I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review."The Vampire's True Love Trials" by Kristin Painter
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism
Published by Avon Books on January 4, 2017
Source: my own shelves
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A short story, 6.5 in the Nocturne Falls magical realism fantasy series, revolving around a town full of supernaturals who live in freedom 365 days a year. The couple focus is on Sebastian Ellingham and Tessa Blythe.
This story carries on from events in The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée, 5, and Sebastian, Blythe, and Grandmamma must testify before the council.
Poor Sebastian . . . Just as he thinks his life will be amazing — after all Tessa recently moved back into the main house after living in the guest house for the last seven months.
Hmmm, there’s some confusion in here about cultural “requirements” and what the Blythes’ child wants. Fortunately, Tessa is no longer confused that dressing classically has to be boring, lol.
There’s a different kind of confusion when Tessa’s parents try to “cheat” their way through those Seven Challenges. And Magna and Den’s weaseling is incredibly disrespectful of their daughter!
We learn more about Sebastian’s personal wealth, including his own island, Ginger Island, in the British Virgin Islands. Naturally we do learn a whole lot more through Painter using third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Tessa’s and Sebastian’s perspectives.
I gotta agree with Sebastian about barbaric customs! Talk about blinders! We’ve always done it this way is such a “good” reason . . . not!
For such a short story, it is full-bodied with plenty of action and character with a beginning and several endings. It all depends upon who Sebastian and Tessa are with.
Tessa’s parents have found her a husband. And it’s not Sebastian.
If he wants her, Sebastian will have to do battle!
Tessa Blythe, a reluctant valkyrie involved with Sebastian, is the new dean of library studies at Harmswood Academy. Duncan is Tessa’s cat. Deputy Jenna Blythe is Tessa’s valkyrie sister on the Nocturne Falls PD.
Magna and Den Blythe are their parents — a valkyrie and a berserker — with very strict views. They’ve retired from their position as trainers with the Ragnarok Guard. Gunther Henrikson is a scrawny berserker with a profitable practice in French Lick, Indiana.
Sebastian Ellingham is the CFO for the Ellinghams, controlling the finances for the town of Nocturne Falls as well as the family. Greaves is Sebastian’s rook, half-human, half-vampire who can walk in daylight, has a long life span, and most of the strengths of a vampire. And he likes Duncan!
Nocturne Falls was . . .
. . . purchased by the Ellinghams, a family of vampires who created a town where supernaturals would be safe. Elenora Ellingham, a.k.a. Grandmamma or Didi, is the matriarch with three grandsons whom she turned back in the 1600s to save their lives. Alice Bishop is a powerful witch whom Elenora saved back during the Salem witch trials. It’s because of Alice that Nocturne Falls exists as it does. Hugh is the second-born grandson and married to the about-to-give-birth Delaney who runs a sweets shop, Delaney’s Delectables (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, 1).
Willa Iscove is a fae jeweler who owns Illusions. She’s married to Nick Hardwin, a gargoyle (The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, 3). Ivan Tsvetkov is a dragon shifter and MMA fighter. Harmswood Academy is the private school for supernaturals.
The Seven Challenges include the Dreki Run, the Test of Morhildr, the Auor, and Ilmir’s Chase.
Evangeline had been Sebastian’s first wife.
The Cover and Title
The cover is another graphic cartoon with a gradated violet background that includes a lighter purple full moon in the upper right corner. The Eiffel Tower on the left tells us we’re in Paris. The classy Sebastian is in a dark suit and tie, one hand at his jacket button and the other in his pocket. The pouffy blonde-haired Tessa is facing him and wearing a red dress with a white halter neck and white heels. In the immediate background is a periwinkle and black arch with turquoise leaves draping themselves on it. There’s a simple black (low) silhouette of buildings just above the periwinkle border at the bottom which forms the backdrop for the author’s name that’s in white with a thick black shadow. Immediately below that is an info blurb in white with a solid black shadow. The title is at the top in the same white with a thick black shadow. The “traditional” jack-o-lantern is just above the arch of the Eiffel Tower with an oval wooden sign dangling from a wrought iron sign post, showing the series information in a pale yellow.
The title rings true for “The Vampire’s True Love Trials” are about to begin.