Single White Vampire (Argeneau Family book 1 or 3?) by Lynsay Sands (book review).

Knowing the best place to start is often a dilemma, whether the work in progress is a story, a novel or, in this case, a series of novels. Many authors will return to favoured characters and write about the events leading up to their first appearance in print. For Lynsay Sands ‘Argeneau Family’ saga, ‘Single White Vampire’ was actually the first published, hitting the bookshelves in 2003. Its position in the series is third.

If the books are read in the order suggested on Sands’ website this makes sense as references are made to events that happen in ‘A Quick Bite’ and ‘Love Bites’ the chronologically earlier volumes. As this is actually a reprint, there is no indication as to whether the text has been updated to include these or that they were present awaiting the writing of the other books.

As with all the books, up to about 29 now, the vampire will discover their life mate and overcome the obstacles that appear in the way. Here, the vampire is Lucern (Luc) Argeneau. He is already made a name for himself under the name of Luke Amirault for writing historical non-fiction, easy enough to do as he was alive when the events described happened. Now he has written three very popular books marketed as supernatural romance.

Sands is having fun with her readers here as the plots of two of them are the same as in ‘A Quick Bite’ and ‘Love Bites’ and the third is the story of his parents. To him, they are not fiction but biographies but since the world is unaware of vampires living amongst them they must be fiction. Readers of the other books will be aware of the mechanism for this kind of vampirism but it is not explained here for quite some time.

Luc is more or less a hermit, even avoiding his family most of the time, but his new editor is determined to raise his profile. Kate C. Leever has tried writing and been rebuffed, so arrives on his doorstep determined to persuade him to agree to either an interview or a book signing. He considers her obnoxious and pushy but, due to a mishap, he is obliged to invite her to stay overnight or risk the family secret being exposed.

Her persistence pays off and he agrees to one event, thinking it is an interview but finds he has been conned into attending a week-long convention focusing on paranormal romance. As this is the States rather than Canada, where he lives, there are some problems with keeping supplied with the blood he needs. At times, the plot descends into the farcical and, as in any good romance novel, Luc and Kate will overcome all the obstacles thrown in their way.

With the exception of one incident, ‘’Single White Vampire’ follows all the tropes expected of a traditional romantic novel and from the start it is obvious who will end up with whom. It is a light read and makes a change from all the dark supernatural novels where the protagonist faces a life of death battle in alternate chapters. Compared to those, Sands’ novels can be regarded as ‘fluffy’.

Pauline Morgan

May 2019

(pub: Gollancz, 2010. 369 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-575-09383-6)

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