|Title: The Reluctant Vampire
Author: Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau Vampires #15
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Julia
Several explicit sex scenes.
Has this immortal finally met her match?
Rogue hunter Drina Argenis (from the Spanish side of the Argeneau family) has been many things in her years as an immortal, but bodyguard/babysitter to a teenage vampire is something new. There’s an incentive, however: the other vampsitter, Harper Stoyan, may be Drina’s life mate.
Trouble is, having just lost a life mate, Harper is resigned to being alone. He’s completely unprepared when sexy and unpredictable Drina bursts into his life to reignite his passions. Can Drina, with a little matchmaking help from their teen charge, tempt this reluctant vampire to take a chance?
Or will a dangerous, unseen renegade kill Drina and Harper’s one chance at happiness?
Jumping into an established series with book 15 can risky, but THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE amply rewarded my daring. Sands interweaves details about the Argeneau vampires and this story’s main love interests without ever sacrificing the forward momentum of the narrative, and I was caught up in the story from page one. Drina and Harper’s romance was very effective as a stand alone (hot, hot, hot!), and while there were some details about the plot that went over my head, that just further motivates me to go back and enjoy the previous books in the series.
The focus of THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE is definitely more on relationships than action, which is one reason it was so easy to pick up this book and enjoy jumping into the series. Sands uses the “life mate” concept between her characters as an opportunity for both comedy and romance, not as a crutch to avoid writing well developed relationships. This attention to detail created vivid, delicious chemistry between Drina and Harper. The dance club scene was a realistic balance of sexual attraction and first date “getting to know you” conversations (which are pretty fascinating between immortal creatures), and even the skunk incident was a lovely blend of the mundane and romantic (Alessandro’s vehement reaction to the “smelly cat” had me cracking up and the image of Harper sitting on a toilet seat with a clothes pin on his nose was completely adorable).
While certain aspects of the plot felt like a stretch near the end (and Stephanie’s early efforts to set up Harper and Drina had me cringing), THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE had a well paced and satisfying middle that more than made up for early and late growing pains. Despite all the happy couples cameoed in this book, it was gruff, silent Anders’ reaction to the thought of a life mate that truly charmed me. I look forward to reading his back story (and dare I hope, eventual Happily Ever After?), as I work my way through the rest of the Argeneau series.