Title: Ante Up
Series: Dreamspun Beyond 06
Author: Kim Fielding
Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Length: 5 hrs, 52 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st January 2018)
Heat Level: Explicit
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?
Review: I’m going to be upfront and admit that this book gave me some mixed feelings. I really do enjoy Kim Fieldings’ writing and many of her previous works. I particularly enjoy her contemporary works. In fact, one thing that I do like about this one is that it is quite an original story and I found it enjoyable for the most part.
However, for me the pace of the story was a little too choppy. 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. 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.
Yet, I did love the narration by Andrew McFerrin – in fact, I think that was kept me going when I found my attention wandering from the plot line. I liked the voice and tone that he provided to all the various supernatural characters, including our MCs.
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.