“Love isn’t an act, it’s a whole life.” – Brian Moore
Author: JC Wallace
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Pages/Word Count: 206 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Carson Locke is a Tabula Rosa vampire—a dangerous rarity in the world of vampires.
With one bite, he can wipe clean a vampire’s mind, creating a mindless drone. Because of this, Carson has spent his entire twenty-three years sheltered at home. That changes, however, when his entire family is murdered.
On the run and near death, Carson meets Commander Lincoln Samuels, a beautiful vampire who tries to heal him. In doing so, Carson is bonded to Lincoln and turned into something the vampire world has never seen.
Lincoln is a Sanatore vampire with the ability to heal other vampires. He heads a team in the New Vampire Justice police force in Utica, NY. Late one night, he’s called to a local Vampire Blood Market where a starving Tabula Rosa vampire is about to be executed by one of his officers. Feeling a strong connection to Carson, Lincoln wants to heal the broken man despite knowing the risk in doing so—it could destroy Lincoln and cost him the chance to love again. And he soon discovers there’s a greater evil threatening to take Carson from him.
Can two vampires who have loved and painfully lost in the past learn to trust one another, defeat the evil rising against them, and dare to love forever?
Review: I have read a lot of paranormal m/m stories. There is for most a main theme of instant attraction between the two main characters, often followed by the need to push away said attraction with confusion, hurt feelings, and general mayhem ensuing as a result. Over time, this genre for me has become somewhat formulaic, so I am always hoping that a novel will come along to break the mold, so to speak. Dare to Love Forever by JC Wallace has certainly come very close to renewing my faith in what I feel has become a tired, overwrought genre. However, JC Wallace did not break the mold I mentioned above, rather the author finessed it to the point where new life was breathed into the paranormal market. Allow me to explain how I felt this was so masterfully accomplished.
Essentially we are presented with two unique vampires. One of them is called the tabula rosa, Carson Locke. Carson is starving and on the run. He believes his entire family has been murdered and that he will be next. Deep in his past is the secret that his own nature, that of a blood-sucking vampire, caused irreparable harm to a person he loved. Carson refuses to bite another person as a result, so he finds himself stealing blood from a repository when he is captured by the vampire police force, the NVJ. Also locked within Carson are powers untold, and there is only one way for them to be unlocked, by drinking the blood of another rare form of vampire, a Santore, a healer.
Lincoln Samuels is the head commander of the NJV, where Carson is discovered. He takes him into custody and before long, realizes he must give his blood if Carson is to survive. However, Lincoln also harbors a deep secret. His blood can cause an unbreakable bond with another vampire, and a previous bonding nearly killed Lincoln. Surrounding these two deeply troubled men is a host of complications that will cause them to not only embrace a deepening bond between themselves but also place both of them in danger of losing one another permanently. How can they survive if they are apart? More importantly, will the corruption that is rife within the police force be the ruin of not only the two of them but also of the lives of all those they love?
JC Wallace takes on a tired genre and transforms it into an action packed mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Interspersed with fast paced action and rife with clever plot twists and turns, the author establishes an alternate world where vampires police their own, and those with special powers are not only sought after but are also endangered due to their abilities. Along the way, this clever author allows for the establishment of a strong love between his two main characters, and actually guides them to explain their reactions of fear and mistrust with one another so that the bond they feel can deepen rather than cause disunity.
All in all, the careful plotting and immensely satisfying love story created a paranormal novel that was not only wildly entertaining but left the door open for future installments. Perhaps the only niggle I had with this book, and the reason it was not a full 5 stars, was the ending to the story. I felt it was not only rushed but that things just cleaned up a bit too neatly for all that had happened and been discovered by Lincoln and Carson. However, this was a minor glitch in an otherwise compelling and exciting novel, one that I would easily recommend to those who enjoy this genre, and especially to those who are seeking a story that breathes new life into the paranormal realm.