The Lost Vampire by Kate Baxter
Series: The Last True Vampire Series, #3
Paranormal Erotic Romance
Released: August 1, 2017
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Reviewed by Sheena
Once one of the oldest dhampirs in existence, Saeed now faces a treacherously uncertain future as a vampire. He believes that the only thing that can restore his position within his coven and tether his lost soul is the flame-haired fae who is destined to be his mate.
Cerys Bain is a soul thief. She is feared by those who dwell in the supernatural realm–and hopelessly bound to the ruthless mage Rinieri de Rege. The raw, sensual vampire who enters her world is both a threat and an intoxicating temptation: No one has ever made Cerys feel the way Saeed does. But to claim their fate as soul mates, Saeed must first find a way to free Cerys from Rin. Is their desire worth the risk of certain destruction–and eternal doom?
Favorite Quote: “You offered,” he said without apology. She had the audacity to look shocked. “I didn’t think you’d actually take me up on it.” Lie. She had to know he could smell it. “You absolutely did,” he countered. “You simply hadn’t counted on enjoying it.”
The Lost Vampire is the fifth novel in the Last True Vampire series, a world I visited two books ago and didn’t mind delving back into. I wasn’t surprised to find the world has evolved, new complexities evident from the first chapter. My previous foray into the Lost Vampire world was book three,The Dark Vampire, a dark and deeply erotic novel that stuck with me (I have several of my fav passages from TDV saved and I fondly revisit them from time to time). This time around, the mood is not so much dark as it is mysterious and at times a little overwhelming. A story of fated mates, Cerys and Saeed are exciting to read. They had great banter and butt heads in an entertaining way. I’ve never been a fan of overly abrasive and I’m-an-independent-shrew-hear-me-roar- heroines, so Cerys was an absolute treat with her obvious strength and confidence, yet disinterest in cutting off every set of balls in a fifty mile radius. She is a power and she knows it. A fae with soul stealing powers and a closely guarded secret, she’s not sure what to make of Saeed, the “mad vampire” who has come into her life, his intentions crystal clear to live on his terms and to claim her.
Saeed’s straightforward and uncomplicated demeanor was completely disarming. There were no elaborate games or ruses when it came to his intentions toward Cerys or anything else for that matter. The man said what he meant and meant what he said- and I loved it.
“Why did you really come to Rin?”
“I told you.” He didn’t turn to look at her. Barely acknowledged her. “The vampires numbers are growing, and I wanted out from beneath Mikhail Aristov’s thumb…. and I’m not leaving the city until I get what I want.”
“Oh yeah?” Cerys asked. That his time in Seattle might be short-lived caused a ghost of emotion to tug at Cerys’s chest. “What is it that you want?” Bright silver flashed in Saeed’s eyes.
“You.” Um . . . what? Cerys stared at him, stunned. She had to have heard him wrong. “I’m sorry?”
“You heard me.” His voice bore not an ounce of humor. “I came here for you.”
The car pulled up to the curb in front of Crimson. Cerys opened her mouth to demand Saeed explain himself, but before she could get the words out of her mouth, he climbed out of the car and headed into the club. She watched him walk away, his rolling, predatory gait hypnotizing in its graceful fluidity.
He’d come here for her.
Cerys has a secret and stirrings of what would be emotion (had she her soul damn you Rin!) are ghosting through her, coursing through her blood, drawn as she is to Saeed. Freedom from Rin’s dark lordship is all but impossible and she’s resigned herself to what she believes is her fate. She’s in one hell of a funk and the sudden presence of a vampire who offers her a way out, is more an annoyance than anything. How dare he come and make her think she’s feeling things, pissing off Rin and thrusting them all into chaos. The fool is going to get himself killed and then what will happen?! Ahh, Cerys was a fae after my own heart. Saeed knew she would slip out of any emotional trap he could possibly set- so he settles upon a full frontal attack, lowering his guard, allowing her to see exactly what she’ll be getting and make no mistake- get him she would if it was the last pledge he ever made.
Where the romance was very clear and entertaining to follow, the world building is confounding. I’ve only now read two books in this series, however, I do not feel as if I am any closer to fully understanding what exactly is going on. It doesn’t even feel like the same world as book 3, and instead of being able to rely on prior knowledge, it totally came across as a completely different scope of paranormal eroticism. These characters don’t fit in the world I remember from book 3 and vice versa. Perhaps something revolutionary happened in book 4 that would make all of this one big “ah-ha” moment- but I doubt it- and it was disconcerting. There are also a ot of characters to filter through. I seldom mind books with multiple view points and characters lines, but coupled with a muddled world build, it starts to wear on the senses. The most basic take away needed to get through The Lost Vampire is that the world is all-encompassing of humans, fae, vamps, were, dhampirs, mage’s, witches and warlocks. The romance ruled by “fated mates” where a vampire’s soul is lost until tethered by his one true love. Vampires are coming back from practical extinction and the Vampire King has been on a mission to replenish the Vampire race, and Saeed, once aligned, wants to go his own way as he locates and tethers with his mate and overcomes his rumored “maddness.”
By a long shot, the best parts were when the story focused on the dynamic between Saeed and Cerys. Also impressive was the dynamic between the depraved Rin and Cerys, only to be rivaled by the Rin vs Saeed battle of wits that I found myself looking forward to at every turn. Where the novel faltered was the vampire, were and supernatural politics came into play. It was opaque and confusing to say the least. I was afflicted by more than one instance of glassy-eyed syndrome when the lens expanded to include the supernatural politics, and the temptation to skip through was formidable, the only thing that kept my eye balls tracking was the distinct possibility that I’d possibly miss Cerys/Saeed/Rin goodness (Rin really is the devil you love- but hate- but dammit, he’s so damn clever)- so press on I did. Luckily for me, the payoff was worth it.
The Lost Vampire is not overly erotic as there is definitely more tension and delicious chemistry between the pair. This is a fated mates supernatural world, however, Saeed and Cerys do not have an instant *snap* into their bond. It occurs over time and is more believable and has more integrity than some of the fated mates stories I’ve read. I was always aware that Cery’s was his mate and that their bond would be tethered, but that “destined” aspect of their relationship took a back seat and it was refreshing to see and believe that Saeed wasn’t purely driven by his bond to fall for and protect and be possessive of Cerys- but that they actually would have been drawn to one another even without the bond- even without Cery’s soul stolen back from Rin and Saeed’s soul, lost without hers, would find a way . Which ironically enough made their fated destiny that much sweeter. I get the impression that this series is hit and miss. This was more hit than miss, but I can’t fan girl if I can’t follow the jumbled world building right?? Which bites because I really connected with the main characters. *sigh.*
Alas, silver lining alert; I’m all in for the next novel in this series. Book 6, The Wicked Vampire promises a berserker hero who falls for an uninhibited vampire woman who relishes in her darkest desires, answerable to no male.
I know, I had you at berserker.