Published 2006 301 pages
Candace Steele works security undercover in one of the largest casinos in Las Vegas. She is usually disguised as a cocktail waitress and it is her job to protect the casinos staff and money. This job also provides her with ample opportunities to further her unofficial career of vampire slaying.
Ever since Candace was attacked and nearly killed by her vampire ex-boyfriend the previous year she has had the ability to sense the undead and can instantly tell if there is a vampire in her vicinity. This is a handy skill for a vampire slayer, as the vampires in Candace’s world are very good at passing for human. She also gained a small physical edge against vampires too with better sight and hearing after the attack than she had before.
Hating vampires with as much passion as she used to love Ash (her vampire-ex) she has made it her secret mission to hunt and kill any vampire that she finds on the prowl for human blood.
When a headless vampire corpse is found outside a topless bar it makes the whole vampire community nervous. It puzzles Candace too because she knows she didn’t kill it but she has more than one dead vampire to worry about.
The casino assigns her to provide security for their latest big act, singing star Temptation McCoy, and Candace can tell that there is a vampire in the star’s entourage. To complicate matters, Ash suddenly arrives in Las Vegas swearing undying love for Candace and aiming to rekindle their love affair which might pose more danger to Candace than all the other vampires put together because her love for Ash makes him hard to resist.
Hummmm…where do I start? Passionate Thirst is actually an odd book to review. The book is marketed as romance. It clearly says “Paranormal Romance” on the cover (just above the ISBN number if you want to check for yourself) which is odd because I really don’t think that this book is a romance.
Reading it I am reminded of Laurell K. Hamilton’s character Anita Blake just as she started to show signs of turning smutty, say around books 7 or 8 in that series, but before she descended into erotic fiction (around books 10 to 13!) Please don’t email me and complain about my narrow minded views! I have nothing against erotic fiction except that I don’t want to read it when I think I’m reading a romance or a supernatural mystery novel. (Yes, I realise that Laurell K Hamilton’s later books have won her a whole new set of fans but readers who loved the early Anita Blake books are generally not amongst them.) Anyway I am digressing from my original point which is that Passionate Thirst is not really a romance.
Candace has sex with 2 different men during the course of the book and close encounters with a couple of vampires. Where is the love? Her passionate affair with Ash is told in the form of long flash backs that crop up several times through out the book and they actually seem somewhat long winded. In my opinion they interrupt the flow of the story that is set in the present, which actually seems more exciting than Ash and Candace’s previous sexual encounters.
The story line that is set in the present is a mystery (that isn’t really much of a mystery) and even then it’s a mystery that Candace didn’t manage to solve. In fact she was so clueless about what was going on that the evil vampires had to explain it to her slowly so she knew why they were about to kill her. And it’s a good thing they did, because as the reader I was pretty clueless about what was going too!
Now here’s the odd part of the review. I actually liked this book. I read it in one day and whilst I was reading it I enjoyed it immensely. It was only afterwards when I started to think about the story in order to write this review that I realised it had some serious flaws. I realised that after finishing the book I still have very little idea about the motivations of the characters, that the plot was flimsy and frankly, I’m still not sure why the evil vampires went to such trouble to entrap Candace.
With hindsight, possibly the main problem is that the whole idea behind the book had already been done to death in the form of Anita Blake and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The vampire mythology is essentially the same and there are few new ideas here (except the vampires have wings – which is cool.)
But to recap – I really enjoyed this book whilst I was reading it, it was fast paced and highly entertaining. I think that anyone who is looking for an Anita Blake or Buffy fix will enjoy reading this book too. Die-hard romantics might want to give this one a miss though; it’s really not a romance….
LoveVampires Review Rating:
If you want to visit the author's website you are going to be disappointed because there isn't one! There is some mystery about who Cameron Dean really is - rumour has it (well, Google search) that it is Cameron Dokey a YA author but I'm not sure if this is true so please don't quote me on that!