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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Amanda Ashley: "As Twilight Falls"

Author:  Amanda Ashley (aka Madeline Baker)
Title:  As Twilight Falls
Plot Type:  SMR    
Ratings:  V3; S3; H1  
Publisher:  Zebra (5/2013)
     The stand-alone novel is set in Ashley's usual world where traditional vampires live secretly amongst humans. These vamps live on human blood, are sun sensitive, have super strength, can teleport, and can read human minds. Once a vampire exchanges blood with a human or other vampire, a mental link is established that allows them to locate one another, even from afar.

     Ashley's male vamps are usually lonely, ancient über-alphas who inspire immediate lust in their 20-something, virginal human soul mates. Her novels are very close in nature to the old bodice ripper romances in which alpha males assert complete dominance over feisty females who value their independence, but soon succumb to the erotic passions inspired by broad shoulders, six-pack abs, and chiseled jaw-lines.

             SUMMARY AND REVIEW             

     As the story opens, Kadie Andrews gets lost while she is out photographing ghost towns in the the wilds of Wyoming and stumbles into a town run by vampires. The next day, she is dismayed to learn that Morgan Creek is surrounded by wards that prevent anyone from leaving, humans and vampires alike. At first, Kadie is under the protection of the so-called vampire "sheriff" of the town, but her presence immediately awakens Rylan Saintcrow, the master vampire who founded the town. Saintcrow's first act upon wakening after 30 years of underground slumber is to immediately take Kadie away from the lesser vampire and tuck her away in his home.

     Morgan Creek has a very small human population, mostly females, who serve as a blood supply to a handful of mostly male vamps (just one is female). The humans all came to the town accidentally and then were forced to stay. The vamps all came voluntarily for protection from vampire hunters and from stronger vampires. Now, though, the vamps are sick of being kept within the town's borders, and a revolution is brewing. 

     The romance between Kadie and Saintcrow is at the center of the plot along  with a connected story line that involves Kadie's father and his vampire-hating friends. There is also a thin story thread about a developing romance between a young vampire and one of the town's human females that may or may not be continued in another book.

     This is a typical Ashley vampire story with its instamatic lust-to-love for the soul mates, who face only a few mild difficulties that are overcome without much violence. There are several love scenes between Kadie and Saintcrow, but with no graphic details. If you're a regular reader of Ashley's novels, you'll probably enjoy this one. If you haven't read Ashley before, this book will provide an accurate example of her paranormal romance writing. Click HERE to read an excerpt from As Twilight Falls.

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