Hungry For You – Lynsay Sands

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I like vampire books and I like reading romance in the weekend, so this seemed like the perfect match! Lynsay Sands is an accomplished romance writer and is known for historical romance novels was well as her two vampire series. The Argenau series counts 25 so far books with a 26th book set for publication in September 2017. Hungry For You is number 14 in the series and was released in November 2010.  Let’s start with the short description:

As one of the most ancient in the Argeneau clan, Cale Valens has given up on finding a life mate. His friends and family, however, have not. In fact, they believe they’ve finally found his perfect match. Getting them together, however, requires one little white lie… 

Alexandra Willan is in a panic. Her restaurant is due to open in two weeks, but her chef just walked out. Then a highly recommended replacement arrives, an impossibly handsome culinary genius who sends electric tingles racing through her body… 

Except he can’t cook. In fact, Cale hasn’t eaten real food in two thousand years. Yet he’s determined to prove to Alex his prowess in the kitchen . . . and elsewhere. Because never has he hungered so for any mortal woman. And not just for a taste of her, but for the whole delicious feast!

The Argeneau clan are what we would call vampires, but their origins, in fact, date back to Atlantis. Sands sets them up as the original people from Atlantis who were much more advanced than “us” in ancient times. They developed nanotechnology that heals everything, and which were supposed to self-destruct after curing someone. But they didn’t, and just kept on healing and restoring sells in the Atlantians. That’s why they are immortal, and they need to consume blood since the nanotechnology works on blood.

Cale Valens is one of their oldest members, born in 280 BC and nephew of Marguerite Argeneau. Marguerite is determined to find “lifemates” for her entire family and she summons Cale from his Paris home to Canada to come meet Alex. Cale agrees reluctantly because he’s sure that Alex won’t be right for him – he’s been alone for so long that he’s convinced he will never find his lifemate. But what he doesn’t know is that Marguerite has a knack for figuring out who can be a lifemate for which member of her family. So when Cale arrives at Mortimer’s house and meets Sam, Alex’s sister, they are all very excited to get him to meet Alex since they are convinced she will be his lifemate, as Marguerite predicted.

At the same time, Alex is in trouble because her head chef quits right when she is in the middle of launching her second restaurant. So when her sister Sam calls her telling her of Cale, who is made out to be a French chef, she is happy to let him help her out in her kitchen. These “vampires” know that someone is their lifemate when they can’t read their mind or control their actions. So when Cale meets her and finds he is unable to do so, he is stunned. He wants nothing more than to make her his and start their life together. He consents to become her chef, to be close to her, even though he doesn’t know how to cook, hasn’t eaten food in over 2000 years and the smell of food makes him nauseous. Thanks to his”vampire” abilities and a little help from his friends, he is able to make it to the first night. The next day, he manages to hire a top chef to replace him in the kitchen and convinces Alex to hire him as her business manager to help her manage everything in the new restaurant and get it ready for opening. Alex and Cale slowly grow closer together, as they fight to get the restaurant open in time (against forces trying to prevent this).

I really like Cale and Alex’s relationship. When they first meet, neither of them is expecting to fall in love, they don’t even want to. But Cale sees her and immediately realises she is the one for him, he is desperate to be around her but he respects her wishes, he keeps his distance and he takes his time. He doesn’t force himself on her, as these strong, alpha males (vampires or not) are usually wont to do in romance novels. And I think this is partly because he knows that forcing things will get him nowhere, but also because he himself is a little love-shy. He has been alone for so long that he didn’t think he would be able to find someone anymore. Alex herself is also love-shy because she had a bad experience while in culinary school. So I thought the development of their relationship to be very realistic and true to the world that Sands created. Her immortals see their lifemate and they’re in love. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they also need to get used to having someone in their life, their wants and needs becoming a little more human, and having the time to make sure their lifemate loves them back. Yes, it all goes a little faster than in real life, but that’s realistic in the book’s setting.

All in all, I really liked this book! I loved the characters, the story development was not too clichéd and very fun to read. It went according to normal speeds and the little mystery and tension surrounding the sabotage were not too much. Looking for something relaxing to read? And do you like romance and vampires? Then look no further!

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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