Let's not talk about the cover because whoever designed it is going on my hit list .

The Genre
Paranormal Romance, Vampires

The Plot
First, a little info on the Templar vampires straight from the author's website:
"There was a time when the Knights Templar were one of the greatest forces in the world. Warrior monks, though they took a vow of poverty, rose to such great heights of wealth and power even the Pope felt threatened by their influence.

At the height of their power, after they had established the world's first banking system, and where believed to possess the most sacred of Christianity's relics, the King of France thought to bring an end to the Order.

Thinking the Order's eye was fixed on his throne, Philip of France ordered the mass arrest of the Templar Order on October 13th, 1307.

Among the charges they were accused of were unspeakable crimes against God. Most were held at Chinon Castle, where they endured unspeakable tortures. Three years later, fifty surviving Knights where burned in France. The year was 1310. And thus begins the tale of the Templar Vampires."

Switch to present day Pennsylvania were the Templars have taken up residence trying to find the ever-elusive Daystar. Problem is that, while everyone knows the Daystar will give vampires the ability to walk in the daytime, amongst other things, nobody knows what the actual thing looks like.

During their search around town one night, a couple of the Templars run into a few vampire renegades trying to make dinner out of one Allison Parker. The Knights dispense with the bad guys quick enough and they gain an ally in Allie who is forever grateful she counts herself amongst the living. As Allie is the resident Ghost Hunter, earning her the nickname of Crazy Allie in the process, she is quick to accept that there are things that go bump in the night, and that she just became friends with a couple of the meanest ones.

She is welcomed to their "family" by all but one of the five Knights, Sebastian of Rydon. He is not to happy by Allie's presence since she is stirring up feelings he knows he has no business entertaining. After all, she is of the living and he is of the not so living. To top it of, he was damned personally by God and the archangel Michael for his sins and is only on Earth long enough to do their biding and try and gain redemption. It’s no wonder the dude steers clear of her at every chance he gets. He already has enough problems to deal with.

This doesn't stop the other Knights from trying to get Sebastian to see how wonderful Allie is and they take every opportunity to tell him so.

In between all this, and looking for the Daystar, the Knights also have to deal with some very sadistic vampires who are having way to much fun with the local women giving the term "playing with your dinner" a whole other meaning.

The Review
I really liked this book since I found it to be quite interesting and, I'm happy to say, there's really not much for me to complain about.

The Templar vampires are some very cool heroes. They can be funny and witty, especially when talking to each other, but they don't get silly and they won't make you roll your eyes by acting like frat boys. Sebastian, like the rest of the Knights, has had a very tortured past and it's clearly understood why he has reservations as far as Allie is concerned. He knows they are damned and there is really nothing he can offer her so he tries to be a prick keeping his distance or barely acknowledging she is in the same room. At the same time, he doesn't come on as an ass since you can very well sympathize for why he acts the way he does.

Allie, on her part, is not your average TSTL heroine. The woman has a brain and, lucky for us, she chooses to use it. She knows she is attracted to Sebastian but she doesn't try to convince herself and everyone else that she isn't. Since Sebastian shows little to no signs of even caring if she is alive, she chooses to take the high road and be civilized about it. That means she doesn't throw temper tantrums to get noticed, she doesn't flirt with all the other Knights to make him jealous and, best of all, she doesn't throw herself at him. The world, she understands, does not revolve around her, a concept plenty of romance heroines have a hard time of grasping, so she makes nice and tries to be polite around Sebastian regardless of how he treats her.

I am well aware that romance caters to women and most women's delicate sensibilities are offended when there's blood and gore. Romance readers, it seems, don't mind a little evil or darkness to set up the hero’s tortured past or the evilness of the evil dude but they cringe at anything even a little graphic. This leads me to be disappointed since most female writers in this genre make the bad guy look like a petulant child throwing a tantrum because their favorite toy was broken. That’s why I’ve always preferred male writers but I am glad to say that, as far as evil beings go, Mrs. Lyons doesn’t disappoint with hers. Stephan is one twisted motherfucker and I totally love him for it. This dude is a sadist bastard so you really do feel that the good guys are in for a fight far as he is concerned.

But, if the thought of blood is making you cringe don’t worry, Mrs. Lyons doesn’t go into “male author” territory with the details. She gives enough for those of us who like dark and twisted but she holds back enough that she doesn’t offend the other 99.9% of romance readers.

Now for the flipside, my complaints stem more from personal taste and, in the grand scheme of things, have nothing to do with the story itself. I realize I may be in the minority but I like my books to be long, thick and big. OK, I like a lot of things to be long, thick, and big but we are sticking to books in this here discussion. Anyways, sad for me to say this story ended too soon and I wish it could have gone on about a 100 pages more. I wouldn't mind getting to know the rest of the Knights a bit more before their books come out and I would have also liked to learn more about the very evil dude.

Another pet peeve is the fact that Allie calls Sebastian "baby" once they start getting intimate. Yes, I realize this is strictly personal preference, I said so didn't I, but I've never been fond of any character male or female that calls their significant other things like "baby" or "babe". Thankfully she doesn't do it too often and her character is great so it takes nothing away from her.

As I said, minor complaints that have more to do with my personal preferences and really nothing to do with the story itself.

Addressing what is probably on most people’s mind I will say that yes, inevitably, there will be comparisons to that other vampire series. This always happens not only with books, but with celebrities, movies and the like. People should keep in mind that, in this genre, a lot of books and series have similar premises, etc. Just how many “rakes falling in love with a virgin” stories have you read about? Or “damsel in distress running from an impending marriage and asking the worse possible man to “pretend” to be her hubby so she can get away from her scheming family”? In all honesty, most romance books could probably be divided into a couple dozen plots but, the beauty of it, is when writers make it work and keep you interested enough to come back for more.

I think this book, and therefore this series, holds it own just fine. It kept me interested from beginning to end and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Knight’s stories.

The Verdict
If you love vampire stories, or a good romance, or just a good story then this is definitely worth reading. I am skeptical of most romance books about vampires as, most of the time, they are made out to be but mere caricatures of the vampires we all know and love. I am happy to say Rene didn’t fall in this category. Her vampires kick ass and they are everything you’d expect from, well, a damn vampire.

I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5.


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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.



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