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REVIEW: Passionate Thirst by Cameron Dean

Dear Ms. Dean*:

Passionate ThirstI guess this is your ode to Laurell K Hamilton and Buffy the Vampire slayer. To which I say, haven’t we had enough of that?

Candace Steele is a vampire hunter. She lives in Vegas where she made her home after leaving San Francisco and her vampire lover. Having had a little vampire blood in her, she is made to be a little stronger, a little quicker, and she is able to discern humans from vamps which gives her a big edge. There are some very slight changes to the ordinary vampire mythology but otherwise, it’s the same world I’ve been reading about for the past 6 years or so.

What saves this book from being a total wall banger is that the pace of the book moves quickly although for an action book, there is almost no action until the big climactic movement at the end. The story is told in two parts. First is the current day story in which Candace has a satisfying relationship with a homicide detective from Las Vegas. The second is the flashbacks which reveal Candace’s past relationship with Ash, a vampire she met and fell in love with in Vegas. Of course, her past and present collide when Ash comes to Vegas to reclaim her. Ash wants her to live forever with him and Candace enjoys being human.

Candace’s current challenge is to protect a celebrity act that is taking place at her casino. This job is made more difficult by the fact that the manager of the act is a tremendously strong vampire. Then there are a couple of headless vamps in Vegas which seem to be unrelated to the new vampire in town.

This is the first book in a trilogy and you left with the story being unresolved. The mystery is solved, but how the mystery is solved doesn’t involve any sleuthing. Steele happens upon something accidentally. This is not a romance as Candace has a physical and emotional relationship with two characters in the book and ends up with neither at the end.

The funny thing is that I read this book in one sitting but when I sat down to write the review, I realized how poorly plotted, weak in characterization, and derivative it was. So how to grade it? I guess a B-. If a reader is jonesing for another vampire read, like LKH, and doesn’t want romance, this isn’t a bad way to spend your time. I did buy the second book in the series but never finished it and I doubt I’ll buy the third. Unfortunately, the Amazon synopsis told me the resolution of the conflict and because I remain totally uninvested in these characters, I can’t be arsed to finish the series.

Best regards,


* The copyright in this book says “cameron dean” and “parachute publishing llc” and googling cameron dean turns up nothing. So I guess that Dean is a pseudonym?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Nonny
    Nov 27, 2006 @ 18:38:03

    I could be wrong, but isn’t Parachute Publishing a “book packager”? That is, an agency that arranges for writers to “ghostwrite” novels, particularly children’s and YA serials?

    If so… very, very interesting that they’re now moving into paranormal romance territory.

  2. May
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 09:40:01

    I’ve read it.

    And since you’ve warned everybody off the book, I won’t have to.

  3. Jane
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 09:48:06

    Nonny – the only reason I knew who the copyright belonged too was because this book is marketed as a romance so I wanted to see the author’s website. No author website exists. It’s like the author doesn’t exist (although I have been told there is a picture of someone in the back of the book). You are right that PP LLC appears to be some kind of children/YA packaging company.

    May – This was so far from a romance that i was confused for much of the book. ;)

  4. sybil
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 10:36:33

    So are you recovering ok from your two week nice thing?

    If she is a ghost they have a photo and ‘author bio’ in the book I saw at wally world.

  5. Nonny
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 11:35:33

    At least with ghostwritten children’s/YA novels, they often have an author photo and a bio in the back of the book.

  6. May
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 11:39:18

    There was an author picture and a bio, Nonny.

  7. Jane
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 13:40:56

    I have the ebook version so I didn’t see that. No picture on the ebook version. :(

  8. May
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 14:16:59

    She appears to be a middle-aged white woman–I could be way off on the age thing because Caucasians appear about 10 years older on average than they really are to me.

  9. Nonny
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 14:58:39

    May said: There was an author picture and a bio, Nonny.

    I know; I checked the copy I picked up at WalMart about a week ago (it was $4 and it looked interesting). My comment was in response to Sybil, who sounded doubtful that it was a ghost-writer because of the photo and bio, but this is actually normal for ghost-written/”packaged” children’s and YA novels.

    Most popular kids series novels are actually ghost-written, at least those that come out on a regular basis. Most of the Baby-Sitter’s Club, Animorphs, and Sweet Valley novels (among others) were ghost-written. Yet they were all attributed to a single author; usually because that author was at least the creator, even if she didn’t write all the books.

    I’m not sure what’s the case here. The fact that I can’t find a website or any information for the author when self-promotion via the web is incredibly stressed upon in romance (not quite so much in SFF) leads me to think it’s entirely possible that the author doesn’t actually exist.

  10. May
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 15:17:56

    But isn’t this book categorized as romance? I’m quite sure I saw romance on the spine.

    This gets curiouser and curiouser.

    I always wanted to say that. Has anybody tried contacting someone at Parachute?

  11. Nonny
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 15:23:24

    May said: But isn’t this book categorized as romance? I’m quite sure I saw romance on the spine.

    Yes, it is. Which is odd, because looking at Parachute’s website, they only seem to mention their YA/kids’ books.

  12. Jane
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 15:25:59

    Yes, it’s categorized as a romance and I asked Bookseller Jolie about it, and it is spined as a romance. Only through book two, it ain’t a romance. Unless you call having three separate physical and emotional relationships with three guys in two books a romance.

  13. Nonny
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 16:14:13

    Jane said: Unless you call having three separate physical and emotional relationships with three guys in two books a romance.

    Being polyamorous, I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out. ;)

    Smart-assitude aside, it sounds more along the lines of erotica (with chick lit themes/storylines) being marketed as erotic romance. Only in this case, it sounds more like it’s Laurell K. Hamilton wannabe urban fantasy marketed as romance. *sigh*

  14. Jane
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 16:17:14

    I was trying to exclude polyamorous relationships because these are distinct relationships. And it isn’t really erotic. I mean, there is explicit sex, but it is not erotic sex not like LKH. If you know what I mean.

  15. Katie
    Jan 11, 2007 @ 23:03:17

    This is an AWSOME book! I loved it! :D

  16. Tracy C.
    Jan 13, 2007 @ 21:37:38

    I loved this series, I thought it was a fast read and I loved the story between Ash and Candance.. I am hopeful she will continue the series…I read alot of books and this series is in my top 10..I like it better than the Anita Baker series from Laurell K. Hamilton and it ranks up there with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series…Candance is strong, smart and witty…Keep them coming Cameron!!!

  17. Jane
    Jan 13, 2007 @ 21:39:49

    Have you read all three, including Eternal Hunger? How do you propose for the series to continue? Just curious.

  18. Tracy C.
    Jan 14, 2007 @ 04:31:23

    The way she left the 3rd book, left it open to a possible 4th book. Spoiler ahead: The 3rd book Candance gets attacked and Ash turns her into a vampire, but with a clause she has to take blood from a living person and if she does not she will die, unless Ash dies first. Well she has to stop the Board from getting immortality and in the process Ash dies or we think he does and she turns back into a human. But in the end she is staying at Ash’s house and she senses he is close and finds her favorite flowers on the floor and that is how it ends..Which sucks….So I am hoping if the books are selling maybe she will write one last book!!! I want her and Ash to have a happy ending!!!!

  19. Delaney
    Feb 03, 2007 @ 00:23:15

    I read the books also and I agree with Tracy C. The book ends with hope, but I wanted to see if there was another book and came up with the same problems everyone has. No such author, and when you try anything else it comes up at a road block. Ths is most frustrating!.. I also hope she has a 4th book with an ending. I want Ash and Candace happy, and definetly not with Carl!!!!. Well hope there is a 4th book is all.

  20. Mindy
    Feb 03, 2007 @ 14:44:49

    I really liked the series. I’m hoping for a fourth book but can’t find out any information. I can’t seem to find an author website either. I just don’t want the story to end like it did in the 3rd book!

  21. Chris
    Feb 04, 2007 @ 18:26:43

    I just finished reading the whole series this weekend. I am also hoping for a 4th book and happily ever after. Even LKH’s books don’t end so sad. Giving some thought as to lack of available informaion on Ms. Dean. Maybe this a part of the publisher’s publicity. Get everyone revved up and curious so that maype she would be competition for LKH, MaryJanice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Charlaine Harris. The publisher could be hoping for enough curiousity and feedback about the author and books to see if readers are invested enough in the story to support additional work by Dean. If so, then they are sneaky. Only problem, as much as I want a 4th book and happily ever after, I didn’t like the books enough to go out and buy them for my collection. The writing and stories lacked the intricate and complete details I’ve come to expect and appreciate from the authors listed above. I would get the book from the library but not buy it.

  22. Terri
    Feb 06, 2007 @ 19:35:45

    I liked the series but didn’t like the way it ended. I was hoping there was another book in the series but couldn’t find an author website to find out. Leaving the story with a ‘hopeful’ ending isn’t the same as a happy ending. What happens next? How do they eventually get together?

  23. Sara Echternach
    Feb 27, 2007 @ 19:11:06

    I also loved the series but I hated the ending in book 3. I read these books in a matter of a few days and got so caught up with the characters that the ending of Eternal Hunger left me unsatisfied and a little sad. I hope there is another book, and I have tried to look for a website and cannot find one. I would love to tell Ms. Dean that the last book left a lot of us wanting a happy ending.

  24. Susy
    Mar 12, 2007 @ 19:02:12

    I was wondering if Cameron Dean has an official website. It’s kinda strange that I can’t find it anywhere. Anyways, I’ve been reading horrid reviews about the books. Unfortunately it came all to my attention after purchasing the hardbacks. So… maybe she’s like some other author’s that have rollercoaster series (series that start good then go downhill then go up again) after all sometimes it happens even to the top notch ones.

  25. Jane
    Mar 12, 2007 @ 19:04:18

    There is no website for Cameron Dean and the copyright is for Parachute Publishing which is a well known packager of young adult books. It’s possible that Cameron Dean is a pen name for more than one author, i.e., more than one author wrote the series. At least that is the speculation I have at this point.

  26. Natalie
    Mar 14, 2007 @ 22:16:51

    I finished this whole series just now and all I can think is, “there goes two day’s I’ll never get back.” I wish I had read more reviews about this before I started reading. These just sucked!

  27. Susy
    Mar 15, 2007 @ 10:15:57

    I feel the same way. I’m done with the first book and dear lord it wasn’t what I thought it’d be. I can’t believe I bought all three HBs ugh. Oh well, guess I’ll look at it as a pennance or something lol.
    Funny thing was that when I ordered the books they came by mistake twice so I’m gonna try and sell those suckers ASAP!

  28. Susy
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 09:42:16

    I’m already on the last book and I guess I got attached to the characters. SO it sucks that it’s just a trilogy. Hopefully Bibi will come in a trilogy but with werewolves? Also, if Bibi gets her own trilogy…. perhaps Candace will finally have her HEA.

  29. Jane
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 09:50:15

    For everyone who is frustrated, disgusted, upset or dismayed at this trilogy, you should write the editor. From what I have heard from authors, editors respond to reader email so if you can take the time to email the Ballantine editors and let them know that this type of book doesn’t meet your expectations, changes can occur.

    This is the general email of Ballantine: [email protected]. Another main editor is Gina Centrello [email protected].

  30. Abigail
    Mar 18, 2007 @ 19:04:05

    i read all 3 books im hooked y cant yu write more this isnt fair to me!!!!!!!

  31. rohaiza
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 09:30:22

    just bought n read all 3 books. can’t say they were great but an ok effort given that i’ve read worse ‘paranormal romances’! bittersweet ending was unexpected but more ‘realistic’. a fourth book would just spoil things. Nora Roberts’ circle trilogy was much better though. can’t wait for LKH’s latest…..

  32. terrie davis
    Oct 12, 2007 @ 19:08:16

    I’ve sat here and read everyones comments about this book series,and some are right, but others are wrong. The books were great and had a great plot.And I read alot of Vampire books,and these are up there with my favorties.And I hope a fourth book comes out, if not I at least have these three.I’ve tried to find her also, but no luck.If the publishers are playing with everyone about this series and the author,then I’ll not buy any more books from them.and it’s a shame because Ballantine Books are real good.Thanks everyone for trying to find out about this author.Terrie 10/12/2007

  33. Marie
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 00:03:57

    I picked these up by chance and I must say, I got hooked really quickly. No they are not your average vampire romance books, but they were fun and I really do hope to read more from this author! :D

  34. shelley
    Apr 05, 2008 @ 14:26:23

    Hi, after looking at your reviews I have to say I’m sorry I bought these books as now I can’t decide if I will bother to read them and since I got them on ebook format I can’t exactly return them. As to if this author exists or not after doing some research on the internet I think that “Cameron Dean” is alias for “Cameron Dokey”.

  35. Lindsay Holmes
    May 22, 2008 @ 01:03:32

    Please please please write a sequel to your last Candice Steele novel!!! I was so hooked on the first 3- I’ve been checking the bookstores ever since to see if you’ve put out a forth book! I want to see them get back together!!!

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