by Yolanda Sfetsos, fantasy (2007)
Cobblestone Press, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-60088-134-3
Yolanda Sfetsos pairs an amnesiac waitress who is living out her personal Memento movie and a tormented vampire who meet in a little Sydney coffee shop called Cuppa. Mary is a waitress who can't remember who she is or even a life outside the walls of Cuppa. Jake Wills is a vampire who is haunted by the fact that he killed his wife in a failed attempt to transform her - his bloodlust took over, you see, and he was at that time a newly-made vampire who couldn't control himself. As Jake tries to solve the mystery of Mary's existence, he also has to deal with angry vampires, vampire hunters, and mysterious ads in newspaper asking for the services of a vampire.
Heart And Soul is a most interesting story. I don't want to give anything more about this story, so let's just say that this story has some pretty intriguing concepts that could have been expanded easily into something longer. Jake and Mary fall in love too fast, but given that this is a short story, expecting more will probably be unrealistic. Jake is a nice change from the usual whiny vampires in that he keeps the burden of his guilt to himself instead of channeling all kinds of self-pity and dragging everyone around him into his nonsense. Mary doesn't have much of a personality because the poor dear doesn't even know who she is in this story, but she is nonetheless capable of holding her own in this story.
Yolanda Sfetsos has many good ideas here, and I therefore can't help feeling disappointed that she doesn't have the opportunity to expand these ideas in this story. She does her best given the length of this story, but I wonder why she can't write something a little longer so that she can do her ideas justice. Heart And Soul could have been a most intriguing urban fantasy story if only it has another hundred or so pages. Everything here is just a hint or a tease rather than the whole real deal. I can't say that I regret reading this story, but I do regret that Ms Sfetsos shortchanges herself and her readers by not letting her ideas completely take flight.
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