Friday, May 4, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands

I'm always assured that when I pick up a book written by Lynsay Sands that I will enjoy it and probably laugh a bit, too. UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON, an Argeneau Novel by Lynsay Sands is no exception to the rule. This is the 16th book in the Argeneau series and probably one of the most unique so far. It's Christian's love story and takes place in, of all places, St. Lucia in the Caribbean - you got that right - vampires (immortals) in the tropics! UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands available now from Avon Romance is a wonderful way to take a vacation and never leave your reading chair.

When Vampires Go On Vacation ...
Escaping a horrible marriage, Carolyn Connor has no desire to think about men -- a vow she's determined to keep while on vacation in St. Lucia.  She'll take the Caribbean sun and sea and plenty of tropical drinks with those cute umbrellas poolside, thank you.  She absolutely does NOT need male company, no matter how tan and rock-hard his body may be.

Easy enough, but then Carolyn meets the charming Marguerite Argeneau, who is infamous among her family for her matchmaking prowess ...

Christian Notte has well known the power of finding a life mate. He's seen enough of his Argeneau relatives taken down for the count, but he never imagined he'd let himself fall in love -- until he meets the enthralling, charmingly skittish, and oh-so-mortal Carolyn. But how will he reveal what he is and still convince this once-bitten mortal to trust him with her heart ... and her forever?

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Carolyn Connor has come to St. Lucia for a much needed vacation with her friend, Bethany, who was once upon a time her roommate and good friend from University. Having rekindled a long lost friendship, the two are meeting their other dear friend, Genie, who works at the resort where they're staying. Genie has remained a dear close friend in spirit if not in physicality and knows the misery that Carolyn has spent in the marriage from hell with soon-to-be ex-husband, Robert. Almost immediately upon arriving at the resort, Bethany falls ill leaving Carolyn pretty much on her own amidst honeymooners and other assorted couples. Genie has to work so Carolyn is rethinking her vacation plans when she suddenly finds herself engulfed in the charming friendship of Marguerite Argeneau and her new husband, Julius Notte. Unknown to her, Marguerite immediately recognizes Carolyn as the potential life mate for her five hundred year old son, Christian. Of course, he doesn't look five hundred years old but more like twenty-five and amazingly HOT - too young and too hot for Carolyn who is feeling older and less attractive by the minute.

Christian is immediately smitten upon meeting the older woman and sets about winning her over but Carolyn is resistant from the start. She's not a cougar, she tells herself and this gorgeous young violin playing hunk of a man can't possibly be interested in her, a forty-two year old woman whose marriage was a failure and whose husband wasn't even attracted to her.

Christian's quirky and adorable cousin, Gia, comes up with the solution. Christian needs to get close to Carolyn to get to know her so that he can eventually explain who he is and what he is and why they are meant to be together without making Carolyn run for the hills - Gia's solution? She tells Carolyn that Christian is gay and that the family wouldn't approve if they ever knew, so he needs a beard. Carolyn totally understands because she had played the beard for a very dear friend and fellow roommate while at University. Feeling sorry for this gorgeous young man who has to hide his true nature from his brother and cousins, Carolyn agrees even though she finds herself completely and inexplicably attracted to this younger man who was now totally off limits. And so the fun begins ...

UNDER THE VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands is a romantic comedy that delivers all the steamy sexiness that Lynsay Sands is so well-known for in her Argeneau series with a slight difference this time. Christian is forced to fight his own desires not because he's NOT interested in owning up to Carolyn being his life mate but because he's supposed to be uninterested in females altogether. He has so much trouble keeping his fiery desires under control that he nearly loses control several times which only adds to the humor of the story. Carolyn finds herself more and more attracted to this dear friend who has captured her heart not as a lover but as a companion to the point where she believes she's dream raping him even as she believes him totally uninterested in her.

I know a lot of you are NOT into paranormal but unlike other Vampire stories, Lynsay Sands' Argeneau series isn't really about vampires. The Argeneaus are immortals who are as normal in their problems and romances as any Mortal, maybe even more so because when they meet their life mates, they get kind of love crazy!! In the past novels, Lynsay has always explained to the reader at some point or another who the Immortals are, what they are, and how they came to be. I was surprised that in this one, the explanation only begins to come toward the end and in the end, Christian only just begins to explain it to Carolyn. This poses one problem - I've found throughout the series, that you could pick up any one of the novels and begin the series there as each did well as a stand-alone novel but UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON doesn't delve into the history much so only a constant reader of the series will already be familiar with the Immortals and their beginning. I'm not saying that you shouldn't read this one before reading others but if you do, be prepared to get hooked and recognize that you'll need to go back and read at least one of the past books to understand who the Argeneaus really are. However, if you've never read the Argeneau series and think you might be interested but don't particularily like paranormal then THIS IS THE ONE to read first.

UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands is a fast-paced vacation into the tropics filled with humor, sexual innuendo, and steamy hot sex play that will have you panting for a frosty lime margarita to cool you off. Lynsay Sands has done it again with her wonderful characters, her sexy men, and her delightful sense of humor that will keep you smiling throughout the story, closing the book with an even bigger smile, and a definite eagerness to read the next installment - which, by the way, is THE LADY IS A VAMP (Jeanne Louise's story) coming in August 2012. Even if you're not into paranormal, I highly recommend reading UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands. If you love her historicals, you'll love her paranormals. I promise!

Happy Reading Everyone!

UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON by Lynsay Sands, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats. A guaranteed tropical vacation without leaving home. : )



Beebs said...

I tend to forget that Lynsay writes paranormals too. I've read almost all of her historicals and I love those. If i ever get even close to the bottom of the TBR mountain, I might get round to checking these out. :)

Amy Valentini said...

Beebs, her Argeneaus are soooo much fun and this one in particular is a delight. When your mountain gets a little smaller, give 'em a try. I guarantee you'll get hooked. : )

Have a great weekend, my sweet gal!

Dalila G. said...

I've only read Lynsay's historicals. I will have to look up her other books in the Argeneaus series and try and start at book #1.
Need to see if I can get into reading about vampires.

I will admit that I am looking forward to seeing DARK SHADOWS with Johnny Depp playing the part of Barnabas Collins.
He's a vampire I can sink my teeth into to! ;-)
Sorry, couldn't resist. Hahaha.....

Have a wondeeful weekend!

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Dalila,
Having been a huge fan of the original DARK SHADOWS, I'm very much looking forward to seeing Johnny's version, too. LOL!!
"He's a vampire I can sink my teeth into" ... You're so naughty! ; )

As for the Argeneau series, I would actually recommend not starting from the beginning as, I hate to say this but, her first one was a little weak. I'd start with either LOVE BITES, SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE, or my fave - TALL, DARK AND HUNGRY. : )

Enjoy and Have a great weekend!

Dalila G. said...

Thanks for your tip Amy.
I'd hate to start the series and stop after book one because it's a bit on the weak side.
I'll track down the books you mentioned and start there.

Amy Valentini said...

Dalila, the nice thing about this series is that you can start just about anywhere. The first one that I read was BORN TO BITE but the two I enjoyed the absolute most were TALL, DARK & HUNGRY and HUNGRY FOR YOU! I laughed hysterically in HUNGRY FOR YOU. I believe I have an excerpt from it somewhere in the archives, post on Vampires probably.
When you get around to reading some, please let me know what you think of them. : )

Crossfire_Rp said...

I love all the Argeneau's book I think Bricker is my fav person in it hes funny

Ελλάδα said...

Lynsay Sands writes a very delightful romantic comedy of Carolyn Connor, a 40s something woman who has been badly burned by a previous romantic relationship and the sexy, young looking musician/entertainer Christian Notte. Christian is Marguerite Argeneau's Italian son who is eager to claim a life mate, and willing to accept the fiction his female cousin Gia creates that he is an in the closet gay man who needs Carolyn's help in passing as straight.

The writing is playful, and fits seamlessly into the ongoing epic of the Argeneau clan. Situational comedy with witty banter and loving family warmth (on the vampire side) that make the reading enjoyable.