A true vampire romance -that never really grabbed me

Forever Freed - Laura Kaye

Opening Line: "The sleek silver Beemer swerved roughly to the curb in front of my driveway, cutting me off as I pulled out."

Lucien Demarco is hungry. We join him (in 1st person POV) seeking out a blood source after a long dry spell. One night he runs into an old vampire friend who ironically is now director of the Detroit blood bank. All our hero can think is perfect, guilt free sustenance, freedom from the weak blood of animals and evil men he’s been forced to feed on. As Lucien wanders the hospital corridors a couple of days later, anticipating his next meal he’s stopped in his tracks by an approaching nurse. This woman is exuding joy, pure blissful joy. And because Lucian can read emotions she smells sweet to him, like dessert. His hunger suddenly takes on a whole new meaning because if he were to take her blood those innocent, carefree emotions would seep into him eradicating the constant sorrow he feels and destroying the evil he has ingested from feeding on murderers. And so the hunt begins.

It doesn’t take long for Lucien to learn where Samantha lives and buy a house within the neighbourhood, then like the predator he is, he stalks her. It’s during this hunt that Lucien meets a young girl, throwing himself in front of a car to protect her. Surprisingly she is not afraid of him (most humans instinctively fear vampires), but this girl calls him her angel and holds his hand. Lucien is moved and vows to always protect her. Now imagine the tricky situation that arises when he learns that this child is the daughter of his intended prey.

I wish I could say I liked this more, I really wanted to, I mean the premise is fantastic; a hungry vampire stalking his neighbours only to fall in love with them, but after a slow start (which I expected based on other reviews) it never grabbed me. I think the romance angle was just too sweet, I kept waiting for some conflict, but for 90% of Lucien, Samantha (and Ollie’s) story it was just sweetness and light, a fairy tale romance.

I also found Samantha (and Lucien for that matter) to be immature and there were moments, dare I say, when I felt like I was reading something from the Twilight universe. Our hero all self loathing and overtly agreeable to anything Sam wants or needs because he feels guilty lying about what he is. They also wait six months to have sex, I mean these are experienced adults who are having sleepovers and into each other, I just felt this was a stretch.

And as much as I enjoyed Lucien’s “family” I was constantly reminded of the Cullen’s especially during their Christmas visit where everyone tries to act human in a comical sort of way for the sake of the girlfriend (they also have healing and telepathic powers and are often called in as back up to fix things) For some weird reason it’s also when our couple decides to consummate their relationship, all within prying, super vampire ears.

I am by no means giving up on Laura Kaye, I loved  (Hearts In Darkness), can’t wait to read (North Of Need) and love the world she created here. Her vampire characteristics were, can I say realistic? More practical then magical, more predatory, which is how I always imagined a vampire would be , much like a lion or bear who is excited by fear and will instinctively take chase if you run. Anyways I’m so far off topic. Cheers.

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