Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2
Story: 5 of 25
Deliver Us from Evil introduces us to Marcus, a vampire long inured to his solitary existence driven only by his blood hunger until her crosses paths with Mary, a young woman eking out a marginal life as a fortune teller and sometimes exotic dancer. Marcus spies a mysterious symbol in the window of Mary’s shop and is inexplicably drawn to it causing him to enter and talk with Mary to discover its’ meaning. It is the first conversation Marcus has had with a human in many years, nor does he feel compelled to slake his thirst on Mary.
The story firmly establishes the characters of Mary and Marcus as we experience slices of their daily lives. They are sympathetic and I was easily drawn to them. Marcus’ developing fascination with Mary and the mysterious symbol and his search for answers is engaging. Mary’s tough life and struggle is poignant. And then in a brief few pages the tale is concluded with a HEA that seemed totally out of place and compounded by out-of-character dialogue that jarred with the lovingly developed story to that point. A less rushed ending would have earned Deliver Us from Evil a much higher rating as I really like the overall tone and feel of this story.
Mammoth Rating: 3.5 TUSKS (of 5)
Dina James: After writing three Destrati vampire stories featured exclusively in the Mammoth paranormal romance anthologies, her first fantasy story for young adults is published in The Eternal Kiss: 13 Stories of Blood and Desire.