Series: Vampire Vintage1
Genre: Paranormal romance
Published: March 2011
Review by Lis
Belladonna knew her life was about to get even worse the day she had to throw Rosie off the Hollywood sign. What she sought was Golden Age glamor, fame, flashbulbs, and the man who played Dracula. What she got was Hollywood’s underbelly – drugs, degenerates, phoneys, and a vampire with one hell of an attitude.
Blood, Revenge, Gangsters, Vampires, Bela Lugosi & Guns.
Well this sure was something different. When the book first came to me, I was intrigued – not because this was a vampire book as there are so many of them – but because it noir/vintage. Outside of Josh Lanyon I’d never read anything like this. To say the least this book was good. I haven’t become an instant fan of noir or vintage, but this book is a rare gem. How so you ask? Well, sit back, relax and let me tell you!
This story is set in Hollywood in the time of Bela Lugosi and Clara Bow. The golden age. Belladonna is one of the many girls who dream of a life in the spotlights of Hollywood. So she trades her small country life for fame and fortune as an actress. Preferably with Bela Lugosi. It doesn’t take her long to find out that’s she not the only one and it’s not all that easy. So her dreams are gone and she’s feeling down. Enter Vivant. The vampire. The I-love-him-but-hate-him sorta hero of this story. He’s certainly no knight – ‘scuse me vampire – in shining armour, set to save the damsel in distress. He does, however has a certain charm to him that makes you not hate him in sight and clench your fists in anger whenever he crosses the pages. While Belladonna possesses a certain naiveté and sweetness about her, Vivant is arrogant and egotistical. Though both possess talent.
What I loved about this book is not only did this author do her research on the era, she also enters many details in this book that make the story ‘real’ – in so much as that’s possible with vampires. I suspect that this author is a fan of the era. She also doesn’t hesitate to show the seedy side of Hollywood.
Alex Severin spins a vibrant tale of love, hate, fame and fortune, jealousy and revenge. She certainly knows how to pull a reader into a story and keep them there. While the writing itself is neither bad not exceptional, it’s the story itself that is the gem of this book.
Be warned, this book doesn’t have a Happily Ever After, but a Happy For Now, which I found a nice change of pace and completely fitting for the story.
If you are looking for something different from your ever present urban fantasy/paranormal romance vampire stories then Belladonna in Hollywood is certainly the book to pick up!