Lair of the Lion - Christine Feehan I was excited to begin this book for my local romance readers group because I'd heard many positive things about author Christine Feehan and the book appeared to be a new twist on the beauty and the beast theme (one of my personal favorites). Sadly, things didn't work out between me and author Christine Feehan (too much melodrama for me) and now I'm weary of beginning her vampire series (most of which I already own). Somebody please tell me this book was a fluke!

Isabella is a beautiful, headstrong young maiden who sets out on adventure to save her brother from the clutches of a very Eeevil man. The one man who Isabella believes can help her is Don DeMarco but, most unfortunately, he is reputed to be a cursed man and is apparently feared by all. Undaunted, our brave little heroine makes the treacherous trip to Don DeMarco's lair, a trip that has felled many a stronger man before her. Safe at the lair she meets Don DeMarco and can't figure out what the fuss about him is all about. So what if he's a bit broody, he's gorgeous! He agrees to help her with conditions attached which I won't reveal because I don't want to spoil anyone's fun She then takes up residence in his home. At night she hears spooky, ominous sounds in the night. She wanders about and makes dense decisions and faces down deadly lions (which seem to roam the home freely) while the people surrounding her begin to act all nutty. As the story advances lots of spooky and ominous stuff happens. Over and over again! None of it going anywhere or advancing the plot. During all of this repetitive madness Isabella and the cursed man (or is he?) begin to fall in love. Or that's what we're supposed to believe. Personally, I didn't buy it.

Initially I was hooked by the setup of the story, despite what I thought was an abundance of overly flowerly descriptive prose, a tendency towards the melodramatic and an annoying smattering of Italian words. But by page 70 my patience and excitement to turn the pages quickly began to wane. Extreme lack of character development (not to mention the over-the-top writing) did me in. I never felt like I knew any of these characters and when several of them acted oddly it didn't seem all that weird to me because for all I knew this was how they acted normally. The love story is also weakened by the lack of character development. The couple bounce back and forth between trusting each other wholly, falling into bed, having hot sex and then, when it's all over, they're back to distrusting each other. Ahhhhhh! I have no patience for this sort of thing and was soon bored of these two. Sadly, all of these problems continued until the anti-climatic end.

So, folks, are the vampire books similar in style??