Saturday, March 17, 2007

Candace Steele Vampire Killer Trilogy by Cameron Dean

Cameron Dean - Candace Steele Vampire Killer Trilogy
1. Passionate Thirst
2. Luscious Craving
3. Eternal Hunger

Series Category: Lava Cake - reads like warm Chocolate Lava Cake... à la Mode... sprinkled with nuts. (A,A-)
Flame Height: 6" out of 9"

From Amazon: "Candace Steele is as tough as she is alluring. For her, killing vampires isn’t just a job–it’s personal: She’s still haunted by erotic memories of an all-consuming affair with Ash, a seductive vampire who thrilled her–and then nearly destroyed her. Now, working undercover in a Las Vegas casino, she seduces the most powerful undead–right before she drives a stake through their unbeating hearts."

The entire trilogy is not what we have seen before. There's romance, hard-boiled detective, paranormal, erotic scenes, POV shifts, tense/time shifts (there's probably a writer's term for that), no one is all good or all bad, all characters have something irritating and something to attract us. So, should it come as a surprise that this unique, absorbing series should also have an ending we didn't expect?

Also unexpected was that Ms. Dean did not write more books that continued the Vampire Killer plot before moving on to a more complex storyline. Instead, she wrote a complex, tight, emotion and action packed trilogy with the first book's subplot becoming the main plot in the second. The second book's subplot became the focus of the third. BTW, I tagged the word "trilogy" to this series because I can't imagine there would be more unless it is with secondary characters.

I'm going to have to be VERY careful to keep everything EXTREMELY vague because one of this series' strengths is that events are re-examined from book to book so that we either see them from another POV or we learn enough about them that we begin to either understand or see them in a totally different light. So I want to make sure I give no hints that will change the way prior events are viewed as they are first read. In fact, after reading Book 1- "Passionate Thirst", I'm glad I never looked at any reviews or summaries for Books 2 and 3 because it would have... maybe not ruined... but would have erased some of the refreshing complexities that flow through these books.

I've read that a lot of people were actually angry about the ending of the trilogy because they were expecting a more traditional HEA. Yes, the ending climactic scene shocked me. There is resolution yet not the one we wanted or expected. And the final scene back at the house was so bittersweet and so emotional. At least Ms. Steele gave us that last final gift. This trilogy will probably linger in my mind for quite awhile precisely BECAUSE we didn't get the expected ending.

In my search for Ms. Dean's website to link to (I can't find one), I ran across speculation that Ms. Dean doesn't actually exist and this was ghost-written by another author or a group of authors. I don't know if that's true but it sure is interesting, yes?

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