Review: Vespers (Hours of the Night #1) by Irene Preston

September 15, 2016 Review 0

Review: Vespers (Hours of the Night #1) by Irene Preston

Thaddeus Dupont has had over eighty years to forget...

The vampire spends his nights chanting the Liturgy of the Hours and ruthlessly disciplines those unnatural urges he's vowed never again to indulge. He is at the command of the White Monks, who summon him at will to destroy demons. In return, the monks provide for his sustenance and promise the return of his immortal soul.

Sarasija Mishra's most compelling job qualification might be his type O blood...

The 22-year-old college grad just moved across the country to work for some recluse he can't even find on the internet. Sounds sketchy, but the salary is awesome and he can't afford to be picky. On arrival he discovers a few details his contract neglected to mention, like the alligator-infested swamp, the demon attacks, and the nature of his employer's "special diet". A smart guy would leave, but after one look into Dupont's mesmerizing eyes, Sarasija can't seem to walk away. Too bad his boss expected "Sara" to be a girl.

Falling in love is hard at any age...

The vampire can't fight his hungers forever, especially since Sara's brought him light, laughter and a very masculine heat. After yielding to temptation, Thaddeus must make a choice. Killing demons may save his soul, but keeping the faith will cost him his heart.

Vespers is a complete novel with no cliffhanger. It can be enjoyed as a standalone or read as the first book in the Hours of the Night series.

Title: Vespers
Author: Irene Preston, Liv Rancourt
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: A Taste of You, You Can Leave Your Boots On, Bonfire
Series: Hours of the NIght #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Bonfire
Source: Author
Published: Sepetember 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Male Male Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 295
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

There comes a time when one book totally changes your outlook and expectations for a genre, theme, storyline, etc. I would say that Vespers has changed my expectations for Vampire romances. The blurb does prepare you for what comes out of this book but not all of it.

We understand that Sara is in fact a man and that he was not prepared for his role as Mr. Dupont’s assistant. Nor do the details in said contract really do justice to all he must do. You would think that with the privacy that Dupont needs and why he needs a female assistant his day manager would have looked into it more. Dupont has had a terrible past and lost two souls he held dear. Now he fights for the White Monks who battle demons to save his soul. His only hunger that needs to be quenched is his need for blood until Sara comes into his life. He does not want to lose him but cannot give him up either.

What really shocked me was that as vampires there is always heat and lust with the bite and they are extremely horny. Which happened in this book but apparently Dupont is now a monk and has sworn to celibacy and hasn’t has sex in decades; this contradicts almost all vampire romances I have read. Passion is what drives a vampire and Dupont denies this craving (and himself). Also, Sara is the youngest sibling in his twenties and talks as if he is in high school. Major turn off for this book.

Best part of book- Dupont fighting demons, teaching Sara to stand his own, creating an unlikely alliance between the 3 (Dupont, Sara, and his day manager Norhea), and finally the love/lust between Sara and Dupont. I was not expecting the twists this book took where it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Now I am extremely sad that it is over and have to wait for the next one.

I was gifted a copy of this novel from the JeepDiva in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Big thanks to Vanessa at The Jeep Diva for having us as guests. Vespers is the first project Irene and I have co-written, and we’re awfully excited to be telling people about it.

We frequently get asked what it’s like to write with a partner. Let me clarify that. We get asked by people who aren’t writers what it’s like to have a partner. It’s happened often enough that I’ve got a ready list of the benefits. Here goes!

  1. There’s someone to share the load. Like, I write my scene or chapter, then I send it to her, and … *twiddles thumbs* … it’s her turn. I can work on other projects or, you know, make dinner for the family or otherwise step away from the laptop. And I don’t even have to feel guilty about it!
  2. There are surprises in my inbox. Once I send off my latest installment, I tend to stalk the inbox, waiting to see what she comes up with. It’s always fun to read her take on our characters, but sometimes the surprise is more of a shock, like when I revealed the nature of our vampire character a couple chapters before she expected me to. She got on board with the change – once her heart stopped beating double-time.
  3. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there’s someone to share expenses with. You can self-publish on the cheap, or you can spend a ton of money. We tried to hit somewhere in the middle, and it sure is nice being able to afford a fantastic editor and beautiful cover art. Yeah, we’ll share the revenue, too, but that’s what a partnership is about.
  4. There’s someone who knows my writing almost as well as I do. Irene’s a very straightforward person, and she’ll totally tell me when my creative genius falters. I try to return the favor, and I like to think our strengths and weaknesses are complementary enough to balance each other out. I do know that Vespers has some of the best writing I’ve ever done, and she’s responsible.
  5. There’s someone to celebrate with! Whether it’s the cool cover or the first 5-star review or the release day itself, there’s someone who really does want to hear every last detail, and will high-five you from half way across the country.

Maybe it’s because I sang alto in choir for more years than most of you have been alive, but I love sharing a vision with someone else. Irene and I have had a great time working on Vespers, and we’re in it for the long haul. We just finished the first draft of Bonfire, a Christmas novella that’s basically Vespers 1.5, and once that’s tidied up we’ll get to work on Hours of the Night Book 2. Because when something’s working, you stick with it, you know?

Thanks again for checking out our work. Vespers will be on sale at 25% off through the first week of its release, and we’re running a giveaway, so check out the rafflecopter widget below!

Hours of Night

About the Authors

 

About Irene Preston

Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one.  As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe.  Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

 

Where to find Irene

IrenePreston.com

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Mailing List | Goodreads

 

 

About Liv Rancourt
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

 

Where to find Liv

LivRancourt.com

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Vespers
Excerpt

Thaddeus Dupont is having a Skype conversation with his superior, Brother George…

“Pardon me, Brother. What did you say about Nohea?”
His thin lips tightened further, and beads of sweat glistened along the edge of his tonsure. “I said, she missed this morning’s meeting. Have you heard from her?”
The White Monks provided for Nohea too, my human presence during daylight hours. “She was supposed to be here last evening.”
“Supposed to but wasn’t?” His unpleasant tone turned caustic. “Sounds like your manager needs a lesson in discipline.”
I spoke carefully, sorting through the possibilities, tamping down a moment of regret for sending Sara away. My motivation was too suspect to examine closely. “Nohea organized the transition to my new assistant.”
“Yes. We received her contract.” Sara’s name must have fooled Brother George, too.
“His contract.”
“His?” Emotions flashed across his face. Surprise. Concern. Glee.
“His.” My confirmation caused his smile to broaden, an expression so exceptional on his wizened features, I choked on my dismay. “I sent him away.”
“Oh no, Brother Thaddeus. You cannot. The contract has been signed.”
The implication in his words rolled over me, hardening my dismay into the walls of a trap. “Then I shall retrieve him.” As if that glorious young man was a wallet or a set of keys whose worth was best proven by his absence.
Brother George had been waiting twenty years for me to slip, and from his barely suppressed smirk, he had me. “Perhaps Nohea can assist you.” His head gave a portentous tilt, as if the motion could tighten the trap around me. “You have seen her?”
“Mmm.” Some residual humanity kept me from giving him a direct answer. All my lifetimes had taught me not to share secrets with someone so désagréable.
“Well.” Brother George crossed his arms, gloating at me from under his bushy brows. “You have a new assignment, so I’ll need both you and Nohea to meet with me as soon as possible.”
I nodded, my palms open. “Of course, Brother.” Assignments were best given in person, in places where information could not be overheard.
“Notify me when you get to town, and I’ll tell you where and when.”
My jaw tightened at his high-handed tone, though anticipation beat in time with my pulse. It had been two years since my last assignment. Two years since leaving the river. And now Sara arrived, Nohea proved undependable, and I had an assignment.
“I’ll be in touch,” I said. “God’s peace be with you, Brother.”
“God’s peace.” He reached forward to close the connection as soon as the words left his mouth. Brother George made it very clear I was as much a trial to him as he was to me. I tapped my iPad screen, sending it to sleep, though I did not move right away.
I lost myself in the swamp music. My previous assistant had left a week ago, and now my most pressing concern was for sustenance. Feeding from Sara would have begged disaster. Fear of the possibility had racked me all night, though the twin desires, hunger and lust, had come close to winning through.
My resolve had held, and now I had to move on. A quick search of the house should tell me whether Nohea had been present. I rose, headed for the door, heard a sound.
Footsteps. On the stairs.
Inhaling, I caught the faintest hint of honey.
Sara.
Mon Dieu, j’ai faim. So hungry.
For one moment, I lost control, a very human lapse, where I want became the only thing. When I regained myself, I had bent Sara over the banister, his hands scrabbling at my shirt. I shifted away, and his hands flew out, as if he might overbalance. I caught one wrist, his flesh warm, his pulse thudding under my thumb.
“What. The actual. Fuck.” He jerked his hand away, then blinked, slowly, rubbing the place I’d touched with trembling fingers. “I wasn’t, um”—he paused to clear his throat—“sure you were still here.”
“Je m’excuse,” I murmured, breathless. I took another step. “Come. We’ll eat.” Brushing past him, I headed down the stairs. He stayed still, clasping his wrist, the heat of his gaze following me. “Come.” I paused on the steep stairs. “We’ll talk.”

***

Shit. Shit. What was that all about? Sara clung to the polished banister as he followed Dupont’s implacable form down the stairs, trying not to wind up in a heap at the bottom. The stairs were steep enough to be tricky already, never mind he was still shaking like a leaf. We’ll talk, Dupont had said. And walked away, cool as you please, as if nothing had happened.
We’ll talk? Or had he said eat? Not relevant. Because, okay, maybe he shouldn’t have surprised the guy. Dupont obviously had expected to be alone in the house, but that didn’t excuse… What? The details were fuzzy.
He had been downstairs, getting antsier and antsier about confronting Dupont and second-guessing his decision to send Bren back to Pinky’s alone. When the noises overhead started, he had kicked himself. Duh. Dupont worked nights, so maybe he hadn’t bugged out, maybe he had just been asleep most of the day. After a while, when Dupont showed no inclination to come down, Sara had lost patience. He’d climbed up to the master suite or secret hideaway or wherever. And, jeez, was the guy some kind of miser, or just super conscientious about his energy usage? Again with the lack of lights. The narrow landing at the top of the stairs was dark, and the shifting shadows in the close quarters gave Sara the willies, not to mention second thoughts about invading his employer’s privacy.
Suddenly, Dupont had been there, way too close, pressing their bodies together way too intimately. Or had he? Had Sara just imagined that part? Because the next thing he knew, he was falling. He would have fallen, except Dupont’s fingers had wrapped around his wrist and hauled him to safety with no more apparent effort than if he were a child. Safe.
He didn’t feel very safe, though. His heart was pounding hard enough the gators could probably hear it out in the swamp. He hit the bottom step and then level floor with relief. Dupont turned left, away from the kitchen. Talk, then, not eat. Why had he heard eat?
Focus. Breathe. They’d startled each other on the landing, that was all. And Dupont had kept him from falling. Awesome. Not the impression he needed to make. He wanted Dupont to see him as professional and competent, not the body he almost had to clean up from the bottom of the stairs.
He took a deep breath as he followed Dupont into the front room. His boss wore another set of shapeless, baggy clothes. Tech geek, Sara had thought earlier. But Dupont stood maybe six feet tall and Sara only a couple of inches shorter. The strength to catch a grown man out of the air didn’t come from sitting in front of a computer all day. And the way the body under the loose clothes had felt…
Keep it professional. He smoothed his damp palms down his side. And stop zoning out. He didn’t usually have trouble focusing. Maybe he needed some vitamins or something. Or maybe he was just stressed.

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