My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Oct09/quartetto.ALSH.html
An artist posing as a courtesan in sixteenth century Venice, Caprice takes pleasure in living her life as she sees fit. What’s more, she enjoys the attention of not one, but two lovers, the Visconti twins, Marcello and Massimo. Marcello is kindness and sensuality personified, while Massimo is ferocity and passion, a perfect complement to his twin. The trio’s lives take an interesting turn when they meet Philippe-Auguste, Frenchman, seducer…and vampire. Philippe-Auguste wants the three lovers for himself, but the newfound quartetto won’t enjoy their quasi-connubial bliss for long. A vampire from Philippe-Auguste’s past arrives intent on destroying the lovers and the plague is sweeping through Venice like wildfire. Is the love between the quartetto strong enough to survive the danger closing in around them?
Vampires, artists, and gorgeous identical twins, with Venice as a backdrop for their play – what more could you ask for? Unfortunately, even with all the right elements, Quartetto failed to work for me. Caprice, Marcello, and Philippe-Auguste are all likeable, but their characters remain stagnant throughout the story. Of the four, Massimo is the only one who changes over the course of the book, but his love for Marcello, Caprice, and Philippe-Auguste is outweighed by his selfishness and bad temper. The plot started out with promise, but while things happen, they do so almost without reason in some places. The story moved, but lacked fluidity and ended abruptly without closure. I am an avid reader of Stephani Hecht’s work and have enjoyed A.J. Llwellyn’s books before, so I was disappointed that I was unable to connect with Quartetto. Still, I have great respect for each author and look forward to reading more of their work in the future.