Release Date: 13th August 2015 (UK)
Genre: Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Launching an unmissable new series for fans of J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione. THE LAST TRUE VAMPIRE is deeply sensual, intensely emotional, and bursting with heartstopping action.
He is the last of his race. King of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of LA after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The only Ancient One to survive the obliteration of his race, he's forced to hunt like a common vampire, governed by lust. Nothing can fulfil his needs ... until he meets the woman who finally awakens his soul.
Claire Thompson is the only mortal who can satisfy Michael's insatiable craving. She's sassy and seductive, and her intoxicating blood draws Michael like a moth to the flame. Their first fiery kiss sweeps Claire into a deadly world where darkness rules desire, and falling in love is the greatest danger of all. Everything is now at stake, for Claire has the power to seal Michael's fate - and the future of the vampire race - forever.
This unforgettable series continues with The Warrior Vampire.(I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
I am not a huge reader of paranormal romance, but I am a sucker for the books. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the genre and have read a few books, but no where near as many as I would like. When I saw this book I rolled my eyes at the cover (why romance genre, why?) but was also intrigued by the concept of the last surviving vampire living in LA meeting a normal woman and ‘finding his soul’. I didn’t really grasp what finding his soul would mean until I began reading this book, but I was intrigued and decided to request a copy to review. I am glad I did because this book has all those things I am a sucker for when it comes to paranormal romance. Controlling alpha male who needs some feminine sense knocked into him? Check. Woman bling to the supernatural world until she is thrust into the centre of it due to one sexy male? Check. A bunch of misunderstandings and moments of conflict in their relationship broken up with scenes of sexual tension followed by some steamy scenes? Check. It was just a fantastically enjoyable read.
As I said, I am no expert in the paranormal genre, but from what I have read of it, this series is set to be an excellent addition. I was never a massive fan of the whole vampire thing, the extent of my knowledge of vampires is based upon Buffy and The Vampire Diaries, so it is safe to say I do not have the most extensive knowledge of vampire romance or vampiric mythology as a whole because everyone picks and chooses what they want to accept. The vampire mythology in this book is centred around vampires and dhampirs. Vampires have the ability to turn dhampirs into soulless vampires and the only way a vampire can regain their soul is by finding their other half, the one who can return their soul to them. Yes, it does sound ridiculous, I always think this about vampires and general paranormal reads, but god it was fun to read.
The characters in this book do fit a stereotype, a stereotype I know well from other romance books, but it doesn’t feel staid. Whilst the characters are stuck in a wrote role, they are not dull themselves. Claire, our heroine, may be fitting that unique special flower heroine role, but she is fun and easy to like. She sees herself as a hustler, a common thief to the rest of us, who supplements her income as a waitress at a diner by pickpocketing the rich and stupid in LA and hustling at pool. She is a woman who has been burned in life, with a drug addicted mother and very little love or care as a child and with her best friend being a ten year old neighbour she watches out for. She may be jaded, but she is damn likable, her wariness is appealing because who isn’t a little wary of rich beautiful men who show attention to you? And Michael (or Mikhail) is the strong alpha male vampire who has lived a long and tortured life suffering with the knowledge he is the last vampire. He had lost all hope, surrounded by those who have faith in his ability to help save them, with no clue how he will manage it. He stumbles across Claire quite blindly unaware of the significance she would play until he’d lost her again.
As far as the characters go, it is far easier to like Claire than Mikhail. I know he is a man out of time, he has lived centuries and so has some holdbacks in his whole attitude to women, and I love a strong alpha male as much as the next girl, but it only works if you can see he respects women. I occasionally doubted that when reading. You could tell he cared, he was overprotective, but acknowledged that was a flaw, and was even set to apologise about his controlling nature, but that cam later, so I spent the first part of the book disliking him a bit. Thankfully, Baxter was smart and knew how to bring her characters into the light and redeem them so I didn’t stop reading, which I probably wouldn’t have done anyway. Basically, the characters have their moments of pissing you off, but they at least seem real and they do get better.
The story itself was interesting, as I said, I am not that well versed in vampire mythology and vampiric reads at all, so this was a new one for me. I admit, some of the story felt obvious and like it was following a tried and true formula, but it was enjoyable and did have it’s own unique qualities which redeemed it. There were small twists and turns to the story that stopped me feeling this was another formulaic read, not that I dislike an obvious read but I like to be surprised from time to time. Anyway, Baxter manages to provide and interesting read with enough twists and in the story to keep you interested. By the last hundred pages, I was hooked and powering through to the end, so it is safe to say it’s good.
Overall, what did I think of my foray into the world of urban fantasy and paranormal romance? Please sign me up for more! I am excited for the next book, The Warrior Vampire, which I hear is out in December! This is a great read, definitely the perfect book for a newbie like me. It provides the perfect level of background to the book and was a book to hook you in for the full series, I will definitely keeping my eyes pealed for the next one, although the covers will forever make me cringe, but that’s what Kindles are for, right?
Anyone else read The Last True Vampire and have any good recommendations for future reads? Have you ever ventured into a new genre and found yourself drifting down the path to being hooked, or is that just me?