Darkly Dreaming, by Chloe Hammond

Rachael, or Rae as she prefers to be known, is at the end of her tether following a childless marriage break up. As many do, she tries to rekindle her friendship with an old university friend, Layla – whose marriage has also collapsed. Vodka binges and hilarious tales of internet first dates lead the pair to embark on a journey of rediscovery to their old haunts in Tours, France – a place where they’d spent many joyous holidays together. Leaving with a group of old friends, they reach their destination, dump their kit in their room and explore the town.

As evening draws near they visit the town square. In a state of merriment, Rae notices one of her married friends, Melanie, is deep in the embraces of a handsome-looking stranger, who’s neck-nuzzling turns out to be far more than it seems. Later in the evening they have to drag a semi-conscious Melanie and another of their friends back to the hotel and tuck them into bed. Come next morning Rae’s friends have still not appeared and are going to miss their transport home. To their horror, Rae and Layla discover one of the ladies they’d seen to their rooms is dead, while Melanie shrieks and launches herself at Layla and savagely bites her on the face and neck. Terror-stricken Rae tries to tear the apparently demented Melanie away, and ends up being bitten herself. Understandably miffed Rae grabs Melanie’s hair in her fist and bashes her head against the wall, then lobs her out of the nearest window.

Many readers have grown tired of the current trend of vampire novels, while others remain ardent fans. Those seeking bloodfests will be disappointed, but a great many others will enjoy this light and entertaining read. This is the first book in the Darkly Vampire series by Chloe Hammond. Book Two, ‘Darkly Dancing’, is scheduled to be released this year on Halloween.

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