Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Paranormal/ Romance/ Contemporary Fiction
Approximate word count: 120-125,000 words
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VM Gautier says on his/her Amazon author page, “As you may have guessed, I am a pseudonym. I better not say too much lest I be accused of lying. Fiction writers must always tell the truth.”
It has been fun trying to guess who this is.
“The 19th century’s most infamous party-girl is undead and on the loose in the Big Apple… Blood Diva is a sometimes humorous, often dark and erotic look at sex, celebrity, love, death, destiny, and the arts of both self-invention and seduction. It’s a story that asks a simple question – Can a one hundred ninety year-old demimondaine find happiness in 21st century Brooklyn without regular infusions of fresh blood?”
This vampire story grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go from the very beginning. Alphonsine Duplessis/Camille St. Valois, as she was now known in present day New York City society, had a fascinating history as a beautiful and charming Parisian courtesan from a very early age. In her first life, during the mid-1800s, she was known as Marie Duplessis and lucky enough to have a patron who saw to her education that led her to more aristocratic and artistic suitors. Unfortunately, she contracted consumption and was on her deathbed when she met Anton, who turned her into a god. He claimed beauty such as hers was a gift to the world and he only wished to preserve it.
The problem was she couldn’t get away from her courtesan lifestyle, it was who she was, and the high sexuality of a vampiric life didn’t help in that regard. Problems also developed when Camille was questioned during a murder investigation after being identified with the victim from surveillance video in a hotel lobby. Tenacious New York City cops, Cara O’Brien and Jaime Izaguirre, felt she was involved but couldn’t prove it. To top this trifecta off Camille fell in love with the highly gifted and handsome human, Dashiell Alexander. I had no problem shoving believability out the window with VM Gautier’s picturesque prose.
I was a little concerned that I might not be able to keep up with the opera references. However, I had no problem and actually enjoyed learning about the stories and characters behind the operas. I applaud the way they were woven into the storyline. I found Blood Diva captivating and felt transported into the scenes. I found Camille’s dilemmas were complex and emotional. The supporting characters were all well developed and I found myself mesmerized by the dialogue as Camille was trying to work through her issues and find her purpose for being.
This story was a unique look at high society lifestyles in this age of surveillance cameras and other high-tech devices available to today’s criminals and law enforcement agencies. I also liked the question being asked of how much longer vampires could go undetected by a modern society with these devices so readily available. I was satisfied with the ending and found it apropos. I would recommend this story to anyone who appreciates a skillfully told story with discernible moral issues.
This book contains adult language and graphic sexual content that some readers may find objectionable.
Small number of proofing errors.
Rating: ***** Five stars