|This review is in response to your request. I hope you find this feedback useful. As per request, I will focus on character development, style, setting and general impressions rather than highlighting technical errors or mechanics. This review covers the prologue and first two chapters.
This story stretches my ability to suspend my disbelief. Vampires, while trying to maintain a veil of secrecy, are allowing humans deep into their private rooms while openly drinking "dark wine" and showing their fangs. Since their human guest is obviously clued in to their nature, referencing dark wine seems unlikely: he wouldn't think it was anything but blood and neither would the reader.
I think the plot has a lot of potential. The idea of a pharmaceutical company with personal agents who double as salesmen is really interesting and intriguing. I'm curious about the world and the people who live here, how they are going to develop and what they're going to do next.
Style and Voice:
Much of the style and voice I struggle with in this piece has to do with mechanical errors and believability, as related elsewhere in this review.
I have no idea when this is supposed to take place. The first chapter highlights vampires in a Victorian or Edwardian setting but later chapters indicate that it's a modern story, referencing email.
Additionally, you may want to consider how secret the vampire/werewolf society really is. Having Brass Pharma being the only company that acknowledges them seems very unlikely and hard to explain to a business loan officer.
In the first chapter, it's very difficult to tell what kind of character Richard is. He starts out seeming nervous and uncertain, then whips out a pistol and starts shooting his prospective clients. This seems very inconsistent with the timid man who enters the building.
In chapter two, Richard literally demands to know his new partner's backstory and proceeds to info-dump his own. This doesn't sound natural or conducive to developing any kind of relationship between them. It might be in your best interest to give them more time to get to know each other before history and backstory come into the mix. Let them learn about each other more naturally.
The conversation where Debra and Richard argue about the weapons seems forced: Debra knows it's dangerous and that Richard is vulnerable. Since she isn't new to this dog-and-pony show, she would understand that some protections are necessary. At the very least, let them compromise and bring holy water or garlic, something that's largely defensive rather than offensive in nature.
Telling the main characters "It was all a clever ruse" is never a clever ruse; it ruins your chances of actually surprising them, gives them a chance to prepare to fight back or even run and generally makes you look like a mustache-twirling villain. At the very least, if the bad guys are going to spring a trap, make sure the good guys are all the way into the trap before letting the villain start to gloat.
Grammar and Mechanics:
As per request, I'm not focusing on this aspect of the story but I would like to note that there are many tense slips, awkward sentences, and confusing subject-verb clauses through all chapters.
Most people would not use "parasol" in reference to a man's umbrella.
Mustangs are manufactured by the Ford company, not Chevrolet.
Being choked for several minutes is going to make anyone pass out or potentially die. Humans can't survive without oxygen very long: 30-180 seconds until passing out, at the one minute mark, you start dealing with brain damage.
Please. Never use the word "luscious" to describe a woman's body. Ever. At the very least, after engaging in that kind of battle, she is going to be spattered with gore and blood, potentially wounded herself and exhausted from shapeshifting. She is very unlikely to recline attractively and then scream demurely when discovered.
There's a lot here that needs work but the core of the story is fantastic! I'm very excited by the ideas of the plot and how the characters may expand on the world but your writing needs more practice mechanically and more research and world-building.
Thank you for sharing your story and I hope to read more from you! Write On!