"Ariadne" wrote:The review in Romantic Times is the place where I read the "vampire" mention. My copy (for HNR) arrived yesterday also, and I've glanced through and believe RT was correct. Sometimes their reviews give away plot points they feel it's important for readers to know in advance before buying, and that may have been the case here. (So apologies if this was a spoiler, but I had no way of knowing!) I agree the packaging is strange. It seems to be a paranormal romance made to appear as a mainstream historical. Either way, the book's not for me... I've read the first few chapters and the prose is very old-school romancey, plus I'm not sure what Renee de Valois was doing romping around England when she was eight years old in 1518. It seems rather a "Braveheart" thing to do.
Well, I've gotten a little further in, and, yes, Renee is acting very unlike her historical self. I let that go as dramatic license, though I know Renee was much younger and crippled, and not at all the fetching vixen-spy she's portrayed as here. While I liked the first chapter, the book has now started to veer into "colliding turquoise gazes" and various "searing" body parts, so I'm not sure how long I'll be able to persist. And the vampire stuff - not a spoiler for me, Ariadne - while mostly hidden for the moment, has started to show: Our Nordic stud lead has been drinking a potion all the time to keep his thirst at bay and scared off herds of small animals during a royal hunt (though he did "smell" a hart that had eluded Henry VIII, so the king is rather intrigued). A review on Goodreads says "a vampiric killer is on the loose" at the court, so yes, there are evil vampires here. I'm not sure why our stud appears to be exhibiting paranormal powers, however; perhaps it accounts for why his smile can "transform his face from handsome to gorgeous"?
I tend to like to give a book space for it to grow on me; and since I haven't read a lot of historical romances, old school or otherwise, at first I thought the author was just aiming for a deliberately lush feel to her prose. However, if it continues in its present vein, I'll let the publicist know it was not for me. I'm such a putz sometimes, I always feel bad if I don't really give a book my best try. Sadly, I'm not one to wall bang
A shame, as this appeared as if it might be fun. And I agree, EC: it does look like the photographer pulled out the Halloween Let's-Get-Medieval kit for the cover shoot!