Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Lynsay Sands - Vampire Most Wanted

For Basha Argeneau, anything is better than facing her estranged family. Even hiding out in sweltering southern California. But when a sexy immortal in black shows up determined to bring her back to the clan, she'll do anything to keep far, far away from the past she can't outrun.
Marcus Notte isn't here to play games—especially not with someone as crazy as the infamous blonde. Asked by Lucian Argeneau to bring her back for questioning, Marcus is determined to carry out Lucian's request—no matter how the seductive little mind-reading vamp feels about it.
Basha doesn't mind fighting fire with fire, especially with a hot immortal involved. But if he wants to take her away, he'll have to catch her first . . .

Comment: This is the installment #20 in the Argeneau vampire series by author Lynsay Sands. As always, it follows the way a specific couple finds love while several of the previous characters play a secondary part somehow.
This one was different enough for it focused on a plot line that hasn't been developed properly for some books now although it started several books ago.

The main couple is Basha and Marcus Notte.
Basha is one of those characters mentioned here and there but who we never really think about, except now her story is up and suddenly lots of characters remember/mention/discuss her at some point. Basha is a niece of Lucien, who he took care of after her parents died until the day she disappeared. Bash has had a very traumatic life until she escaped an enemy of the Argeneaus and reinvented herself as a gypsy though the centuries. Now, somehow mentions of her have reappeared and a unoccupied Marcus is charged with making certain this person is really her.
As one can imagine, at first they are wary of each other but as with every lifemate couple, it gets to a point they just can't pretend there's something between them...

The main focus of this installment is definitely Basha and her actions. We slowly discover several things about her past and I must say this isn't one of those silly cookie cute stories that often populate the series. As it sometimes happens, this is definitely a more serious story due to the elements it exploits, namely how difficult Basha's life has been.
This is probably the reason why some long life fans have not liked it, the tone is very different from those more humorous stories of the fist years and while I agree to a point, I don't exactly dislike the path of the series, only that it's a very irregular one.

It's a fact this story was darker than most of the others. The author went towards a darker path when it came to Basha's experiences mostly because it discussed some whereas in some others, the most difficult situations were often just referenced or summarized without much drama or descriptions. I liked things weren't glossed over but at the same time, it does clash with the other stories that the tone is very different, almost not resembling the same series. I can understand why it's confusing and why several aspects seemed contrary to other stories in the past (basically some "rules" of the world felt different here). This is why, for me, this was more average than what I imagined.

As for the plot itself, of course Basha is who Marcus thought and of course both are found amazed they are each other's lifemate. Their adventures follow some of the same premises other stories have had (the knowledge of who they are to each other but the sense they still need to ensure they can be a couple romantically, for instance) with the distinction of the tone like I said.
Marcus is a more simplistic character, his personality and behavior don't change much from beginning to end and his past doesn't have much conflict besides what all immortals usually face by having long lives.

I liked having the secondary characters show up.. as always it's nice to keep up with some of the characters who already had their stories or who will be the protagonists in the future and, to be honest, part of the fun is precisely that, to see their interactions now that the romances have become very predictable in how they develop.

All in all, this was what i consider to be another average story. It was different enough in tone and in following a plot that has started several books ago and it was obviously good that we got to see some developments but since these developments take quite a while to develop - obviously, if this is book #20 - and to be solved in the story, it's also a game of chance to guess when something can feel good or innovative again if not simply just "there". 
Nevertheless, it was good enough to have another installment in the lives of these characters.
Grade: 6/10

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