Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5
The last place Ivie expects to be approached by a devastatingly handsome male is in a crowded, smoky cigar bar rarely frequented by vampires—yet here he stands. Silas is flirtatious, gallant, and, above all, mysterious. Ivie is anything but. A nurse at the healer’s clinic and the daughter of a biker, Ivie is accustomed to speaking her mind. So she does. Since aristocrats rarely pick up females of her class, Ivie asks Silas just what kind of game he thinks he’s playing.
Despite her guarded exterior, Ivie surrenders to the fierce desire she feels for Silas. And yet, just as their courtship is heating up, he reveals that it cannot last, for he is bound to return to the Old Country. Their bond only deepens as they make the most of their precious time together. But when she learns the truth, Ivie must find a saving grace—before all is lost…
After fifteen whole books based on The Black Dagger Brotherhood world, the author decided to write a shorter story. A novella as it is known in the publishing business. The good thing about that format is that it usually delivers quick snacks that leave the reader somehow satisfied. This one is not an exception; but, after so long dwelling in the dark with these guys, I was expecting something meatier.
In this book we meet Ivie, a young vampire who works as a nurse in the clinic of my beloved Havers. One day she meets Silas, a vampire aristocrat who fancies her at first sight. The gap in their social status is too big, so… will they be able to ignore it and accept the mating tickles they are getting or will they succumb to the clichés of that kind of relationship? They wished that were their biggest obstacle…
This story happens in two stages: the barely getting to know each other and falling in love and the drama that happens during the second half of the novella. Both of those parts have left a different trace in their way. From the first one, I got a tingling laughter that makes me think fondly of the characters. The author has a great sense of humor that I’m sad she doesn’t use more often in this saga. The intial banter between Silas and Ivie is probably the second best scenes of this book. The first would be the dinner with the family, where there are also several situations that made me laugh.
The second part, on the other hand, has a much sadder undertone with the characters facing the reality that their relationship has an expiration day. Here the author tried to be a bit stealthy about Silas’ condition, but the clues she drops are too huge to be missed by any reader. It seems the only one naive enough to be surprised was Ivie herself. As I have mentioned, this part of the story is sad but not emotional. Or at least it didn’t affect me that much, due to the weak connection I had forged with the characters (no time for something deeper). The impact of the story would have much bigger with well established characters of the saga. In any case, it was enough to make Havers shine as the true star he is. Now, that is a guy who deserves his own book!!
As I said, there is barely enough time to meet the characters. Thankfully, Ivie is good-humoured and a bit caustic in her comments, which helps to get to like her pretty fast. In that same regard, I’m conflicted with Silas. I LOVED his charming way of getting Ivie’s sire on his side, creating possibly the best scene of the book. Sadly, he can also be a bit grumpy and it really upset me when he yelled at his majordomo without any weighty reason to do so. That disparity made me not to like the rich vampire that much. I have enjoyed both of them as couple, but I’m not crazy about it. I don’t know how I feel about meeting them again in future books. Right now, I’m sceptic.
If this story wasn’t embedded in the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe I think it would have been more remarkable. I guess that I have some expectations of that world that were not fulfilled with this novella. It is more a distraction from the saga than a mandatory stop in the timeline.
Where Ward delivered as always was in the weird words department. I could pick several new ones, but I must just select one to store in my ROM memory:
pratfall: a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating
Yeah, this bring back good memories… And by good I mean traumatic ones. I am a bit clumsy as a human being, so that kind of falls could be considered my field of expertise…