With so many books having been written about vampires it seems difficult to come up with a new idea. This one has. ‘Love Bites’ is chronologically the second in a series about the Argeneau family. The whole family are vampires. This is explained to the female lead, pathologist Rachel Garrett, as being due to nano-technology developed by the Atlantean people thousands of years ago.
The nanos repair all the body’s damaged tissues, rejuvenating, preventing aging, producing longevity and increasing sexual performance. Unfortunately, they use blood to do their work. Nice theory, pity it is seriously flawed. These vampires can have children. The nanos as described would not allow that and why would they produce hollow fangs in a ‘turned’ human?
The plot is simple. A man called Pudge is trying to kill Etienne Argeneau. We are not exactly sure why he has a vendetta against the vampire but, twice within a week, Etienne’s apparently lifeless body turns up in Rachel’s morgue. The second time, Pudge also arrives swinging an axe, intending to decapitate Etienne. Rachel gets in the way. Etienne saves her life by giving her his blood, starting the change of human to vampire.
When his family comes to rescue him, they take Rachel away as well. Much of the rest of the book is about Rachel coming to terms with being a vampire, falling in love with Etienne and sex romps until Pudge shows up again near the end.
Many of the aspects of the plot that would bring the novel up a level from just being an erotic fantasy are sidelined for the developing relationship between Etienne and Rachel. Even the family politics could have easily been strengthened without too much trouble. This may be the result of an author finding her way into a new series now twenty-eight volumes long.
The book was originally published in 2004 and subsequent volumes have been appearing at more than one a year since. The first to be published, ‘Single White Vampire’, is now the third chronologically.
Although there are a lot of readers who like this kind of material, in this volume, Lynsay Sands does not yet show the flair of Charlaine Harris or Laurell K. Hamilton which makes their work exciting to read.
(pub: Gollancz, 2010. 373 page paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-09381-2)