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Blood Diva by VM Gautier
Amazon Author Page
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
The 19th century’s most infamous party-girl is undead and on the loose in the Big Apple.
When 23 year-old Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis succumbed to consumption in 1847, Charles Dickens showed up for the funeral and reported the city mourned as though Joan of Arc had fallen. Marie was not only a celebrity in in her own right, but her list of lovers included Franz Liszt – the first international music superstar, and Alexandre Dumas fils, son of the creator of The Three Musketeers. Dumas fils wrote the novel The Lady of the Camellias based on their time together. The book became a play, and the play became the opera La Traviata. Later came the film versions, and the legend never died.
But what if when offered the chance for eternal life and youth, Marie grabbed it, even when the price was the regular death of mortals at her lovely hand?
Now Marie wonders if perhaps nearly two centuries of murder, mayhem, and debauchery is enough, especially when she falls hard for a rising star she believes may be the reincarnation of the only man she ever truly loved. But is it too late for her to change? Can a soul be redeemed like a diamond necklace in hock? And even if it can, have men evolved since the 1800′s? Or does a girl’s past still mark her?
Blood Diva is a sometimes humorous, often dark and erotic look at sex, celebrity, love, death, destiny, and the arts of both self-invention and seduction. It’s a story that asks a simple question – Can a one hundred ninety-year-old demimondaine find happiness in 21st century Brooklyn without regular infusions of fresh blood?
Hello and welcome to The Review Board! First off, we here at The Review Board would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with fun, love, family, friends and great food.
VM Gautier’s “Blood Diva” is an example of what happens when you put vampires into the current world in modern times.
A total of 345 pages focuses on detective Cara O’Brien and her partner Jaime Izaguirre as they investigate the murder of a notorious rapist and murderer, Joe Simmons, in a hotel in New York City. Before his untimely demise, in the beginning of the story, at the hands of his assailant, Mr. Simmons strikes up a conversation with a beautiful lady who went by the name of “Violetta”. Mr. Simmons buys Violetta a drink, they flirt, then one thing leads to another.
As mentioned, he didn’t fare too well after his rendezvous, for his assailant got the upper hand.
The detectives discover mysterious circumstances surrounding Mr. Simmons’ death. There is no evidence of a murder and very little clues to go with, making the case hard to solve. Their only lead is a hotel videotape showing Violetta with Mr. Simmons.
Violetta seems to be hiding something from the detectives who question her about her interaction with Joe Simmons at the art gala. She confirms that her real name is “Camille St. Valois” when they ask her about that fateful night. She gives them as much information that she can recall, and the detectives take their leave.
Camille/Violetta has an interesting disposition about herself. She indulges in modern art, music and other “interesting habits”. Yet, certain parties with whom she is affiliated have other plans for the world’s population.
Story wise, it is not like “A Vampire in Brooklyn”, despite Brooklyn being mentioned. I realized that I neglected to mention that Camille is a lady of the night of a different variety—a vampire with a taste for artwork and modern marvels. To read about an immortal being who enjoys the modern world which she currently inhabits is quite intriguing. By intriguing, I mean, most vampire stories up on which I grew were about sucking as much blood and converting humans to vampirism as inhumanly as possible.
It is refreshing to read a book where the protagonist wishes to feast here and there while enjoying the evolving world, as she mentally fights to not conform to the thinking of the Elder Vampires.
That being said, structure wise, the story can use a bit of work. Transitioning from one scene to another isn’t altogether smooth.
There were element like Alphonsine (Remember Camille/Violetta? Yeah, about that …) and Dashiell are held at gunpoint and struggle for possession of the gun, an upper hand is presented and then the police station comes up. At some point, the police show up to where Alphonsine and Dashiell were confronted, no arrests are mentioned, no one is cuffed and tossed into the patrol car, and an escort to the station goes missing. Sadly, there are more places where the transition from one scene to another was similarly structured.
The upside: spelling is great, and the story is compelling enough to keep you interested.
Survey says: 7.5 out of 10 stars.
VM Gautier’s “Blood Diva” is a good read despite its transitioning flaw. The Afterword from the Author explains a lot and offers clarity into Alphonsine.
I say. give it a chance. Especially, Vampire story fans. This may be one to hold on to as long as VM Gautier gives their book another look to smooth out the wrinkles.
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