The Wicked Vampire by Kate Baxter
Series: The Last True Vampire Series, #6
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Released: December 6, 2017
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Unless you’ve got Jose Cuervo running through your veins, you don’t, in fact, have what I need.” Sasha stepped back. “Go find some other ass to grind against. I’ll catch up with you later.” Try never.
Sasha Ivanov was born to be wild. A vampire party girl, she stalks the L.A. clubs at night. Dancing. Drinking. Indulging her darkest appetites. Never sated, she’s always looking for more: more danger, more excitement, more blood. But when she enters a supernatural fight club–and is tethered to her mortal enemy–Sasha realizes she’s playing the most dangerous game of all…
Ewan Brun was born to kill vampires. A powerful berserker and unbeaten champion, he doesn’t need a weapon to be deadly. He is the weapon. But when his soul becomes captive to the most beautiful vampire he’s ever seen, he is all but powerless. He cannot resist Sasha–and cannot fight his desires. Is their love strong enough to defeat the gathering forces of darkness that threatens to destroy them both?
Paranormal action romance where the unaffected, berserker falls in love with the sassy vampire. It should have worked. I wanted it to. It didn’t.
The story was all over the place. No one’s motivations make the slightest sense. I’ve read previous books in the series and I still felt lost. Even suspending what I thought I knew from being a series vet and treating The Wicked vampire as a stand alone didn’t soften the bad plot blows I felt as if I were taking to the head with each bizarrely weak scene that I read. A quarter of the way through I knew I was in trouble and by a little over 1/2 way through I was dogged with desire to abort mission, the white flag fisted within in my grasp. I held on a little longer to hope that Baxter would somehow right the fledgling ship.
Spoiler alert the ship sank.
Ewan has a disastrously convoluted storyline. He was a berserker (swoon) duty bound to slay their archenemies, vampires. He, along with his berserking brethren were also bound to serve the nefarious villan, Gregor, who doesn’t even take decent care of them, forcing them to live in poverty and taking their money every chance he got. So disgusted with his lot in his very long life, Ewan takes to brawling in cage death matches in order to save enough money to start his life over somewhere new away from Gregor. Yet, by my calculation, he could have (and should have) left town a long time ago and made his own way. Yes, Gregor was big, mad and bad, but there was thin, way too thin explanation given to how even he could keep a cache of Berserkers under such control- from my point of view, his hold on them was circumstantial at best. The obvious “outs” that Ewan had, but never exercised was distracting and made him an unreliable hero. I sorely wish there were better ties that bound the berserker to Gregor.
Besides the holes in Ewan’s storyline, I never really liked him. My interest was only ever mildly piqued during his death matches, aside from that he was kind of just a big lug taking up space and compulsively screwing Sasha in inconvenient places.
Speaking of Sasha, she too had a weird non-dot connecting back story, but fine, she’s a newish vampire and skulks around nipping and sucking blood, soulless and bored with it all, until she finds herself tethered to the brawny berserker in the cage match. Vampires find their true mates by “tethering” a process that returns their soul to their bodies, tying them inextricably to their mate. It baffled her that she was tethered by an enemy to her race and could do nothing about it but also have wam-bam-thank-you-Vampire-ma’am sex with him in inconvenient places.
The bathroom where they’d had their first encounter was more accommodating than this fucking stockroom. Ewan didn’t know why it bothered him. It was as good a place as any to fuck. That’s all this was, after all. An emotionless fulfillment of need. Nothing more, nothing less. She was an itch he wanted to scratch. Soon enough, he’d be bored with her and move on. Until then, he planned to enjoy her in any way he damn well pleased. He brought his mouth to the nape of her neck once again.
She tasted like honey fresh from the comb, almost too sweet. His left hand dove beneath her shirt and he jerked down the cup of her bra to fondle one full breast. Sasha gasped at the contact and hardened Ewan’s cock to stone. He rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and she cried out with pleasure, the sound echoing off the stark concrete walls…. Driven by his own desperation, Ewan spun her and pressed her body up against the nearest wall as he reached for her pants, unbuttoned them, and jerked them along with her underwear down to her ankles. She kicked off her shoes and toed her pants the rest of the way off. The scent of her arousal hit him and Ewan let out a low growl. “Spread your legs.”
For a moment, Ewan stared. Her beauty damn near stole his breath. There was a darkness in her that called to him. Captivated him. Held him rapt. Her full, dark-pink lips parted and he leaned in as the temptation to kiss her overtook him. The tip of one fang became visible and Ewan stopped short. He couldn’t let himself forget what she was. What he was. He could enjoy her. But nothing more.
Fighting for his freedom in death match cage fights, impossibly sexy and emotionally unavailable to the one woman who could change all that!?! Too bad they were too boring for me to form any attachments. *kicks stuff*Did you like that smexy scene? Hot- yes, and that was just a taste. Ewan and Sasha get down and dirty good and often, but absent a connection to them, it amounted to little more than just another sexy passage, nothing substantial to see here. *air punches & flails* After a while, I was unfazed by their hot coupling and succumbed to my bodies fight or flight response, mindlessly skipping ahead a few pages (fine- chapters) at a time until I limped my way to the end, bored, confused and disappointed that a series that seemed solidly promising seems to be devolving into paranormal romance putty – no form, no structure, just blahh.
The world building crumbled, the plot had holes all over, the characters were uninspiring and the snark and steamy love scenes further highlighted The Wicked Vampire’s pitfalls as opposed to making up for the lack. The climax revvs up the action, but too little too late. There is an HEA of course, but I won’t be continuing this series unless I see things have turned around. Baxter isn’t a bad writer by far and I’ve enjoyed her other works in various capacities, but I need a break from The Last True Vampire series.