Monday, September 10, 2012

Vampire for Hire Series by J.R. Rain

Title: Moon Dance (and all others in the series)
Series: Vampire for Hire
Author: J.R. Rain
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Self-published (August 10, 2009)
Available: Book one is free at Amazon; others are $3.99
Rating: 5 stars for books 1 and 2; 3.5 stars for the others
Rater: Lauri

From the author:
Mother, wife, private investigator...vampire. Six years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire. Now the world at large thinks Samantha has developed a rare skin disease, a disease which forces her to quit her day job and stay out of the light of the sun. Now working the night shift as a private investigator, Samantha is hired by Kingsley Fulcrum to investigate the murder attempt on his life, a horrific scene captured on TV and seen around the country. But as the case unfolds, Samantha discovers Kingsley isn't exactly what he appears to be; after all, there is a reason why he survived five shots to the head.

What I liked: I lost a family member this weekend, and I read to deal with grief. Just my deal. Anyway, so this last weekend I read all of the books in this author’s “Vampire for Hire” series. Book one hooked me in two pages. I love the main character, and her wry, intelligent sense of humor. I love that she is a dedicated mom, and that she is in her 30s. Best of all, the story in book one is better than just “well done.” The author obviously put an amazing amount of thought and blood and work into this story. It's cute and sweet and flows effortlessly. And then book two stole my heart. Several times I found myself tearing up during tender scenes, and wanting to hug one or more of the characters. The issues are horrific at times, but tastefully dealt with. I have nothing but the highest praise for these two books.

What I didn’t like: After book two, the stories become utterly formulaic. The writing skill is still there, lurking beneath the surface, but reading any of the books after one and two is like talking to someone who’s preoccupied: you just aren’t getting their full attention. The story is hollow, and stumbles here and there. Leaps are made that don’t quite make sense, or where the foundation is inadequate. A romance develops, and there the backstory is so thin I found myself annoyed. There are four main lines of tension, and they don’t really change, and that gets tiresome by about book four.

In sum: All in all, I liked the books, and I’d read them again. But even if you don’t want to put out all the money for all the books in this series, absolutely do read books one and two. Do!

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