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Review: Blood Therapy, Lynda Hilburn

23 Jan

10181768“Kismet Knight knows exactly how to handle her clients, but when it comes to her love-life, she’s on less steady ground. That was until she met master vampire Devereux, an 800-year-old hunk, who not only managed to convince the entirely rational shrink that vampires really do exist – he also persuaded her to start dating him.

Kismet’s still having nightmares after being kidnapped by Lucifer, a psychotic vampire. From a therapeutic perspective she finds his split personalities fascinating – but she’s constantly terrified. And Dev’s become obsessed with finding Lucifer – before he comes after Kismet again.

So much for her nice, ordinary life…”

The second book in The Vampire Psychologist series is a fast, entertaining read. Hilburn’s writing is engaging, and once you pick this one up it’s hard to put down. The fact that this is true even of a reader like me, who doesn’t normally go near PNR with a bargepole, speaks volumes.

I wanted to make that clear from the start, because I’m about to gripe about this title, and I don’t want you to think I hated it. I really didn’t, I was just sorry that it didn’t have the same impact as the first book for me.

The action in Blood Therapy picks up just a few weeks after The Vampire Shrink left off, and right from the outset it’s way too heavy on the Lusting-After-Sexy-Vampire angle for me. It’s all platinum hair and toned chests. My professional career woman has morphed into an oversexed, indecisive, helpless female. I tried to write this off later, when some reasoning behind it became clear, but truth be told Kismet retained the essence of this persona for me throughout the novel, much to my disappointment. She makes some bizarre decisions, repeatedly hollers for help from her two gorgeous suitors (three, at one point!) and her ‘daftness’ here even goes as far as undermining the intelligence I loved her for in the first novel.

I feel a bit like my Mum here..I’m not angry Kismet, I’m just disappointed..

Hilburn brings the concept of celebrity Vamps into this one, and historical figures as Vamps too, which in this case really didn’t work for me. I didn’t buy into the idea of the actor and his ‘clones’, and whilst the historical figure was fun as a strong female character (hurrah!) her backstory didn’t do anything for me. As an issue, this gets a lot worse later in the novel as Hillburn commits a cardinal sin, but here at least it can be shrugged off as an issue of personal taste. I think when it comes to celebrities and Vamps it works best if you’re subtle, and bring it in under the radar. Like Charlaine Harris with Bubba in her first book. I think that’s the only time I’ve been impressed. There was too much of a song and dance here for my liking.

Things picked up for me when Kismet’s ‘Vampire Goggles’ were removed, and when her fragrant, fangy nemesis reappeared. This was a real ‘sigh of relief’ moment, and the point at which I knew I wouldn’t be giving up. Alan is back with us not long after, which was all good for me, as I do believe I’m “Team Alan” (Much, much closer to a Twilight feel this one, which will lose some fans, but no doubt bring in gazillions more).

There’s no doubt that Hilburn has created an interesting and enjoyable situation with her cast of characters, and I do like how that cast widens here, but at the same time I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the plot gets ever more unbelievable as events unfold. Again I had problems buying into the ‘elite, super vamp’ notion, both in terms of Zephyr and the library. Most damaging of all though was the inclusion of an absolute legend of the genre. It’s hard to criticise here without including spoilers, which I’m loathe to do, but if you’re going to include a character like the one responsible for Kismet’s nemesis’ condition, you really need to do an outstanding job or you’re going to fall flat. I personally didn’t like the way this figure was handled at all, and as a lifelong fan I wasn’t impressed. I think a lot of old school vampire fans are going to bail at this point. I can’t think why he was included..I don’t know what the justification was, but for me it was a definite Fail.

On the flipside, I should also mention that I really enjoyed Alan’s sub-plot it was unexpected, and nicely tied in to everything else that was going on. Bonus points there.

On the whole, although I did enjoy Blood Therapy, and wouldn’t have put it down without finding out what happened at the end, it didn’t stand out for me anywhere near as much as The Vampire Shrink did. The most interesting and unique element here is the psychology, and I don’t feel it was explored anywhere near as much as I would have liked. The wrap up of Kismet’s various patient’s issues right at the end of the novel was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, only I could have used a lot more of that and a lot of less mention of nice hair and magnificent erections. It felt far too brief, and seemed to just be tagged on as an afterthought. A shame really.

Will I read the third novel when it comes out? Hmmm. Honestly? Yes, I will, but I’ll be hoping for a lot more intelligence and a bit less snogging and showers (I forgot to say, I kept a shower tally this time. Six).

A good, fast, fluffy read. Recommended for Twilight fans, romance lovers and those in favour of platinum hair.

3A PhoenixFantasy Three Star Read

[Blood Therapy is published by Jo Fletcher Books and is available in Paperback and Electronic format]

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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