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How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) by Kerrelyn Sparks


ORDER A COPY: How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: April 29, 2014
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: 3 stars


Vampire Zoltan Czakvar is on the hunt for the truth about his father’s death. He’s been searching for a very long time—since 1241, in fact. And he is not about to give up, even when he’s attacked by a woman with striking blue eyes and a hell of a right hook!

Neona is also on the hunt. She’s looking for a mate, and she thinks muscled Zoltan will work just fine. After all, men are good for only one thing. Soon, though, she realizes there’s more to this handsome vampire than just sexual prowess. But she’s keeping a secret from Zoltan, something so big that it will rock the vampire world.

Can their new found love survive . . . even if their passion means the destruction of her world?


Zoltan Czakvar has been a vampire and Coven Master for over 800 years, and his day to day has become so routine…meetings, castle tours. The only excitement in his life right now is Howard’s wife, Elsa and her crew are renovating some of the more rundown areas of his castle in Transylvania.

Even though he has always known about vampires (it is Transylvania, after all), Zoltan never aspired to become one. It was only after his mother died, and his father was killed, that Zoltan sought out his sire. He needed to find who had killed his father, but after years of searching, he hadn’t found any answers and he needed to stay strong, young and healthy until he had some answers. That was in 1241. Zoltan is pretty sure whoever the assassin was is long dead, but he still stares at the arrow on his wall and dreams he would someday find an answer.

When Russell shows up at Zoltan’s castle carrying an arrow that has the same markings on it, Zoltan follows Russell back to Asia. But Tibet was the last place, he expected to find his father’s killer. Zoltan spent his time searching most of eastern Europe, but never expected someone to come halfway around the world to kill a man in Transylvania.

What he finds in the small village in the hidden valley in the Himalaya creates more questions than answers, including why do some of these warriors have the ability to talk to animals just like Zoltan and his mother could. This small group of warrior women are protecting some secret. Something important enough to kill anyone getting close enough to their valley to protect. When Zoltan tries to approach Neoma outside of the village walls to get some answers, she attacks him, but not with plans to kill him…at least not right away. Neoma wants Zoltan to father a child for her, and then she promises to release him after he gets the job done. As a vampire, Zoltan can’t father children, but he is not sure that this is a good time to mention that little bit of information. Not if he wants to live another day.

And Zoltan needs to survive if he wants to solve the mystery of what these women are protecting and what they had to do with his father’s death. As Zoltan starts to lose his heart to Neoma, he is begins to fear that she might have had been responsible for his father’s death…800 years ago.

THOUGHTS:
I can’t explain to you how much it pains me to say bad things about one of my favorite authors, but I didn’t like this story at all. I read several glowing reviews of the story so maybe it is just me.  Once I thought about the series, I find that the stories I don’t like as much involved other mythical creatures rather than just the vampire/human, vampire/shifter and shifter/human romances. Among my non-favorites are Connor’s story with the fallen death angel; Howard’s story and although I like Elsa’s job on the renovation show, I wasn’t into her and the Aunt’s and their mystical powers, and now Zoltan and his warrior girlfriend.

Things I found distracting about the story included the fact that although Neoma was taught English at some point in her life, it has been decades since she spoke English with anyone, and yet she had no problem jumping right into a conversation with Zoltan.  Plus, she was born and lived in this hidden valley for a long, long time, but she had no problem following slang and not being freaked out by Zoltan’s sat phone, etc. They still cook over an open fire in a single clay pot but she didn’t question him making a phone call? I know that I am reading a vampire book, but characters and the story plot need to be conceivable within the world she created.

Without ruining the plot for anyone, I was bothered by a big “what comes first: the chicken or the egg” problem with the story plot and the ending leaves some big questions for the future of the series.

So after weeks holding onto my ARC copy until this popped to the top of my TBR list, I was so disappointed in this story. So after I have a good cry for saying mean things about Kerrelyn Sparks’ hard work, and I am going to sneak in a re-read of Roman’s or Gregori’s story (my favorites) to remind myself why I like this series so much.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

He eyed the woman. She was sitting quietly beside him, biting her lip. Nervous. That was a good sign. He didn’t want to think that she did this sort of thing often. “Did I hear you correctly? You want my seed?”

Her cheeks flushed slightly, but she looked him in the eye. “Yes.”

“Was this your plan all along? Knock me out, tie me up, and rape me?”

She winced. “It’s not rape.”

“What else would you call it when you forcibly plan to take my seed?”

“I figured you would be willing.”

“To be raped?”

She grimaced. “It’s not rape as long as you agree.”

“What if I don’t agree?”

She looked dumbfounded for a moment. “I thought men always were agreeable.”

His hands fisted tightly around the rope as an unexpected surge of anger skittered through him. How many agreeable men had she found over the years? Probably plenty. What red-blooded male wouldn’t agree to letting a beautiful woman ravish him in the woods? Dammit.

He took a deep breath. Stay in control. “Before I can consider your offer, I have to know exactly what you expect of me.”

Her gaze drifted to his groin. “I thought it was obvious.”

“On the contrary, there are numerous issues that must be addressed.” Thankfully, her gaze returned to his face. He didn’t want her to notice the growing bulge in his pants.

She frowned. “Issues?”

“Yes. For instance, how long will I be required to performed? Will I receive compensation for any injuries incurred during the act?”

Her eyes widened. “Injuries?”

“It happens. I’ve been known to get terribly wild. Fortunately, you appear to be in excellent health, so you should survive the ordeal. Do you mind signing a waiver?” He enjoyed the growing expression of horror on her face. “Which position do you want to use? Or do you prefer multiple positions? How many times to you wish to climax?”

Her mouth dropped open. Then she shook herself and glared at him. “Ten.”

He blinked. Was she calling his bluff? “Ten what? Positions or climaxes?”

She hesitated a second, then lifted her chin. “Both.”

He stifled a laugh. She wasn’t letting him get the better of her.

Jerk, the leopard grumbled. Stop playing cat and mouse with her.

Zoltan glanced up and spotted the cat lounging on the branch of a nearby oak tree. You were supposed to leave.

It thumped its tail on the branch. I’ll leave when I feel like it.

Does she jump men like this every night? Zoltan asked.

What do you think? The leopard narrowed its eyes. Look who’s jealous now.

I’m not— Was he? Zoltan pushed that thought aside and turned back to the woman. “Are you sure you can handle ten climaxes?”

She shrugged. “Are you sure you can deliver?”

He smiled, enjoying the way she stood up to him. “I’ll do my best. But it might take an hour or so, depending on–”

“Oh, no!” We must be quicker than that. No more than five minutes at the most. In fact, we had better start right away before Freddie and the others find us.”

Another jab of anger shot through him. “Freddy? Who the hell is he?”

“Freddie’s not–”

“Not tied to a tree, is he? Was he last night’s five-minute conquest?”

Her mouth dropped open.

How jealous can you get? The leopard eyed him with disdain.

I’m not! Shit. He was. Jealous of the unknown lovers of a woman he’d barely met. He must be going insane.

The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake, #14)


ORDER A COPY: The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: August 27, 2013
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: 5 stars


Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo.

Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him—and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored?


Dougal Kincaid had a rather rough life. He was kidnapped as a boy and was pressed into service on a ship. When his ship was overtaken by pirates, he was sold into slavery. It was only through the love of the master’s daughter that she helped him escape his bondage, but Dougal couldn’t save her in return. Her death has haunted him for the last 300 years.

After being turned into a vampire in 1749, his life had improved. He had friends and he was always able to enjoy playing his beloved bagpipes. But his life once again took a dismal turn when he lost his right hand during a battle with the malcontents. Now all anyone wants to talk to him about is his missing hand.

Dougal had to learn to sword fight left handed and then after he received a prosthetic hand, he learned to again fight right handed. Being ambidextrous makes him value to MacKay S&I, but Dougal wants more from his life than the next bloody battle.

Dougal lost more than just his hand that day. He lost his ability to play his bagpipes. His music was part of his soul, and without it he has felt lost.

When Roman brings in geneticist, Leah Chin to help deal with Master Han’s superhuman slaves, Douglas is captivated by her from the moment she walks into Romatech. Something about her reminds him of the woman he lost 300 years ago, and he is not about to let anything happen to her again.

But Leah isn’t too sure that she can deal with a relationship with a vampire, although Dougal’s quiet manner and green eyes haunts her dreams.

More than anything Dougal wants to be able to woo Leah with his music and show her that there is more to the man than just the vampire she sees.

THOUGHTS:
i really love this series and now it is Dougal’s turn.   Dougal is a very deep and complex character. I really liked the way his story unfolded. He is quiet and awkward, even with his fellow vampires, and that has only increased since he lost his hand.

Leah is a genius and completed her doctorate at age 21. Starting college at 14 after being homeschooled, left Leah socially awkward and not used to having any friends. She is used to people showing a friendly face, only so they can use her knowledge.

They understand each other and this quickly forms a bond between the two of them.

I was a little disappointed in Howard’s story, although I can’t explain exactly what bothered me about it, maybe it was the fairytale aspect, but I enjoyed Dougal’s story. Usually I don’t like the reincarnated storyline, but in this story it was presented more that Leah reminded him of the woman he lost and what is what caught his initial attention. He declares often that Leah is quite different from Li Lei and he wants Leah.

There was also the continuing storyline where we are trying to defeat Master Han who is being helped by the demon Darafar.

Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

A wailing sound echoed in the distance, and she turned her head toward it. It sounded familiar somehow, like a distant memory. A chill skittered down her back, and she pulled on her thick cardigan sweater.

She crossed the basketball court, headed for the gazebo. The sound grew louder, more confident.  More beautiful. She halted with a gasp. It was pipe music. Just like Grandpa had played that magical summer. She’d thought the pipes were the most beautiful sound in the world.

She closed her eyes to listen, and the plaintive melody enveloped her, seeped into her skin, and settled in her heart. So much emotion. She didn’t know how the pipes could sound like they were crying, but they did.

Tears filled her eyes as flashes of memory returned from fourteen years ago. The green fields of Ireland. Her grandfather’s lilting voice and warm hug. She’d never had to earn his hugs with straight As. He had loved her for simply being herself. He would have loved this music.

Was it Dougal? It had to be him. How could she resist such a man? His handsome face touched her heart, and his music lured her soul. As she followed the sound of the pipes, her skin pebbled with goosebumps. Was she following her destiny?

Leah, I’ve waited so long for you.

His voice whispered in her mind. He was still thinking about her, still wanting her. She passed the gazebo and headed for the woods. A white shirt came into view.

It was him. She didn’t want to disturb his playing, so she remained halfway hidden behind a tree. He was seated on a bench, his head bowed and forehead furrowed as he concentrated on his hands. His left hand moved easily and gracefully, but the fingers on his prosthetic hand were jerky and slow.

Leah’s heart ached for him. How it must hurt him to struggle with his music. He ended the plaintive melody and sighed.

“Enough of sadness,” he whispered. “I need joy in my life.” I need Leah.

Her breath caught. Should she tell him she was here? Did she dare? In a split second, she knew that if she approached him now, her life would be forever changed. She would fall for a vampire, and he would never let her go.

Her feet froze, unable to move.

He launched into a happy jig, but after a few bars, his prosthetic hand couldn’t keep up. She grimaced as the music soured and declined into a jarring noise.

“Dammit!” He tossed the pipes onto the ground, and they let out a dying wail as leftover air fizzled from the bag. “Damn it to hell.” He strode toward the building, his kilt swishing about his knees.

She stood still, watching him go, then her gaze shifted back to the pipes where they rested on a bed of dead leaves. A breeze stirred up more leaves, and they settled on the bag. In another hour, they might be completely covered with dead leaves. Buried.

A surge of anger shot through her. How dare he give up! He played from his soul. Without music, how would his soul survive?

She wouldn’t let him quit. She strode toward the pipes and gathered them up in her arms. Her grip caused the remaining air in the bag to escape, and the pipes protested with a forlorn wail.

“What are ye doing?” he asked softly.

She whirled around. “I-I didn’t think these should be left outside.”

His brow furrowed with a deep scowl. “How long have ye been out here?”

“Long enough.” She lifted her chin. “You came back awfully fast.”

“I can move verra quickly.” His mouth thinned. “At least my feet can.”

“I know you were having trouble with the jig, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from playing. The slow music was absolutely—“

“Sad,” he interrupted her, his eyes flashing.

“I was going to say beautiful.”

“Nay. It was melancholy. And pathetic. Should I spend the rest of my miserably long life with only sad music to fill my soul?”

“Better to have a sad soul than an empty one.” She held the pipes out to him. “And you have to believe that it will get better. You can’t give up on yourself.”

Less Than a Gentleman by Kerrelyn Sparks

Less Than a Gentleman


ORDER A COPY: Less Than a Gentleman

Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
eBook:  288 pages

Rating: 5 stars


In this never-before-published historical romance, New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks returns to the 18th century, where the fight for freedom is as dangerous as the fight for love.

Between searching for the missing Munro sisters and South Carolina being all but lost to the British, Captain Matthais Thomas has more important things to worry about than finding a bride. But his mother has other ideas. When Matthais finds a beautiful woman in his bed who claims to be his betrothed, he is suspicious of her identity…and determined to discover the truth.

Caroline Munro had few options. The British burned down her home, and now, traveling with her very pregnant sister, Caroline is pretending to be someone she’s not so they can have a safe place to rest. But she didn’t count on a matchmaking matron or her rogue of a son…and certainly never dreamed she would fall in love with a spy.


In Less than a Gentleman, we find our heroine Caroline Munro and her sister, Ginny Munro-Stanton, almost 10 years after The Forbidden Lady. We are now in the midst of the Revolutionary War and Caroline and a very, very pregnant Ginny have been burned out of their home in South Carolina and are on the run with Ginny’s two small children, trying to avoid the British soldiers. Ginny’s husband Quincy was a blockade runner when his ship was burned by the British and Quincy has been missing for several months now. They don’t know if he survived.

Caroline and Ginny come across an untouched plantation in the midst of the war and try to seek shelter. Jane Thomas has been awaiting a visitor; a woman named Agatha who Jane was hoping would marry her only son. To keep Ginny and the children safe, Caroline is willing to pretend to be Agatha and all is going well until Matthias Thomas stops home to visit his mother and, pretending to be a servant, declares to his mother that the lovely Caroline as an imposter. Much to Matthias’s chagrin, his mother was already aware that Caroline and her sister were not who they were pretending to be, but with Ginny about to give birth, how could she not offer them sanctuary. Jane hopes that they will eventually come to trust her enough to confess.

Matthias continues in his disguise as a servant, determined to force Caroline into a confession. When Caroline volunteers her true identity to Matthias, he realizes how much her trust has come to mean to him, but he still continues his masquerade as a servant to see if Caroline might come to love him as a poor man, rather than the wealthy heir to the plantation. It is especially important once Caroline declares she will never give her heart to a soldier. Matthias knows that Caroline is aware that Jane’s son is off fighting in the war, and there is a price on his head. He believes it is best that she is not aware that he is the man the British are hunting.

Matthias’s orders are to destroy all the bridges and traveling routes in the area so that the British cannot get their supplies to Charles Town. Unfortunately, this plan has significant consequences to Matthias and his mother since their plantation is perfectly situated on the riverbank between the supplies and Charles Town and the British have decided to set up a barge route for their shipments and they move into his home, putting his mother and Caroline directly into the hands of the British officers.

Matthias orders have also changed now that the British are holding up in his childhood home. He is to spy on the officers there and gather needed information about the deliveries so the colonists can intercept. Caroline remembers Ginny helping Quincy spy on the British just before the war began and she has come to her own decision to spy on the officers in the house. Now Matthias must fulfill his orders, keep his mother, Caroline and her family safe and keep Caroline and himself from being caught and hung as spies, all while trying to win Caroline’s love. That’s why they say, war is hell.

THOUGHTS:

I am a big fan of Kerrelyn Sparks and I liked The Forbidden Lady but I loved this one more. Although the title is Less than a Gentleman, which made me think that Matthias would be a jerk to Caroline, but he ended up being quite the gentleman. He was fighting in the war for independence and he is a good soldier. He was swamped with guilt for anyone he killed or anyone of the colonist who were hurt by his actions. For example, in the opening scene, Matthias and other soldiers are captured and Matthias gets them freed. In the escape, he had to kill a young British soldier and that weighs on him as well as the fact that the British retaliate for their escape by burning the homes of the locals which is why Caroline and her sister are fleeing. So to Matthias, everything that is happening in the war somehow works back to some action he has done. That’s a lot of guilt.

Caroline, now grown up since we last saw her, is as strong-willed and independent as her sister. With Quincy missing, their father and brother off fighting, and Ginny almost due with her third and caring for two small children, Caroline has taken up the burden of taking care for all of them. She is smart and thoughtful and she too is filled with guilt for lying to Jane to get her sister somewhere safe. She believes that with Jane’s son off fighting the war, possibly never to return, that she and Ginny will be long gone before the might actually have to fess up to her lies or actually marry Jane’s son. Caroline even helps out around the house so that she and her family are not a burden to Jane and her servants.

It is nice to see Virginia again, and meet her children, and we even, eventually see a grown up, Josiah, the little boy that Quincy “purchased” off the ship in Book #1 and raised as his own son. He is now grown and fighting in the war as well.

There are some enjoyable additional characters in this book and some great spy gadgets which are created by one of the slaves on the plantation.

A great follow up story to The Forbidden Lady.

Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.


We’ve joined in the Less Than a Gentleman tour with Literati Author Services and are part of the Tour-Wide Giveaway. Go to the Rafflecopter link below and enter to win a copy of The Forbidden Lady.


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Tour-Wide Giveaway: Paperback of The Forbidden Lady by Kerrelyn Sparks (the first book in the series)

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Favorite Scene:

“Are you all right?” Richard asked, slapping him on the shoulder.

Matthias winced. “I’m fine. Where are your horses?”

“Simon is nearby, guarding them in the woods.”

Matthias motioned to where Caroline stood, still in her father’s embrace. “May I introduce Caroline Munro?”

“I’m delighted to meet you, Miss Munro.” Richard bowed and flashed Matt a smile that conveyed his approval. “My cousin has been singing your praises.”

“Indeed?” Caroline wiped tears from her face. “Thomas is your cousin?”

Frowning at his cousin, Matthias shook his head. Then he extended a hand to Caroline’s father. “Thomas Haversham, sir. I am pleased to meet you.”

“Haversham, ye say?” Jamie Munro crushed Matt’s hand in a brutal handshake. Matthias figured his smile looked more like a grimace. “Yes, sir.”

“And who is yer friend behind you?” Munro asked.

Matthias glanced over this shoulder, surprised that Jacob was still there.

“You must be Jacob.” With a smile, Richard shook Jacob’s hand. “I’ve always wanted to meet you.”

“You’re…Richard? The cousin?” Jacob asked.

“My parents would be happy to meet you,” Richard continued. “You should come for dinner.”

“I…” Jacob withdrew his hand. “I don’t usually leave the plantation.”

“Jacob, is it?” Jamie stretched out a hand. “I’m Major Munro, Caroline’s father.”

“How do you do?” Jacob shook his hand.

Matthias glanced at the sky. The last of the sunlight was fading away. “We should take care of business. Major, could I speak to you in private for a moment?”

Jamie Munro looped an arm around his daughter. “Why in private, Haversham? Ye wouldna be keeping secrets from my daughter now, would you?”

Matthias could feel the man’s eyes focused on him, sharp as daggers. He took a deep breath. Caroline would hate him for this, but he couldn’t allow her to jeopardize herself. “Your daughter has taken a foolish notion into her head, sir.”

Caroline gasped.

Matthias continued, “She believes she should be allowed to spy upon the British. I have forbidden it, of course, but she refuses to obey.”

“I see.” Major Munro tilted his head to look at his daughter. “Is this true, lass, that ye refused to obey such an order?”

Her gazed dropped to her feet. “Aye.”

“That’s my girl.” Jamie kissed the top of her head.

Matthias’s mouth fell open.

With a grin, Caroline hugged her father. “Thank you.”

“My daughters can make their own decisions,” Jamie announced.

Matthias found his voice. “Sir, it is far too dangerous.”

“Ye think my daughter doesna ken it is dangerous? Do you think she’s lacking in intelligence, then?”

“No. But I will not allow her to endanger her life?”

“Ye know it is dangerous, lad, but ye do it all the same. Why should Caroline be any different?”

Matthias gritted his teeth. “She is a woman, sir.”

“Aye, and I’m certain ye’ve noticed it on more than one occasion.” Jamie released his daughter and moved closer. “A word of advice, laddie. Ye’re treadin’ on slippery ground here. Ye should start back steppin’ fast before ye drown yourself in a bog.”

Matthias lowered his voice. “Sir, I’m trying to take care of her.”

“Why?”

Why? What did the major expect? An admission of love? A lump in Matt’s throat choked any hope of a response. God help him, he did love her.


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(Paperbacks available August 6, 2013)

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About the Author

Author Pic Kerrelyn Sparks
Kerrelyn Sparks is the New York Times bestselling author of a series that mimics its sexy heroes by refusing to die. Now up to book thirteen, the Love at Stake series spreads laughter worldwide in thirteen different languages. In spite of a tendency to nibble on necks or howl at the moon, Kerrelyn’s vampire and shapeshifter heroes are still wonderfully romantic.

Please visit www.kerrelynsparks.com where you can read excerpts, play vampire games, or join the forum. Kerrelyn loves hearing from readers, even those who howl at the moon. Letters may be sent to P.O. Box 5512, Katy, TX 77491-5512.

Author’s Social Media Links

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Vampires Gone Wild by K. Sparks, P. Palmer, A. Arista & K. Falconer

Vampires Gone Wild (Love at Stake, #13.5)


ORDER A COPY: Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground)

Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publishing Date: November 12, 2012
Paperback: 215 pages

Rating: Overall – 4 stars


V is for VampWoman by Kerrelyn Sparks

Pamela decides to shed her prim and proper ways for spandex and a mask to help fight the Malcontents. Now if only she weren’t so distracted by the sexy vampire fighting by her side . . .

A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer

Trapped in Vamp City, Lukas has been unable to return to the beauty who stole his heart. But now that she’s stumbled into his world, it will take every ounce of cunning he possesses to keep her alive.

First Dates Are Hell by Amanda Arista

Valiance’s first date in a hundred years is going great . . . until they’re attacked in the parking lot and quiet, unassuming Esme turns out to be way more than she appears.

Blood and Water by Kim Falconer

Beneath the waves of San Francisco Bay lives a vampire race that wants nothing to do with the “landers” except to feed on them. But when Stellan sets eyes on Angelina, everything changes.


V is for Vampwoman by Kerrelyn Sparks

For centuries, Lady Pamela has always chosen the safe path. After losing her vampire husband, she chose the quiet life of a vampire harem, and whenever danger came to call, Lady Pamela always knew the most comfortable place to hide out until the trouble was over. Now Pam has had enough of her cowardly lifestyle. She has decided to become “Vampwoman” and fight the malcontents along with her vampire brethren. When she shows up uninvited to help catch malcontents selling human slaves, the guys feel she will be more of a hindrance than help. Mikhail has been watching Lady Pamela for decades now and believes she is like a butterfly: absolutely beautiful but delicate and flighty. He doesn’t want anyone losing their head trying to protect the little princess from danger. Although she has no formal training, she is determined not to flee to safety this time. She’ll do anything to fight side by side with this Viking warrior.

THOUGHTS:
Being a big Kerrelyn Sparks’s fan this story is what drew me to this book, and it was easy to get into and enjoy this story. We’ve seen more of Pamela then we have of Mikhail, but they are both known characters. Sadly, I would have like to have seen more of them. We were just getting into the story and it was over. :(

A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer

Elizabeth Bryant thought she found a love to last a lifetime until two years ago when Lukas Olsson left her one night and just never came back. She thought they were so happy together and couldn’t convince herself that it was only one sided. So sometimes she pretends to herself that Lukas is a secret agent who had to leave on a mission. Why else would he just disappear without a word? Lukas is not the only one disappearing. Almost 20 people in the last few weeks have vanished into thin air. Lizzy wants to know what happened to them. At least she did until she too walked through the thinning barrier between Washington, D.C. and Washington, V.C. Vamp City might be set up like the Washington she knows, but with the abandoned buildings, it looks more like an abandoned Old West town. Certainly this scary world is the last place she would think to find Lukas–her Lukas–running around. As the magic that created Vamp City started to falter two years ago, some vampires like Lukas have became trapped there, no longer able to cross freely between the worlds. As food (human blood) in the Vamp City has grown scarce in the last two years, Lizzy is in mortal danger. Now Lukas is trying to find a way to get Elizabeth back to her world before the darker vampires who feed on pain as well as blood find his beautiful Lizzy.

THOUGHTS:
I have read other Pamela Palmer stories, but I am not familiar with this series. Regardless, I had no problem following with the story line and I enjoyed the characters. I like that we find that although Lukas has been trapped away from Lizzy, he loved her enough to have someone who could still cross the worlds looking out for her.

First Dates are From Hell by Amanda Arista

Valiance is a vampire and a bit of loner. After his Clave abandoned him, Valiance has been “adopted” by the local shifter Prima. Although Val is brave and works hard, Violet can’t seem to convince Valiance to get a life. In First Dates are from Hell, Valiance wants to take Violet’s advice and after decades alone, he decides to ask the pretty sales clerk he just met last week out for coffee. Esme is a bit of a loner too. It seems like no one ever notices her or remembers her so she is thrilled when the handsome, quiet man she helped last week comes back to the store asking for her. Everything was going so well until they were attacked in the parking lot by members of Valiance’s former Clave brothers. Val told her to run but she didn’t want to leave him. That is until they pulled out swords—SWORDS! Esme has no idea what is happening but she knows she can’t abandon this sweet, gentle man to vicious killers wielding age old weaponry. As far as first dates go, this one is topping her list as the worst, but if she doesn’t help Val they won’t get a chance at a second.

THOUGHTS:
This story sucked. You know what sucked about it – that it was short story!!!! I want a whole book about Valiance!! I read a lot of books, especially now, so I am immediately drawn to stories that bring something different. Here is a vampire who isn’t cocky and confident, who doesn’t always get the girl and he’s lonely. He meets a pretty girl and with some persuasion he decides to ask her out for coffee. She is just as quiet and shy as he is. There was so much potential here and it was wasted in short story. Big boo to that! A kick-ass vampire who is quiet and shy. We have the action and the sweet romance but it was just too brief. I would have loved to have read more on Valiance and Esme.

Blood and Water by Kim Falconer

In Blood and Water, Mar are mermen underwater and vampires on land. Humans are about to build a bridge in the Golden Gate Bay. A bridge that would destroy the Mar’s underwater world in the Bay. Stellan is on a mission to find out more about this Bridge before his father lets his fears destroy the humans. Fate lends a hand when he saves the beautiful Angelina from drowning. Angelina’s father is the main architect on the bridge project. When Stellan is distracted from his mission by tours of the City with the lovely Angelina, the punishment on San Francisco might just be of epic proportions.

THOUGHTS:
This story is on the only one not taking place in present day and we learn the purpose of that at the end of the story. Although the character and the story was good, this one didn’t grip me like the other stories did.


Favorite Scene:

From First Date are From Hell…

As she walked him back to the register, she felt it, that pressure in the back of her head. She wondered if all girls got this when they were being followed, like she could feel him looking at her, watching her messy ponytail bob back and forth.

And he just kept looking at her, and she just kept smiling like an idiot as she rang up the bed set. “Total is seventy-three ninety six.”

“That is a good sale.” He handed her the credit card again, and again, his hand trembled. This time she paid attention to the name, Val Lance. Very knightly.

She ran the card and handed it back to him. Their fingers brushed for a second, and his fingers were cold, like touching an ice cube. She snapped her hand back.

“Sorry about that,” he apologized as he put his card back in his wallet and his wallet in his coat pocket, not in the back pocket like most boys these days. “I really should start wearing gloves.”

“We have gloves in men’s wear.” She blushed when she realized that she hadn’t talked so much in ages. She was like a babbling brook under his intense gaze.

Esme pulled her hair behind her ear and slipped his purchases into the handled paper bag.

“I came to get your number.” The statement spilled out of his mouth like a gangly kid in a foot race.

Her jaw dropped as her brain contemplated the possible answers to “Why?”

His blond brow furrowed. “To ask you out for coffee?”

Excited good bumps trickled down her arm. “Why do you need my number to do that? Just do it now.”

He laughed that one short laugh and let out a long breath. “Would you do me the honor or having coffee with me?”

She looked up at him and into those tired blue eyes. They were old. Older than her abuelita’s, but she felt seen. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she was a normal girl. That should be something, right? Even if it was just a cup of coffee before he realized how completely boring she was, and he forgot her like everyone else did. “Yeah. Yes.”

He smiled, and something glowed within him. It was a wide smile that completely changed the dynamic of his features. It lit up his eyes and chased away the storm clouds.

Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks

Wild About You (Love at Stake, #13)


ORDER A COPY: Wild About You (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: November 27, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages

Rating: 5 stars


It’s not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he’d like to lick…

Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he’s a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp—and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.


In the Wanted: Undead or Alive, we last saw Howard chasing after werewolf packmaster of Alaska, Rhett Bleddyn, who disappeared with some vampire help. We find our why in Wild About You. Rhett Bleddyn like Howard is from Alaska. We learn right away that twenty years ago, on the night of the senior prom, Rhett was responsible for the death of Howard’s first love and during the ensuing fight it was believed that Howard killed Rhett. Howard was then banished from Alaska. Now Howard knows that Rhett didn’t die that night and Howard wants Rhett to pay for what he has done.

While Howard is away, Tino Draganesti lets out a secret to his mother which involves Howard’s dream girl. After a little snooping, Shanna learns that Howard’s dream girl is Elsa Bjornberg a/k/a Amazon Ellie from International Home Wreckers. Shanna has been unhappy about having to leave her White Plains home and move to the Dragon Nest Academy. So she decides to kill two birds with one stone and she invites Elsa and her team to renovate the carriage house on the grounds of the Academy.

When Howard returns from Alaska, he is not happy with Shanna’s meddling, but he won’t turn down the opportunity to get to know Elsa in person and see if she is the same person he has fallen for in his dreams.

Elsa has never felt dainty and feminine until she meets Hot, Hunky, Handsome Howard Barr. She realizes why Howard is so big when she sees him change into a grizzly bear. Howard will have his work cut out for him trying to convince Elsa that he is really a teddy bear at heart.

Elsa is very excited to work with Howard until she begins having dreams right after meeting Howard that are too like the stories that her aunts used to tell her about a family curse. What is worse is that soon Howard realizes that the curse sounds too much like the curse his grandfather tells stories about and both legends end the same—with the beast killing his lover.

Do they have to toss away the greatest love either has known? Neither want to believe that a curse can tear them apart, but should Elsa and Howard resist their feelings for Elsa’s safety or fight together against the dangers facing them?

THOUGHTS:

Kerrelyn Sparks works her magic again. This time for sweet and cuddly Howard Barr. Howard has been around since the first books, always in the background, always as someone the group can depend on and we start to see Howard emerge from the background in Sexiest Vampire Alive when Howard goes with Gregori and Abby on their mission.

I would have liked to see a little more romance between Elsa and Howard since she did spend a lot of time being afraid of the family curse and coming to terms with Howard being a were-bear. This mixed in with the side story of Rhett Bleddyn and Elsa coming to terms with her family issues, we had a lot of ground to cover in the 236 pages we were given and the romance was only squeezed in between all the happenings.

Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com courtesy of the publisher.


Favorite Scene:

“Please. I need more time.”

“Elsa.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight. “I’ll give you all the time you need, but please don’t spend it convincing yourself that I’m dangerous. Or that I’m going to hurt you. How could I hurt you when I’m falling for you?”

“Oh, Howard.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “I do want to believe you, but this were-bear stuff is so…”

“Amazing?”

“Frightening.” She leaned back to study his face. “What if you lose control?”

“I’m always in complete control. Of the bear, that is.” He glanced won at his swollen groin. “Other parts seems to have a mind of their own.”

She gave him a wry look. “Beast.”

“Goldilocks.” He kissed her brow. “Will you admit the truth?”

“What truth?”

He leaned close to whisper in her ear, “You liked my butt.”

She swatted his shoulder. “Would you get over yourself?”

He chuckled. “I would actually prefer to talk about your naked body. If you could give me something to go on.” His hand slid over the curve of her rump. “Oh, yeah, this is—“

“Will you stop?” She shoved him away with an exasperated look. “I’m still on shock, and you keep trying to feel me up?”

“Right.” He nodded. “My apologies. He gave her a forlorn look. “I’m a bad little bear.”

Her mouth twitched. “Can you ever be serious?”

“I’m serious about you.” He smiled. “Seriously.”

She gave him a bemused look. “And this is the personality of a grizzly?”

“Think of me as a big, cuddly, honey bear.”

The Forbidden Lady (formerly For Love or Country) by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Forbidden Lady


ORDER A COPY:  The Forbidden Lady: (Originally published under the title FOR LOVE OR COUNTRY)

Publisher: Avon Impulse
Re-release Date: September 25, 2012
ebook: 248 pages

Rating:  4 stars


Virginia Munro could not believe her ears. This bewigged, bejeweled, and bedeviling man was trying to buy her? As if she were some trollop on the Boston docks?

Before she’s fully able to give in to her outrage, the fop moves on—and Virginia refuses to spare him another thought.

But Quincy Stanton is not what he seems. By day, he poses as a carefree Loyalist with an army of wigs and a wardrobe that favors lavender. By night, he wages a secret war against the British with an impressive collection of eighteenth-century spy gadgets. If anyone were to discover the truth, Quincy would hang, yet he can’t seem to stay away from the lovely and saucy Virginia. Will their attraction lead to love . . . or danger?


Bond. James Bond…I mean, Stanton. Quincy Stanton.

This is an updated review from my original For Love or Country review. Although it is presented as an updated, re-released version, I will say that I did a quick re-read of the new release and I didn’t truly catch anything noteworthy that I even noticed from my original reading of the story. That doesn’t mean it is not a good story, but just if you have managed to get your hands on an elusive copy of For Love or Country, there is no need to purchase the new release. If you haven’t, whether or not you are a fan of Kerrelyn’s Love at Stake series, you should treat yourself to this well written spy novel.


This is a wonderful story which takes place just prior to the beginning of the revolutionary war. As tensions build between the colonists and the British Army, colonist Quincy Stanton goes undercover as a British loyalist to spy on the local tories and British Officers.

His only regret is that the one person who actually believes his foppish behavior is a mermaid with hair of red and eyes as green as the sea. From his first look at Virginia Munro, Quincy begins to lose his heart. But Virginia has brains and bravery as well as beauty on her side, and when Quincy realizes that Virginia has appointed herself as a spy for the colonists, he takes it upon himself to stop the willful beauty. He wants his lips on the long line of her throat, not a gallow’s noose.

As if trying to balance his Tory disguise, his spying for the colonists and his seduction of Virginia isn’t enough for Quincy to deal with, his half-brother has come from England to try and take Stanton Shipping from Quincy and his Uncle. Clarence was sent by his father to get the Stanton Shipping assets from the bastard son he sent away the Americas, and nothing gives Clarence more pleasure then to take something from his brother, especially if he can also succeed in taking away the lovely Virginia.

THOUGHTS:

This story has the usual great wit and banter as Kerrelyn’s Love at Stake series, but with the added delight of 1769 “spy gadgets.” He might not have a Dick Tracy two-way radio watch, but he does have a snuff box with a secret magnifying glass covered in phosphorescence (no candles necessary). It is a clever twist and a delightful story.

Received ARC of re-released from abovethetreeline.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.

(Found my original For Love or Country off the internet.)


Favorite Scene:

“I won’t lie to you, Mr. Stanton. I saw you go up the stairs. And I followed you.”

She placed her hands on his shoulders, the lavender silk cool and smooth against the slightest pressure. Definitely no padding. Her fingers pulsed with each hammering beat of her heart as she rakes her fingertips down his chest. With one hand, she could feel the round, hard outline of his snuffbox and with the other, the rapid staccato of his own heart as it drummed in his broad chest.

She did have an effect on him. Her fingers spread out, searching for whatever he had secreted inside his coat.

His hands covered hers, halting her quest. “You’re playing a dangerous game, cherie.”

“And what game are you playing that has you stealing into bedchambers in the dark?”

“An assignation with a lady who apparently has changed her mind.” He rested his right hand lightly on her shoulder and crooked his thumb inside her neckline, wedged between the midnight-blue silk and her skin. “But since a younger, sweeter morsel has come along…” He slid his thumb down, watching its descent as it followed the curve of her breast. “He put in his thumb and pulled out a…plum?”

Virginia jumped back, pressing her hand across her chest. Her agitated breathing caused her breasts to rise and fall rapidly against her palm. “I must ask you to keep your hands to yourself, sir.” She should have known not to flirt with a man like this, a man who radiated so much raw masculinity in spite of his silk trappings.

He shrugged. “You touched me first.” His eyes gleamed like quicksilver as he stepped toward her. “My dear mademoiselle, you would be amazed what a…well-placed thumb can do.”

“And you would be amazed what a well-placed knee can do.”

His chuckle was deep. “You are determined to prove yourself less than proper this evening. I’m quite intrigued.”

“You’re not what you seem, either, Mr. Stanton.”

He tilted his head as he considered her carefully. “And how, may I ask, have you reached that conclusion?”

“You pretend to be a lazy fop, yet you have the tanned complexion and muscles of a man who has known true labor.”

His dark eyebrows lifted. “Have you been studying me? I am flattered.”

She felt her face redden with a rush of heat. “I’m merely an observant person.”

“You’re very clever, Miss Munro, but other equally observant people may have noticed your disappearance. I suggest you return at once to the parlor. To be seen with me will only harm your reputation. I’m rumored to be…insatiable.”

“I’m not sure what you are, Mr. Stanton.” Virginia whisked by him and won the hall. She heard his soft voice behind her.

“Likewise, cherie

Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Wanted: Undead or Alive (Love at Stake, #12)


ORDER A COPY: Wanted: Undead or Alive (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon Books
Publishing Date: March 27, 2012
Paperback: 374 pages

Rating: 5 Stars


He’s a vampire from the big city . . .

Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He’s got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he’s got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn’t hate every vampire on earth.

She’s a werewolf princess . . .

Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she’s more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.


Phineas McKinney has been a vampire for five years now, and his life has never been better. He was a poor kid from the Bronx and now he has a fantastic job that he loves, great friends who really care about him, and nowadays he is known throughout the vampire community for his great commercials. All the women want to meet “the Blardonnay guy.” But he’s tired of his life as “the love doctor,” women keep using him since he’s the newest novelty in the vampire community. Since he is dead during the day, what he misses most is the blue of a summer sky, the blue like her eyes. Phineas can’t stop thinking about Brynley Jones, the sexy wolf-girl and sister of his friend, werewolf Phil Jones. Too bad Brynley hates vampires because the more Phin tries not to think about her, the more he can’t stop thinking about her.

Brynley Jones came to New York to live with her brother, Phil and teach at the Dragon Nest Academy, and to escape the clutches of her overbearing Alpha werewolf father. More importantly, to escape an arranged marriage set up to increase her father’s holdings in the werewolf community. She hates being used and people who are users. Vampires are users…aren’t they? They used people for food for centuries. They should be avoided…right? If only that Phineas wasn’t so damn sexy…and sweet. It doesn’t matter. Werewolves and vampires just don’t mix. Hasn’t she told her brother that many times.

When Phineas needs to go to Wyoming to search for Corky Courrant and bring her before the council to answer for her crimes against the vampire community, he needs someone who knows the area and the only one available to Brynley. How can he concentrate on finding an enemy when he’s all alone with the one woman he truly wants but he knows he can’t have.

This was a great addition to the Love at Stake series. Phineas is a great character who was brought in the series in Book 3 and we’ve seen his character grow and mature becoming an important part of the Romatech family. He’s always been charming and funny, and it was great to see more of this character.

We first meet Brynley in Forbidden Nights with a Vampire (Phil and Vanda’s story) and she has always been a little rough around the edges and we finally get to understand why.

The ending was quite the surprise and I LOVE where Ms. Sparks went with the story. Wow – what a twist!! (*he, he, he* wouldn’t you like to know.)

One disappointment was that one character in this book was in serious need of a good beating for things that were done and didn’t get one. Not even a solid punch in the face. Really?? WTF???

Won an ARC from Kerrelyn Sparks’s editor.  Whoo hoo!!

Check out our interview with Kerrelyn Sparks


Favorite Scene:

“Okay, let’s go.”

She gave him a wry look. “Are you going to call the glacier? They don’t generally come equipped with a telephone.”

“Then we’ll take the car.” He smiled. “See? I knew it would come in handy.”

“It’s wilderness area. That means no motorized vehicles are allowed off the main roads.”

His smile faded. “Then how do you get around?”

“You walk.” Her mouth twitched. “Or you ride a horse.”

He stepped back. “I don’t think so.”

“Aw, come on, Phineas. It’ll be fun!”

“Those horses don’t like me.”

“They don’t know you.” She gave him a sly grin. “To know you is to like you.”

He frowned at her. Was she flirting with him? Didn’t she know that was torture? “I tried getting to know them. When you and Trudy left the barn to greet the other lady, I stayed behind for a little while. I tried mentally communicating with the horses to let them know I would never hurt them.”

“Ah, that was sweet.”

“Not too sweet. One of them tried to bite me.”

She laughed. “Which one?”

“I don’t know. They all look alike.”

“Horses look alike?” She shook her head. “You’re such a city boy.”

His brow arched. “Country girl.”

“And proud of it. I can bring down an elk in sixty seconds.”

“I didn’t think your breath was that bad.”

She huffed and punched him in the shoulder.

“Ah, foreplay.” He rubbed his shoulder. “And here I though you were going to resist me.”

She scoffed. “That’s not my idea of foreplay.”

“Then what is?”

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1)


ORDER A COPY: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 1)

Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: August 1, 2005
Paperback: 371 pages

Rating: 5 Stars


So what if he’s a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn’t have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren’t going well for Shanna Whelan either…After witnessing a gruesome murder by the Russian mafia, she’s next on their hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she’s afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she’s found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman’s fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her…


One of my favorite stories!

Roman Draganesti is a brilliant scientist and the inventor of synthetic blood.  He is also a vampire and the inventor of Fusion Cuisine, flavored blood for vampires.   When he loses a fang testing a Vampire Artificial Nutrition Needs Appliance (i.e., sex doll with artificial pulse), he has until morning to find a dentist and have it fixed.  

Shanna Whelan is a dentist but there’s no way she’s putting an “animal” tooth in Roman’s lovely smile.  Shanna is also in hiding from the Russian Mafia.  Now the Russians have sent in a vampire assassin to find her and eliminate her and the only one who can protect her is another vampire. 

I know what you are thinking.  A story about a vampire and a dentist!!  Really??   I said the same thing, but I kept coming back to it and wondering how a story like that was going to play out.   I’m so glad I finally gave in and picked up a copy.   This is one of the series which I enjoy the most.  This book, in particular, is still on the top of my favorite all time stories.  Kerrelyn Sparks writes her stories with such witty and sexy banter between her characters.  I can’t help but laugh throughout this series. 

I just so enjoy Roman and Shanna and I am especially happy that they show up frequently throughout the series.  Roman is the owner of Romatech, the laboratory that produces the synthetic blood, and employs most of the other characters that we meet throughout the series.  He is also the Coven Master of theEastern United States. 

My one pet peeve, which was corrected with the next story, Vamps and the City, was the “harem” which Roman keeps as Coven Master.  All these women are sitting around wearing the clothing of the time period which was in fashion when they were changed into vampires.  Like there is any way a vampire could blend in and survive in the ever changing society when still walking around dressed like Scarlett O’Hara.  Thankfully, they were modernized in the next story to blend in with society at large.  So don’t let that distract you from the overall story.

Oh — since I work in White Plains, NY, I am narrowing down the secret location of Romatech Laboratories, and will let you know when I find it. 

We talked with Kerrelyn Sparks on 2/27/12 about her series.


Favorite Scene:

He would have to be very careful with his thoughts.  Only think about safe subjects.  No more thoughts about his mouth and which of her body parts would fit inside.  No. None of that.  He’d think about something completely different.  Like her mouth and which of his body parts would fit inside.  His groin stiffened.  No!  No sex.  Not now.  He needed his damned tooth fixed.

“Do you want me to implant your tooth now?”  She tilted her head, frowning a bit.  “Or shall we have oral sex?”

Roman stared at Shanna.  Good God.  Not only had she read him like a book, but she was apparently willing to have sex with him.  Amazing. 

Laszlo was gasping for air.  “My God, how did she come up with such a—an outrageous—“   He narrowed his eyes, switching his gaze to Roman.  “Mr. Draganesti!  How could you?”

How could he not, if Shanna was willing.  Oral sex with a mortal?  Interesting.  Mortal sex in an examining chair.  Very interesting.

“Sir!” Laslo’s voice rose an octave.  He twirled a button with his fingers.  “There isn’t enough time for—for two treatments.  You have to decide between your—your tooth or your…”  With a grimace, he glanced at Roman’s swollen jeans.

My fang or my wang?  The latter strained against his zipper, as if it wanted to leap out and shoot its mouth off.  Pick me, pick me!

“Sir?”  Lazlo’s eyes were wide with panic.

“I’m thinking,” Roman growled.

Sexiest Vampire Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake, #11)


ORDER A COPY: Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake)

Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: September 27, 2011
Paperback: 370 pages

Rating: 5 Stars


The secret is out . . . Vampires do exist!

When a video reveals to the world that vampires live among us, it’s up to “young” vamp Gregori Holstein, VP of Marketing, to persuade the U.S.government to declare the video a hoax. But first the president wants a favor, one that requires Gregori to spend forty-eight hours in very close contact with the First Daughter.

Abby Tucker would rather spend her nights in a lab than attend her father’s state dinners. She’s dedicated her life to finding a cure that will save her dying mother and needs only two more ingredients. To find them, she’ll have to venture into the most dangerous region of the world—with a vampire. Her Armani-clad escort may be Undead, but he still makes her heart race. And the greatest danger won’t be the predatory hordes lying in wait for them; it will be her undying desire for the Sexiest Vampire Alive.


A video is going viral which proves the existence of vampires among us.  Before the vampire hunts begin, the Vamps need to convince the President that not only do Vampires exist, but that it would be in the government’s best interest to protect the vampires and work with them so the Vamps can continue to protect mortals from the Malcontents.   Who better to send to “market” Vamps to the President than Gregori Holstein, the VP of Marketing at Romatech.   Playboy vampire Gregori was turned after the invention of artificial blood and had never bitten a mortal for food.  He is a true “bottle-fed” vampire. 

The President might be willing to declare the video a hoax if Gregori is willing to assist in a covert mission to get his daughter, Abby, a biochemist, into China so she may collect some plant samples for her research.  

Gregori is certain that the mission will go smoothly if only he can convince himself to keep his hands off the President’s beautiful daughter. 

I have to admit to a certain bias in my review since I am a huge fan of Kerrelyn Sparks and her Love at Stake series. Her stories are witty and romantic and I just love all her characters.  Connor and Gregori were two of my favorite characters and I have wanted to read their stories since we first met them in How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.  Although I was a little disappointed in Connor’s story which came out last March, I LOVED Gregori’s story.  It had the perfect balance of witty banter, sexy flirtations and adventure.  

I waited in eager anticipation for word to pass to Gregori’s mother, Radinka, that Gregori was showing a special interest in Abby, and I as not disappointed when Radinka showed up on their date.  

The only disappointment is that after all the years of Gregori always teasing the vamps when they fall in love and flirting with their girlfriends to annoy them, I thought there would be a little more payback from his buddies once Gregori finally fell in love.  They were too easy on him. 

You don’t need to read the whole series to enjoy this story.  But for us fans, this story was a wonderful addition to the series.  

We talked with Kerrelyn Sparks on 2/27/12 about her series.


Favorite Scene:

“Your line, Gregori,”  Maggie whispered.

Abigail’s eyes popped opened.  God Lord! She’d forgotten for a second where she was.  She placed her hands on his shoulders to push him back, but then his lips brushed across her cheek. Oh God, was he planning to kiss her mouth?

His fingers curled around the strand of rhinestones, and his knuckles nestled in the valley of her breast.

“Gregori!” Maggie hissed.

“Cut!” Gordon shouted.

With a jerk, Gregori released her necklace.  His gaze lifted to her face.

Red glowing eyes!  “Aagh!”  She pushed at his shoulders.  “You’re going to bite me!”

Gregori stepped back.  “I wasn’t—”

Bam! Josh body-slammed him onto the floor.

“Abby!” Madison ran toward her.  “Are you all right?”

She pressed a hand against her thundering heart.  “His eyes turned red!  Glowing and red!”

“Really?” Madison glanced at Gregori, still pinned underneath Josh.

“I wasn’t going to bite you.”  Gregori frowned at Abigail, his eyes returning to their usual grayish-green.

“His eyes were red?”  Simone asked.  “Impossible!”

“I saw it,” Abigail whispered.  She’d been a fool to let herself be attracted  to a vampire, to think that he might want her for anything other than a snack.

“Abby, I can explain,”  Gregori told her, then glared at Josh.  “Get off me!  I could teleport away.  Or throw you across the room.”

Josh didn’t budge.  “I can’t allow you to hurt her.”

“I’m not going to hurt her!”  Gregori shouted.

“It’s true!”  Maggie said as she stepped onto the set.  “When a vampire’s eyes turn red, it doesn’t mean hunger.  He wasn’t going to bite her.”

“That’s right.”  Phineas gave Abigail an encouraging smile.  “Chillax, dudette.  He didn’t want to bite you.”

She wondered if she overreacted.  “He didn’t?”

“Naw.”  Phineas smirked.  “He just wanted to jump your bones.”

Her mouth fell open.

“Phineas,” Gregori growled.  “Let me handle this.”

For Love or Country by Kerrelyn Sparks

For Love or Country

The Scarlet Pimpernel meets The Patriot in Kerrelyn Sparks’ debut novel, For Love or Country. With an army of wigs and a wardrobe that favors lavender, Quincy Stanton poses as a Loyalist fop by day. By night, he wages a secret war against the British with an impressive array of eighteenth century spy gadgets. If the truth is discovered, he could hang. Then along comes Virginia Munro, a lovely fellow patriot who’s becoming entangled in her own brand of spy games…

When spy falls for spy, anything can happen. Both are reluctant to admit their motives to the other… which, of course, makes dinner party conversation awkward. When two spies are stumbling upon each other in the dark, the results can be hilarious and dangerous. Is Boston big enough for the two of them? Perhaps if they combine forces…


Bond. James Bond…I mean, Stanton. Quincy Stanton.

This is a wonderful story which takes place just prior to the beginning of the revolutionary war. As tensions build between the colonists and the British Army, Colonist Quincy Stanton goes undercover as a British loyalist to spy on the local aristocrats and British Officers. At the same time trying to keep the beautiful and self-appointed spy Virginia Munro, out of trouble.

This story has the usual great wit and banter as Kerrelyn’s Love at Stake series, but with the added delight of 1769 “spy gadgets.” He might not have a Dick Tracy two-way radio watch, but he does have a snuff box with a secret magnifying glass covered in phosphorescence (no candles necessary). It is a clever twist and a delightful story.

It is hard book to find (I got mine copy used), but it is worth trying to get your hands on it.
(Update:  For Love or Country will be re-released in eBook format on Aug. 7, 2012.)

Rating:  4 stars


Favorite Scene:

“Why do you have such an odd contraption?”

He settled into the seat beside her. “’Tis for protection, in case I find myself in poor company. The silken cord from the ceiling releases it.”

“Oh, so that’s why you pounced on me.”

“Originally, yes. Once there, I remained for the sheer pleasure.”

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