Night’s Cold Kiss
Published 2009 339 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires—until courageous efforts on both sides forged a fragile peace.
But the rogue Necrodreniacs will never be controlled—addicted as they are to the death-high… and bloody chaos.
Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.
Night’s Cold Kiss is the debut novel by new Australian author Tracey O’Hara. Set in a modern day America that is like our own in many respects, except for the existence of a range of supernatural beings that live in an uneasy harmony with the human population, Night’s Cold Kiss ticks all the right boxes for readers looking for exciting paranormal romance.
Initially I couldn’t work out if Night’s Cold Kiss was urban fantasy or paranormal romance. The book’s cover art and the vampire slaying occupation of Antoinette, the novel’s protagonist, suggested urban fantasy - but the book’s description seemed indicative of romance. While both genres have strong female protagonists the chaotic love-life of an urban fantasy heroine is radically different to the traditional love-life and HEA that romance readers enjoy – so there is a big difference between the two genres.
In the end I decided that “urban fantasy romance” might be the best description for this story since the novel takes the best elements of both genres and blends them together in a way that should satisfy both paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans alike.
Night’s Cold Kiss is written in third person, mostly from Antoinette’s point of view. As a Venator, it is her job to hunt down and kill the evil and insane Necrodreniac vampires. Antoinette is at the top of her vampire hunting game, which is illustrated in the opening pages of the book which show her successfully hunting a dreniac in its lair, but outside her professional life she has few friends since her career seems to be her whole world.
Christian Laroque is the Aeternus vampire from CHaPR (the council for human and parahuman relations) that she is thrown into contact with when her secret-agent father goes missing before he can pass important information to CHaPR. Antoinette dislikes all vampires, both Aeternus and dreniac, and Christian in particular holds bad memories for her since he rescued her the night her mother was murdered by a dreniac. While the pair have an instant attraction to each other, Antoinette finds it hard to trust Christian due to her deep-seated prejudice against vampires. This creates plenty of tension between the pair of would-be lovers even without the outside influences (political conspiracy and sadistic serial killer) that would also separate them.
Night’s Cold Kiss has a strong urban fantasy background. The fantasy world is richly imagined and well constructed. There is a glossary of terms used in the novel provided at the back of the book and I would recommend having a glance through them before starting the story since the world building is complex. The conspiracy/mystery sub-plot provides plenty of opportunity for fantasy action and keeps the story cracking along at a great pace.
Tracey O’Hara gets her writing career off to a promising start with Night’s Cold Kiss. Combining sexy romance and urban fantasy thrills to good effect, this vamp-centric romance shouldn’t fail to thrill vampire fans who like their heroes and heroines to have extra bite.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Find out more about the Dark Brethren world and read an excerpt from this novel at Tracey’s website. Visit Tracey’s site.