Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: Ante Up
SERIES: Dreamspun Beyond #8
AUTHOR: Kim Fielding
NARRATOR: Andrew McFerrin
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 5 hours, 52 minutes
RELEASE DATE: January 12, 2018
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?
I am not really sure what to say about this story. I found myself getting easily distracted when I was listening and had to keep starting over. I can’t decide if it was the steady narration style or the fact that I just never connected with the characters.
Overall, I think this story had potential. I LOVED the world. The paranormals, the hierarchies, the physiologies, and the “mafia” were all well represented and set things up really well for future books in this world.
I also enjoyed the plot. It had moments of fun and action and tension and kept me wanting to know what would happen next. Though I have to admit, I was a bit let down with the ending. It felt rather easy.
My biggest issue was that the characters were just meh and their chemistry didn’t really come through. I never really “liked” Ante. I didn’t “dislike” him either. He was just a character in a fun story and honestly I didn’t really care if he get his HEA or not. Maybe it was that he was so formal all the time and felt wooden because of it. I get that he was old world, but man, he wasn’t THAT old and was a part of the world. I think he could have adapted a bit more and maybe that would have made him feel a bit more warm.
I liked Peter marginally more than Ante. His discover of who he really was added a bit of the sympathy aspect and I really liked learning about his physiology and abilities. He was kind of fun to get to know.
The romance left me really wanting more. It was very insta love, which OK I get, but I never really felt the love. And again, I never really cared about the outcome.
I would say the good balanced the the things I found lacking to make this a middle of the road read. I don’t think I would revisit these characters, but I would revisit the world.
Andrew McFerrin did a good narration. He brought out the characters well and I loved his accents. He was steady in his reading and was pleasant to listen to. I just never connected with this story and coupled with his steady narration, I found my mind wondering more often than not. I think for a story like this, ebook may be a wiser choice even with a better than average narration.