Reviewed: December 21, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Scanguards Vampires, Book 1
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Length: 266 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Vampire Samson Woodford is a rich, powerful, debonair male who owns a nationwide security company that has both vampire and human interests. He also has a bit of a problem with erectile dysfunction and despite the psychiatric help he's reluctantly receiving, there seems to be no help in that area. To say he's frustrated would be a gross understatement on every level.
Forensic accountant Delilah Sheridan is an independent contractor from New York. She's in San Francisco auditing a private company's financial records and has been burning the candle at both ends since she arrived a few days ago, investigating some discrepancies she's discovered. Leaving the office late one night, she stops for some take out and gets caught in a downpour. She gets a little turned around in the rain in her rush back to the company condo in which she's staying, and before she can find her way, she's attacked by a scarred, hulking brute of a man that comes at her from a dark alley. Delilah manages to escape, racing to the nearest house she can find and pounding on the door before falling into the arms of Samson Woodford when he opens it.
Confusion and mistakes abound, and Samson, thinking Delilah is the stripper his good friends have gotten him for his birthday, takes advantage of the situation to kiss the wet and slightly bedraggled human - and is stunned when his body responds with much enthusiasm. He is stunned again when he realizes that Delilah is, in fact, not a stripper, but a woman in need of his help. Not the most auspicious of beginnings, for sure.
Focused on his body's response to her, and as it turns out, only her, he sets out to charm the human and release his sexual frustrations. But just when he realizes that his interest in the human extends beyond physical gratification and into something much deeper, he's beset by an old enemy out to take everything from him - including Delilah. Saving her life may come at the cost of her feelings for him when she finds out he's technically her boss...and not human.
Samson's Lovely Mortal has a decent, if slightly formulaic paranormal romance plot, but it is in the details that Tina Folsom's series starts to shine. I really enjoy what she's created with the vampires with issues - and impotence is one dastardly issue - and the glimpse into the various psychosis that draw them to seek therapy. She also adds a nice touch of humor (the shrink's couch is a coffin!) here and there that lighten up the tone of the book.
Samson is a strong romantic lead, with just the right touch of self assured arrogance overlaying vulnerability. I found him surprisingly layered with his insecurities about women and his inability to perform. His obliviousness to the depth of his feelings for Delilah was thankfully brief, and his mangled approach to it was at turns charming and cute. I was less pleased with Delilah, who I just didn't find all that interesting a character, but I'm used to favoring the alpha males over the female leads so that's not much of a surprise. I did like some of her development in the latter part of the book, and she didn't annoy me as so many do, so that's a plus.
The plot was well conceived and flowed nicely from point to point through the book after what was an extremely abrupt and awkward opening chapter. There were, however, several grammatical issues and some other errors that should have been caught. The narrative lacked a bit of polish as a result. Band Aid is a name brand for adhesive bandages, not what bandages themselves are called, for example, and fingernails don't have sockets from which they can be pulled. On the other hand, the dialogue had a nice conversational flow despite some word tense issues and some misplaced words.
The sex scenes were well written, and to my preference of being described with adult language as opposed to being couched in flowery euphemism. They were graphic, but not exceptionally explicit, in my opinion. There were several of them (that's information, not a complaint) but they never overwhelmed the plot or knocked the flow of the story off balance. At least not the sex scenes between Samson and Delilah. There was one between two secondary characters that, while well written, I felt seemed unnecessary to the plot and out of place in context. As a result, it seemed to serve a purpose only for titillation - especially considering the nature of the sex - and while I believe that has its place, it did nothing for me in this instance.
There are a lot of good points to Tina Folsom's series starter. I've purchased the second in the series, Amaury's Hellion, and as readers have been introduced to his issues in this book, I'm actually quite interested in seeing how they're worked out and who the lucky lady will be who will stir his emotions. Samson's Lovely Mortal may not have been flawless, but it was a solid start to a potentially very imaginative series, despite the issues. I'm quite glad I stumbled across it and look forward to seeing the series continue.
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