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Monday, June 13, 2011

Clare Willis: "Once Bitten"

Author: Clare Willis
Title: Once Bitten (SMR)
Ratings: V3; S3; H2
Publisher: Zebra (2009)

     I just got around to reading this stand-alone vampire mystery novel, and I'm a bit sorry that I bothered. In my own defense, I was attracted by the eye-catching cover art, which is great. Despite the fact that a vampire is one half of the soul-mate couple, we don't see much of him. Instead, the story follows Angela ("Angie") McCaffrey, an advertising executive in San Francisco, as she gets involved in the local goth scene and tries to figure out who killed her boss.

     Although the mystery plot is fairly well developed, the romance leaves much to be desired. Eric Taylor, the one and only vampire in the story, is handsome and sexy (of course he is) and he's also a suspect in the murder. The story follows Angie as she gathers clues, calls in her friend (Steve) for assistance, and gets to the bottom of the case. Along the way, she has a few assignations with Eric, is bowled over by his very presence (particularly his scent), and (incredibly) falls head over heels in love with himand vice versa. And all this before they have even had a full conversation. By the end of the book, she's even begging him to make her a vampire. The entire relationship is implausible and impossible to believe.

     The characters are shallow and under-developed, and the romantic situation is so inconceivable that it makes you shake your head in wonder. If you're looking for a really lightweight paranormal novel that doesn't require much thought, and if you can get it from the library (don't buy it), this book could fill a few empty hours in your summer day. 

     Willis has written another stand-alone vampire romance that I liked a bit better than this one. Click on the title here to go directly to my review: Biting the Bride (SMR; V3; S3; H2 ).

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