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Tall, Dark and Dead [Hardcover]

3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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What's the best way to keep Vatican Witch hunters off your scent? Read the first page
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By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I gave this book a chance because after reading something like High Stakes by Erin McCarthy, I thought these light, 'chick lit' paranormal romances weren't that bad, and could be a great light read after potential heavy reads.

This one is slightly more darker, and with more action but not enough to take it away from the romance/chick lit genre. However what I really enjoyed the most out of this book was the humor. There was plenty of it. It's Garnet Lacey's wit that draws you to the story, and also makes you like her as a character. She's not your typical romantic heroine either, which also makes for her appeal. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments in the book -even coming from the bad guys in the novel as well.

The main story plot is pretty good and well written. The story arc with Garnet and the Vatican is very interesting. The romantic plot isn't too bad (mind you, I'm not one for romances so I am biased in this aspect of the book). Although I have to say, Garnet and Sebastian as a couple...it's a little off. I didn't find any chemistry between them, and didn't find them a great couple to begin with. Garnet and Parrish is the same way. Perhaps a little work is needed on giving the couples a little more chemistry to make the match more enjoyable to read, instead of just being together for the sake of having a main couple for the novel. I found it a little odd how Sebastian and Garnet instantly become an 'item' after a night..it baffles me still. Yet perhaps how my idea of how a couple should start off is much different than how the author pictured.

The story arc with Lilith is interesting and got me wanting to read further into this series I'm intrigued as to what is going to happen.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong and weak points March 26 2007
By Tom Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Garnet Lacey is a good witch who hosts the goddess Lilith in her womb after calling down the dark powers a while back to defeat the team of witch killers that slaughtered her coven. Single, she has a thing for vampires, who are apparently quite rare although they have a large following among goth circles in Madison, Wisconsin. She's got her sexy vampire ex, Parrish, who is a dependable rock when it comes to hiding bodies and has recently come drifting back into her life. And she's got blood-sucking Sebastian, a daywalker who recently visited her shop in search of a vital ingredient for his life-sustaining magicks.

And Garnet is madly, passionately, devotedly in love with whichever vampire happens to be with her at the time. She trusts the one she's with, mistrusts the one she's not and has sex with whomever's closest.

"Tall, Dark & Dead" has a few problems, and Garnet's fickle heart is least among them. One is the overall presentation of witchcraft. Garnet pretends to be a new-agey witch poseur to throw pursuers off her track, and yet the actual performance of her craft is drawn from those very same neopagan sources.

The story obviously needs a villain, and author Tate Hallaway (a.k.a. Lyda Morehouse) demonizes the Catholic Church to provide one. Perhaps it's just me, but when her protagonist is a member of a religion that prioritizes religious tolerance, it seems unwise to slam another faith so blatantly. In this case, the church employs psychics to hunt and murder witches, and is considering creating an army of Catholic vampires to strengthen the hunt.

Problems aside, I enjoyed "Tall, Dark & Dead" much more than I expected. Even the problems mentioned above were amusing in a good-natured but exasperating kind of way. Hallaway is a graceful writer who knows her way around a sentence, and she's building a strong supporting frame for Garnet Lacey's world. I hope the coming sequel, "Dead Sexy," works out the kinks and focuses on Hallaway's strong points.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like 4 1/2 stars- great new entry! May 28 2006
By Deborah Wiley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Garnet Lacey has sworn off magic ever since she arrived late to a coven meeting and witnessed the slaughter of her friends by the Vatican witch killers. In a fit of rage, Garnet summoned the goddess Lilith and destroyed all of her friends' killers. Her ex-boyfriend and vampire, Daniel Parrish, helped her bury the bodies and she fled, re-inventing herself as a goth poseur. Unfortunately, Lilith still lurks beneath the surface and now the Vatican witch killers have returned....

Sebastian Von Traum is a vampire through alchemy and the Vatican wants him dead and to possess his formula. Sebastian's son and dhampyr, Matyas, is aiding them as he wants a Papal exorcism for his mother, who hovers somewhere between vampirism and death. Garnet will have to summon inner reserves she doesn't even know she possesses to keep Lilith under control while staying alive and out of the clutches of the Vatican witch hunters.

TALL, DARK & DEAD is an interesting blend of fantasy and romance. The story is a bit darker than most romances but Tate Hallaway's humor balances it out. The character of William adds comic relief necessary to break the tension. William is Garnet's friend and therefore willing to assist her with her quest to protect Sebastian but his naiveté regarding the supernatural (despite working in an occult bookstore!) is refreshing. Garnet's familiar, Barney, also adds a touch of humor as her familiar is allergic to magic!

One fascinating aspect of TALL, DARK & DEAD is the struggle between good and evil. The Vatican would normally be associated with good while witches would be evil and yet Tate Hallaway has turned this concept around and made the witches good while the Vatican supports killing. Garnet struggles with these weighty issues as the goddess Lilith inside her wants to destroy while Garnet is a peace-loving vegetarian.

TALL, DARK & DEAD is not to be missed by lovers of paranormal romances! Tate Hallaway has created a rich world that will leave readers screaming for a sequel.

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing addition to the genre that will keep you reading long into the night June 16 2006
By Erika Sorocco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Garnet Lacey is pushing thirty, and while she's like to leave her magic past behind, she's finding it extremely difficult, what with an inner goddess name Lilith controlling her powers. Besides, disposing of all things magical isn't the easiest task when you're the manager of Wisconsin's premier occult bookstore, and are around all things magic 24/7, including customers. Which is where Sebastian Von Traum - a gorgeous guy in leather and denim, sporting an Austrian accent - enters the picture. Garnet is immediately attracted to the piece of unadulterated hotness, but when she realizes that he's missing one very important thing: an aura, she knows that he's ultimately part of a different world. Meaning, he's dead. Which is definitely trouble. But Garnet knows what she likes, and she's automatically sucked in to the trouble written all over Sebastian. And now, as much as she'd like to escape it, Garnet - along with Sebastian - are being chased by the Vatican witch hunters. The same Vatican witch hunters who killed Garnet's coven months ago, and who she's been hiding out from ever since that fateful day. As if dealing with one vamp - Sebastian - weren't difficult enough, Garnet's ex Parrish has dragged himself out of his coffin, and is hanging around, looking to get some action - of the blood-sucking variety - from anyone willing; and Sebastian's ex is squirming in her grave, in limbo between life and death. Now, Garnet is on the run, hiding by daylight, and running when darkness falls, in an attempt to protect herself - and her friends - from an untimely death.

I will admit that I was originally attracted to this book solely by the cover. However, upon reading the first few pages, I was hooked on the mystery and supernatural aura that lingered around both Garnet Lacey, and her many...freaky friends. Tate Hallaway has entered the paranormal/supernatural/vampire romance genre with a bang, and brought along a crew of wicked cool pals who will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last. Her descriptions of vampiric exchanges leave you cringing, and grabbing your jugular; while the romance never dies, living on in each page. An engrossing addition to the genre that will keep you reading long into the night.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Frustrating Rollercoaster May 30 2006
By V. bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a rollercoaster and not the good kind. It started out very promising, the first few pages made me buy the book. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to finish this frustrating book. At times, I had to force myself to read until the plot picked up. The plotting was very good, the problem lay with the characters who were spotty at best.

The vampires were laughable (the skeevy clothes and the romantic dracula talk). Other writers like MaryJanice Davidson make fun of this kind of vampire (strangely Ms Davidson gives it a positive cover blurb.) But Garnet, the main character, LOVES this kind of vampire. She refers to them as bad boys, but they're just bad. Ultimately, Garnet is weak when it comes to vampires and, for me, it's not an attractive trait in a main character. Especially when she's attached to two vamps that are alternately evil, just plain criminal, and not that likeable. And yet the reader, like Garnet is supposed to find their behavior and Garnet's inability to say stay resolute in her behavior toward them charming. It's not. This book's premise had a really great promise, too bad Tate Hallaway couldn't follow through on it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy, Enjoyable Read Jan. 26 2007
By Sunny Skies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have recently started reading the paranormal, romantic comedy. I enjoyed this book even though it was not "literature." When I read these books, it's for entertainment purposes and I know that going in. I have already suspended belief and am hoping the author gives me characters that are interesting and halfway believable situations. I think Tall, Dark and Dead delivers on most of that.

I did have one area where I had to not only suspend belief, but actually turn my brain off; the Vatican witch hunters. I had a hard time believing that the Vatican wanted to exterminate witches, but had no problems with vampires. If the book had used a different entity/villian, it would have been more believable.

My understanding on reading the book was that Garnet WAS a witch with knowledge and power at one time, but who decided to stop practicing her craft. I'm sure Lilith, the goddess also didn't bother with her possessee's unless there was something she wanted. I liked Sebastian, but felt the strongest character with the most thorough character development was Matyas...Sebastian's son.

Tate's writing is not as good as Charlaine Harris, Rachel Caine, Mary Janice Davidson and some of the other writer's in the genre, but I enjoyed this book and I plan on reading the next one.
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