Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Review: Love Bites (Argeneau Vampire #4)



"That hot guy tied to Lissianna Argenau's bed? He's not dessert -- he's the main course!"

A Quick Bite is the fourth book of the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands. This novel centers on the life of Lissianna, a blonde vampire who is over 200 years old. She is the youngest of four vampire children by Marguerite and Jean Claude Argeneau, an original descendant from the ancient city of Atlantis. Her older brothers are Lucian, Bastien, and Etienne. Curious, modest and educated, she works as a social worker at a homeless shelter. However, she has one problem: she is hemophobic (she has an intense fear of the sight of blood). Whereas her family drinks from blood bags, she must have intravenous (IV) shots in her arm to avoid fainting and collapsing.

Since this process is humiliating for a vampire, Marguerite wants to end her daughter’s misery.
Meanwhile, Greg, a renown psychologist in his mid-30s who specializes in social phobia and mental illness, clearly feels depressed about his life. Although he finished graduate school and manages his own private practice, his family still wonders why he has not married yet. He decides to take a vacation to Cancun, Mexico. On his way out the door, he discovers a mysterious, young woman following him. Next thing he knows, he is stepping into the back of a trunk against his will! Greg wakes up in the dark with both his arms and legs strapped to a bed. He does not know that Marguerite was the woman who hypnotized and lured him into her home!

Lissianna accidentally woke up Greg when she walked into her bedroom for a change in clothes. He thought she was the most beautiful woman; Lissianna also thought he had a nice muscular body. In addition, while her family could easily read his mind, she could not which frustrated her even more. Nevertheless, both Greg and Lissianna were deeply attracted by each other. They shared the same interests and the same sense of humor. Could they be lifemates? Could Greg abandon his family to live a life with Lissianna eternally?

Despite this sudden and enchanted romance, real trouble lies ahead. A crazy lunatic is on the hunt to stake a vampire on the loose. In addition, the Council, a group of ancient and powerful vampires, wants to wipe Greg’s memory because of his knowledge of the Argeneau family. Can Lissianna and Greg have some peace of mind? Or will they always run away from those who want them dead? Discover the truth by reading A Quick Bite.

When I began this novel, I didn't have high expectations because I had a preference for male vampire protagonists. Lynsay Sands actually explained in depth the connection between vampires and the ancient city of Atlantis. I learned more about the Argeneau extended family in this novel than previous novels. According to Sands on her official website, this was supposed to be the first book in the Argeneau series. The publishers decided to first introduce, Single White Vampire, which was a major bestseller. The main character, Lucian, attends the wedding of Greg and Lissianna. All the books are not in sequence but I like this new format. Nevertheless, this novel did not disappoint me at all. Lissianna turned out to be an enjoyable character, who is very smart, caring and independent. She enjoys the freedom women have today than when she was born over 200 years ago.

According to Lissianna, the original inhabitants of the city of Atlantis were an advanced civilization with regenerative capabilities because of nanos technology. In addition to incredible physical strength, their skin would heal quickly and remain youthful indefinitely. Unfortunately, they had to avoid the sun to avoid overworking the nanos in their bodies. Overtime, they developed fangs to retrieve blood from a host for survival. They became known as vampires, although they are immune to the sun, garlic, crosses, or holy water. They can even eat and drink regular food! They can only turn one lifemate, or soulmate, in their lifetime through the transfusion of blood. As for mating, they can only have one child every hundred years to avoid overpopulation. Instead of biting using humans as hosts, they use blood banks and drink from blood bags. Marguerite “kidnaps” (well, she hypnotized him!) Greg so that he could cure her daughter’s phobia. Although she insists it was for the sanity of her daughter, she knew that Lissianna and Greg would adore each other.

Nevertheless, I thought this book suffered in two areas: the villain was ridiculous and Lissianna’s brothers were virtually absent in the entire novel. I know that Sands wanted the villain to be realistic, but there was no mystery or suspense involved in the character(s). I find it hard to believe that the Argeneau family could defeat the villain and save Lissianna and Greg in a few pages! Sands, you need to be more creative in this area. This line has been played too many times in movies. As for the brothers, everyone loves this series because they want to read more about Lucian, Etienne and Bastien. Nevertheless, it was interesting to read about the cousins. I loved Greg’s analysis of the family despite being “kidnapped” from his office. At least we know that life does not revolve only around the brothers.

Stay tuned to the fifth novel of the Argeaneau series, A Bite to Remember.

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