Amber Quill Press, $4.00, ISBN 1-59279-385-1
Paranormal Romance, 2005
I think I have read some interesting things in my years of romance reading, but I think this is the first time I come across a hero and a heroine reenacting a Road Runner/Wile E Coyote chase all across Europe and America. All that are missing are a boulder rolling down to squash the hero into a pancake while the heroine makes pitying “Beep! Beep!” sounds.
When we first meet our heroine Lady Caroline Seton, she’s some independent English lady that has control of her life thanks to her having plenty of money and the willingness to use it. While befriending adventurous debutantes and attending glitzy balls, she meets our hero Jack Shaw, one of the million American millionaires they keep churning out of that country to wash across Europe’s aristocratic shores, the truth is revealed: she is a vampire! And giving in to this devastatingly irresistible attraction to Jack means that she will suck him dry (not that way, perverts, the tragic way)! Oh no, what can Caroline do?
Run, of course!
She runs to this country. Jack shows up. There she runs again. Oops, there’s Jack. Run, Caroline, run! Hello, Jack. There goes Caroline once more! Hey, isn’t that Jack?
Apparently this goes on for years, so you can imagine how much I am laughing at the Looney Tunes cartoon that the author inadvertently pops up in my head.
While this being a short story means that I really don’t expect deep characterization, too many things about the characters and their relationship are either breezed past me or never touched on enough, so I never really get the complete picture of what is going on between those two. Therefore, when Caroline just keeps running away from Jack like some hysterical crybaby, I have no idea what is going on inside her head. I don’t mind checking to find out using a rolling pin, though. This instantaneous attraction between those two are told rather than shown in the sense that I know they want to do the naked tango ASAP but surely there’s some emotional aspects to the attraction, as opposed to merely lust?
With more space for characterization and story canon to develop, Catching Caroline may turn out to be an enjoyable historical romance featuring vampires, although to be honest, even then Caroline’s “I’m a sad little vampire bent on martyrdom, boo-hoo-hoo!” one-nitwit tragicomedy show probably won’t go down well with me. I can sympathize with or tolerate the whole “I don’t wanna bite you and kill you because I lo-ooo-ooo-ove you!” sad song the heroine is sobbing out if she isn’t so prone to running away from her problems instead of developing some spine and facing them once in a while or worse, running off to perform some one-woman melodramatically demonstrative “Look at me, am I not noble?” stunt when I seriously doubt it is within her intellectual capacity to perform one well. Run along now, Caroline – far, far away from me.