Jonas Forge has been around a long time. As a vampire with more than two centuries behind him, he’s seen the best and worst of what humanity has to offer, but at least he hasn’t been alone. His long-term lover and friend, Declan, isn’t his soulmate, but they’re closer than most and that companionship has sustained Forge during difficult times. But now Declan is in Europe and Forge is dealing with a sadistic killer and the sudden arrival of a misinformed and rather adorable new vampire.
Blair has only been a vampire for a few years and his maker failed to teach him anything about living as one of the undead. He has friends online, but considers himself a monster. It doesn’t help that he’s desperately alone. He’s drawn to Boggslake, Ohio and to Jonas Forge, without even realizing why. There’s a palpable heat between them, but not much else and it doesn’t bode well for their relationship. In the midst of a violent murder spree, Forge and Blair must come to terms with the attraction between them and what it means for their future.
Electric Candle is the second in The Sleepless City series and is a re-release. I haven’t actually read the first in the series, Shades of Sepia, but based on my experience with Electric Candle, I would say these books need to be read in order. There are too many characters and relationships established in the first book to always make sense of what’s happening in Electric Candle. It wasn’t impossible to read, but I suspect it would have been more fulfilling if I was already in the series loop.
Forge and Blair aren’t quite caricatures, but neither is fully developed either. We’re told they aren’t terribly thrilled to be thrown together by Fate, which makes their romance feel a bit pointless. They seem only connected by a quirk of biology and lack real affection for one another for most of the book. Yes, they’re attracted to one another, so much so Blair has traveled to find Forge because he can’t resist the physical connection between them. That’s about all they have in common and this isn’t so much a case of opposites attract as opposites are forced together. And while they seem compelled to protect one another, I never got the impression that true love was ever on board. It just felt empty and, because the plot relies on the idea of soulmates, the relationship never had reason to truly evolve.
The murders themselves are pretty gruesome, but the resolution is rather weak. It’s one of those situations that goes out with a whimper and I thought there was a lot of build up to nothing. There was so much more than could have been done to expand the depth of this part of the book, especially as the police/investigation work is at the heart of Electric Candle.
Electric Candle was one of those stories that just limped along without ever really feeling like it achieved any depth. It had potential, and certainly the bones of the story were interesting enough, but the romance lacked passion and the murder mystery didn’t end with the kind of resolution it needed to make real impact. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, but other paranormal readers might find something more interesting.