Vespers, by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Series: Hours of the Night, Book 1
Publisher: Prescourt Books
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Thaddeus Dupont has had over eighty years to forget…
The vampire spends his nights chanting the Liturgy of the Hours and ruthlessly disciplines those unnatural urges he’s vowed never again to indulge. He is at the command of the White Monks, who summon him at will to destroy demons. In return, the monks provide for his sustenance and promise the return of his immortal soul.
Sarasija Mishra’s most compelling job qualification might be his type O blood…
The 22-year-old college grad just moved across the country to work for some recluse he can’t even find on the internet. Sounds sketchy, but the salary is awesome and he can’t afford to be picky. On arrival he discovers a few details his contract neglected to mention, like the alligator-infested swamp, the demon attacks, and the nature of his employer’s “special diet”. A smart guy would leave, but after one look into Dupont’s mesmerizing eyes, Sarasija can’t seem to walk away. Too bad his boss expected “Sara” to be a girl.
Falling in love is hard at any age…
The vampire can’t fight his hungers forever, especially since Sara’s brought him light, laughter and a very masculine heat. After yielding to temptation, Thaddeus must make a choice. Killing demons may save his soul, but keeping the faith will cost him his heart.
Paranormal (Vampires and Demons)
It’s always a nice surprise when a book turns out to be different than you thought it would be.
I was expecting Vespers to be a rather sexy story about a vampire and a human, with some side action thrown in for good measure. What I got was a story about a vampire who is afraid for his lost soul, a somewhat dubious group of monks, a kick ass demon fighter who has inherited the role of vampire’s assistant and a charming, young man who has unwittingly (and mistakenly) been hired as a blood donor. Plus, it’s a rather sexy story about a vampire and a human with a lot of action thrown in for good measure. So yeah, a nice surprise indeed.
While the meat of the story takes a little while to start due to the standard world building and character introductions, we immediately get to know Sara, an engaging young man who has travelled from Seattle to meet his new boss, the mysterious and presumably wealth Mr. Dupont. Sara is determined to succeed in his new job and hopefully provide his mom with some desperately needed financial assistance. He has taken the job as Mr. Dupont’s assistance strictly based on the generous salary and while he is unsure as to what his duties will entail, he’s hoping to prove his worth and hopefully move out of the shadow of his overachieving elder siblings.
Counterpoint to Sara’s openness and clear motivations, is the mysterious Thaddeus Dupont. We get bits and pieces of Thaddeus throughout the book, but his backstory remains a little murky throughout. Working with the White Monks to rid the city of the occasional demons who stray through his territory, Thaddeus is hoping his confessions, daily prayers and offerings of penance will one day restore the soul he lost the day he became a vampire.
The differences between Sara and Thaddeus are so pronounced, I wasn’t sure how the authors would make a romance between the two of them seem believable. Aside from the fundamental differences of vampire vs. human and the rather large age gap, Thaddeus is determinedly closed off from his feelings. But as the story progresses and Sara is able to draw Thaddeus out of his self-imposed emotional and physical exile, we begin to see glimpses of a deeper bond between the two that hint at Sara’s ability to intuit Thaddeus’ emotional state. I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship progresses in future books because as of this one, I’m still not completely convinced of their compatibility despite their ability to burn up the sheets.
I loved resident demon fighter and vampire’s assistant, Nohea Alves. She’s been in Thaddeus’ employ ever since her grandmother suddenly passed away a year ago and not only does she act as Thaddeus’ demon fighting partner, she’s become responsible for hiring his ‘blood donors’, who have all been female – up until now. Nohea is tough, tougher than Thaddeus gives her credit for I think, and I really liked the comradery that her and Sara built up over the course of the book.
The White Monks remain a rather intriguing mystery throughout the book as well. Thaddeus is determined to gain their good favour but they almost seem to hold the restoration of his soul out to him like a carrot on a stick. I would like to know how their relationship came about and why Thaddeus places such importance on their approval. Also, I sense some subterfuge on their part and some of them are definitely not what they appear to be. Methinks the benevolent monks have an agenda of their own…
All in all, I thought this was a strong start to the series and I was definitely entertained and intrigued enough to look forward to what the authors have in store for Thaddeus and Sara next. I can’t wait!
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
Find her online at http://www.irenepreston.com/
Liv Rancourt: I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon. I write funny. I don’t write angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog is the cutest thing evah(!), and we’re up to three ferrets.
Find her online at http://livrancourt.com/
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.