I have been a long time fan of Nina Bangs' writing, so I am always surprised by the few who don't "get" her. She has a style that is all her own. A sexy, campy, cheeky, irreverent style (might be the cause of those few naysayers) that delights in taking the vampire genre and redefining it, making it all her own. Many vampire fans want utter reverence of the night creature. Bangs goes beyond the accepted level to drag in humor, and I think maybe a few resent that. Their loss.
She is an imaginative, incisive author who skillfully weaves sensuality, hot sex and belly laughs, which leaves me howling and wanting more. I have enjoyed all her works, but I think Taste of Darkness is Dead Bang Bangs - her best novel yet. From the opening lines, she had me laughing out loud - not an easy task, but how can you not with an opening so wonderfully brilliant, so Naughty Nina as this:
"Werewolves - furry pains in the butt.
Werecats - sneaky whisker-twitching manipulators.
Werejerks - every freakin' loser with a "were" in front of his name."
What a delightful opening! She grabs the reader from that point and takes them into the mind of one of her most brilliantly conceived heroes - Reinn Mackenzie. He is the oldest vamp in the Mackenzie Clan, over a thousand years old and that age has made him one grumpy vamp. He bought a home in the Colorado Rockies and shunned everyone. So what did Clan Mackenzie do to reward their elder? They made him Guardian of the Blood. Reinn has a few choice opinions on that job as well as his outlook on the Woo Woo Inn, where he finds himself at the opener the book. He thinks being protector of the blood, keeping the lines pure, a total crock. How does a vampire keep the blood "pure" when by nature they are running around having "suckfests" as the Woo Woo Inn?
Our delight Reinn, Harley-loving, sword-toting avenger of the Mackenzie clan, evokes a touch of Ash from Army of Darkness. I could just hear some of these lines Bangs penned being uttered by the droll Bruce Campbell! It would be a perfect vehicle for the talented actor.
Only our sourpuss lad is about to run into one sexy puss, Kisa Evans, one of those aggravating werefelines. She is one of the werecats the vamps feel pollute their pure bloodline and they want her removed. Only grouchy Reinn finds this particular werekitty is driving him wild with desire.
This has to be Bangs' best. The book is just so dead on target. I absolutely laughed from start to finish from the witty writing that just shows why Bangs keeps hitting the bestsellers list time-after-time. This is one gem of a tale. I don't reread my books these days because I just don't have the time. This one I will reread; it's one of those books that nests in the imagination and won't let you go. Kudos for the writer having the vision and craft to deliver this knock out book.
Keep 'em coming, lass.
Very highly recommended for the non-humor impaired!