I’m truly hopeless. I keep on reading this genre (Paranormal Romance) though I know I will be disappointed. Ready for a review?

A Vampire’s Promise by Carla Susan Smith (2.5 out of 5 stars)*
A Vampire’s Promise

A Vampire’s Promise

I have a digital mountain of books on my kindle. Often I have no idea what the book is about because I don’t see the cover or don’t remember the title. This was one of those cases.

I liked several things about a Vampire’s Promise. The first was the fact I was under the impression I was reading a contemporary romance book. The heroine remains unsuspecting of the supernatural nature of the hero until the end. It was a welcome change from the other Paranormal Romance books where the heroine knows almost from the beginning that the guy she likes is an alpha-furry-or-fanged-something. (Just out of curiosity… How about a book with a beta-something as a hero? No? Wait till my SF romance comes out and we’ll discuss it then.) In this book, she thinks the hero is human. Mind you, probably a criminal, but still human.

The writing style is quite funny and interesting. It’s smart and quirky; it often made me smile. I would have preferred it to be a little less wordy, but it was not irritating. An example of said quirkiness: “I watched both of them as my passport got stamped and I crossed over from Clueless Land into the Continent of the Totally Lost. What did that mean?”

The first half of a Vampire’s Promise, where the meeting, flirting, and fleshing out of the two protagonists takes place, is very engaging. It’s funny, it’s cute, and although we have the typical insta-love going on, I didn’t feel cheated. She falls head over heels for him, okay, I get it. It has happened to me too. It’s the second part that disappointed me and made me lower my rating. Here are my reasons.

One: she is a virgin. That is not a problem in itself. I do understand that someone may choose not to have sex for any reason; personal, religious, being asexual and so on, and I have the deepest respect for other people’s choices. But when the male protagonist says to the heroine, “You were worried about telling me you were pure?” I want to slap someone silly. A personal plea to all (Paranormal) Romance writers out there. PLEASE stop glamourising the whole virginity thing. It’s not nice. Having sex is not something that makes you dirty, because if that’s the case, all male protagonists of (Paranormal) Romance books are as dirty as a sewer clogged with cholera corpses. If your idea of purity is lack of sexual experience, then make both protagonists virgins. Fair is fair. No double standards. You can make your heroines virgins or non virgins, or you can make them three-eyed aliens with curly fluorescent ears from planet Rodriguez for all I care, but PLEASE stop boosting and perpetuating misogynistic and slut shaming stereotypes. Last time I checked, we were in 2015. Dirty is someone who doesn’t bathe, and purity is used to describe precious metals. Period.

Two: you’ve met this super hot guy. And you want him. And he’s polite and everything, so you start dating. Problem being, you know next to nothing about him and he evades your questions. He also keeps appearing with outrageously expensive cars and you suspect he might be involved in criminal activities. So when you have sex with him, you decide it’s absolutely fine he wears no condom, although he ejaculates in you repeatedly and you are not on contraception. Hey, it doesn’t matter that you are smart, well read and sarcastic, and you know a pitfall when you see one. Unprotected sex with this man will not get you in trouble because… (ready for it?) he said so. Yes, that’s right, he said he can’t get you pregnant or give you any disease while for all you know, he may be running a prostitution and drug cartel. And of course you believe him. Do you? I mean, step in her shoes and tell me, would you? Unless your heroine temporarily misplaces 80 IQ points whenever she sees him naked and that’s why she doesn’t care, no woman in her right mind would do this. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves with (paranormal) romance. Just because it is fiction, it does not mean it has to be unrealistic. On the contrary, realism makes it so much better.

Three: so this amazing guy leaves you without an excuse, (*hero in dramatic voice: I can’t ask this of you… not now.”) disappears and disconnects his phone. When he reappears, although you spent three months of misery, bitching, moaning, drinking and snapping at people, you fall in his arms and this is when hot unprotected sex ensues. After that point, the book pretty much moves from one sex scene to another sex scene, plot vanishes, and we all wonder when the heroine will stop being over the moon and a semblance of logic/plot will return. (Hint: it does not happen.) This just goes on until the last five chapters, in which a jealous rival appears. I am not going to say more on this because I know people hate spoilers, so moving on to…

Four: this is not a complete book. To know what happened, you need to buy book number two, a Vampire’s Soul. Personally, I don’t like this. Other people might not mind, but I do.

All in all, two and a half stars with a heavy heart because this could be so much better. 🙁


*My star rating and what it means: 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.