Caveat Emptor: Charmed Lover by Zenobia Renquist
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Buttercup
Caveat Emptor -- let the buyer beware...
Ryver is one of the many humans who owns a vampire. She purchased Theron for home security. When the magic charms keeping the vampires docile and subservient suddenly start failing, Theron goes from protector to threat. A nationwide, mandatory recall of all vampires is in effect. Ryver is ready to comply, but a night of passion spent in Theron's arms changes her mind.
It's only a matter of time before someone figures out Ryver and Theron's secret. With the threat of mages bearing down on them, Ryver has to decide if she's willing to give up her lover -- or her freedom.
Guardian by day, lover by night, it's the perfect arrangement... until you get caught. In the war against vampires humans seem to be winning, with the aid of magic, but what happens when the magic stops working? Charmed Lover is the first book in Zenobia Renquist's new series Caveat Emptor. An amuse-bouche to stimulate the appetite, giving you just enough to make you want much more.
The premise of this series is fantastic, a vampire/human war in which the humans are winning, but by winning are they really losing? I love the arrogance of the humans for thinking that they can control vampires, turning them into mindless docile slaves, with no consequences. I don't know if it was intentional or not but the vampires are employing a great strategy. They are ridding themselves of the less savory elements of their society, by weakening them and leaving them where the hunters can capture and enslave them. And the humans are playing right into their hands by inviting these vampires into their homes, so confident that their magic is infallible.
Not all the vampires that get captured are criminals, however. Some like Theron simply voice unpopular opinions, like the thought that humans and vampires can co-exist peacefully. Then again, for the vampire elders getting rid of those who threaten the status quo can be just as important, if not more so than getting rid of the criminal elements in their society.
For Theron, getting captured and subsequently bought by Ryver might just be the best thing that's ever happened to him. Even before he broke through the charm, Ryver treated him well, using him more for someone to talk to than anything else. I find it interesting the Ryver was the first person to think of asking a vampire what their name is. It speaks to her nature, as well as the nature, the hubris' of humans. Names have power and by taking away the vampires true names, it's a more subtle way of removing the rest of their powers. Essentially the humans are trying to turn these powerful and dangerous predators into lap dogs, and then are shocked and ill prepared to deal with the fallout when vampires break free of the docility charm.
Ryver isn't trying to dominate or oppress the vampires, she is simply trying to live her life as peacefully as possible. Her reason for buying Theron was for home protection, but I think it was more than that. Ryver just wanted someone to talk to, someone who wouldn't judge her, someone who could see her for who she truly is, and Theron did. The docility charm might have prevented Theron from reacting, but he watched and learned and waited. While Theron was watching and waiting he fell for Ryver, seeing in her all the things that even she doesn't see in herself. Of course when Theron does break free of his charm, he is through with watching and waiting, and is more than willing to show Ryver how special and beautiful she is. I love the games that Ryver and Theron play, now that he's awake, the small little tortures that are good for the soul.
I look forward to reading the next book, as fun as Charmed Lover is it left so many things unanswered. I want to know how the vampires were able to break free of the docility charm, and why only a small number of them seem to able to do so. Why aren't more vampires, and humans for that matter, trying to find a way to co-exist with out anyone being enslaved, or charmed?
The nights are long and hot, when you have a vampire lover who will do any and everything you ask. Charmed Lover is a fast paced and fun read, with enough intrigue to have you coming back for more.