Expected Release Date: October 13, 2011 (Available Now!)
Author’s Website: http://elementalmysteries.com/
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Elemental Mysteries
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Warm
“No secret stays hidden forever.”
A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he’d abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.
What Worked For Me:
- A vampire and a librarian? A librarian who wears combat boots? Oh yeah, I was all over this one, and it didn’t disappoint.
- Beatrice (or “B”) was wonderful. I loved that she was a library science major of course, but more than that, she was smart, unconventionally pretty, and didn’t turn out to be some half-breed fairy or somesuch like so many paranormal heroines do.
- Gio was delicious. I think my favorite thing about him was that when he first met B, he was practically frozen emotionally. Sure, he was a bit of a ladies man, but that was simply because sex and feeding kind of go hand in hand for the vampires. It wasn’t until he met B that he started to remember what it was like to be human.
- The twist with B’s father was wonderful. I especially loved how her “bad teenage years” tied into her Grandmother and how family secrets could really hurt people if you weren’t careful.
- I really liked the slight twist as to why Gio is unable to use modern technology.
- I also really enjoyed several of the minor characters. Caspar, Carwyn, Tenzin, and even Isadora (B’s Grandmother) were all well-rounded characters who added an extra dimension to the writing.
- There was also a wonderful amount of humor to the story, including some very amusing dialogue involving Batman, and professional wrestling.
- Gio’s betrayal. Oh my hell. It added such beautiful heartbreak and tension to the story, and I absolutely loved it.
- I really enjoyed Ms. Hunter’s writing style. I was very quickly drawn into B and Gio’s world and almost immediately began to care about every single character in the story — something that is not an easy task to achieve.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- The ending. Which, to be completely honest, isn’t fair of me to mention, because my problem is not with the actual ending, but what I know happens in the sequel. The ending of this book, while more of a “hopeful” ending than a Happily Ever After or even a Happily For Now, was okay (though of course I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a full-on HEA). It was reading the snippet of the sequel that absolutely killed me. Since that wasn’t actually a part of this book though, for the sake of fairness, this point in no way affects my final rating.
- A very minor point, to be certain, but I sure was rooting for Gio and B to get some time between the sheets, even if it was fade-to-black.
I’m not certain what exactly I expected when I first opened this book, but whatever it was, it could not have possibly lived up to the reality of how enjoyable it actually was. Ms. Hunter’s writing voice is simply addictive, and her ability to make you actually care about her characters is going to take her very far in the publishing world.
Beatrice (B) is not your “typical” heroine of a paranormal story. She’s not secretly a magical creature, she’s not some awesome fighter with super ninja skills, nor is she some delicate flower. Instead, she’s so very real. She has insecurities, a temper, and an inquisitive nature that greatly endeared her to me, and her relationship with Gio progresses so gradually and naturally that you barely even realize it’s happening until Gio throws everything under the bus for reasons unbeknownst to B at the time.
Gio was intriguing as well. Determined to keep himself apart from B, as he recognizes that there’s more than a simple age difference throwing stumbling blocks in their path, I don’t even think he even actaully realized he was in love with B until long after his actions loudly spoke that fact for him.
In short, I loved it. While I am a bit saddened that there was no clear “romantic happily ever after” for these two, in this particular story I have to admit that there really shouldn’t have been. Anything else would have felt wrong, because no matter how much both B and Gio greatly cared for each other, or even loved each other, there were still so many obstacles in their path that it wouldn’t have truly made sense for them to have instantly ridden off into the proverbial sunset together.
A very solid 4.5/5 Stars.