Tall, Dark, and Vampire by Sara Humphreys (Dead in the City #1)

Synopsis:

15942629She always knew Fate was cruel…

The last person Olivia Hollingsworth expected to see at her Greenwich Village vampire club was her one true love, Doug Paxton—whom she believed to be dead for centuries. Olivia thought she had moved on, but when Doug reappears, her heart knows she’d rather die than lose him again.

But this is beyond the pale…

Ever since Doug can remember, a red-haired siren has haunted his dreams. He never thought she could be real until he goes to investigate a murder at Olivia’s night club. However, as the bodies keep piling up at her feet, he must fight to prove her innocence—even if it costs him his life…

Review:

I realize that much of the world has gotten over vampires but I haven’t. Paranormal escapism with sexy men and creatures humanoid enough not to set off my “ew creepy” gag reflex? Yes, please.

But let’s face it, a lot of novels are the same – strong guy vamp gets instalove for mortal girl and fights over the fate of the world ensue with lots of hot lovin’ on the side. There’s nothing wrong with hot lovin’ but the rest grows old after a while.

Enter Tall, Dark, and Vampire. Here the coven is a group of women headed by Olivia, a 300 year old kick butt vamp. None of her brethren dream but for the past twenty years she has spent her days romping around a dreamscape with Douglas, her human lover several centuries dead.

So imagine her shock when a lookalike shows up at the door of her New York City club, The Coven, in the form of detective Doug Paxton. Add in some suspicious murders, cute furry creatures, and the fact that Doug has been having the dreams, too, and we’re off and running.

From the start I knew this wasn’t a debut novel – Humphreys’ voice is self-assured and the world building early on shows promise. I love the gender role reversal and how strong Olivia can be.

As the story moved on a couple of things nagged at me, though. We’re both told and shown over and over again that Olivia has a thing for hopeless cases. Most of the vampires she’s turned were brutally attacked and near death, and even her two pets are rescues. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself but more subtlety would have been appreciated.

Later on Doug makes a rash decision that deeply affects his relationship with Olivia and frankly, his ability to stay alive until the end of the book. Instead of explaining the consequences and helping Doug realize what he’s getting into Olivia just shrugs. Considering he’s the guy in all her sexy dreams I thought she would be a little more invested in his welfare.

I was hoping that this series would follow two main characters so I could watch them develop over time but their happily ever after comes easily enough. I’m guessing the other characters will get theirs at the series goes on but I’m not as interested in their stories (exceptions – Trixie and Damien).

All in all Tall, Dark, and Vampire is interesting for its premise and world building but tapers off into a more usual vampire novel. I won’t be continuing this series but I am interested in checking out more of Humphreys’ books to see if they’re more my thing.

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