Author: Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Series: Hours of the Night 1
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
Thaddeus Dupont has had over eighty years to forget...
The vampire spends his nights chanting the Liturgy of the Hours and ruthlessly disciplines those unnatural urges he's vowed never again to indulge. He is at the command of the White Monks, who summon him at will to destroy demons. In return, the monks provide for his sustenance and promise the return of his immortal soul.
Sarasija Mishra's most compelling job qualification might be his type O blood...
The 22-year-old college grad just moved across the country to work for some recluse he can't even find on the internet. Sounds sketchy, but the salary is awesome and he can't afford to be picky. On arrival he discovers a few details his contract neglected to mention, like the alligator-infested swamp, the demon attacks, and the nature of his employer's "special diet". A smart guy would leave, but after one look into Dupont's mesmerizing eyes, Sarasija can't seem to walk away. Too bad his boss expected "Sara" to be a girl.
Falling in love is hard at any age...
The vampire can't fight his hungers forever, especially since Sara's brought him light, laughter and a very masculine heat. After yielding to temptation, Thaddeus must make a choice. Killing demons may save his soul, but keeping the faith will cost him his heart.
Vespers is a complete novel with no cliffhanger. It can be enjoyed as a standalone or read as the first book in the Hours of the Night series.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Vespers begins with Sara on a road trip, heading to the strange swamps of New Orleans for a job that sounded sketchy from the outset, but the money was too good to pass up. Sara's never quite been what his family wants: he barely got through college, has no interest in being a lawyer or a doctor, nor has any interest in continuing his education. In fact, all he knows is because he didn't get a full ride scholarship like his siblings, his family is mired in his debt. The mysterious job he signed up for will fix all that. It also has the bonus of getting him far away from his demanding family. I liked Sara and the depth the authors gave to his characterization. He's a kid aimlessly trying to figure out his future and being snowballed with a vampire was exactly what he needed.
I wasn't as impressed with the characterization of Dupont. He's definitely interesting. He's suffering because of sins he committed in his past and is trying to live a righteous life all while knowing his soul is damned because he's a creature of the dark. It was very compelling, yet at the same time it read a bit like a caricature. He was a monk as a human, tied to the Church as tightly as a person could ever be, so I understand that as a vampire that aspect of his beliefs didn't need to change. However, his religion is used almost as a hammer. Each time he does something drastic because of it, it feels like the authors were trying to preach to me the evils of Christianity in the modern world. It went a little overboard.
That wasn't the only issue I had with religion in the book. Sara is sent a Hindu shrine by his grandmother. He sets it up, prays, and goes about his day. There were two issues with that. One, he never actually goes into any descriptions about what the Hindu religion entails, what the items on his alter are, or how the prayers work. After the over-emphasis of the Christian practices, I found the lacking description a little odd. Which brings me to my second issue, which is it felt like the only reason Hinduism was brought into the story at all was to point out (ie. bludgeon) the fact that Christianity wasn't the end-all religion. There are other options in the world and Hinduism is one of them. I was very glad to see the diversity, but there needed to be much more depth given to Sara's religious beliefs and how they might have helped him in the demon fight for any part of the Hindu bits added to the story to feel believable.
I do recommend this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series. Overall, I liked the plot and thought the characterizations were very well done. I thought Sara was interesting and Dupont was a good contrast with him. However, the overemphasis of the religious aspects in the story almost seemed to mock instead of embrace religion, which greatly hurt my overall enjoyment.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.