Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Her Vampire Husband - Michele Hauf


Werewolf princess Blu has agreed to marry the vampire lord Creed (under duress) in a bid to end the hatred between the werewolf and vampire nations. Unfortunately neither of them are completely honest with their intentions going into the ceremony and rather than preventing a war, their relationship may trigger one.

I had a lot of problems with this book and really am torn between wanting to give it a D rather than a C-. But some of the dialogue just hit the spot, it's a pity that for most of the book the heroine had no consistency whatsoever.

I don't think this is an unfamiliar tale in a way - essentially it's a Romeo and Juliet - but the problem is that neither character is honest with the other. Neither of the factions have any intention of keeping the promises made at the wedding ceremony - which makes it hard to believe in the love they declare for each other halfway through the story.

I think the main problem I had was with the way that the heroine is written. She's either deliberately being written as an unreliable narrator for the first half of the book or she's just not being written with any consistency. I actually feel it's more the latter than the former. And because most of the story is written from her point of view, it makes it difficult to actually fall into the story.

She also behaves like a child for much of the first half of the book - she is so indignant when she finds out that the vampires didn't intend to stick to the treaty, but she's got no justification for that feeling really, because she knows full well that the werewolves have no intention of sticking to the treaty either. I find it hard to reconcile the character as written, with the experiences that we're told she's had later in the story. It's a pity because I feel there was a real opportunity here to write an incredibly strong female character, but that just didn't happen.

What's also a shame is that some of the dialogue is really sharp and cuts straight to the bone.
"I don't want to play the game anymore, Creed. I wish you could make it stop."
...and some of it is quite funny
"Intimacy bonds the couple."
"So does superglue."
If they'd sat down, talked to one another and been honest - after all they supposedly love each other - a lot of strife could have been avoided. But I guess that would have been a different story. I think if Blu had been written in a more powerful way I would have understood why she didn't talk. By powerful I mean showing the reader that wariness and caution underneath Blu's bravado, too often we're just told by the author how Blu is feeling.

I think Creed was written slightly better. You did get the feeling that he regretted his past deeds and was trying to make up for them. And his actions at the end make for the most powerful scenes in the book. Another reason why they felt slightly mismatched as a couple.

There are some things which I think should have been picked up, or at least queried in the editing process. For example, if your mind takes a 360 degree turn, it doesn't mean you've changed your mind, you've actually ended up at the same point you started from. And having a werewolf change be triggered by the last chime of midnight seems silly. What if the werewolf hasn't got a clock, what if the clock's wrong?

I think the second half of the book was stronger than the first. And though some of the characters and the premise were interesting, I don't think this is a series that I'd personally follow any further. I think it's worth checking out, but for readers that prefer a story to cut a little deeper it might be a bit light.

1 comment:

Sullivan McPig said...

I hate romances (and stories in general) where the conflict is created by people not communicating while they should (lazy storytelling imo), so this doesn't sound like my kind of story.