Author: Tina Folsom
Release Date: December 12, 2012
ISBN #: 9780983612971
FTC Disclaimer: Book was purchased by the reviewer, with no publisher or author involvement.
I went scouring Kobo (where I get my ebooks) to see what paranormal novels they had available and found Venice Vampyr #1 by Tina Folsom. I could tell by the description and cover photo that it would be a “bodice-ripper” as they used to call the scandalous romance novels. I can’t say that those are the type of novels I particularly enjoy to read in my spare time, but both the novel and author were new to me and it was about my favorite supernatural creatures, so I downloaded it to give it a try.
The story starts out quickly, with 3,000 year old vampire Raphael di Santori being pushed into a canal in old-time Venice during carnival season. Vampires can die in these novels by two things the author confirmed in the narrative: being shot with silver bullets or drowning. A member of the Guardians–a group of renegade humans who were the earliest vampire hunters–must have been the one to give the fatal shove and as he is ready to relinquish himself to death he is saved by a lady of noble standing in Venice, the beautiful Isabella Tenderini. She lost her own husband a year ago to death by drowning and cannot bear to see someone die in that manner.
She risked her life to save a stranger and unknowingly becomes enmeshed into the eternal war between the Undead and the Guardians when she decides to keep this handsome and mysterious stranger in her palazzo until he comes to…as long as her servants keep quiet about this and don’t tell her late husband’s cousin, Massimo, about the fact that she has an unknown male sleeping in her bed…naked.
Isabella is drawn to Raphael from the moment she undresses him so he doesn’t catch cold in his soaked clothes and the sexual interactions start before the male lead is even awake!
Spanning only a week’s time, this novel is exactly as I described it–a bodice-ripper. The sex is outrageous and consists of things being done that most women only fantasize about late at night, alone. I was actually a little shocked at how graphic, not the sex, but the language was. For this being termed a “historical paranormal romance” nothing but the clothing and settings are properly written about.
The words that they used, while they were featured in the language back then, were probably not as common then as now, and not just the cursing, but the way they spoke, period, reminded me of more “current” times rather than the 14th Century. Not that I minded the actual language (I am no angel!) but it didn’t fit with the story of old-time Venice, Italy whatsoever. It made the whole thing seem awkward to me. Folsom probably should have made them sound more old-fashioned while they performed the scandalous sex acts. In my opinion, it would have made the story a bit more authentic and intriguing.
And while the novel did have a good story attached and even a bit of danger dashed into the narrative, there wasn’t a decent sex-to-plot ratio. I at least want to read sixty-percent sex and forty-percent story. This was lucky if it had even twenty-five-percent of actual story compared to the amount of sex that was in it. I just wish that the story received more attention, as it was well-plotted, just unbalanced.
I’m not saying it was a bad novel, but it wasn’t worth it. In my opinion, if I want a predominantly sex-filled novel, I wouldn’t read one under the false description of “historical paranormal”. I believe that it should have been listed under “paranormal erotica”, because it falls under those lines more than it does historical. Tina Folsom had a great story right under her nose as she was penning this novel but she didn’t utilize it properly in my opinion.
I do recommend you, reader, pick up this novel and read it for yourself if this is the type of erotica you enjoy partaking in. I don’t think it’s one I’d read twice, but I know many of you will quite enjoy it.
I give this a 3 out of 5, because it really does have a lot of potential, and I will read its sequels…just because it now has me intrigued at what will happen to the characters!