Saturday, August 17, 2019

Lynsay Sands - Runaway Vampire

Dante Notte has heard it said that love hurts. He just wasn't expecting it to run him over in an RV. Still, a punctured lung and broken ribs are nothing compared to the full-body shock he feels whenever he's near the vehicle's driver, Mary Winslow. He needs to keep her safe from their pursuers while he rescues his brother. Most challenging of all, he needs to claim this smart, stubborn woman as his life mate.
The naked, injured, insanely gorgeous younger man who clambered into her RV insists they belong together. If Mary wasn't feeling their incredible connection in every inch of her being, she wouldn't believe it. But now that the men who took Dante's twin are after her too, trusting her gut means risking her life for an immortal who's the very definition of a perfect stranger.

Comment: This is the 23rd installment in the Argeneau series by author Lynsay Sands. 
It's true that it's a recognizable feat the series is still being published after so many books, after so many Argeneau's coming out of everywhere as the series evolve and even more amazing is that the author still has ideas to keep this going. 
There are flaws as anyone can imagine but one thing is certain, at least for me, the series is entertaining even if some books aren't as good in general.

In this story we have Dante Notte as protagonist. When he escapes from a kidnapping attempt, he is run over by a RV but decides to recover using the owner of the RV, Mary, as his helper for a while, especially because he can't read her and he knows that it might mean she can be a life mate for him.
After getting help from the family but still worried about his brother, who had been kidnapped too, Dante wants to keep going but it seems the enemies are still after him and other immortals they could find.
Mary is a 62 year old just traveling to some vacation time in the same spot she has traveled with her husband when he was alive. She was not counting on running over anyone, much less a younger guy that tells her incredible and unlikely things. Will she be able to be  believer?
Dante and his twin Tomasso have been secondary characters in the recent books, usually playing the part of helpers when something has to be done ore when a new life mate needs to know things about being immortal and such.
They have been characterized as laid back guys but, of course, still cherished by others or wouldn't they just be part of the Argeneau family tree somehow. I confess I was not especially interested in these guys but since this story was so easily read, just for plot fluidity this was better for me than some of other books before.

The biggest detail here to consider is, obviously, the age difference between Dante and Mary while she is not yet aware of the life mate status. He might be older because he is an immortal but he doesn't look so and Mary is and looks older than him. Readers of the series know that is isn't an impediment for a romance in this "world" but I admit when this age difference situation happened before in the series it just was too awkward to be believable and the behavior of those older often seemed ill-suited.

The story developed in a way that was not a surprise, for some it might even be considered a bit too formulaic. The main couple meets, we get to discover that Mary's marriage wasn't as perfect as it seems at first but I liked that it was not made into something too negative that it would be too obvious how her connection with Dante could end up being, but that, somehow, is to be expected. After all, the main premise here is precisely that the couples are a good match and the fun it to see how that happens.

The plots do seem to get a bit repetitive. I can understand this idea being the biggest critique but at the same time, if everything was too different how much would we criticize the "rules" wee being dismissed? It's difficult to imagine a proper balance in everything, that is for certain.
The first books also had a bit more intentional tone of humor and the latest ones do not. I, personally, don't miss that as I prefer to focus on the stories and not be distracted by my deficiencies sometimes in getting the jokes or envisioning the scenes.

All in all, the romance between Dante and Mary doesn't get out of the expected, the secondary characters were interesting, specially Francis and Russell but what a pity they didn't get their own story, which I'd loved to read. The story doesn't feel finished, though, since it's obvious the main elements are going to keep on through the next one, Tomasso's.
Grade: 7/10

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