Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Ante Up
AUTHOR: Kim Fielding
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 15th, 2017
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?
This book has all the good stuff I like!
Ante is a lonely soul, a vampire, originally from Croatia, now settled in Las Vegas. He lives in crappy hotel rooms, eking out a living by finding drunk men, going back to their rooms, drinking a little blood, and taking some cash. He seems so lonely to me! He has managed to avoid being recruited by the Shadows, the vampire version of the mob, other than the occasional contract. One night he sees a guy doing something fishy… manipulating people? He’s not really sure, but he’s curious, and he drags him off for a chat. Which turns in to a meal, and a fuck! Which leads to a bite, and a surprise! Peter is not human.
Peter is living a similar life, he’s a drifter, who happens to have landed in Las Vegas for now. He manages to talk people in to things, or out of things, depending on your perspective! He gets people to give him their casino winnings, upgrades to hotels, rental cars and the like. He’s not sure why this happens, but he has an ability and uses it. He’s annoyed to be stalked by a man named Ante, but pleased to have a free meal, and a little time in his room. All goes well until the guy bites him! And drinks his blood? Then accuses him of not being human?
So that’s our two men. Then we have the plot. Basically the Shadows hire Ante to find and recruit Peter, but Peter resists. Ante decides to keep Peter from the Shadows, and the two end up on the run. They have quite the adventure, which you’ll need to read about!
I really liked this story! It’s a little bit Buffy inspired silliness, a little bit deep paranormal, a lot sexy, and a lot fun! I loved Ante and Peter, and their individual backstories. Especially Ante, with his long history. Their road trip introduced some really cool characters, and where they end up and the help they get was perfect. Even more cool folks! All with some nice sexy times, and a deep bond between the two lonely men. I loved the ending, it was so sweet!
What was even more fun, was listening to another book by Kim Fielding at the same time I was reading this book, and recognizing the mention of a character from that series, in this book! This sneaky author likes to do that, and I LOVE it! Kim is an auto-buy for me, I’ve read almost all of her books and I’ve loved them. This one was a great example of the quality of her writing. Maybe a little fluffier than some she’s written, but really good.
If you are a fan of vampires, definitely read this book! If you are a fan of Kim Fielding, definitely read this book!