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

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.

Gothic romance Big Easy style, cher
There was even a gator!

"I would resign myself to an eternity in hell if it meant a single lifetime with him."

Vespers left an impression with its resplendent atmosphere. These authors blended romance and action in a Gothic setting, historical references and religious overtones thrown in for flavor and Voila! Tantalizing cocktail! That I cannot wait to order another of.

I'm not a religious person but I am fascinated by religion especially Catholicism mainly because it appeals to the history buff in me and the repression. Not gonna lie. All that repression and denial... when it overflows... magical fireworks. BUT this book isn't overwhelmingly religious. Thaddeus was training to be a monk when he was turned into a vampire and remains under contract to the White Monks to fight against the forces of evil and he takes his faith as seriously as his job of devout, vampire, monk, ninja fighting the demon hordes on his own in a futile effort to "save" his soul. 

If you know anything about monks the word ascetic should come to mind. Thaddeus believes himself to be an abomination not solely because he requires blood to sustain himself but also because of his sexuality. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, these two needs are linked which is why he only hires female assistants until an honest mistake by his daylight agent, Nohea, brings Sara into his life.

"He was only a man who wanted a man- not the vampire or the monk, but the man at the heart of them both."

Sara is a force. Thaddeus is immediately attracted to him with Sara being slower to recognize what's happening between them. They have a connection and I don't just mean they click. In fact, more often than not they clash. Sara is twentysomething and Thaddeus is over 100. Sara is modern tech kid to Thaddeus' old world charm with actual books-the ones with covers. Sara is non-practicing Hindu to Thaddeus' devout Catholic. Sara is out and proud to Thaddeus's self-flagellating penance and daily prayers for his salvation. Yet despite all their differences love bubbles up and becomes preeminent. However, there is something otherworldly between them that defies logic. Is it kismet? Or something... more?

I'll tell you what else is otherworldly is the sudden influx of demons who seem hellbent on garnering Thaddeus's attention. Why the sudden interest is the mystery to be solved in this installment but there is no cliffhanger. There is minimal violence with an uptempo pace. There were times I thought the story dragged with one too many internet searches and arguments between Thaddeus and Sara over his restriction to the house but my quibbles were evanescent. 

The level of sophistication in the construction of these characters, their voices and this story was truly superb. I never once questioned whose head I was in because they are that clearly defined. With dual perspectives I cannot overstate how much I respect distinctiveness. Sara's actions, thoughts and language are reflective of his age as are Thaddeus'.

Their relationship progression is subtle. It's skillfully developed throughout the story. They are never typical employer/employee and there is a definite power differential in more ways than one. While Thaddeus is extremely possessive and protective and maybe a little demanding, bossy and overbearing (a tiny bit. Really, it's nothing.) he doesn't discount Sara and there are playful moments interspersed throughout. The tension between them was the sweetest torture. I love all of these things because this is stuff of the aforementioned magical fireworks. Oh the dividends... passion, maybe a little desperate need and a bit of cosseting. I do so love a good cosset.

"Their shared pulse pounded through him. His body erupted in starbursts and lightning. And his soul found... communion."


Definitely recommend and can't wait for the next one. I need more adventures and I'm curious how things will evolve after that final scene with Patrick and Micheal. Interesting stuff sure to make the road ahead... unpredictable. 

*presses nose to glass in anticipation*

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Don't forget to check out the fantastical author visit here! (Psst...there's a giveaway - it's a secret)

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