Fluttering Thoughts: Dante’s Awakening by Devon Marshall + Guest Post + Giveaway

Dante’s Awakening (Vampires of Hollywood #1)

By Devon Marshall
Editions: ebook
Published May 10th 2012 by Untreed Reads
Genre: Adult FxF Paranormal / Romance
Source: review copy

Dante Sonnier is a successful Hollywood agent. She is also a friend to the secret community of vampires living in Los Angeles, and occasionally she assists them when they have a problem that requires a human to handle it. The vampires are led by Voshki Kevorkian, a gorgeous, sexy female vampire, who has made it clear that she would like Dante to be her human. Dante, although attracted to Voshki, is wary of the possessiveness and jealousy involved in being a vampire’s chosen human lover and resists.

When the Children of Judas, a two-thousand-year-old sect of murderous, rebel vampires shunned by the main community, rise up under a new leader and threaten to topple Voshki’s leadership and expose the whole community, the vampires turn to Dante for help. Dante travels to a small town in upstate California where the Children seem to be active, in the company of Ellis Kovacs, another vampire sired by Voshki, and Voshki’s “right-hand woman.”

There, whilst investigating the Children and their leader Robin Shepherd, Dante succumbs to being seduced by the alluring Ellis. When Dante is kidnapped by the Children, Voshki decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.

Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.
~ Bewitching Book Tours

World Building: Vampire infiltrated Hollywood versus Holly Bush Junction (did endless amounts of snickering based on that name, if there’s a town out there called that, no offense, but it’s hilarious!), it was a cool pair of extremes and it made for a fun world.
Characters: Cool, I must say I loved Dante, she had this cynical-ish tone and great sense of humor, she was very straightforward and honest, versatile and sort of charming. I say sort of because she had more of a bam then a twinkle, if you know what I mean. Names of other characters were interesting to say the least, just like hers, and Ellis and Voshki were fun to follow both on their own but mostly in a combo of all three of them, fun chemistry. Lydia was awesomeness, I’d have liked to know her better.
Plot: Sort of mystery vibe, Dante and Ellis investigate something in Holly Bush Junction, it was interesting as it combined with the romantic arc. It wasn’t fluffy romantic, more like a realistic relationship with slow-burn vibe rather then the instalove formula, but the read rates as more of a long novella then a novel to me so I’d say it’s a quick slow-burn type :D. Some hot adult f/f scenes, but not graphic.
Writing: Awesome, I loved Dante’s sense of humor and since this is a first person narrative from her POV it made for fun reading, I snickered and grinned pretty much all the time. Alert pace of events, dynamic read, but maybe if it would have been longer it might have focused more on some elements I, for one, would have enjoyed, like more zoom-in on some other characters, say Ellis and Lydia for instance. But I am the more character, less action type so it figures I’d think so.
Curb Appeal: Pretty good, the cover has some darkish charm&beauty going on, the blurb gives a good idea  of what’s the gist of it and it makes me curious, but this probably wouldn’t be an instabuy for me if it weren’t f/f romance.

Overall, a good read, more of a 3.5 then a full 4 for reasons mentioned above, but it’s a quick-ish (125 pages) read with some great humor and romance, and it makes me happy to see more f/f romance around, I feel there’s too little of it out there. I want to be able to buy a lot more books with all sorts of LGBT romance stories.

The Enduring Lure of The Vampire
by Devon Marshall

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by all things dark and paranormal; from ghosts and UFOs, to werewolves and vampires. But especially vampires. It’s little wonder to me that I should have ended up with my first-published novel being a modern Hollywood take on vampires then!

So what is the lure of vampires? Why has this particular ‘Creature of The Night’ held such an enduring fascination for humans?

The vampire has long been the most glamorous of those creatures which inhabit the night ( and for some, their nightmares! ). Where werewolves and demons are often looked upon either pityingly or with outright terror, vampires are viewed as at once frightening and yet alluring, sexy. They combine sex and death, and we all know how strangely closely those two things are linked in the human psyche, and the vampire adds an irresistible charm – literally, because they have the power to ‘glamour’ us, to control our thoughts and actions – and often good looks to this potent mix. As our lovers, vampires can also be our killers – all they need to do is lose their control whilst feeding on us and they could drain us to death. We have to trust in their supernatural experience not to allow this to happen. Handing that degree of control to another can be a powerfully erotic experience, the ultimate BDSM game! And played with the ultimate bad boy/girl, one with fangs.

Even the original vampires of fiction like Count Dracula and Nosferatu, exuded a certain olde-worlde charm and erotic allure. Their victims did not see them as deathly-pale, long-dead walking corpses; they saw whatever the vampire wished them to see. As the world and the writers of dark fiction have moved on, so have the vampires they create evolved. Nowadays we see less of the rotting revenant and more of the pretty-boy playboy like Damon Salvatore or the roguishly handsome businessman like Eric Northman. Neither are the female vampires any longer the ‘Brides of Dracula’, moaning and wailing and wafting about some drafty old castle whilst wearing moldering wedding dresses and sporting a big streak of gray in their otherwise jet-dark hair. They are Pam ( the Sookie Stackhouse novels ), they are Katharine ( The Vampire Diaries ), as glamorous and modern as their male counterparts, still ‘Creatures of The Night’ for sure but strong and independent women too. But that edge of danger, that possibility of bad, it remains with the vampires, no matter how modern or ’mainstream’ they may seem. It is this which adds the frisson of forbidden delight to our love of the be-fanged anti-heroes.

And as each new writer of modern vampire fiction comes along, we all take our turn at tweaking the legend a little more. My own vampires have evolved to be able to withstand sunlight – so long as they wear shades to protect sensitive eyes! I make no apology for my part in tweaking this legend, and neither should any other modern writer of vampire fiction. After all, our anti-heroes need to evolve just as much as our heroes do.

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About the Author & Links:

Devon discovered at an early age that she had a fertile imagination and a profound love for words which together led to her writing stories. She has published numerous short stories and articles in the LGBT and mainstream small presses.
Dante’s Awakening is her first published full-length novel and spent a week in the Amazon Top 100 in Lesbian Fiction #58
Her second novel, ‘Voodoo Woman’ is available in PB and on Kindle, and the novella ‘The Lives and Loves of The Modern Goddess’ is also available on Kindle.
Devon lives on a windswept and remote Scottish island where the ‘rat race’ is an event at the annual County Fair and the daily view includes boats, birds, and the occasional bottlenose dolphin. When she isn’t writing, Devon enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending as much time as possible with her dog. She is currently working on the next book in the Vampires of Hollywood saga and a stand-alone horror novel.

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