Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Review: All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire

All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire (Love At Stake #5)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Mass Market Paperback, 350 pages
Published November 1st, 2008 by HarperCollins Canada
(First published October 16th, 2008)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampire Romance, Christmas romance





Dracula would be shocked to see how the vampire has evolved in modern fiction.  Originally a terrifying, remorseless killer, the vampire, whether male or female, can now be found in lighthearted, funny romances such as this one.

Kerrelyn Sparks, like Lynsay Sands, writes funny vampire romances full of sparkling, witty dialogues and characters as unforgettable as those in the more traditionally angst-filled novels of authors like Christine Feehan, Amanda Ashley, Stephenie Meyer, and Kresley Cole.  Like the vampires created by Sands, as well as Meyer, the ones in the Love At Stake series refuse to drink from humans.  Sparks's vampires drink bottles of synthetic blood, though. 

The main character, a vampire named Ian MacPhie, is 500 years old, having been created in the Scottish Highlands when he was dying from a battle wound.  He was rather young at the time -- only 15, as a matter of fact.  Therein lies his very comical dilemma; while he grows and matures -- intellectually as well as emotionally -- his body remains that of a 15-year-old boy, because vampires stop aging, of course, from the moment they are transformed into denizens of the undead world.  Poor Ian wants to be taken seriously, but he looks like a teenager, which puts a real cramp in his style, especially where the ladies are concerned...  So he decides to try the new "Stay Awake" drug, which allows vampires to remain conscious during daylight hours.  The drug makes him age 12 years, and the effect on the ladies is remarkable, to say the least. 

Now Ian is intent on finding his soul mate, because he wants to get married.  Och, bless his old-fashioned Scottish heart!  Unfortunately, he goes to the wrong place -- a nightclub named, of all things, "The Horny Devils", which is strictly for vampires.  Since the club features male strippers (I must say that's a bit sleazy for a Christmas-themed romance), he knows it will be teeming with vampire women. 

This is where the comedy of errors begins, for Ian runs into Vanda, a friend who barely recognizes him, since she only remembers the teen-faced Ian.  Once he presents her with his dilemma, she insists on posting his profile, which she herself writes, on a dating site -- "Single In The City".  The results are hilarious, and very surprising to Ian, as literally hordes of women begin to pursue him.

Enter one Toni Davis, a human woman, expert in martial arts, and recently hired by McKay Security to guard the vampires while they sleep in a townhouse owned by one of their leaders, Roman Draganeski, inventor of the "Stay Awake" drug as well as synthetic blood.  While Ian tries to deal with his new-found fame among vampire women, he struggles with his growing feelings for Toni, whom he initially believes is all wrong for him.  Toni, too, attempts to fight her increasing attraction to Ian, with no success.

The romance is complicated by skirmishes with rogue vampires who do kill for blood.  They are known as "Malcontents", and are as much a threat to the good vampires as they are to humans.  Thrown into the mix is the greedy uncle of Toni's friend, Sabrina, who has his niece committed to a mental asylum in order to use her money to pay off his gambling debts.  Toni and a good neighbor and friend, Carlos, plan to rescue her.  Ian offers his help, and they accept it.  And meanwhile, the Malcontents must be dealt with...

The book is full of equally memorable minor characters, such as Phineas, a wise-cracking, African-American vampire and ladies' man, Roman and his son, Constantine, who is half-vampire, and Carlos himself, whose true nature surprises even Toni, who had thought she knew him so well...

This is my first Kerrelyn Sparks novel, and it surely won't be my last!  Now I will have to go back to the beginning of the series, in order to meet all the other characters in her vampire world. 

I decided to give this book 4 instead of 5 stars because I thought the sex was a little too graphic.  The novel is supposed to be a Christmas romance, after all.  This aspect of the novel could have been handled with a bit more finesse, I think.

All in all, though, All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire is a fun read, full of comical as well as serious moments, and the romance is "verra" sweet, indeed!







2 comments:

  1. I've not heard of this book, but it sounds great! Thanks for the awesome review!

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  2. Oh, you have to read this! It's hilarious!! The interaction between Ian and Toni is just a delight, and you'll actually find yourself laughing out loud in certain sections of the book! Phineas is a bit sexist at times, but I think it's all tongue-in-cheek.

    You're very welcome for the review, and thanks for the visit and the comments!!

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