Published 2007 304 Pages
Summary (from book jacket)
When Brandon Noble and Angelina Jones first met, he was an awkward teenager harbouring a crush on his tutor's sister. Five years later, Angelina is a streetwise cop who's sure she's seen it all, until Brandon comes back into her life - lean, handsome, possessing a strange, powerful allure...and a terrifying secret.
Brandon is one of the Brethren, an ancient clan of ruthless vampires. Like other Brethren families, the Nobles have accumulated great wealth and prestige, never marrying outside of their kin, never leaving the isolated Kentucky farmlands where they live, undetected, among their prey.
Horrified by his birthright, Brandon shunned the ritual of the first kill, earning the Brethren's lasting wrath. But the exhilarating passion he and Angelina share rouses the primitive impulses he has tried so hard to deny. And even if Brandon can protect Angelina from his enemies, can he save her from his own dark thirsts?
Sara Reinke is already the author of several e-books in the romance/fantasy genre but Dark Thirst is her first foray into vampire romance in a printed format and with this novel she has brought some new ideas to the vampire romance table.
Dark Thirst makes an unusual romance but then Brandon, the story’s vampire hero, makes an unusual vampire. Brandon is a deaf mute and, although he is a vampire, he has no special talents or vampiric powers apart from a basic ability to heal himself and a modicum of telepathic ability. He makes an unusual romantic hero because he isn’t an alpha male either. Bullied and pushed around all his life by the family that he has run away from - he clearly needs someone to rescue him.
Lina by contrast is a tough and capable police officer. At twenty-six she is five years older than Brandon, African American and human - but it is Lina who protects Brandon against his vampire Brethren family when they hunt him down. This turnabout of classic romantic stereotypes makes Dark Thirst an unexpected and unconventional read.
The Brethren are horrid vampires. They are a separate species to humans and keep strictly to themselves. Intermarrying between the Brethren families is both arranged and expected - and nobody ever leaves the clan. They treat humans as cattle and are vicious in their blood lust, always killing their prey. By contrast to his family, Brandon is a gentle soul and it is this inner strength and sweetness that makes him romantic lead material. Even though he isn’t an alpha male he is still a character you can fall in love with.
Dark Thirst is fast paced and for the most part well plotted. I say for the most part well plotted because towards the end of the novel the plot stretched my disbelief just a little too far (and I’m a fantasy book reviewer, so my disbelief is fairly elastic!) The problem wasn’t with the fantasy elements of the story; it was with the illogical behaviour of Lina and Caine (Brandon’s evil brother.) For an intelligent woman and a police officer Lina made some stupid decisions that lead to her being captured by Caine. While this was probably a plot devise to facilitate Brandon and Caine’s final showdown this whole part of the story just didn’t ring true.
Slight loss of plot aside Dark Thirst is an extraordinary book with a lot going for it. Paranormal romance, inter-racial romance, a disabled hero paired with a strong heroine and evil vampire villains just for starters. This book will make enjoyable reading for anyone who is looking for something outside of the usual vampire romance offerings and conventions.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
To read an excerpt from this novel and find out more about Sara Reinke’s other novels, visit Sara’s website.