Monday, December 12, 2011

A Very Vampy Christmas - Kerrelyn Sparks


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A Very Vampy Christmas is a laugh out loud sleigh ride. If you are the Will Ferrell “Elf” type of Christmas story fan then this is the book for you. There is very little somber or sole searching about this onebut it is a great story and stress reliever.

This book is 2.5 in the Love at Stake series, written byKerrelyn Sparks. Although it canbe read as a stand alone the depth of the emotions the characters have make abit more sense when you know their back stories from reading the previous booksin the series.

Maggie O’Brian is a charming little Irish girl who has beenin love with Don Orlando since the day he first appeared on the DVN (DigitalVampire Network) Soap opera As theVampire Turns four years ago. In answer to all her prayers she lands a job working opposite him on theshow. However, just before her jobbegins she learns that he is really not the man she thought he was but awomanizing player, or at least that is what his ex-lover and talk show host ofthe gossip show Live with the Undeadwants everyone to believe. Shequickly realizes there is more to him then the gossip queen wants to makeeveryone believe. Unfortunately, evenhe doesn’t know what all that is because he has anemia and everything about himincluding his name is a made up character to cover his lack of identity. With the help of Maggie they set off toNew Orleans, his last know residence, to discover who he is. And he is hopeful that whateverthey find will help him hold on to Maggie who he is secretly in love with.

The New Orleans characters are absolutely shocking and someof the funniest characters that I have read in some time. The story of what all Don Orlando wentthrough prior to meeting Maggie is just simply hysterical. The twists and turns keep coming as hefinally discovers his real identity, finds his family and discovers all oftheir strange quirks. The more Maggielearns about him and his past the more she can’t help to love him. And her constant support andunderstanding only endears her more to him.

I really enjoyed this story. It is a quick read and very entertaining. As far as Christmas messages go I thinkthis one is more just for the entertainment value. It has a small lean toward the value of a loving family butit isn’t a sole searching Christmas story if that is what you’re lookingfor. This is sold alone but isalso included in the Sugarplums and Scandal anthology (see more about it below). I will also be reviewing Christine Feehan’s, A Holiday Treasury, laterin the week if you were looking for a story with more of a sole searching “Dicken’s- A Christmas Carol” type Christmas miracle feel.

I give this more four chocolate dipped strawberries withsugar on top!

So as I said this can be purchased alone or as part of the Sugarplums and Scandals anthology. The anthology consists of 6 stories.

The first one All I Want for Christmas by Lori Avocato was entertaining but it is part of the Pauline Sokol series. So although it stood OK alone you did feel like you were picking up something mid series. I don't read this series but from what I could gather from the plot I thinking readers of this series would be thrilled with the outcome of this particular story. Pretty good over all.

The second story is The Lords of Misrule by Dana Cameron. This is a historical piece and I found it very hard to get into. A great deal of the story focused on the expectations of women and behavior in that time period. Given the length of the story it just seemed to bog down the story and didn't hold my interest. The characters seemed to have potential but it lacked the sense of romance that would have helped make it more interesting. Just so-so over all.

The third story is The Ghost of Christmas Passed by Mary Daheim. I have to say this one was a very difficult read for me and I eventually just started skimming the story to just get through it. The story was mainly the women of the family cooking to prepare for Christmas dinner. The point being that the conversation was to eventually reveal that a distant family member had disappeared and know one knew what happened to him. Which of course pertains to the unexpected guest that eventually shows up. The conversation that takes places is mostly small talk about cooking and is just painfully boring. The revelation of the families secret and the guest showing up are both anti-climatic and don't make the build up worth it. Over all I would skip this one....

The fourth story is Partners in Crime by Cait London. This one was pretty good and a welcome change of the previous stories. Basically Cecilia is the towns OCD organizational guru. After a string of unexplained thefts the towns Police Chief brings in his cousin to work undercover and befriend Cecilia to see if he can use her relationship with the town to uncover what is going on. Their ensuing relationship is charming and the story has nice characters and enough plot to make it fun and interesting. This one was a nice read.

The fifth story is Holly Go Lightly by Suzanne Macpherson. This one was another nice read. Nick is recently engaged but is being haunted by his ex. He struggles to believe that his sense of her presence is real but the signs keep telling him that his current path is wrong and that her ghost is trying to tell him something. He eventually chooses to follow the signs and finds his own Christmas Miracle just in time. This was a really nice sweet story about second chances.

And of course the sixth story is the Very Vampy Christmas.

Over all I would say three of the five extra stories are nice. So for me it would come down to price if I bought this or the Vampy Christmas as a stand alone. Enjoy!
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