Reviewed by Helyce
Carolyn Connor is on vacation with her good friend Beth at a resort their friend Genie works at, to celebrate her impending divorce. Unfortunately, the beautiful island of St. Lucia is filled with honeymooners; the couples and their obvious love for each other just a reminder of what Carolyn has lost. On top of that, Beth has some sort of stomach bug that is keeping her in their villa while Carolyn is left alone, attempting to enjoy herself. On her first night, she and Genie meet a couple on their honeymoon, Marguerite and Julian. When Genie confides that the band she had scheduled cancelled at the last minute, Marguerite has the perfect solution to Genie’s dilemma.
When Christian Notte’s father calls him and asks him and the band to head to St. Lucia to take on a gig to help out a woman they’ve met there, he has a feeling there’s more to it than what his father is telling him. His mother, Marguerite, is famous for her skill at finding life mates for his Argeneau relatives. But Christian doesn’t think a life mate is in the cards for him. He may look young, but he’s really over 500 years old already and it’s never happened for him; he can’t imagine it.
Until he sets eyes on Carolyn and realizes he can’t read her. It’s the telltale sign of a life mate and he’s hooked from the first moment. Carolyn, however, is doing everything she can to avoid him. She’s just coming off a horrible relationship; she’s not even divorced yet. Even though her friends are encouraging her to have a fling, she can’t bring herself to give in to her attraction to Christian because she sees him as much too young to her over 40 years.
When Christian’s cousin comes up with a plan that will allow him to spend time with Carolyn he goes along with it, but as they get to know each other and their attraction builds he finds it increasingly difficult to keep up the ruse. He has to tread lightly, though, one slip and he knows Carolyn will run and the consequences of that might be irreversible.
I have been a fan of Ms. Sand’s Argeneau series from book one. Her approach to the vampire legend by crossing it with Atlantis and their need for blood being more of a scientific/medical anomaly attracted me to her books from the get-go. In addition, her stories are much lighter than the dark you might expect from a paranormal read, infused with a lot of humor with her characters sometimes doing the craziest things in order to keep up their human “appearances” in order to snare their life mates. In this installment, she did not fail me with respect to those expectations. The humor was definitely there, brought forth by the idiotic ruse of Christian pretending to be gay in order to spend time with Carolyn. Him being gay allowed Carolyn to overlook her issues with their apparent age difference as she pretended to be a woman he was interested in so as to continue to convince his band mates and family that he was not gay. While there were many funny moments and I was in fact drawn into the story, I disliked this theme for some reason. I think it came down to the fact that I didn’t really care for Carolyn’s character and couldn’t really believe that as intelligent as she appeared to be- well educated, running a company of her own, etc.-that she would have stayed with her husband for so many years. Their marriage was in name only for many of the years they were together, no passion, no intimacy, no love at all. What intelligent woman of today would take that? I wouldn’t go so far as to say Carolyn falls into the TSTL category, but its close.
I really wanted more for Christian, especially since his own mother, Marguerite, is the matchmaking queen. Perhaps my expectations were too high. While there are a few sex scenes due to the ability of life mates to dream share; they weren’t enough to sell the romance to me. Then, to top it all off, when Christian finally tells Carolyn the truth, that he is not gay, everything sort of falls into place a little too easily. Carolyn’s easy acceptance of Christian’s being immortal just didn’t work for me, especially when he explains exactly how the nanos work and she focuses on the fact that she’d be younger looking with perky breasts. Christian fell for her as is; she was more concerned about how she’d look post transformation.
There is a nice little twist concerning Carolyn’s friend Beth toward the end that I absolutely did not see coming and surprised me quite a bit. I actually did some back tracking because it didn’t sit well with me that with all the mind reading going on with the immortals, no one had warned Carolyn. Had I not confirmed my suspicions, this may have totally ruined the book for me.
Under A Vampire Moon, while filled with humor, disappointed me a great deal in the romance department. I wanted a huge, dramatic story with a stronger more confident heroine for Christian after meeting him in book #9. This one didn’t fill the bill.