Raphael is the first in the Vampires in America trilogy (series?). It introduces us to Cynthia Leighton a private investigator, former cop and kick-ass chick. When a female vampire is kidnapped, the Vampire Lord Raphael charges Cynthia with the task of finding out what happened.
Why I like Cynthia.
When she gets that feeling that something bad is going to happen she changes out of her four inch heels and puts boots on.(I'd like to interrupt this review to say YES! I don't care how much practice you've had, you cannot possibly chase a vampire/werewolf/whatever, down in four inch heels over uneven ground. Whenever this happens in a book it's a definite wallbanging moment.)She's a likeable no-nonsense heroine. She hears that little voice in her head that tells her something is wrong and listens to it! Her response to one of Raphael's guards who wants to confirm that she'll be coming back to the Vampire Lord's lair.
..."You'll be coming back?"Why I like Raphael.
"Of course." Eventually. Someday
Look up the word arrogant in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of the Vampire Lord Raphael there.
"...No one takes what is mine and lives."He is ruthless, takes what he wants and rules with an iron hand. In other words you believe that he is a vampire, that he is something other than human. He is a creature who sees things in black and white and he doesn't tolerate fools or sloppiness. His opinion of humans is low, so it's fascinating to watch Cyn get under his skin. I think he sees in her something he doesn't expect to see in a human - a loyalty, a belief, an idealism.
This is not a modern day vampire. Raphael could be a feudal lord from the medieval era. The vampires under his rule are his to command and they obey him without question. One of the things that makes the story for me is the contrast between them, Cyn is an independent woman drawn to Raphael almost despite herself. Raphael has little time for humans but finds Cynthia fascinating. It's a classic irresistible force and immovable object scenario. :)
The other character worth mentioning is Duncan - Raphael's leuitenant(:sigh: I cannot spell). Who I hear with an english accent despite the fact he's from the southern US. Maybe because he's so pissy and sounds like he's got a stick up his ass.
At the beginning of the story their lives are separate, so you get to see the moment their paths intersect and how it changes things for both of them. It's interesting to see their lives before and at the end of the story see how things have developed. I should add here that Raphael is an urban fantasy, not a romance. Raphael follows the development of their relationship, but at the end of the book the story is far from over. It will continue in Jabril the second book in the series - to be released in July.
And if ever I get my finger out I'll be doing my first interview on the blog with D.B.Reynolds.