Vampire Next Door
Author – Angela Snyder
Published – Nov 2013
I’ve been making an effort in recent months to read and review books by other Indie and self-pub Authors. From the start of 2015 I’ve decided to review any that I give 3 stars or over on my blog.
As per my previous post on the subject, I am also very interested in swapping honest reviews with other authors, so please get in touch if you’d like to swap reviews.
From Amazon –
After being left for dead in the woods, a woman wakes up from a coma. With no memory of her past, she is given the name Jane Doe. While trying to adjust to her new life, tragedy strikes again. However, this time a mysterious and handsome next-door neighbor is there to help her pick up the pieces. But is he really a stranger, or does he hold the key to unlocking her past and finding out who wants her dead?
I should say that this book, in the main, is a paranormal romance and I am not it’s its target audience. I don’t normally like romance/erotica as I find them a predictable rehash of the old Mills and Boon formula of arrogant guy wins over/is won over by headstrong and/or timid woman. I’m yet to discover a romance where the female character isn’t in some way walked over by men in the name of romance, and this story is no exception. That said, aside from the romance, there were elements of this book I enjoyed, most especially the first half.
Immediately this story has a cinematic feel – the structure and content give the impression of a trashy day-time TV movie. As someone who loves trashy made for TV movies this is absolutely a compliment. The beginning chapters are so (presumably unintentionally) terribly trashy that it’s fantastic and had me laughing joyfully. It has made me question things I’ve never thought of before, like what identifying paperwork is necessary for a Jane Doe to get married?
We meet Jane after she has been left for dead and wakes with amnesia to discover that her attending surgeon has fallen in love with her whilst elbow deep in her brains. When she wakes and finds Dr Jack has fallen in love with her whilst she was in a coma (creep factor 10) they inevitably get married. Jane is very 2 dimensional and it seems odd for someone to fall in love with her when she isn’t even very sure of herself. But the story picks up the pace and intrigue when we meet Jack’s evil twin Matt (the only difference between them being the scar on Matt’s face – scars being the obvious way to demonstrate which of the twins is the evil one).
After a little lead in we finally meet Sebastian, who obviously knows Jane from her unknown past. From the fact of his wealth, slightly gothy good looks, love of antiques and vintage wine, and his hobby of sneaking into her house to watch her sleep (why do people think this is romantic rather than creepy?), we know this must be the titular vampire.
Just after halfway through, after the untimely and mysterious death of Jack, we hit the inevitable love triangle between Jane (who am I?), Matt (evil twin) and Sebastian (vampire). This turns into Jane torn between a guy who lies to her or a guy pressuring her into a relationship she doesn’t want. This irks me, I’d just love to see one of these stories that ends with the female protagonist telling them both to piss off so she can get on with her life. Jerks are not romantic, over controlling guys who get angry when you drink or if you are seen with another man are not men with whom to settle. Readers, if you come across guys like this in real life RUN. I know of what I speak.
I spent most of the romance rolling my eyes (as I said I am not the target audience), but beyond that there is a good if foreseeable twist towards the end and a strong ending. There isn’t an obvious setup for a sequel and it doesn’t feel like there needs to be, though there are some questions left hanging that the readers can ponder on.
It’s well written – a smooth and easy read though there are occasional odd word choices – nb. Menagerie means a collection of animals/zoo. There’s a lot of depth to the story that is excellently paced and very well weaved together. If not for elements of the romance I would have given it another star.
Vampire Next Door is available now at Amazon