Customer Reviews: Samantha Moon: The First Four Vampire for Hire Novels, Plus the Christmas Moon Novella
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on August 27, 2011
So the first novel I read in the Vampire for Hire series was a free edition for the Kindle - love browsing those free titles! But what a find this was!! Suddenly I was immersed in the life of Samantha Moon, who just a few years before had been the typical young soccer mom juggling work and family obligations, and was trying to continue that normal life in spite of the attack that had left her a vampire. She has found ways of coping with most of the drastic changes her new state has forced upon her, and so far has managed to preserve her humanity in spite of the overwhelming odds against it. Samantha is a private investigator, and each of the novels has her investigating several involving crimes, all while dealing with the increasing estrangement from her husband, the trials and tribulations of her young children, maintaining her professional relationships and exploring new ones, and, of course, keeping her big secret from the rest of the world. The novels tell her story in first person, and I found myself rooting for her success from the beginning pages. Mr. Rain, a former private investigator himself, has managed to weave a thoroughly delightful, original tale with warmth and a great deal of humor which I found addictive. I enjoyed the introduction of unique characters in the stories who now are leading characters in series of their own. While some of the stories' threads are serious and thought-provoking, the tone throughout is light and fast-paced, easy to read and follow. I can hardly wait for the fifth novel in the series.
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on August 27, 2011
I was caught up in Samantha Moon's story from the very first page of Moon Dance. As a wife and mother, Sam has never been anyone's ordinary idea of a vampire. And as a private investigator, she brings all her considerable strength and intelligence to bear in order to solve cases, while dealing with personal problems and near tragedies. Honestly, there are times I want to strangle her ex myself, but Sam practices patience and restraint.

With a fascinating cast of characters surrounding Samantha Moon, you will never be disappointed. I eagerly await each installment, and applaud the author for keeping me entertained. The Vampire for Hire series is a delight and I highly recommend it!
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on January 20, 2012
I decided to pick up this series as a bit of light reading to give myself a break from more serious literature. Initially I was impressed with the first novel and found myself wanting to know more about Samantha Moon and her cohorts.

The author has developed an interesting and entertaining main character, however this series has serious errors in continuity that are very hard to overlook and seriously take away from the experience for the reader. I realize these works are self-published and are sold for basically pennies, but when the author creates "rules" for his vampires and then these rules suddenly take a one eighty degree turn it smacks of pure laziness.

One of the rules I am referring to is the matter of whether main character Samantha has a reflection or can be captured on film. Early on in the series the character clearly makes reference to seeing her reflection in the bathroom mirror and bemoans how terrible she looks in her driver's license photo. She also discusses her reaction to finding a photograph of herself she discovers in a suspects home. At some point latter she states she has no reflection at all and is not able to be captured on film.

The author also credits a small group he refers to as his "crew" as his support system and first readers. I'm not sure if these individuals actually read the material or perhaps the author mistakenly published one of his fist drafts. There are more errors in basic facts of the back story for the main character. For instance, Samantha Moon at one point refers to a fourteen year marriage to Danny Moon, then latter states the marriage had lasted eleven years. So which is it? There are several others too tedious to cover here.

It's really too bad the author did not pay greater attention to creating a more solid foundation for his ideas to play out. Samantha herself is an endearing, lively character but the overall experience is greatly marred by the issues described above.
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on January 27, 2012
I'm always looking for cheap books, as my husband and I go through a lot of books and it can get expensive. Based on the price and the reviews, I decided to give these books a try, and I wouldn't say I regret it, but I definitely wouldn't pay any extra for the following books. I seldom quit a series in the middle, but the books got worse as they went along. By the fourth book I was ready to be finished, and I was thoroughly sick of Ms. Moon.

The books have okay plots and thin characters, but are good if you want a very, very light read at a low price. There are plenty of grammatical errors, and the inconsistencies in the stories were irritating, though the spelling seemed pretty good. They weren't constant, but happened often enough that I was thrown out of the story on several occasions. I found myself returning to previous pages trying to see if I had certain details wrong, only to find that the author had apparently forgotten what his characters were actually doing. I also found it extremely frustrating that, as the books progressed, they seemed to become commercials for his other books, and at some points even seemed like they couldn't be deciphered unless you purchased a collection of short stories. I know an author needs to make a living, but this alienated me and I won't be spending any more money on Mr. Rain. I would even have overlooked the weak plots and the grammar, if only I could have found a character that grabbed my interest.

Basically, this is a good, cheap book if you've got nothing better to do. I didn't love any of the characters, I didn't identify with any of the characters, I couldn't find a mystery or plot point that gripped me, and I never quite managed to lose myself in the story. I've definitely read worse! But the best I can say about these books is "meh".
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on May 6, 2012
When I read the first Samantha Moon book Moon Dance (Vampire for Hire #1) I was impressed by the concept. Yes, it's another vampire story, but Rain manages to put a different spin on it by creating a very realistic female character, well aside from the being a vampire bit. Her cheating hubby has declared her a danger to her own children, thrown her out of their home and is threatening to expose her to the world. It was good, sassy and made me angry.
Vampire Moon (Vampire for Hire #2) This book finally gave me the satisfaction of seeing Sam pull herself together and fight back.
American Vampire (Vampire for Hire #3) The reader finally finds out who this mysterious Fang is and lo and behold it is yet another person with a fake name, who is hiding an incredulous past.
In the last book in this set Moon Child (Vampire for Hire #4) we have the conclusion of the traumatic illness that has befallen Anthony. It is also a moral dilemma for Sam. This story didn't gel with the overall mom side of Sam the reader has come to admire. The person who is willing to fight tooth and nail for her children, is suddenly off saving a strange child and leaves her son, whilst he is in the midst of dying.
The stories are all rather short and the last two feel rushed. Now here is the thing, I really enjoyed the Jim Knighthorse Series, Rain has a really funny sense of humour and his totally off key concepts and bizarre characters are fun to read. Saying that I think he hasn't given the Samantha Moon series the same kind of attention that he has to his other books. It is as if the idea shot out of the starting position, ran halfway and then sat down for a picnic and forgot to get up.
Instead of keeping the character stable, believable and realistic for most readers, there are suddenly dark evil auras, possessed werewolves and globally large psychic powers. I hope the next book brings back the Sam Moon we remember from the first book and perhaps even a longer story.
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on May 31, 2012
This is four short novels sold as one. To make each of the four stand on its own, the author repeats basic material in each, often more than once. How many times do we want to learn Fang's back story? Later it gets predictable, and would have benefited from better editing to correct the many grammatical and typographical errors. For $1.99 it's not a bad value, but with all the great books out there, there's no reason to waste your time with this.

A better value is to pick up the first novel which is currently gratis for the Kindle, and read that, knowing that this is the closest to a good novel of the bunch, Then, if you're still interested, you can pick up the rest, but know they are written and edited to a much lower standard.
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on August 27, 2011
Where do I begin ? Samantha Moon Has Become My Favorite Fictional Character - I became Very attached to her as soon as I started reading the First Book, She's Got Such Passion for Her Children, to Where she as any loving caring mother would do anything and everything for them. After I finished Reading the First Book I had to Look and Find if there is a second one. Once I got Done With the Second One I was so Antsy and impatient for the Author to Release the Third One, One Book Just Kept Getting Better and Better. Now I am Waiting Patiently for the Next One ( Or impatiently ? ) The Author brought such Life such Beauty into his characters and yet such pain as well that in many instances with what she was dealing with some could relate, Hey After all who doesn't Like a P.I. Soccer Mom and Vamp all in one package ? I'd Really Recommend The Samantha Moon Series To Any Reader.
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I received all 4 books, plus the two short stories, in one (complimentary in exchange for an honest review), so I am going to review all of them as one work. They are so closely tied together that I feel this is the only way to do so. The premise was good; vampire PI, wife trying to hold her marriage together, mother of two keeping a big secret from her kids, trying to figure out how to be the best PI, wife, mother, and monster she can be. I must say right away, the story was good.

This had such potential. It was just ... I had to start a word document to keep track of all the inconsistencies. I get it, stiff happens. I can forgive one slip, but several? Not just inconsistencies, but things that just plain got on my nerves. I know you want examples, so here are a few:

1. Samantha comes across a picture someone took of her that was doing secret surveillance. So she didn't know they were there, taking her picture (that becomes important in a minute). She actually comments about her appearance because she hasn't seen herself in a long time, you know, since vampires don't have a reflection. It is kind of a big deal for her.

Later on, she makes a comment about her id badge, or license for being a private investigator, and talks about how she had to wear enough make up to show up in the picture.

2. Her husband is cheating on her (I don't consider that a spoiler, as it is pretty obvious) with his secretary. At the end of one of the books she says she was happy because she had heard they broke up. Then in the next section, they are together. Sure, they could have broken up and got back together, but this is the span of a week or so. Again, that happens, but maybe it should have been worded a bit differently, to acknowledge they had spent time broken up?

3. A character, Ira, who had no way of knowing Samantha's name, suddenly knows her name without her telling him. And she doesn't notice.

4. At one point she punches through bullet proof glass IN A PRISON and they let her go. Yeah, no. It does get addressed, later, but I don't think they would let her leave, or at least they would try to keep her there.

5. If one more person said the phrase "You (or I) didn't chose this," I might have screamed.It must be the catch-phrase for this series.

6. Four potential love interests? With 3 of them saying "I think I am falling in love with you," at maybe the second meeting, and one character even says it twice. She chooses one, but only after she loses all respect for him and finds out he betrays her. Of course, that makes sense. Oh wait, he apologized ... that makes it all better.

For the record, I really really wanted to like this book. There is even a book 5 out there for this series, and I am kind of curious as to what happens, or if it gets better.

But not curious enough to buy it.

2 stars because the story, even with it's several irritating plot points, still kept my interest long enough to finish it.
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on October 1, 2013
I had purchased "Moon Dance" three years ago and read it very quickly. So quickly, that I immediately purchased "Vampire Moon" the next day and quickly devoured that one...and my love affair with Samantha Moon came to a screeching halt... Mr. Rain had resorted to the worst thing a writer could do in my opinion.....the cliff hanger. After paying $6 for a full book, he quit the story at a crucial moment. I kept thinking of going back but was too irritated to do so until I saw this set on sale for $2. Even though I purchased this set in Aug 2012, I was still ticked off about the cliff hanger so it just sat in my TBR Sooner Pile. Finally, last week I started it again. Unfortunately, the series did not keep me as enthralled as I had hoped.

In my opinion, these four books combined could be considered a single book, although there are still many unfinished arcs even with this set. At least the fourth book didn't end in a cliff hanger.

The other issues, in no specific order, are found below: I tried hard but there may be some minor spoilers below.

1. For the genre, the stories are a bit short. While not short stories they are little better than novellas.
2. The books need some heavy editing. Too often the same information is repeated ad nauseum. The top three are she can only drink water and white wine, she feels tired until the sunset then she perks up, she can't be photographed so she must wear make up all over, she wasn't sure how she did something but whatever she did seemed to work (i.e. the astral projection or hunches).
3. Vampire lore...traditionally it is a two step process, to be turned the human would be drained of blood and then would be fed the blood of a vampire. However, Samantha says she never asked to be changed so when she was attacked how did her sire's blood get into her? Later she says that the new vampire would consume the sire's blood until a balance point when the sire gives enough for the change, but not enough to weaken the sire. Somewhere, I felt a disconnect with the story. Certain basic blocks of the universe change from story to story.
4. She has problems with Kingsley defending the scum of the earth, although as a lawyer he feels everyone is entitled to a good defense, yet she has no problems exploring a relationship with someone who actually killed people.
5. She always complains how chunky her blood is from the butcher, why didn't she just pour it though a strainer? Every time this was mentioned I'd be ripped from the book to say pay .59 cents and strain the S&^%.

Normally, I am the type of reader that reads one book/series at a time. During the past week while reading this, I actually read at least four other books/short stories.

While I can say overall I enjoy Mr. Rain's story telling and I think it would make a great T.V. show, I think Mr. Rain needs to go back to the beginning and create the rules of his universe and edit those portions of the books that don't follow the rules. While editing for content it would also be nice to edit for redundancy.

I can say if you get it at a good price and have an afternoon it's not a bad read. But there are parts that definitely need work.
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on June 1, 2013
I read the first 'Moon book as it was one of three in a freebie set on Kindle. I thought it was pretty good - though I'd have liked more backstory about the character's becoming a vampire, etc. So, thus hooked (and I'm not even a vampire groupie type), I bought books 1-4 for a good price on Kindle.

Well, I have the same complaint as a few others: character inconsistency. In one book her sister is younger, in another she's older; in one book she has short stubby fingers, in another they're really long, one of her best features that she likes about herself. In the first book I don't even know if we ever knew how old her kids were, nor do we get a feel for them as part of her life.

Also, the other characters seem to actually change their basic personalities at times. In the first book, though she's becoming alienated from her husband, he goes from standing by her/understanding to an ambulance chasing weasel. First he was the true love of her life, then suddenly he's slime. At the end of the first book her husband's mistress breaks up with him, but in book two they're still together. In the fourth book, her son was dying and yet she kept flitting here and there doing other things. Her husband suddenly becomes flirty and attentive to her while the son is sick, but this is never explored/explained, yet returns to his heinous self soon enough. Just kinda...scatter-shot.

I'm not a writer, but just a thought: maybe the author should keep notes about her characters.

On the upside, though - the stories usually move along at a brisk pace, I like the visuals, and she's got some pretty good humor at times that can catch me off guard and helps me forgive the inconsistencies -- so much so that I ordered book 5...though I can see myself petering out on the series fairly soon.
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