The Veil of Sorrow by Crystal Michallet-Romero

The Veil of Sorrow is almost the story of one woman Comtesse Laurensa Catherine de la Fontaine and the women in her life. I say almost because there are two love stories, one with the Baronne Isabelle dela Chorange, and the other with Madame Faivre, but neither are quite delved into. Another love is in the works which, again, is never quite developed.

We know that the Comtesse is a vampire; there are hints to how she became a vampire, but not enough meat to sink our teeth into. There are a LOT of story lines in this book but all were glossed over and, as a result, the characters are almost incomplete.

I am not one for long books or excessive filler but this is one book where I would have liked to read more about the characters and see them in different situations. I wanted to get attached to them and “want” to know what happens to them. I was waiting for the climax, but I never got it.

The other thing is that this is written as the diaries and letters of the different characters and, although this might have worked for other books (namely Bram Stoker’s Dracula), it didn’t quite do it for me in this case.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a hard read. It’s actually pleasant if you don’t expect action or romance. I was expecting much more.

Read it on a lazy Sunday.

Forever Mine by KD Williamson (aka Minerva)

Forever Mine is the first published work by KD Williamson, aka Minerva for fan fiction writing. I had never read any of Minerva’s work but had very high hopes for this book. I’ll just say right off the bat that I liked the cover art. It has a good, dark feel to it and got me ready for a good, dark tale.

Here’s the plot summary from L-Book:  Renee Leblanc is a vampire with a broken heart. After more than half a century of roaming the world in an attempt to outrun the pain, she has settled in New Orleans.  It is there she discovers a sinister, gratifying way of numbing her agony, but it has dangerous consequences. Natasha Lionette, Renee’s former lover, is fighting her own war with darkness and guilt. 

Renee and Natasha must choose between going through eternity as enemies or as lovers reaching for redemption.  Can they succeed when there are outside forces conspiring against them? Can they overcome the forces from within and without that threaten their very existence?

I have to say that I was disappointed. I think that the story was alright but I found the characters hollow and Renee completely unlikeable; I couldn’t seem to care about her. She moved so quickly between violent disregard for others to deep loneliness and emotional pain that it didn’t feel genuine to me at all. Natasha was easier for me to connect to but not much. Neither character made me care about the outcome of their conflict.

There were a few factors that, I think, led to my ultimate dislike of the book. The dialog felt forced and unnatural to me. This did get better toward the end of the book but by then I was just ready for it to be over. The near constant flashbacks in the early parts of the book were incredibly distracting to me. I understood the purpose of them – to slowly give the reader the background information about Renee and Natasha’s relationship – but I think fewer flashbacks would have been a better way to go. This was also the first time I had used the L-Book audio format and, while I quickly got used to the computerized voice, that may have had something to do with my initial inability to become absorbed into the story. After my second sitting of listening to the audio format, I did load up the ebook version that was included with the package I bought. I read a bit further than I had listened and still couldn’t get into the tale.

It had some good bloody, gory scenes, which I like, and some good hot sex scenes, which I also like. I think the author has a lot of potential and I will absolutely give her next book a read. I also plan to check out some of her fan fiction work.