Title: Everything Anise
Author Name & Publisher: Natalie-Nicole Bates (Torquere Books)
Publication Date & Length: October 7, 2015 – 16,200 Words
A Victorian-era vampire living in the modern world, Emigh Bennett’s favorite activity is watching people from the window of her little bookshop. When she spots a woman nearly killed on the street outside her shop, she rushes to her rescue, and she meets Anise.
The proprietress of a little home business called “Everything Anise,” Anise crafts one-of-a-kind perfumes all with a touch of her namesake spice, all with the power to intoxicate and delight the senses. She is smart, sexy, beautiful, and happens to be a little bit different.
Although Anise is everything Emigh could ever ask for and more, she can’t quite figure her out. Anise possesses the duality of an innocent angel and a vivacious vixen. Even if Emigh can ever peel away the multi layers of Anise to uncover the truth beneath, what will happen when she finally reveals the truth about herself?
This book was a quick read that made me smile, laugh and shake my head all in a short span of time. The characters were both entertaining and the plot carried itself along well. While there was definitely space for more within this story, it read well for what it was. If you’re looking for a quick, interesting read, this is a good place to start.
It was decently written with only a few minor errors I came across and flowed well. The formatting was well done and while a bit more length would have been wonderful it was lovely as is. I would recommend it for waiting room read.
I liked this book. It seemed like a new and slightly different take on the usual vampire mythos, which endeared it to me. I did have two problems with it. First, it was pretty short. I don’t have anything against short stories, or novellas. Some can be extremely powerful and moving. Some, like this one, kind of leave me wanting more. I felt this story needed to be longer, because, second, it seemed like the relationship developed too quickly. I’m not usually against the ‘instant connection’ device in fiction, but sometimes the change of emotions is so fast that things feel a bit more shallow than intended. I feel like the connection here was supposed to be overwhelming for both characters, and while she hit it on the head for Emigh, Anise came off a little worse in the characterization area. She seems to be really in to Emigh when she invites her over, but when things go a little further than she’s ready for, she really makes it seem like she never intended anything romantic at all. This was confusing for the reader as much as it was for Emigh. Because she did do some pretty brazen things leading up to the big change of mind. Then she has another lightning swift change of heart, and is declaring that there’s nothing Emigh can do or say to change how she feels. All of that just seems so quick that it’s trite. The story would have benefitted from a little extra time, or length, to let things develop in a more natural way. On the other hand, it was a quick read, and enjoyable. It took the reader from the initial isolation and loneliness to a certain warmth and hope for the future.
For the first time in…hell, it must be years, Emigh’s life felt bright and vibrant. Meeting Anise was the dawning of a new day. The lift she’d needed for so long.
She dared to pick up the phone that first night and call Anise. To hear that special kind of something in her voice as they spoke. To talk about everything and anything…well, not everything. She didn’t broach the subject of her sexuality—maybe not hers, but Anise’s. As a matter of fact, Anise mentioned neither male nor female friends.
Anise spoke of her passion for crafting corsets and perfume. She loved to bake. She was estranged from her family. They didn’t understand that she didn’t want to work a boring nine-to-five job, train into the city, train home again at night, exhausted. They thought she was wasting her life away, and because she wouldn’t come around to their strict way of thinking and living, she walked away from them.
Emigh admired her spunk and dedication. Smart, sweet, articulate, and she made her laugh, which was a tough thing to do. Anise was definitely a rare breed of woman.
But how long could it last?
She couldn’t tell Anise she was a vampire, let alone that she would never die.
How she hated the word! But until someone came up with a better one, she was stuck with it.
Of course, Anise would never believe her. No one did. Every once in a while some beautiful woman would come along, and their connection would be instantaneous…sizzling. Emigh would find herself whispering the truth to her beloved. Inevitably, the not-so-twin flame would beat a hasty retreat, believing Emigh was crazy, or a liar…or both.
Crazy and liar are never good things in a relationship.
Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.