Temptation Calls, by Caridad Piñeiro

>> Thursday, April 06, 2006

Caridad Piñeiro's The Calling series first came to my attention because Maili mentioned the first one, Darkness Calls in some list or other of hers as a good vampire romance. That was back when this vampire romance glut was just getting started and I was cautiously experimenting with them, after the horror of trying to start out by reading Feehan. So, since Maili is a goddess, I decided to give this one she mentioned a try. I loved it, and when I found out it was the first in a series, I bought the others. The second, Danger Calls, was good, too, so I had high hopes for the third one, Temptation Calls.

She'd once been a victim to the cruelty of men. Now she was a vampire.

As lives went, both of hers had sucked. At least when it came to the opposite sex. So New York City vampire Samantha Turner vowed to spend her immortal life protecting the helpless and shielding herself from the violence of men's passions.

Then she met NYPD detective Peter Daly.

His list for life, for justice -for her- was a temptation she couldn't deny. It was enough to lure her out of the darkness and into his embrace, for a little while, enough to make her trust him when an old evil reemerged. But would it be enough when she at last revealed her true nature.
I don't know if it was my mood, or what, but though I quite liked Temptation Calls, it didn't completely draw me, even though objectively, there was some fascinating stuff going on. I'd rate it a B-.

While book #1 concentrated on Ryder and Diana and book #2 on Ryder's "keeper" and Diana's brother, Temptation opens up the circle a bit, so to speak, and takes us into the world of vampires in NYC. Unlike Ryder, vampire Samantha Turner is not isolated from the rest of vampiredom. While she's not really intimate with the other vampires, she moves easily enough in their world and feels obligated to help when a newly "made" vampire she knew disappears.

It is into this investigation that she's forced to bring in Detective Peter Daly, a man she met recently when he investigated a drive-by shooting. Samantha had just been going by, and when she saw what was going on, she used her supah-special powers and saved some of the people. She got shot, though, which wasn't a problem since as a vampire, her body just spit the bullets out.

So when Peter came to investigate the shootings, he found a bullet-ridden, blood-stained shirt, but no body, and some investigating led him to Samantha, the woman who had been seen earlier wearing those clothes. He never could figure out what was going on, but he ended up developing an interest in her, and when he gets drawn into her missing-vampire case, they've been dancing around each other for a while.

Through Peter, some other people get involved as well... none other than our old friends, Diana, Ryder, Melissa and Sebastian. This is not just a matter of catching up with old characters: they play a large part in the plot, not least because Ryder and Samantha share some very coincidental links going back almost 150 years, and because the problem that soon becomes disappearing vampireS is related to the events of Danger Calls.

To be honest, I was much much less interested in the relationship between Peter and Samantha than in those between everyone else. They were just blah together. Diego and Samantha, Ryder and Samantha, Diana and Ryder, Diana and Peter, and all the other permutations now, that was fascinating, as was all the stuff about the vampires' lives. In fact, it's now a couple of weeks after I read this book, and while I'm having a hard time remembering just what the conflict was between Peter and Samantha, all the other interactions are still clear in my mind.

While this is the weakest entry in the series so far, I'm not losing hope, because I just went to the book's entry at amazon and there's this author blog thingie they've started doing there, where Piñeiro confirms that the next book, Death Calls, will finally close Diana and Ryder's story:

it is the FIRST time that Silhouette is featuring the same heroes in a second book. What will happen when Diana and Ryder must face the death of their relationship in a number of unexpected ways?
Oh, cool! Can't wait to see how the mortal/undead issue is resolved.


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