Night Promises

Tonya Renee Callihan
Night Promises
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Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date
February 2011
Book 1 of Night Pleasures 1
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance

Kelly O'Keefe first met a vampire when she was twelve. Now the pair are best friends and have opened Night Pleasures, an underground club that caters to vampires and their needs.

When Kelly's sister is murdered, she finds herself working with Connor, a vampire she's been in love with for months. Unable to trust men, let alone a vampire, can she let him help her solve her sister's murder?

Connor has been watching after Kelly for seven months with the help of his sire and best friend Micah. Connor has kept himself at a distance even though he knows they are life mates. He's afraid of losing control and turning Kelly against her will. When he learns Kelly plans on investigating her sister's death, he steps in and allows himself to get close to her.

But how close is too close?

Book Review by laurie200 (reviewer)
Feb 28, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
125 people found the following review helpful
In Tonya Renee Callihan's Night Pleasures 1, Kelly O'Keefe has just buried her murdered sister Tammy and vowed vengeance on whoever killed her. She suspects her sister was killed by either Vampires or humans working on the behest of Vampires as her sister's body was found drained of blood.

Kelly is one of the few humans who not only know Vampires exist but actively lives and works in their world. Her best girl friend, Mac is a Vampire, and they are partners in a bar called Night Pleasures. Kelly feels guilty for her sister's death because she let her sister into her world and believes it got her killed. However, up until her sister showed up murdered, she thought Tammy fit right in, which should have worried her in and of itself.

Kelly has always been attracted to 200-year-old Vampire Connor, but they have never acted on their mutual attraction for each other. Connor is a photographer of nude models, and has a best friend/sire named Micah . Micah, while being a male Vampire slut, is convinced that Mac is his "Lifemate", something she has denied for the last seven years and she has done her best to keep Micah out of her life. Given the fact that his character is supposedly sleeping with a different person or persons every single night, yet he gets jealous when he hears she has a date, I can't blame her.

Micah, having read Kelly's mind at the club, clues Connor into the fact that Kelly is going to try to avenge her sister's death and Micah is afraid it will get her killed. Connor is going to have to convince Kelly not to pursue Tammy's death and leave it up to the police. The only way she will agree to this is if they investigate together. Connor suspects that Kelly might be his "Lifemate" as well. Can these two keep their guard up and not fall into bed and into love while forced to spend time together solving Tammy's murder?

The answer of course is no, which shouldn't come as a surprise; this is after all a Romance. The problem isn't the assured outcome, it is the extreme difficulty the author has covering all the topics necessary in 36 pages. This isn't a Novella so much as a short story and I have seen much more experienced writers falter when trying to pull this off, with more pages to do it in. Ms Callihan gives it a good shot, the dialogue is crisp but the character development fell short, there were gaping plot holes, and the storyline was inconsistent.

Kelly never seems to actually grieve her sister's loss; she just mentions it casually. There is no inner torment or any actions that speak of someone going through a great tragedy. Instead, we are told everything instead of shown it. There is no real rationale for why she and Connor haven't hooked up before. It is more like they just haven't gotten around to it. If these two characters care so little about their shot at love, why should we invest emotionally in it?

The manufactured "Lifemate" thing feels very unbelievable and we aren't given enough information that could make it work. She and Connor don't really have any time to do any true digging for the truth, as they are too busy having sex, and with no sexual chemistry or conflict having kept them apart to begin with, it leaves us with cardboard characters basically having vampire porn, which given the fact that Connor is basically a Vampire Pornographer, isn't that surprising.

There are things that are unlikely, for instance, when Connor comes to the club to see her after he's learned of her plans from Micah, she gives him the keys to a VIP room and then joins him shortly there after. Walking in, she sees him sitting on the couch and this is what runs through her mind.

"His eyes were back to light brown; she had never seen them darker than they had been just a moment ago. Did that mean he was hungry for her blood? Did he want sex? One would think that working in this environment she would know. But truth be told, she had never been alone with or this close to a male vampire before."

Yes, one WOULD think she would know that, what with having run a vampire bar for two years. In fact, it is down right unbelievable. Suspension of disbelief, once lost is difficult to retrieve.

Also, with this short of a story, you would think Ms Callihan would be able to keep her back story straight, but in the beginning, she has Connor having an introspective moment where he thinks about how he'd been turned and why;

"Micah sired Connor almost two-hundred years ago. Connor was dying— had been dying for years, but two hundred years ago the doctors had no idea what he was dying of. Therefore, no treatment or medicine seemed to help. He knew his days were numbered, so turning was his way of living an eternal life."

Then later when he and Kelly are together, he tells her;

"I was in a horrible accident and dying when Micah found me. He told me what he was and gave me a choice—death or eternity. I chose eternity. Either way, I would miss out on those things."

Which is it? Did Connor have some kind of cancer or was he in some horrible accident? Either the character Connor, for some reason, is lying to Kelly, or the author intentionally thought this made sense, or she missed it.

Even the murder doesn't seem to be fully solved, what with Connor and Kelly having sex instead of doing any investigation. It takes a bad man from her past to show up and get caught, but his motive is left unclear and there is a bigger threat left out there...possibly to leave room for an over-arching story line between Kelly and Connor's story and Micah and Mac's. One can only hope that Micah and Mac's story will be allowed more room to develop their characters and create some kind of sexual tension, instead of a "Can I bite you?" "Yes, you can," kind of love affair.
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