Ante Up by Kim Fielding

Title: Ante Up

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 08

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires

Length: Novel (220 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th November 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Blurb: Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

ISBN: 978-1-63533-948-2

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Ok, so, I’m just going to get right into this one. Normally, I very much enjoy and look forward to Kim Fielding’s books, particularly the contemporary novels. This is, in fact, the first paranormal book that I’ve read by the author. Although, truth be told, I actually listened to the audio of this book before reading. Sometimes I find that I enjoy one format over the other. In this case, I have to admit, despite giving ebook and audio formats the same 3/5 rating, I think that I did enjoy the audio more than the text format.

The is about vampire Ante Novak (pronounced Ahn-tay), who was human until he died two hundred years prior on a bloody Croatian battlefield. He found himself in Las Vegas where he subsists on sex and blood from random hook ups, often stealing money from the men. Unlike vampires in many stories, he has no money. He grew up as a human peasant, working his family’s land and just never cared enough to get ahead or settle down somewhere permanently. Las Vegas is run by the vampire mob, called the Shadows, of which he knows the leader. Ante doesn’t has always refused to work for them but he knows he is on borrowed time where they are concerned.

Between all this, Ante meets Peter Gerhardti, who appears to be very human but that is called into question from the outset. Ante is instantly attracted to the man who sates him in more ways than one. When the Shadows set their eyes on Peter, Ante finds a reason to fight for the first time since he was killed in battle. The mad dash the two men make is what I find to be the best part of the book

The story itself is original and was enjoyable for the most part, I will admit that much.

However, for me, there were a few things that just didn’t suit me well at all. Firstly, the pace of the story was a little too choppy, the pace went up and down like waves and I found it hard to get into the book and relate to the two MCs. Furthermore, I found myself a little disappointed that it took 4 chapters for the two MCs to meet, let alone end up in bed, and a few more chapters after that before their stories merged. Within this time, we also had to hear about the vampire MC’s one-night stands where he would feed. I know that this will be a hard thing for some readers to get into because, let’s face it, it’s not really what we’re here for.

The saving grace of this book was the last few chapters, on the other hand, were good – well paced, full of action and I was now much more certain in the chemistry and emotion between the two MCs. I think because they took so long to get together I didn’t really connect to Ante or Peter until I finally got my head around who they were.