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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ARC Review: Even Vampires Get the Blues by Sandra Hill

I've read a couple of books in Sandra Hill's Deadly Angels series, but I haven't kept up. That is no reflection on the series. I did enjoy them. However, there are just too many good books to read and not enough time before I die. But no worries! The fact that I have only read books 2 and 3 did not adversely affect my experience reading book 6 - Even Vampires Get the Blues.

In the Deadly Angele series, a group of seven Viking brothers have been condemned to live as evil-battling Viking/Vampire/Angels. Why? Because of the seven deadly sins they committed in their first flesh and blood lives. Harek Sigurdsson was guilty of greed. Back in the old country in the 9th century, Harek was a greedy, hedonistic SOB and he didn't mind using people to increase his wealth and acquire pretty things. In the current day, Harek still likes pretty things, but he is also one of the archangel Michael's soldiers, fighting Satan's evil Lucipires (demon vampires).

In Even Vampires Get the Blues, Harek Sigurdsson meets his match in Navy WEAL Camille Dumaine, when the Vangels (easier to say than Viking/Vampire/Angels) team up with the Navy SEALS, WEALS and other US forces. Their mission is to strike at an increasingly violent Islamic extremist group that has been abducting young girls for nefarious purposes. The group has been infiltrated by Lucipires, making it even more of a target for the Vangels. Harek and Camille both bring their own expertise to the strike force. Techno-guru Harek gathers intelligence information as easily as a child gathers dandelions. Camille, or Camo as she is known in the Navy, is an expert at disguises and blending in. Both will play critical roles in the dangerous mission in Nigeria.

But before they even get to Nigeria, Harek and Camille are 'forced' to spend a weekend in New Orleans where Camille's brother is getting married. 'Forced' is probably not the best word. At their initial meeting neither was truly impressed with the other. Harek thinks Camille is plain. Camille thinks Harek's hair is over-moussed. However, the fact that they try to ignore each other does not mean that there is no attraction. In fact, Harek is smelling roses and Camille is smelling chocolate. Vangel translation - the mating scent. But both Harek and Camille prefer to deny, deny, and deny any chemistry between them.

The New Orleans excursion was the heart of the book. It is where Harek and Camille get to know each other and get past those initial first impressions. In fact, Camille is smart and drop-dead gorgeous and Harek is charming and intelligent. Their courtship is sometimes sweet, sometimes hot and always funny!

After the courtship phase, the mission in Nigeria seemed to be an afterthought. While there was quite a bit of time spent building up to it, I guess the romance of Harek and Camille really grabbed my attention. Asking my attention to shift was kind of like having to put the dishes away after you have washed them. But the perilous operation does put our hero and heroine in dicey situations, so some heroic actions will be called for. And once the mission was complete there was a sense of satisfaction.

At the end of the story, I found a glossary. I wish I had realized it was there while I was reading the book, since my built in e-reader dictionary does not recognize all terms. The copy I read is an ARC, so I can't say how this will be presented in the final cut. Just know that it is there to help with medieval, military and New Orleans terminology.

The word that comes to mind when thinking about this book is funny. I think Ms. Hill managed to infuse humor into absolutely every paragraph. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a lot of laugh out loud moments in Even Vampires Get the Blues. Any book that makes me laugh so much gets 5 stars. Just so happens there is a pretty good plot to go with the humor!

**ARC provide by Publisher**

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