Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Wild at Heart" by @sleuthinpumps

"Wild at Heart" by silveraure
James & Victoria, Drama/Western, AU, MA/NC-17, WIP
Summary: Cold, deadly, and haunted, James Wilder is a frontiersman in the Old American West who becomes the unwilling protector of his boss' frightened and abused daughter Victoria Childress. Pre-Twilight, Dark Themes, Vampires

I can't tell you how many hours I spent searching for this De Vill's AdVocate. Last weekend, I sat down at my computer and decided to search for a story with Victoria as one of the main characters. I wanted to find a well-written story with an interesting story line. Victoria, as a villain of the Twilight books, is often written off as purely evil. I wanted to find a story that gave her character more dynamic. I wanted to know the human Victoria in order to understand the vampire Victoria. After bookmarking several stories, and reading more than a few, I finally started reading Wild at Heart. I knew, two sentences in, that this was my winner. I was immediately hooked.

Have you ever really considered the differences between James and Victoria's vampiric gifts? James is the tracker—a vampire with the ability to hunt people. Victoria, on the other hand, has a knack for escape—for staying hidden. One is the very antithesis of the other.

Wild at Heart opens with an introduction to the Hunter. A man crouches, waiting for the perfect moment to pull the trigger. His hands are shaking, and his heart hammers in his chest, but not from fear. No, this man feels the pure thrill of the hunt. Adrenaline runs through his veins in anticipation of the kill. He paralyzes his victim, preferring to deliver the final death blow himself. James slices through the doe's neck and slings her body over his shoulder, relishing the sensation of the animal's warm blood washing down his back.

As he makes his way back toward the small town of Canyon Ridge, he sees the black smoke billowing toward the sky. The few shops in the heart of the village are empty, abandoned. James finds Ernie McClellan, anxious and sputtering, trying to mount his horse. The Childress barn has caught fire and the whole town has gone to watch the spectacle while a few pitch in an attempt to quell the flame.

James and Ernie, associates of Donald Childress, make their way to the barn. By the time they arrive, there's nothing more to do than salvage what they can. James is about to pitch in a help, when a figure in the distance catches his eye. Vicky. She's still wearing her nightgown, which is torn and blackened. Her curly, red hair is tangled in a wild mess. Tears stream down her pale face. She runs toward James when their eyes meet.

"He finally did it," she sobs into his chest.

What happens when the girl who has a knack for evasion, is finally caught? Will James be able to save her? Will he even try? Follow these two in their journey through this life and the next in Wild at Heart.