Saturday, 8 February 2014

Carnival Tarot (Sarael's Reading, Kiziah's Reading, & Dakotah's Reading) by Jory Strong


The background to this series of stories: Alien descended vampires need human wives to procreate - but the wives need to be 'converted' to be compatible. [This involves blood and sex, is anyone surprised?] The conversion is not total, they become 'vamp lite'. In the past this has been a problem as not everyone takes the conversion well [insanity, death, etc]. So somewhere in their history someone decided to set up their own little Stepford Wives farm for vamps... Vamp orders a bride, some poor woman is appointed as breeding stock, baby is born, removed from Mom's care and given a dose of her intended's blood. Child is raised to understand proper behavior and recognize her duty to her vamp mate...

Which brings us to story one, Sarael's Reading, which I didn't care for. The heroine did not go to the 'how to be a good and dutiful vampire mate' school and doesn't want to be converted. She runs. Her vamp acts like she is getting on his last nerve. No one ever talks! Naturally it all works out eventually but I'd be tempted to install a tanning bed in the bedroom...

Story two, Kiziah's Reading, was more fun. Hero wants his male lover but has to take a wife as his entire family has been killed and he wants to have children to carry on the name. Someone suggests he could keep both. The human lover finds a compatible human girl who works for both of them, skipping the wife farm. Much better heroes. Heroine is a little too agreeable but interesting.

Story three, Dakotah's Reading, brings through a new twist. This vamp has a 'secondary form' of a wolf. The heroine is [three guesses] a werewolf... Again, she was not ordered from Wives 'R' Us... The wolves are very happy, the hero and heroine take awhile to get with the program... Heroine does a pretty good job of protecting herself which the hero appreciates while it drives him nuts.

There are trials and tribulations galore outside the love stories but things eventually work out...

Books are available in paperback as Carnival Tarot, an omnibus of all three stories, or singularly as ebooks.

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