Series: Half-Moon Hollow #7
Published by Audible Studios on October 7, 2019
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Length: 6 hrs 50 min
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Listening length: 6 hours, 50 minutes
Ever since Jane Jameson took over running the Vampire Council for Half-Moon Hollow, things have been a little unorthodox and that doesn’t sit well with the head office. Who would have thought vampires were so into bureaucracy and tradition?
Enter a vamp from corporate who’s determined to unseat Jane and get the council back on track—which means no more of this Kentucky neighborliness and mixing with humans, werewolves, witches, or anything else.
But Jane’s not interested in going back to the bad old days when the council was mired in corruption and tended to “accidentally” eat people now and again, but she might be in over her head this time. Good thing there’s a pretty new face in town who just might be the perfect distraction and help save Jane’s career.
It was so great to be back in Half-Moon Hollow again.
Meadow Schwartz was not born by that name but her story is one you hear everyday. She was raised a rich debutante to an illustrious family who raised racehorses until their luck turned and they used their vast property and barns to cook meth. Things were great until they crossed the wrong people who turned their only daughter to teach them a lesson. Since having a vampire daughter wasn’t yet something the socially elite did yet, they abandoned their daughter to her anger and she then left a trail of blood as she tracked down the people who did this to her. You know — normal rags to riches or rich to vampire story.
Under the tender loving guidance of The Vampire Council, Meadow lucked out by having her probationary period (better known as don’t screw up or we’ll stake you) supervision under Jane Jameson and Dick Chaney in Half Moon Hollow. In Half-Moon Hollow, Meadow has embraced pacifism and become a “hippie-dippie” as Dick likes to call her. Her naturally blended teas have become very popular amongst vampires who like to blend them with their blood to promote better vampiric health. She is also the stand-in for the Council Chapter’s archivist who is on a semi-permanent vacation.
Meadow has finally gotten her undead life together and found some peace at least until Corporate Jackass Erik Weston arrives in Half-Moon Hollow to audit the leadership of Dick and Jane. He is so pompous and takes every opportunity to bad mouth everything from the Town to the people in it. Of course, someone is taking advantage of Weston’s arrival to make Dick and Jane look really, really bad which is not helping matters. Meadow will do whatever she has to do to save their jobs because not only could Meadow be shipped under the supervision of another vampire who isn’t so caring as Jane but her friends in Half-Moon Hollow have become her new family.
I always enjoy returning to Half-Moon Hollow. I like Jane Jameson and all of our favorite characters from this series. This is also one of my favorite audiobook series Amanda Ronconi does such a great job.
“Is everything all right?”
“I think we can agree that the last few weeks have been fun, relaxing, happy–other than the strange happening at the Council office. And if anything the so-called Coffee Incident has shown me that I need to get you far from this place as quickly as possible. So I was thinking we should explore a more long-term arrangement.”
I cocked my head, nearly smacking it into the doorframe thanks to limited depth perception. “That’s unexpected.”
Weston gently pulled me out onto the walkway. “I can’t stay here Meadow I think we both know that.”
“All right. Those are two conflicting statements. You want to explore a long-term arrangement, but you can’t stay here. In Half-Moon Hollow. Where my life is. The life you could completely uproot with your reports and your investigation–“
“I told you, I’m obligated to report the truth to the Council. I’m not trying to hurt Jane, but I have to do my job,” he said.
“Which would be great if your job didn’t conflict with almost everything I hold dear!”
“I don’t want to leave you. I feel attached to you in a way I haven’t felt for anyone in a long time. I don’t think you love me yet, and I don’t love you yet. But I think we could get there eventually. I do know that leaving you here in this place would hurt my heart. After I submit my report, I was hoping you would consider traveling with me while I work to see where this is going. You could see some of the world beyond Kentucky. You’re so young, and you’ve barely seen anything yet, and I would like to be there when you do.”
I arched my brow so hard it actually hurt my forehead. This was a lot of information to process all at once. “I can’t just leave. I have my job with the Council. I have the shop. I have responsibilities. I have a home here.”
“I don’t have that, Meadow. I’ve never had a home, not since I was human. I was hoping you could help me make one.”
“By giving up my own? That’s hardly fair. And I’m still under the watchful eye of the Council. If I leave the area without permission, I could get into serous trouble,” I told him.
“So we ask the Council to remove your probationary status. You said yourself: You’ve been on your best behavior for years, with Jane’s limited supervision. Surely, that has to mean something. Why are you looking for excuses to stay in this backward town, when I’m trying to give you the world?”
All I could do was stare at him. How was it possible he had said something that was meant to be nice in such a backhanded manner? Wait, it wasn’t even backhanded. It was just insulting, toward me and my town and my friends and my shop and my commitment to that shop and…America and…ponies.
I was losing my point.
After a long moment, he seemed to realize I wasn’t responding to his “offer.”
“Why aren’t you saying anything?” he asked. “Is it because you’re scared of commitments? Because I’m asking for more than Luke did?”
I growled through gritted teeth. “I don’t know what’s more infuriating. You assuming that my feelings for you are so powerful that they frighten me, you assuming that I’ll just abandon the business I’ve worked for years to get off the ground, or that you’re still such a snob about this place–this place I call home, where I’ve found people I love and who love me in return. You think I can walk away from all of that so easily?”
“I shouldn’t be the one making all of the compromises here. I don’t mind that you’re stubborn, unfocused, almost belligerently naive–“
“Please stop describing my virtues; I just might swoon,” I told him flatly. “And I won’t bring up the fact that maybe the reason you’re not ‘good with people’ is that you genuinely don’t seem to care about anyone’s feelings but your own. So no, Erik Weston, I don’t want to see the world with you. I don’t want to be near you. I tried giving you the benefit of the doubt because I thought I saw something in you, something other than this cynical jerk. But the minute I let my guard down, you remind me why I don’t talk to anyone I grew up with. Just stay away from me.”
“All right, then,” he said. I tried to be honest with you Meadow. I thought that was something you wanted. Maybe I should have lied to your face like Luke Corso did; we might have been happier.”
He turned on his heel and walked into his apartment. I sighed, pinching the ridge of my nose. The office was going to be super awkward for a while. I was obviously not fit to date anyone or do anything resembling dating for a long time. I would just…date myself. Clearly, I was the only one suited for my personality.
Jane was just a few steps from the door when I walked into the apartment. She looked absolutely stricken. I groaned. “You heard everything, didn’t you?”
“He just Mr. Darcy’d you,” Jane said, shaking her head. “I mean, I have been waiting my whole life for someone to Mr. Darcy me–“
“Don’t tell Gabriel that,” Andrea muttered.
“But now that I’ve seen it in real life…not as romantic as I thought it would be,” Jane said.