Title:  The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride
Series:  Nocturne Falls #1
Author:  Kristen Painter
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Published:  June 1, 2015
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  Own Kindle Edition
Cover Description:

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year.

The tourists think it’s all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better. Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs and all.

After seeing her maybe-mobster boss murder a guy, Delaney James assumes a new identity and pretends to be a mail order bride. What she doesn’t know is her groom to be is a 400-year-old vampire.

Hugh Ellingham has only agreed to the set up to make his overbearing grandmother happy. His past means love is no longer an option. Except he never counted on Delaney and falling in love for real.

Too bad both of them are keeping some mighty big secrets…

Titles in this series include:  The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride – The Werewolf Meets His Match –  The Gargoyle Gets His Girl – The Professor Woos The Witch – The Vampire’s Fake Fiancee – The Shifter Romances The Writer

In Nocturne Falls, I’ve found myself another series to follow – doesn’t matter that it’s been out for a few years, it’s new to me… and maybe to you as well.  If you love Paranormal Romance, then you’ve gotta be curious about a town of supernaturals where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year.  *grin*  What better place to hide in plain sight than in a town that focuses on those creatures of myth that most humans have no idea truly do exist.  It’s perfect.

There’s a little bit of world building at first, and I always expect that in the first story of a series, but it felt like information given naturally in conversation or in passing.  It certainly wasn’t an information dump, and I appreciate that.

Since you have the general idea of this story from the Cover Description, let’s move on to the characters.  Hugh has been backed into a corner by his grandmother.  She wants grand-babies in the worst possible way and of her grandsons, Hugh is her best bet.  To her it’s beside the point that Hugh is still grieving his first wife, who did not survive the transition.  He has vowed to never put another woman that he loves through that again, so he’s a man who dates, even has short term relationships but he will never, ever commit to one woman.  Didi (grandma) has put into play a scheme to change Hugh’s mind by having a woman come to stay with him for one month as part of a matchmaking service.  He, of course, is angry and eventually wears down and agrees to at least let this woman stay for the month, but at the end of that time his grandmother will cease forever in her meddling ways.  But he never expected this particular woman to capture his attention.

Delaney is on the run, for her life and desperately grabs at an opportunity that presents itself.  In flight after witnessing something she shouldn’t have seen, Delaney dashes into a shop in the hopes of hiding for a few minutes.  By sheer luck, she’s wandered into a matchmaking business and the owner is looking for an assistant, as she  mistakenly thinks that is why Delaney is there.  Left alone for a few minutes, Delaney overhears a phone conversation and gets a brilliant idea.  She can pretend to be one of these matches, one of these ladies looking for a husband sight unseen.  No photos, no ID… yeah, that could work for a while at least.  Grabbing a file folder she takes off on an adventure to someplace called Nocturne Falls, Georgia.  Hopefully that’s far enough away from Brooklyn and the boss she saw kill someone.  Delaney has no idea of the truth of the supernatural town she’s running to – or that this desperate decision will change her life forever.

The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride is… well, I’m going to call it a lighthearted paranormal romp.  It’s light, funny, with witty banter and completely relatable and believable characters (for their situation).  I had no trouble at all falling into this world and simply going with it.  The story is full of interesting secondary characters who play an important part in the overall story… and I’m sure many will have their own tales to tell at some point in the series.  I liked these people, well for the most part there are, of course the, villains to consider.  I could “see” this town, it became familiar and that is part of the enjoyment of any story for me.  I happen to like those little details.  They enhance my reading experience.

Hugh and Delaney are a compelling couple.  At first, each is holding back information and not being completely honest about their situation.  But as time moves on they begin to like each other and it’s no longer natural to hold everything back.  Of course, just as they each decide to make their big reveal that information is tossed out by someone else bent on revenge.  On the surface it might seem that Hugh accepted the truth about Delaney a bit too easily.  I felt that he was falling for her, and knew that he had some big information to tell her as well since it now seems obvious she has no idea she’s living among true supernaturals.  She might be using a false name to hide from someone who’s out to kill her – but he hasn’t told her that he’s a vampire, with a strong attraction to her… yeah, there were enough reasons to accept Hugh’s reaction.

In among the lighthearted banter, and funny moments is a very serious thread as Hugh must come to terms with his feelings for Delaney – and his fear of loving any woman again.  He has some issues that he needs to work through.  With Delaney’s help he can become all that she believes in, but he must let go of the past to move forward with her.

I really enjoyed The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.  If you’re in the mood for some banter, a bit of mystery, and a fun couple to enjoy then this is a story that I think you’d like.  I’d recommend it to any Paranormal Romance reader.

Available in paperback, audio and for the Kindle