Friday, September 26, 2008

Review: A Bite to Remember (Argeneau Vampire #5)

If you're going to fall in love with a vampire, make sure it's a bite to remember.

A Bite to Remember, by USA Today Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands, is the sixth addition to the Family Argeneau series. This novel centers on the life of Vincent Argeneau, nephew of Marguerite and cousin to her children (Lucern, Bastien, Etienne and Lissianna). Vincent is a 400+ year old vampire who lives in Hollywood and is the son of Victor Argeneau. They share one genetic trait: they cannot drink bagged blood because they lack a certain enzyme to ingest it. Therefore, Vincent must feed off human hosts during the day to control his hunger. Marguerite suspects that Vincent might become self-destructive because he has lost passion in his interests (for example, theatre), lost some body weight, and seemed more disinterested and detached from life. She also visits him in Los Angeles. In the meantime, someone has a grudge against Vincent. This mysterious person tries to shut down his plays through hypnotizing actors with “contagious anemia” and destroying stage equipment and sets. Before someone gets hurt, he closes the productions indefinitely to figure out who is behind this mess.

Bastien calls on his private investigator friend, Jackie Morrisey, to unravel the mystery of this case. She along with her assistant, Tiny, travel to Los Angeles to meet the vampire. Sexy, intelligent, and discreet, she is an excellent problem-solver when it came to dealing with vampires. However, Jackie has a secret: she has a negative preconception of immortals. Psychologically damaged from a sour relationship with a previous vampire, she vowed to act in a business demeanor, not sleep in the bed with Vincent! She can’t fall in love with a spontaneous, wealthy vampire, or so she thought. Opposites certainly do not attract, right? Unfortunately, the suspect is on a murderous rampage and leaves Jackie near death. Can she accept her new fate? Can she still follow the suspect’s lead? Or will it be her last bite to remember?

I loved this book so much!! I could not stop reading!! I would rate this book #2 to Single White Vampire This was truly a mystery novel that kept me wanting to read more and more every day! I was not disappointed with the amount of sexual imagery in the novel either because Sands chose to focus more on the case as well as new characters in the novel. This was truly a mystery novel with a great ending that I had not expected at all! This book reminded me why I enjoyed reading P.N. Elrod’s Vampire Files (Jack Fleming), Tanya Huff’s Blood (Vickie Nelson) and Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series. I was drawn to the characters’ imperfect but human emotions as well as their ability to solve mysteries.

Readers will also learn that vampires can alter their body shape. While Vincent is lean because he never desired to eat real food, Lucern has a muscular body shape because he was raised in a time period where people fought with swords in combat. Even though those days are over, Lucern still ats food to keep his muscle mass. We also meet the Notte vampire family, who are originally from Italy, who play a critical role in the novel. This book was so good that I am giving it five stars. It was comical as well as suspenseful. In addition, all of Marguerite's children have life-mates so readers will appreciate the fact that the storyline does not have any more loopholes.

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 because the nanos will eat away at the organs in the search for more blood. Overtime, they developed fangs to retrieve blood from a host for survival. A proper form of punishment by death would include a beheading or lying outside in the sun for the nanos to eat away the organs. The vampire council has very strict rules in which all vampires must abide by to keep their existence unknown to humans.

Vampires are not dead or soulless blood-sucking animals. They don't age, can walk in the sun (although it reduces their blood supply in their pale skin and rather be nightwalkers), very strong, can read people's minds, can have sexual intercourse and reproduce to have babies! To keep their population numbers down and less obvious to humans, however, they have a child once every century. They even work among humans although they lie about their condition and travel frequently to avoid stares and their discovery as vampires. They can eat regular food to keep their bodies in shape, but must have blood supply to soothe the hunger and heal quickly. A stake can kill them because the heart cannot pump blood to stop the swelling and bleeding. Garlic and holy crosses do not harm them.

There are currently four more books published in this series. I have a lot to read and catch up! The next story focuses on Lucian, 3000-year-old ancient vampire (and brother-in-law to Marguerite) who finds the world predictable and dull until a hunter operation turns sour and an attractive surprise falls in his arms. Sands is so gifted when it comes to creating sexual imagery in her characters!

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Argeneau Vampire series, Bite Me If You Can.

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