Saturday, March 9, 2013

Valerie:Daughter of the Dragon

Book #1
By Robert S. Fuller Jr.
Publication Date: November 2012

Book Blurb:
While collaborating on a fashion show, Samantha Hammond, a forty-something Display Manager, draws the attention of the mysterious clothing designer Valerie Ross. Samantha’s journey of self-discovery takes her from the security of her hometown in Lexington, Ohio to the shores of a secluded paradise called Sabbatical Island. As their relationship flourishes, Samantha learns that Valerie harbors a terrifying secret. The revelation thrusts Samantha into a nightmarish world where vampires and witches dwell in the darkness. Pamela Darius, a murderous adversary from Valerie’s past, uses Samantha and those around her as pawns in a deadly game filled with seduction, pain, betrayal, and death.

Review: 4.5 Star Read!!!!


Let me start by saying that Robert Fuller has created a plethora of characters which you are drawn to. You are drawn into the life of Samantha, from all her low points on up to her highs. You become attached to not only Sam, but Sara and Valarie. And you wind up with an intense hatred for Darius, yet still a great respect for her as well. You laugh along with Samantha and Gina, and are torn with the relationship Samantha has with Richard. Yet every character is crucial to the story that is being told and each one is so well written that they are very real to the reader. I have to give kudos Robert Fuller for creating such well written characters.

He created a VERY detailed world full of the most basic needs of characters on through to the detail oriented shop. It is a world full of anger and revenge and dark sensuality. There are as many twists and turns in this book as there are in a corkscrew. Never a dull moment would be a phrase I would use to describe the world he has created. Between vampires seeking revenge on through to the normal day to day living of people it's all in this book.

All that being said, I can honestly say I felt it was almost over done. Let me explain, the book length is a whopping 731 pages, and yet at the end I was left feeling as if something was missing. I can't explain in any detail about what it is, it's just the way the book ended left me wanting. I was sadly disappointed in the ending. And felt bereft and adrift in a sea of misery.

I will say that if you like long books this is one for you. You will keep reading and turning your pages to continue on the story. You will be drawn into the life of Samantha from her parents on thru to her best friend, her boyfriend and then her vampire lover. If you do NOT like girl/girl relationships then steer clear of this book.

I will give this book 4.5 stars, first because I enjoyed the characters and loved the vampires, which were not like Twilights twinkling vamps but vampires from the old school, vampires who drink blood, who kill, who see out revenge. And secondly because I enjoyed the twist of having the vampires being split with some serving God and some serving Satan. I can recommend this book for a LONG read to anyone who likes vampires, good characters and heart wrenching emotional moments.

Details/Disclaimer: Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.

This excerpt actually served as the opening chapter in the original manuscript, but I switched it to focus more on Valerie. In this scene we find Samantha, the human love interest of Valerie, walking to work and reminiscing about the path her life has taken up to this point. The winter landscape is used to convey distance and isolation. We find Samantha’s life has taken several heartbreaking turns, but instead of wallowing, she has learned to overcome them. 

A blast of cold wintery wind whips about her as she crosses the still snow covered and desolate side-street making the quarter mile walk to work feel more like an arctic expedition. She stops for a second to rest and flex her mitten-covered hands in an attempt to get the blood circulating into her frozen fingers.
Samantha Hammond squints through the falling snow and measures her progress by locating the Oaktown Retail Mall just ahead in the distance. The mall itself is still shrouded in early morning darkness, but Lancaster’s Department Store’s lights are already on acting like a beacon leading her through the blizzard.
“Why the hell do I put myself through this?” she asks out-loud trying to ease the stiffness in her jaw.
As she starts to cross the normally busy intersection of Williams Avenue and Townsend Street a single car loses control and slides through the intersection just a few feet in front of her. Instinctively she takes a step back onto the curb as the answer to her rhetorical question plays out in front of her. The overhead traffic light repeatedly blinks a cautionary yellow drawing her attention away from the sliding car.
She focuses on the blinking light letting it hypnotize her into recalling the series of events those seventeen years ago that left as many emotional scars as physical ones. She has lived all of her thirty-seven years within the city of Lexington and although she has thousands of fond memories of growing up in the small city, but it was in her sophomore year of college that she lost her mother. It’s that event that lingers and haunts her to this day. 

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