Temper Sanguine is the sequel to the Rainbow Award-winning paranormal romance Spirit Sanguine, about a vampire slayer new to Chicago who finds that his assumptions about vampires are turned on their head when he attempts to stalk a hot young vamp named Harvey (who’s a vegetarian, a bad driver, and has a penchant for sexy role-playing.) Instead of slaying him, they start seeing each other, all while solving some mysteries together.
I really enjoyed book 1, and overall really like Harper’s low-key writing, natural dialogue, and characters who live beyond stereotypes, which is a nice draw when picking up another vampire romance. This sequel continues from book 1, where Harvey and Gabe are still very together, although are now surfing some tensions, mostly due to Harvey’s fears that his “forced turning” by some vampires high on “bad blood” will eventually change him into a monster, the very same ones that Gabe used to kill in Europe.
Like book 1, book 2 is broken up into different stories, this time two different but linked mysteries, the first that sends our duo to New York and then later, to Hungary to track an old vampire menace.
For those who liked book 1, and Gabe and Harvey’s developing relationship, it’s easy to recommend the sequel. It’s nice to return to Harper’s world of “realistic vampires” who have to cope with day-to-day things, all while still having to solve some crimes and track some bad guys (or bad vamps.) I also love Harvey and Gabe’s relationship, and its mix of comfortable (and sexy) playfulness, even while they try to deal with their differences, including their habit of keeping things from each other.
For me, the first mystery in New York was the stronger and the more exciting of the two. The second, where our boys jet to Hungary, was scenic and interesting, but I definitely felt the pacing dip during that half, especially with sections that had felt heavy with exposition.
But overall, it was still a joy to return to Gabe and Harvey’s world, and I’m on board for any further adventures with them. If you enjoy paranormal romances, it’s a very good read, although I definitely recommend book 1 first. You’ll get way more out of the characters since there isn’t much explained about what happened earlier. And after that, don’t forget to check out the free short story that’s set between book 1 and 2, Late Night Snack.
Reviewed first for Boys in our Books.