Book Review: Vespers (Hours of the Night Book 1) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Thaddeus, a Catholic vampire, kills demons for the White Monks, and in exchange they provide for him and, Thaddeus hopes, will help save his soul. He normally has female "assistants" to provide him with the blood he needs, but a mistake was made when Sara (short for Sarasija) was hired, and, after so many years of being alone, Sara awakens things in Thaddeus. Thaddeus will have to decide between keeping his faith and giving in to his heart but possibly damning his soul in the process.

Book Review: Vespers (Hours of the Night Book 1) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, lgbt, m/m, vampires
Title: Vespers
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 295
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received a free ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my review.*

I was afraid this book might have too much religion for me, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a chance because 1) it didn’t have too much religion, and 2) it was just a great book!

First of all, the characters were really well-written. Sara made me roll my eyes sometimes (I know I’m being judgy, but… *cough* Lambo doors *cough*), but his personality and voice were incredibly realistic for an early twenty-something, and he was so upbeat, intelligent, and hilarious. And Thaddeus was somewhat opposite Sara, all stoic and a bit archaic in his vocabulary, thoughts, and way of living (which fit with his age and situation perfectly), but I still found him likeable and relatable and sympathized with him. Plus the contrast between the two of them added an interesting element. Even Nohea, a side character, was a fun addition to their little group.

Second, I read A LOT of vampire books, but the religious aspect I mentioned actually added a unique twist to this one. If you’re completely anti-religion in your books or have very strong beliefs and don’t want to read about characters whose beliefs may differ from yours, this may not be the book for you, but I thought the religion was included in a good way. It was an integral part of Thaddeus’s character, his life, and his thought, but it was never overpowering to the story, the book was never preachy, and Thaddeus never tried to push his Catholicism onto Sara (who was a non-practicing Hindu). And I liked getting to see Thaddeus’s inner struggle about his religious beliefs and his desire to have his soul saved vs. his desire for Sara; it was an inner struggle that I’d never read about in any other books.

On a related note, the way the relationship developed between the two of them was not only believable but also fun to read both because I just really wanted them to be together and because it was so good for poor Thaddeus to finally let someone in after so long being alone.

As for all the rest, the plot was good and made sense, the pacing was steady in a way that kept my attention without piling on too much action, the Louisiana setting made a nice backdrop for all the supernaturalness, and the writing pulled me in.

Overall this was a book that sucked me in and made me laugh with lovable characters I can easily see myself getting even more invested in as the series goes on, and I’m looking forward to continuing!


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  1. Wren

    This was a great and detailed review! This book sounds quite complex, with the mix of religion and the paranormal. I generally stay away from books with very religious characters for personal reasons, but I’m seriously considering this one. And it’s got vampires….I love vampires.

    Wren @

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t normally read books with super religious characters either, but everything else about this one sounded so good, and I also love vampires! It turned out to be a good risk for me, so I say go for it 😉

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    *sigh* Yet again, you’re adding another book to my tbr, Kristen. 😉 I am really curious about how religion put such a unique twist on the vampire. 😉 But I’m also interested in seeing how these two characters, from different worlds and times, fit together so well. It sounds like fun.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love adding books to your TBR, it’s my favorite pasttime 😉 I do recommend this one though! I love the religion aspect, and seeing how the two opposite characters fit together was one of the most interesting things about the book!

  3. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    You definitely had me intrigued by the Catholic vampire but. I mean, religion doesn’t come in all that much in vampire stories so to have a practicing Catholic vampire, that’s pretty damn original. I think I’d be interested for that part alone but then the name confusion and the m/m romance? That has me pretty damn interested too. This may have to be a Halloween read for me. Great review.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I definitely recommend it! This review seems to have been neglected, and that makes me sad because I really liked this book and think more people should read it. And I agree, it is rare to come across books with vampires who didn’t just used to be religious but who are presently practicing and super serious about it. So if you’re interested in that part too, I think you might like it 🙂

      1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

        That’s the way it goes. Those books we’re excited for don’t always get all the review
        love like we might hope. I take to mentioning those books constantly and in every conversation I have to force people to read. Plant the seeds. It does sound really cool I am scoping it out online doing the should I shouldn’t I buy dance.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Right? It seems like the books I’m most excited for get the least attention, and then the books I give negative reviews for (which are the ones I don’t actually care about people seeing since I’m not recommending the book or excited for it) are the ones that get the most attention -_- But I also use your method of constantly bringing the good ones up over and over and over because I WILL MAKE PEOPLE READ THEM DAMMIT.

  4. Lola

    I am usually a bit hesitant about books with religion, but I’ve read a few with religion that worked well. As long as it isn’t preachy and fits the story it can work well. Sounds like that was the case in this book. The religion aspect seems to add a nice twist to this one and I like the sound of the conflict of his religion and saving his soul versus the desire for Sara. I don’t think I’ve read about anything like that before either.

    I like the set-up of this one with the vampire being a Catholic who wants to save his soul and kills demons. The characters both sounds very realistically written, with the vampire actually seeming a bit archaic and Sara being upbeat.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this one and I hope the next one is good as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Same here, that’s why I was concerned about this one, but then I loved it! It did add a nice touch. Although I know there are other books out there with vampires who are religious or used to be at least, I’ve never seen one that used it in this way, so I definitely thought it was unique. And the characters were great! Thanks! I really am excited for more books in this series.