How to Lure a Hunter (Vampire Related Crimes # 3) ~ Alice Winters, Narrated ~ Michael Ferraiuolo
How to Lure a Hunter is book three in Alice Winters’ fabulous Vampire Related Crimes series. Here we finally get to know the elusive Alexei, who has played a prominent role in all the books so far. I read & listened to this book via Kindle Whispersync, and the narrator, Michael Ferraiuolo, once again did a fabulous job, especially considering much of it was with a Russian accent!
I pretty much fell in love with the main cast: Finn, Marcus, Alexei, Brooks, Orin, and Claude from the beginning. The only odd one out is DeGray, who despite being an important member of the team, has remained in the background. I’m very much looking forward to the fourth book which will finally allow us to get to know him.
Alice Winters has created an amazing cast of characters, which is only heightened by the narrator, who has created a unique voice for each of them so even if you’re not reading along at that moment, you know exactly who is talking. It’s my opinion that the narration of this series has taken the wow factor from fantastic to amazing!
I loved how Alice gently weaved Alexei’s story into the main plot, primarily through flashbacks, we learn in bits and pieces why Alexei is so closed off and determined to not let anyone close to him. At about the halfway point, we have the major flashback that details exactly who and how the ultimate betrayal was acted upon Alexei. The language was so emotive and descriptive it was so easy to picture it, combined with Michael’s amazing job of expressing Alexei’s disbelief, sense of betrayal, his horror, and ultimately his desperation, brought tears to my eyes.
After this flashback it is easy to understand why Alexei has closed himself off. For 150 years he has allowed no one close that could hurt him. Until Finn’s persistence, kindness, and innocent (platonic) love started battering his walls, creating the fissure for Claude to finally smash his way through.
The flamboyant and sensitive Claude could not be more different from his twin, Marcus. It is Claude’s patience, persistence (one could say stubbornness), his overwhelming displays of love for Alexei, but ultimately his acceptance of Alexei that finally smashes the wall that surrounds Alexei’s heart.
Claude has always been a favourite of mine since his introduction in How to Elude a Vampire. Although he is not a fighter like his twin, he is highly protective as evidenced by his assistance to Finn on the bus, and later in his attempt to protect Finn from his stalker. Claude comes across as a bit of a dandy, but if someone crosses anyone he cares about, watch out. He has a possessive, protective streak a mile wide and knows no limits for those he loves.
Alice Winters’ signature humour was very much present. Oh, the snark! The main group of characters all seem unable to express their feelings for each other unless in private. In a more public setting, it is teasing and snarky repartee that expresses their care for each other. These conversations are often hilarious, and I still giggle over the group text scene!
How to Lure a Hunter is an amazing book. It is difficult to describe without spoiling things, so it’s best just to read it for yourself. But I do recommend the narration to give it that extra edge.
Alice Winters has outdone herself crafting such an emotive and intricate story that revolves around Alexei’s history, allowing us to see beyond the surface of the surly Russian vampire to the gem of a man beneath. Similarly, Michael Ferraiuolo did an amazing job of bringing Alexei, Claude and the entire cast to life. His heartbreaking vocalisation of Alexei’s devastated monologues made an already emotional text bring tears to my eyes.
I really wouldn’t recommend that it be read as a standalone. There is just too much history with the main cast, so that if you didn’t have it, it would be easy to become lost, and honestly many of the jokes would fall flat without this background information.
If you enjoy a story that will make you tear up one moment and snort in laughter the next, I’d highly recommend How to Lure a Hunter.