Call of the Vampire (The Vanderlind Castle series, #1), by Gayla Twist.
I drove about two blocks before I got the shakes so bad I had to pull over. What was I doing? I'd just invited an admitted vampire to meet me at my house. That was insane. I had gone completely insane. For almost two weeks, I had done nothing but obsess over Jessie. And once I had his attention, I was freaking out because there was a good chance he might kill me.
But I didn't really think that would happen. Not really. I mean, he fought Viktor to save me and told me how to escape the castle and sent Viggo to help me because he knew I wouldn't leave Blossom behind. Those are all things someone does because they want you to be alive and happy, not dead and drained of all your blood.
As you may know from reading this blog, I read a lot of vampire/supernatural books; just recently, I've read A Shade of Vampire, Gates of Paradise, and the first three books in the Beautiful Creatures series. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Call of the Vampire, and can't wait for the next book in the series. It was refreshing to read a vampire book that had both good writing and also humor throughout, and the plot in Vampire will quickly draw you in.
Aurora Keys has dreamed of the Vanderlind Castle ever since she was a little girl. But the fiercely private Vanderlinds keep the massive structure strictly off limits to visitors. Until one night, the wealthy family throws a party —- not just a small soiree, but a huge black-tie affair. No one from the town of Tiburon, Ohio, is invited —- not even the mayor. But Aurora’s best friend, Blossom, has a foolproof plan for the two of them to sneak in.
At first, everything goes smoothly: the girls enter the castle undetected, and there is free champagne. But then the handsome Jessie Vanderlind sweeps Aurora into his arms, crushing her to his chest and whispering, “I knew you’d come back to me.”
Aurora understands it is a case of mistaken identity, but she feels connected to him somehow. And the boy is so beautiful, she believes she would be happy if he never let her go.
Once Jessie realizes he is mistaken, his smile quickly changes to a scowl. “You must leave,” he tells her in a low, urgent voice. “Immediately. Come! I’ll find a way to get you out.”
Unbeknownst to Aurora and Blossom, they have snuck into the home of one of the most prestigious vampire families in the world, and it is doubtful the two young women will ever be allowed to leave. Aurora’s resemblance to Jessie Vanderlind’s lost love just may be the only thing keeping them alive.
So Jessie Vanderlind is your usual hot, tormented vampire, and he even knows how to fly, much like Edward from Twilight (with the jumping into trees thing). However, there's a lot more going on behind-the-scenes in this book. Jessie is still in love with a human, Colette, who mysteriously disappeared eighty years ago, and Colette happens to be Aurora's great-aunt. He thinks that Aurora is Colette when she and her friend Blossom appear at the castle, but of course she is not; because of that resemblance, though, he starts to get to know her.
There were some very funny lines throughout this novel that had me laughing out loud. At one point, Jessie offered Aurora some of his "birthday" presents, including some jewelry, and Aurora muses to herself that "it probably wasn't good manners to try to shake a vampire down for jewels."
What really intrigued me about the book, though, was all of the questions it raised. Colette's disappearance eighty years ago - was it related to Jessie, and if so, did he have a hand in it? What secrets are Aurora's great-grandmother (Colette's sister), who is still alive, still keeping? And why was Aurora obsessed with the castle from an early age - could it be related to the dreams she has every night, which seem to be Colette's memories?
Hopefully the author will answer these in the next book in the series, Heart of the Vampire, which I definitely plan on reading; it's out on July 1st.
4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book to review from the author. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.