolf and half vampire, not really accepted by either faction. And it turns out, Constantine's half brother. Rhys is affected by Vivane, he wants her. And though she fights it, Vivane wants Rhys.

The story deftly moves back and forth between 1785 and the present. We see Rhys in the present, world weary and alone. What happened to Vivane?
In a bar one night, he hears an urban legend, of a female vampire in a glass coffin deep in the catacombs of Paris. A vampire Snow White. Could this be his lost love of over two hundred years? He is desperate to find out.

Rhys is a romantic at heart, reading poetry to Vivane, but when the full moon strikes, fighting his inner beast. The constant inner conflict he suffers with his vampire and werewolf blood makes for a great tortured soul. He is honorable, loyal and sexy as hell.

Vivane is of the vampire aristocracy, one does not dally with a half-breed. But as the handsome and dangerous Pureblood Constantine may be the better choice for a patron, Vivane cannot stay away from Rhys.
Utterly tragic love story, wrapped in paranormal fairy tale myth with a sprinkle of adventure and suspense. This book had it all as far as I was concerned. I was following Rhys and Vivane's tragic romance through 1785 Paris with bated breath.

And also I was right there with Rhys as he searches the labyrinth of tunnels in present day Paris for the slim hope Vivane survived a tragic event from 1785. Could she be this mythical Vampiric Snow White?

Both hero and heroine were well developed, fascinating and made a great paranormal, romantic couple.
There are a lot of twists and turns to make their ride toward a happy ending bumpy to the extreme. But it is an exciting read.
And they do not emerge from this without scars, of which I will give nothing away. I won't even say who the next book is about as that also may give too much away.

A rich, fully realized paranormal with all the tragic elements of a classic romance, you will not be disappointed.

3 and 3/4 stars out of 4 for the book

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