I really enjoyed this first book of the House of Comarre series. The heroine Chrysabelle is a comarre, which is described as a geisha for vampires. Her patron ends up dead and she goes on the run to avoid being blamed for it. She ends up meeting the other main characters Mal, Doc, and Fi after her escape. This story has all the usual supernatural elements like vampires, Fae, and shapeshifters but they aren't used in a generic way. The Fae in particular have some unique characteristics, and the hidden vampire society that Chrysabelle lived all her life in creates an enigmatic and fascinating background, and at times setting, for the story. Mal has a tragic backstory that gets revealed over time, and the way his, chrysabelle's, Fi's, and Doc's lives are (and become) connected will surprise you and is fascinating to read about. The evolving relationships between these four are really at the heart of the story and are what makes it so good.
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Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning urban fantasy for Orbit Books. The former college English teacher can often be found on twitter @Kristen_Painter, Facebook at www.facebook.com/KristenPainterAuthor, where she loves to interact with her readers and on her blog, http://kristenpainter.com/blog/.
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