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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Called to Order by Lydia Michaels

Called to Order by Lydia Michaels
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (339 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

Isolated in the quiet hills of Pennsylvania is an Amish order unlike any other—they are vampyre.

Adam Hartzler has always been an honorable immortal, but when he is called to his true mate, the line between right and wrong begins to blur. If he does not find her soon, he will lose his soul and die. The longer he waits, the less he is in control. With only his dreams to guide him, Adam sets out on a journey to claim his mate and return home with her before it is too late.

Annalise Snow is forced into a destiny she did not choose when she awakens on a primitive farm in the arms of a man determined to have her. Passion and emotion collide when two strangers, bound by destiny, become each other’s salvation, but will their bond survive the ultimate sacrifice? Or will eternity begin with betrayal?

There are three things that drew me to this novel: erotic, vampires and Amish. This is one mixture I never saw coming.

In this new take on vampires, they live in a closed society. They rebuff all the conveniences of the modern world and live solely unto themselves. They grow and raise all their own food and live a quiet life that encompasses family and friends. When a true mate calling occurs, a vampire must listen. If they don’t, they become what history has painted vampires to be; mindless thirsty creatures hell bent on the filling their burning desire for blood and lust, one human at a time.

Adam has been called. When a vampire is called, his soul is reaching out to his mate and if he does not find her soon, he will lose himself and become feral. Adam is running out of time. He sets out into a foreign world he never dreamed of entering. If he can’t find her soon, his people will be forced to kill him. There's only one hope for Adam’s survival, his true mate.

Annalise is alone in the world. But she doesn’t let that stop her from reaching her goals. She has worked hard to get a college degree and is only weeks away from graduating. All of her past sacrifices are about to pay off. One moment she's relatively happy with the completion of her schooling, her job as a waitress and her also with her boyfriend. The next moment she is in a strange new environment, forced to comply with rules she has no understanding of. She's now living in an archaic society where men rule and women follow.

While there is a strong mutual attraction between these two people their differences are a constant reminder of how dissimilar they are. This is even before Annalise knows Adam’s biggest secret, that he's a vampire. If he can't convince her that they're fated to be together, he'll die. The problem is if he does convince her, she will need to die in his place.

According to the acknowledgments in this novel, this is the first published works of Ms. Michaels. I will have to say her all around style is wonderful and her idea behind this new series is quite unique. She has blended three elements that I never realized might just work. Her writing was exceptional, but the foundation of the story just didn’t sing to me.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. Personally when I think of an Amish type society I think that a religious base will be present. Considering the other two elements of the novel are vampires and erotic, I am glad that I was wrong. I think that that was one of my problems and I couldn’t get past the preconceived idea. I was expecting religion to pop up around every corner in this erotic novel.

The pacing in the story was also slow for me. Adam and Annalise’s relationship was built slowly and it was not until the last quarter of the book, that I was finally immersed into the plot. Considering the majority of the book was based on a look into their culture, it makes sense that it had a slower pace. Then there was also the forcing of Annalise to live in a total alien society. I had a really hard time with that. Also the male/female dynamics of this world were very hard for me to absorb.

I believe people who have an understanding of this type of culture and know going in that erotic romance and religion do not play together in this book, may enjoy Called to Order immensely. It just did not work for me.

Though I wasn't enamored with this book I do plan to read the next story in the series, Calling for a Miracle. She has already built an amazing beginning for this next story and I likely will not have the same hang ups that I had from Called to Order. In the next book, two vampires fall in love and they are set for some explosive interactions and I’m looking forward to that very much.

Called to Order is a very different take on vampires and Ms. Michaels is an author to watch out for. Her imagination and writing are exceptional. I have a feeling she's going to be a rising star!

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