In The Company of Vampires
Katie MacAlister / Paranormal Romance
Book Eight in the Dark Ones series
Also found at The Romance Reviews
When Francesca arrives at GothFaire to save her mother from the trickster god, Loki, things go from bad to worse. Her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there, full of secrets-and with a new girlfriend. Now Fran must battle a power-hungry group who wishes to dominate both the immortal and mortal worlds-and the woman who claimed Ben's heart. It's a good thing Fran's no ordinary mortal...
One thing I can say about Katie MacAlister is that she has one wicked sense of humor that makes reading her books an amazing experience. I've read all of her Dark One novels and was giddy with excitement when I found out IN THE COMPANY OF VAMPIRES was set to be released. She writes great storylines filled with wonderful characters so I knew I was guaranteed a great read. What I forgot however, was just how much fun I'd have as I delved into the story.
This story reunited Fran and Ben again, giving them another opportunity to come together now that Fran was older and had a better sense of what she wanted. Having asked for space, Fran had spent a number of years away from Ben, who knew that he wanted her but was willing to give her whatever she needed in order for her to accept their relationship.
Through a series of events, Fran finds herself back amongst her friends at the Goth Faire and in the presence of Ben, this time much more aware of what she wants in a relationship and of how ready she is to finally commit to Ben. The story line includes Fran searching out the whereabouts of her mother, having to face the craziness of her past while finding out what it means to truly commit to Ben. I loved the way the author wrote the story, of the incredible way she described each scene that made it easy to imagine and of the attention she gave to each character.
I really enjoyed Fran in this story and appreciated the time she was given to mature. Having not been ready to fully commit earlier in the series, it took her a little time to realize that she did in fact want Ben but that it was okay for her to set boundaries and maintain some kind of identity for herself. I was impressed that she realized giving herself over to Ben didn't mean she had to completely lose who she was and I loved the innocence the author gave Fran as she explored each new situation and experience she had with Ben. It made each scene where they were together fun and I enjoyed the refreshing outlook Fran took on their developing relationship. I really liked Fran's quirky sense of humor, her sense of honor and loyalty but most of all, I LOVED the way she interacted with the Viking warriors. I couldn't help but laugh along with her, rolling my eyes as well as they drove her crazy.
Ben is an amazing character and it didn't take long for me to totally fall for him. Filled with an intense pain and darkness and knowing that as his Beloved, Fran held the power to bring him relief, it would almost make sense for him to want to rush the process and do whatever it took to make Fran commit to him. But Ben does the exact opposite. Knowing how important it is for Fran to come to him fully committed and ready, he gives her the one thing she needs most – time. He showed an incredible level of patience and his ability to look beyond himself to truly see the situation from Fran's perspective had me sighing all over the place because I could only assume how difficult it was for him to do. His love for her never faltered and he never once begrudged her. He was constant and faithful and it made him the perfect hero. Even now, I sigh whenever I think of him and his willingness to do whatever it took to make the transition easy for Fran.
This review wouldn't be complete without some kind of mention about the three Viking warriors that were sent to Fran to offer assistance in her battle against the god Loki. This is where the author's sense of humor shines because these three men are HILARIOUS. I don't think I've laughed so much or so hard before while reading a book and I converted my husband to the series because I had to share with him each scene. The warriors brought a definite lightheartedness to the story and I would definitely recommend people read the book for them alone. The quick wit that filled each scene made the book addicting and by far, THE funniest scene was the conversation the warriors had with Fran about the brother-in-law, his hoe-wielding wife and dress-wearing sheep. The book is worth reading solely for those moments.
The only thing that gave me the itty bittiest moment of pause was even though I 100% appreciated and loved the humor of the story, I kind of hoped the author had left some of it out when it came to those intimate moments between Fran and Ben. With a male character as sexy as Ben was, it wasn't hard to imagine just how sizzling he would be and the kind of sensuality he could introduce Fran to. I was hoping for some heat but felt it was put aside as the humor replaced it. Don't get me wrong. Reading the reactions Fran had to certain situations was hysterical and I could totally picture it as the scene unfolded. I just wanted a little seriousness in the moment – more loving and less laughing. In the overall scheme of things though, it didn't affect how I felt about the book and I loved it just the same.
For those who haven't read anything by Katie MacAlister and love a heavy dose of humor with their romance, this book and series is a definite MUST read. The story is fun, light read that keeps you entertained to the very last word. Here's hoping there is more to the series!
What Kind Of Review Can You Expect?
If I could describe what kind of reader I am, I would hands down say I was an emotional one. When I read I want to fully experience the book, from the emotions coursing through the characters to reacting to the twist and turns of the storyline. I'm looking for those books that fire up my imagination and leave me breathless when it's over. It's for this reason why the reviews I write aren't so much what I think and are more on how I feel. My hopes in sharing my review in this way is that something will spark an interest and have you wanting to have the same experiences. This isn't to say I don't have issues with grammar, word choices etc. Trust me I do and most times all it takes is waiting for the story to grab hold for it not to matter. When I do include things about what I thought about the book (for example I've included comments about word choices and being too descriptive), I only do so because it directly affected how I felt. I hope this helps. Enjoy!