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Sandy M’s review of The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs
Paranormal Romance ebook published by William Morrow Paperbacks 18 Sep 12

I was intrigued when I learned the newest teenage writing sensation has landed a contract with HarperCollins for her book she began writing as fan fiction. Not many authors make it to the big time so quickly, garnering rejection letters year after year for what, I’m sure, feels like eons. So I had to read Abigail Gibbs’ vampire book, since it’s one of my favorite genres and I’m just plain curious.

So how did she do with her debut book? Not bad, actually. Considering Abigail’s only sixteen years old, she’s definitely got talent and has given readers a great story. With some good mentoring and editing, Ms. Gibbs could very well become a very popular author.

Violet Lee is a soon-to-be eighteen-year-old, out late meeting friends in Trafalgar Square. Waiting longer than most other friends would, Violet ends up living a nightmare, one that will seemingly never end. She witnesses a massacre. Thirty men dead. And she’s taken hostage by their killers. Her bizarre night doesn’t end there. Next she discovers those murderers are vampires. Being held captive in their isolated and very secure home, waiting for a future she knows is not bright, Violet is determined to escape. Even despite being attracted to the prince in the royal family. Even when he’s the worst in the bunch when it comes to attitude, arrogance, and believing humans are weak and good for nothing.

Having anything and everything he wants when he wants it, Kaspar Varn is the heir to his family’s vampire kingdom. He has no idea why he brought Violet Lee home from Trafalgar Square that night; he should have killed her. Her spunk and fearlessness make him glad the little human is now part of his life. For eternity, because she will eventually have no choice but to turn. There are factions of his kind who would do her harm, but Kaspar will keep her safe. When their feelings for each begin to change, he realizes he himself is the one who’s harmed her. What they both want, they can never have, unbeknownst to Violet.

Once Violet does begin to come to terms with her new life, the Prophecy she’s heard about from the Varns is suddenly thrust into the small world in which she now lives. It’s also discovered she’s kept information from the family concerning their tragic loss a couple of years earlier. Now it’s her family who’s targeted and Violet has to decide which side she’s on, something that will affect her the rest of her life, no matter the decision. I do like Violet. Her gumption, especially when you know she’s scared to death, is always front and center, never allowing her to give in. A couple of times, however, I question her choice of Kaspar. He’s the perfect bad boy for vampires. But his attitude takes him too far in some circumstances, so at times he doesn’t feel like a romantic hero. Of course, that changes near the end when he has to face his own feelings. His attitude alters, and so does mine.

Ms. Gibbs doesn’t pull punches in that respect when it comes to Kaspar. I would have liked his change to come just a tad earlier. He’s a sympathetic character when you learn of his pain, but he’s not likable enough for me until much later. One thing the author does well is keeping the nature of the vampires true to form, especially when it comes to the human interloper in their midst. Violet has to be strong with all of the hurt they heap on her. There’s also myriad secondary characters from Kaspar’s family to the council who make decisions when circumstances warrant.

A few things that need work. The characters’ voices – there’s not much to distinguish one from the other. They use the same words in the same way throughout, and, as well, there’s repeated use of certain words to describe those various characters. There’s also point-of-view issues, especially in the way the book jumps from Violet’s to Kaspar’s POV in every chapter. Some scenes go on much too long, which leads to attention span problems on the part of the reader. Point in fact: I will remember this book for the brutality and not the romance of it. All that being said, these are all issues that will take care of themselves as Ms. Gibbs hones her craft, taking in advice and learning from mistakes.

Kudos for your success, Ms. Gibbs. Continued good luck!

SandyMGrade: B-


One moment can change your life forever…

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape… no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price.

No excerpt available.