In this collection, we have a new novella, Run from Twilight, and another reissue, Twilight Vows. In Run from Twilight, Mary is being targetted by a serial killer. Michael Grey appears from nowhere, it seems, and he claims that he's protecting Mary - but is he the killer? Michael is a vampire who was mortally wounded at the height of Al Capone's `reign' in Chicago, but he was transformed at the point of death by Cuyler Jade of Beyond Twilight. The most melodramatic point of this book is when Michael's wife, Sally, shoots herself in front of him, apparently unable to reconcile herself either to his death or to his `resurrection' as a vampire.
The Michael and Mary story certainly has its moments, and it was intriguing to see that the investigation organisation Mary contacts is run by Maxine, Lou and Stormy, the more likeable characters from Twilight Hunger. Disappointingly, still Shayne hasn't furthered the romantic plot regarding Lou and Maxine. Anyway, I was enjoying Michael and Mary's story until suddenly - WHAM - it was over, at a point where I was expecting at least 20 more pages to finish the romance and the general storyline in a more satisfying manner.
Twilight Vows, the reissue, is set in Ireland - and it's advisable to read this *before* reading Twilight Hunger, given the major spoiler in Hunger which affects this novella. Rachel Sullivan has been fascinated all her life by the legend of the two vampires who once lived in the castle. However, she never expected that one of them, at least, was still alive. So when Donovan O'Roark walks into her pub, she is astounded. Even then, though, she takes him for a descendant of the original Donovan - until, after she follows him to the castle and wangles herself an invitation to stay the night, she discovers the truth: he really is a vampire.
Like most American authors writing Irish characters, Shayne wildly exaggerates Irish speech rhythms and dialect; as an Irish person I felt embarrassed reading it. No-one says `Lord `a mercy'; the expression is `Lord have mercy'. Many of her other faintly-phonetic renderings fall short of the mark. And I wonder who advised her on Irish names? Donovan is never, in Ireland at any rate, used as a first name; it is a surname. And Donovan's surname is properly spelt O'Roarke.
Again, as with Run from Twilight, this novella was over-short. Donovan went from denying that Rachel meant anything to him to realising that he loved her in far too short a time, and we saw nothing about his own feeling about her in years gone by, given that he'd watched over her since her childhood. Shayne did this much better with regard to Eric and Tamsin in Wings in the Night. Again, the story needed another 20 pages or so at the end to finish it properly, too.
Overall, this collection needed at least another 50 pages to be worthwhile. The stories in Wings in the Night worked because they were long enough to cover what needed to be covered; the romances were satisfying, and we also saw more of the characters in later books, which equally helped to round off the stories. These novellas, as well as being too short, gave us far too little of characters from earlier books (nothing at all in Twilight Vows), so that hook wasn't present either.
A very disappointing sequel, just as Shayne's Twilight Hunger, her first novel-length story - was disappointing. I just hope that her latest offering, Embrace the Twilight - another novel-length story, is better!
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