Series: Argeneau #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Avon on 25 October 2005
How do you help your 200 year old immortal daughter with hemaphobia? You kidnap a psychologist that specialises in phobias, of course. Not only does Lissianna’s mother Marguerite do that, she ties Dr Greg Hewitt to Lissianna’s bed and wraps a red ribbon around his neck, because you know packaging is everything. Lissianna however thinks he is dinner and has a quick bite – hence the name of the book – before the family intervenes.
I’m going to talk about the world building initially rather than the characters as I think the concept was pretty unique. Vampires actually originated from the technologically advanced, ancient Atlantis. They combined nanotechnology with bioengineering. These nanos which live inside their bodies require blood to keep the vampires in optimum condition. Vampires aren’t allergic to the sun but it does mean the nanos have to work a bit harder to repair them and need more blood. It kept sparking memories of the epic science fiction show Red Dwarf which featured recalcitrant nanos.
Fearful of discovery, vampires no longer feed “off the hoof” but instead use blood banks to survive. Lissianna however is hemophobic which means she needs to either be fed blood intravenously or find victims she can feed off directly. Lissianna tries to combine her interest in social work with finding food and so works at a local shelter. She is affected by the blood she drinks so consuming the blood of a drunk or ill person affects her negatively. While the interactions between Lissianna and Greg were fun, they were not really deep and meaningful. I thought that Greg was far too calm and rational when he found out that vampires were real and got on the ‘vampires are cool’ bandwagon way too fast. For a psychologist he is fairly shallow – when he’s tied to a bed in a strange house with a bladder that is about to burst he thinks that it would be great to be a sex slave for someone like Lissianna. Come on. Despite this, I loved the fact that life mates were unable to read each other’s minds or control each other. This offered the chance for a true partnership rather than having one dominate over the other.
The secondary characters, or should I say cast of thousands, were really distracting. Even with the best will in the world, I couldn’t differentiate between the HEA fodder. Introducing all of them at once seemed a bit of a clumsy move even though I can understand that some characters were needed to assure Greg that Lissianna was sweet and really needed his help. The interactions between the secondary characters lacked some maturity. A pyjama party for people over the age of 200 just seemed bizarre and for no purpose other than to allow the females to strut around in their rainbow of baby-doll lingerie. The villain of the piece was no better constructed as he basically had a neon sign pointing to him, yet Lissianna and the others were completely flummoxed.
This book is fun even though plot is uncomplicated and the outcome predictable. It is light, cheesy and delicious in small quantities.