Immortal Nights: An Argeneau Vampire novel by Lynsay Sands (book review).

October 27, 2016 | By | Reply More

Romance has always been a very popular genre. Many readers, mainly women, would wait eagerly for the monthly release of the new Mills & Boon volume. Immersing themselves in the trials and tribulations of potential soul-mates gave a chance to forget their ordinary, stress filled lives. The same is as true now as fifty years ago. There is a far wider range of romance novels than there was then. True, Mills & Boon have moved with the times. A number of their new releases have pregnant heroines and the Harlequin book-line allows for a more raunchy style.

immortalnights

Alongside these developments have come the erotic fantasy novel. Many of these feature supernatural beings such as sensual werewolves (Nalini Singh), sexy vampires (Laurel K. Hamilton) and a fiery phoenix (Keri Arthur). All of these have sex at their heart. There is probably a strong element of romance but the pages are sprinkled with explicit eroticism. They also have strong plot threads, putting their characters in dire peril. Lynsay Sands writes erotic romance…with vampires.

Immortal Night’s is the twenty-fourth volume of adventures involving the Argeneau family. The members are all vampires in that they are immortal and require blood to function properly. There, the similarity ends. They eat normal food, go out in daylight, even sunbathe, have reflections and, since their native soil is now underwater, they don’t have an issue with that.

According to family history, the origin of their kind was Atlantis, 15 century BC. This Atlantis was a peninsula isolated by sea and mountains. There, scientists made technological developments that were far in advance to where we are now. In particular, they created nanos which, once in the blood, prevent the person ageing, give added strength and allow them to heal quickly. In other words, all the advantages of a vampire with none of the problems except for the need for a regular input of fresh blood. They live by rules. Each individual can only turn one human in their life-time, usually their life-mate, and they are permitted only one child per century. Although I have some issues with the background set-up, that is not what these novels are about. They are primarily romances. This time it is Tomasso Notte, who is the vampire at the heart of the novel.

When the human woman, Abigail Forsythe, accepts her friend’s invitation to accompany him on a flight to Caracas she doesn’t expect to find a naked man, Tomasso, locked in a cage in the hold. Acting out of compassion, she frees him. He grabs a parachute and Abigail and leaps from the plane. The next thing she remembers is waking up on a sandy beach with a gorgeous hunk of nude male. The attraction between them is instant and Tomasso knows he has found his life mate. The problem is that the men who put him in the cage will be searching for him. They have no idea where they are, where civilisation is or any food and water. Tomasso also knows that he will need blood soon and doesn’t want to bite Abigail again. But he does want to have sex with her and that feeling is mutual. Then Abigail contracts the life-threatening form of Dengue fever.

While the focus of ‘Immortal Nights’ is the romance, the novel is also part of a wider story arc. Tomasso is on the plane because someone has been abducting vampires and he and his brother, Dante, were investigating on behalf of the family before being trapped. Dante managed to escape and alerted other members of the family who manage to track down Tomasso. The kidnappers, however, want their captive back and are willing to go to any lengths to do so. Bodies litter the last part of the book.

Sands is constant in following the rules she has set up for her creations and there is fast-paced action here. The main problem is with the structure. The beginning, from Abigail’s viewpoint, contains enough tension and action to hook the reader but the period while they are wandering the beach is too long and only an excuse for explicit sex. Undoubtedly, this is what fans of the series want and they will be familiar with the vampire family and their abilities. A newcomer to the series might well prefer to have more physical tension and leave the sex for later. Nevertheless, this is a novel that will delight Sands followers.

Pauline Morgan

October 2016

(pub: Gollancz. 346 page paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-473-20506-2)

check out websites : www.orionbooks.co.uk and www.gollancz.com

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Category: Books, Horror

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