Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride.
The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée is a story that Nocturne Falls fans have been waiting for since we met the Ellingham brothers in the first book of the series. Sebastian Ellingham has been married for four hundred years, but he hasn’t seen his wife in centuries. She decided that being a vampire would be a lot more fun without her stick-in-the-mud husband.
But as her sire, Sebastian feels responsible for Evangeline. So rather than having his marriage dissolved, he’s waited patiently for her to come back to him, becoming something of a reclusive curmudgeon in the process—the heroine’s sister calls him “Scrooge with fangs”.
But when Evangeline suddenly appears in Nocturne Falls seeking reconciliation, Sebastian realizes that he has no interest in actually taking her back. And he’s pretty sure she has an ulterior motive. When Evangeline doesn’t take no for an answer, he tells her that he has a new fiancée and invites her to dinner with them the following night. Now Sebastian has twenty-four hours to find that fiancée and fabricate a believable relationship.
Tessa Blythe is a librarian, unhappy and underappreciated in her current job. So when her sister Jenna, a deputy sheriff in Nocturne Falls, calls to tell her about a great job at the town’s private school she agrees to come for an interview. And when Sebastian arrives at their meeting in need of a fiancée, Jenna volunteers Tessa for the job. Everyone is skeptical that she can pull it off, but underneath the mousy librarian, Tessa is a Valkyrie.
I love the idea of a Valkyrie librarian! And I enjoyed the little glimpses into how Painter’s Valkyries work. It reminded me of Percy Jackson’s Camp Half-Blood. There’s not much detail about them because Tessa isn’t “practicing,” but her sister could very well get her own book that would explain more. I still liked watching Tessa learn to embrace her warrior side.
The romance is sweet, but I expected more comedy from the fake fiancée trope. Sebastian and Tessa are both so earnest and honorable about it. The grumpy Sebastian does lighten up and start to show his softer side though. And I enjoyed seeing more of his brother Hugh and his wife Delaney from the first book, as well as the youngest brother Julian.
Fans of the Nocturne Falls series who are already invested in these characters will definitely like this one, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting place for someone new to the series.
Sexual content: kissing