by Jayelle Drewry, vampire (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-501-5
Deadly Inheritance is a reissue. It was previously published back in 2007 by Triskelion Publishing and I'm sure we all know what happened to that publisher.
The story in Deadly Inheritance is pretty simple. Gabrielle Murray finally returns to this corner of Romania to claim the huge sprawling mansion belonging to her estranged and now late stepfather. She finds two men imprisoned in some kind of vault in the mansion grounds and frees them, only to have one of them pounce on her. These two are vampires, sorry, vampyres who haven't been fed for a long time (they are prisoners of her late stepfather and since his death no one has been feeding them). To make up for his social faux pas - it is poor taste to make a meal out of your rescuer, after all - Ivan Tepes does what any vampire would do: turn her into one of them, woo her (the mate-mate-mate thing, remember) and boink her silly.
Ms Drewry's vampyres are pretty faithful to the generic fantasy definition of the word. Ivan and his brother are born that way rather than turned and they can walk in sunlight (don't worry, they don't sparkle). But other than those traits, Ivan displays some familiar mate-mate-mate tendencies, although he is more gentlemanly and refreshingly far less sulky than one would expect from a hero with fangs.
What makes this story work very well for me is how Ms Drewry takes the time and effort to build up the relationship between Gabrielle and Ivan before having them fall into a shuddering heap in bed. Gabrielle is a pretty smart and likable normal heroine. Ivan is not too much of an emo dweeb and despite his keeping a big secret from Gabrielle too long for my liking, I think he's an alright fellow. I also love how vividly the author describes the scenery in this story. From the more spooky Gothic vibes to the more laid-back mood of the courtship, this story has plenty of atmosphere. The strong description of the characters' moods and emotions as well as the setting make this novella a most enjoyable read.
I was not expecting much when I began reading this one but to my pleasant surprise and delight, Deadly Inheritance turns out to be one of the better vampire romances I've read in a while.
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