Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Lynsay Sands - Twice Bitten

For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes.

Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.

Comment: This is installment #27 in the Argeneau series. I think, unless someone has been following the series from the start, to pick a random book from the series out of order would not be a good idea. On the other hand, some fans have not enjoyed the last books as much as they liked the early ones so... I suppose it's that same old saying: to each their own.

In this book the main character is Elspeth, a young immortal (for their patterns) who has finally been able to leave home and her smothering mother to live and work in Canada. However, one day she arrives home and there her mother is, along with her twin sisters. What follows is a plot full of shenanigans, weird coincidences and a man Elspeth doesn't remember meeting before but who thinks of her as someone special. Something is not right but before Elspeth can go to the bottom of it, there's also someone trying to kill her...

I sometimes feel indifferent to the path the author has led the series into and I'll even say I'm not that bothered by less positive aspects. To me, the elements that annoy me keep being more often related to the characters' personal lives/choices, etc., therefore I read each book as it is without much investment. These are great books to let your focus go, to be entertained. I can understand the more negative opinions, though. I have read all the books so far and yes, there's a distinct difference in tone and style from the early stories to the last ones.... too much repetition, too many established rules now forbiding things from changing too radically...?

Anyway, this is how things are and I think for those who can think of the family relationships and characters' connections this can still be rewarding. I also think the author does try to come up with enough changes from book to book so that there seems to be some novelty but I can also understand why many don't think this is happening.

Reaching this book, there have been some threads on going, some sub plots developing and although there wasn't a lot of moving on on those in this book, I think the main plot was interesting enough. The author inserted the "controlling mother" issue here and thinking on the rules of this world, I think it provided a new way of looking at the immortals lives and what flaws there can be in their existence. I still think there were too many coincidences but that didn't distract me from simply reading and appreciating the book.

Elspeth is a good enough heroine, I suppose, her circumstances were... special and with so many secondary characters on scene, it was a little difficult to get an idea of her personality. Wyatt, her love interest seemed more intriguing, but again I felt he wasn't as fully developed with so much going on. What irony, I often think authors don't develop the main characters and their romance enough when too much is around them at the same time I like how they don't focus only on them, as if they could be islands without other people near. 

Elspeth and Wyatt as a couple have a refreshing story, that's for certain. I don't remember this tactic being used exactly the same way before (although another couple's romance has similar elements) but I don't think the author was successful in making me be convinced they really were the perfect match. We know they are, the rules of this world make it so, but I kind of wish there was more romance before they acknowledge their feelings. I'll be honest, I don't think the words they say to one another at the end can be heartfelt, they barely had time to process what was happening...

All in all, this wasn't a bad story, certainly not my least favorite... but since book #6, no other has grabbed me to a point I couldn't not think of it. More hope for the next book!
Grade: 6/10

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