The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls #1)
Published: June 1, 2015 (Sugar Skull Books)
Review source: copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I’ve always loved Halloween. It’s the day after my birthday, so I think at some point I decided it was a holiday all about me. But I also love the witches and ghosts and werewolves, and especially the vampires. So I’m kind of sad that I can’t really move to Nocturne Falls, Georgia “where every day is Halloween.” It has street names like Black Cat Boulevard, and shops like Hats in the Belfry and The Hallowed Bean. Supernatural creatures roam the streets entertaining tourists and posing for pictures. But what those tourists don’t realize is that the vampires, werewolves and witches are real.
Hugh Ellington is one of those vampires living in Nocturne Falls, though his brother Julian is the one most likely to be seen posing with tourists. Hugh has been a vampire for more than three hundred years. He lost his wife during the transition and vowed never to marry again. But his grandmother has decided that she’s waited long enough for great-grandchildren and has taken matters in to her own hands. Unbeknownst to Hugh, she’s signed him up with a supernatural matchmaking service. His prospective mate is scheduled to arrive in a week’s time and spend a month living with him.
Delaney James dreams of owning her own sweet shop one day. But for now she works at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. She’s always doubted the rumors of her boss’s mob connections, until she records him committing a murder. Fleeing for her life, Delaney ducks in to the office of a dating service called Eternamente where she finds the file of a woman her age who’s been matched to a man in Nocturne Falls. She decides to pose as Annabelle and hide out in Georgia until her boss stops looking for her. But she doesn’t realize that the man she’ll be staying with is a vampire.
I really enjoyed Delaney, especially her love of candy. She recites chocolate facts when she gets nervous and makes up food-themed curse words. I found Hugh a little frustrating, but likable despite his issues. All their secrets are revealed much sooner than I expected, which avoids some of the mistaken identity romance clichés and allows them to deal with the mobsters pursuing Delaney. But I still felt like they committed rather quickly given that they started out planning to spend thirty days together.
The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride is a charming, lighthearted romance comparable to Molly Harper’s Half Moon Hollow series. Nocturne Falls has a more diverse group of supernaturals though, including cat shifters, Fae and gargoyles in addition to the vampires, witches and werewolves. I always love how Kristen Painter incorporates unusual creatures in her supernatural worlds, so I’m looking forward to meeting more residents of Nocturne Falls. And I’m especially excited to see more of the town. I can’t get enough of the Halloween kitsch!
Sexual content: kissing