LoveSpell, $4.99, ISBN 0-505-52375-2
Fantasy Romance, 2000
I’ve read this author’s debut effort Dark Prince but can’t find the follow-up Dark Desire anywhere. Dark Gold follows Dark Desire, but I don’t think I’m missing on anything significant as I can follow it perfectly.
Alexandria Houton is going on her merry way, attending a job interview, when she is attacked by a vampire called Paul Yohenstria. She tries to save her brother Joshua but is left for (un)dead instead. Lo, down from the skies like Batman swoops Aidan Savage, golden vampire hunk, who then saves her by making her one of the fang gang.
Fair enough. From this point onwards, Aidan and Alexandria then bicker, make love, exchange erythrocytes, bicker, make love, exchange erythrocytes, and yikes, did ten chapters pass already?
Dark Gold has the atmosphere and the suspense thriller well done – Paul and the rogue fang gang are always around ready to cause trouble – but the characters display the kiss of death as far as I’m concerned: they whine. Or more specifically, Alexandria whines. She’s a one-dimensional heroine that practically has the word “manufactured” stamped on her forehead. Let’s see – she has no social life pre-fang, no reason to live or do anything, and there’s always her worrying about Joshua to provide the “emotional factor”. But there is very little genuine character development in her. She remains cardboard through and through.
Aidan fares better, although I’d think he’d be wise enough to change his last name into something more suave, like Fehr or Quinn, after so many years in existence. He has more depths than Alexandria, but not much to the point that he progresses beyond the usual gruff, see-you-want-you hero with little qualities apart from broodiness and sex prowess to make him stand out.
When both Alexandria and Aidan whine, when both act more like sissified British etiquette school grads trapped in a third rate episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it really ruins my mood. It’s like opening one’s windows in anticipation of Lord Vampire the Darke to take me soaring into glorious, forbidden, orgasmic heights, only to have Lord Vampire’s first words upon swooping into my room be: “Damn, I hate the cold! And did I tell you how bad those cow blood taste (I never drink human blood, not the non-criminal kinds anyway, because I’m a hero)? And those boots in Walmart are bloody expensive, don’t you think…”
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