Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands
Genre: Paranormal Romance
I’ve been reading the Argeneau series off and on since it started, and I’ve usually enjoyed the books, even if they’ve been formulaic and a little shallow. This time, though, I really had to fight to get through it, and I think I’m finally done with this series.
Runaway Vampire is the twenty-third book in the Argeneau series. If you haven’t read any of the other books, no need to worry about spoilers here. The books can be read out of order and the plot doesn’t really continue from one book to the next. These are paranormal romance, not urban fantasy, and are really just centered on a single relationship for the most part. This book, like the rest, features one member of the Argeneau clan (in this case Dante Notte) and one potential life mate (here, Mary Winslow). It also features lengthy descriptions of Sands’s vampire mythology and an explanation of life mates.
I didn’t like much about this book. Aside from the fact that I feel like I’ve already read it several times, the writing and characters bugged me. Mary starts the book as a 62-year-old widow, and Dante looks to be about twenty five. That’s just not sexy or intriguing to me. I understand that older people have a right to romance, and that’s fine, but maybe with people who aren’t young enough to be their grandchildren. By about halfway through, this didn’t bother me so much, though.
The writing was the biggest problem I had. I’m not sure if I just haven’t paid attention to the author’s writing flaws before or if there are just more here, but they pulled me out of the story three different times. First, the words “subconscious” appeared where the author clearly meant “self-conscious.”:
“She wouldn’t feel at all subconscious going out like this.” (emphasis added)
Um, no. UGH.
Next, there was the repeated use of the plural “millennia” when a character was referring to a single millennium. It happened so many times I can’t even quote the most annoying instance.
The worst, though, and the one that sealed this book’s two star rating from me was this:
“I am making a shopping list.”
“Oh,” Dante murmured, and asked “For Mary and me?”
“For Mary and I,” he corrected. (emphasis original)
NO. No. No. No. No. I will be the first to admit that I mix up “who” and “whom” (because whom has always just sounded so pretentious to me, and I can’t wrap my head around using it in certain places), but COME ON. Basic grammar lesson: “I” is a subject pronoun. “Me” is an object pronoun. Would anyone say “You are making a shopping list for I”? I certainly hope not. I know that grammar issues like this might not make some people dislike a book, but these three errors really pulled me out of the story and made me irrationally angry.
I think that if the story had been better, I would have been able to see past some mistakes in grammar, but it just didn’t grab me at all. There was no real attempt at actual romance, which is a trend in these books, but instead a realization that someone is a life mate, and then incredible sex. That kind of bores me at this point in my reading life. Also, the sex scenes didn’t pull me in because there was no real, developed chemistry between the characters, at least not in my opinion.
So why two stars instead of one? There’s still something I like about the concept of these books, even if the execution leaves something to be desired. I wouldn’t recommend this, but some of the earlier books in the series have been better, and as quick fluffy reads, aren’t generally awful. I’d pass on this one, though, and as I mentioned above, I probably won’t be reading any more of this series.