Christian Notte’s story, the sixteenth book in the Argeneau series is set on an island paradise called St. Lucia. After a bad relationship and an even worse divorce, Carolyn decides to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation with the ‘girls’. Only the rest of the vacationers didn’t get the memo. Around every corner there seems to be another couple celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary and the few single men she does see are far too young to even consider, including an irresistibly attractive rock violinist she meets. It’s really too bad he’s so young but in the end it doesn’t matter because according to his cousin, Giacinta, women in general aren’t Christian’s type. But there’s a catch, Christian needs Carolyn’s help. He needs her to be his beard (to play the part of his fake girlfriend) for the week to appease his ‘machismo’ family. Carolyn just can’t seem to say No and decides to help Gia’s cousin. The only problem is that being around Christian and acting like they are a loving couple is wreaking havoc on her emotions. Carolyn’s thoughts keep drifting back to places they shouldn’t, like kissing his full lips or feeling his broad shoulders under her fingertips… good lord, she’s in trouble.
(taken from Lynsay’s website here)
I am an avid reader of Lynsay Sands…I have read all of the books in the Argeneau series and have loved them all (some more than others). This I did not like, with the exception of a few sections (mostly the sex senes…the dream sex and the real sex, but even that at times felt a little rushed). I was disappointed in Under a Vampire Moon because I really expected more from it.
Here are the issues I have (I may have spoilers…but I’ll try to keep them out):
First – I DID NOT like Carolyn. She was not a likable person to me. I honestly would have loved to have seen Christian get with Genie. Carolyn was just one of those heroines that doesn’t have a backbone, is wishy-washy, and too many times I wanted to shake her or smack her around a bit. I understood the reasoning behind her insecurity and honestly I didn’t have an issue with that, but I found her to be one of those women I run from for a friend because she’s such a buzz kill. She’s in her 40’s but some of her language (speech) and mannerisms don’t fit her age. All of the other women in the previous books have had issues, but they also had backbones and that’s what made them likable. Carolyn is not likable.
Second – The dialogue (with the exception of a few places) felt forced. It was so hard to sit and listen to the characters speak because honestly it wasn’t believable for me. Now mind you, it wasn’t like this throughout the entire book, but for the majority of it and that took me out of the story someone.
Third – Paranormal – was almost non-existent! Other than them drinking from blood bags, Carolyn seeing fangs, and Christian revealing that they were immortals, there was pretty much nothing. And Christian spent and awful lot of time in the sun and we only really say one time where he was affected by it. The second problem I had with the paranormal side of it, was that when Christian revealed it to Carolyn she almost immediately accepted it and we are talking about a woman who has major trust issues. So with that, it made the characters unreliable. Christian didn’t even bite her while they were having sex, which hello…it part of the eroticism of the sex between life mates.
Fourth – The ending!!!!! It felt rushed and as if the author just wanted to finish the book. It didn’t feel finished and honestly when I got to the end at 3 AM this morning, I was left with a feeling that there were pages missing. The ending was not complete.
Things that worked for me (spoilers):
First – Some people were upset with Christian “playing gay” in this book to get to Carolyn, but I didn’t really have an issue with that. I’ve seen that happen in real life. So I think that actually worked. Christian is actually the one character who worked in this piece (and Genie…which again I wish she had been the heroine). Christian is hot, in a rock band, and knows how to play a woman for sure. My only issue with him is that he seemed so “young.” Yes, he looks 25, but um, he’s 500+ years old. His personality seemed to have changed from the last time we saw him and he seemed more like a boy than a man. Still hot though!
Second – As stated earlier, the sex scenes worked fabulously. The were hot, sexy, and I found myself taking my time reading through them. Again, my only complaint is that Christian never bit her. Even after Christian told Carolyn everything and she accepted it, we never saw that intimacy we are used to in the other books.
Third – the secondary characters worked – the band members (I especially liked Zanipolo) and of course Julius and Marguerite were great (although at times their dialogue didn’t work for me).
I just didn’t get out of this book what I was hoping for and I was really looking forward to this one because of Christian.
I am giving Under a Vampire Moon 3 out of 5 Stars.