It's time for another book review for Marie's Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge. I'm cheating again, but in a different way. The book I had started to read, well, it's going kind of slow and the end of October is creeping up. So, I'm going to review a book I read a few weeks ago. It's not an indie book either.
I forget exactly how I discovered Kerrelyn Sparks' Love at Stake Series, but I was hooked. Like any woman, I enjoy romances, even more so when there's a paranormal element to it. Kerrelyn's books had the added element of humor. When I read the first one I laughed out loud a few times as I read. Her latest book, Sexiest Vampire Alive had some nice humor to it as well. In fact, I think she went above and beyond by making fun at romance novels and vampire stories.
In terms of story, I was very interested in this installment. If you read Vampire Mine then you'll know things are changing for the vampires in her books and it's up to Gregory to save the day. He has to go to the president of the United States and convince him that vampires are harmless. Which didn't go too well, since part of the secret service's job is to view everything as a threat. So, when Gregory teleported near the president, all hell broke lose.
It also allowed his love interest to discover he was a vampire early on. I found that refreshing. Most vampire romances have the woman ignorant to what her lover is until near the end. When she finds out, that causes problems. She gets scared, conflicted, blah, blah, blah. It's been done, so it was great to read a story that didn't hinge on that to cause conflict between the characters.
One thing that did get to me was Gregory and Abby were supposed to travel to China to find some plant Abby hoped would save her mother. Halfway through, they were still in the states. When they finally got to China and met what I'm guessing is the new baddie, Master Han, it wasn't for very long. It felt rushed and I can't even conjure up an image of what Master Han looks like. Of course, all I can conjure up of Abby is a pair of breasts. I think she had hazel eyes, but other than that, the only feature that stuck out were her boobs and their size.
My point is, I feel like details were skimped. The focus of the novel was Gregory and Abby getting used to each other, declaring their love for each other. Even then, the sex scene wasn't like others. It was short and lacking. A good sex scene makes you feel something, makes you want to grab your significant other and drag him/her to the bedroom. I didn't feel that with this book.
Another part I felt was skimped was the end. In the beginning, Gregory messes with Abby's head because she learned something he knew vampires didn't want to get out. At the end, of course, she finds out he messed with her head. And gets mad. This was the stressor equivalent on the woman finding out love interest is undead and freaking out. By then, it was almost the end of the book. We got a little bit of Gregory being suave and trying to win Abby back while she's pissed, but Abby's POV is skipped. Next thing I knew, Gregory was doing what he hadn't wanted to do in the beginning and everything was tied up nice and neat. A little too neat.
All this made me wonder. The publishing world is in flux. I wonder if publishers are rushing to get books out to readers, trying to compete with how fast indie authors can get books out. Maybe Sexiest Vampire Alive didn't get the same depth of editing that Kerrelyn's other books have.
My only other complaint isn't very important, but I just can't get over it. At one point, Gregory and Abby stop in Hawaii where they stay with a were-dophlin. This is what gets me, what completely yanked me out of the story and made say, "You've got to be kidding!" The were-dolphin's name is Finn. He looks like a surfer and is a marine biologist. COME ON! I know he's get like two sentences, but Kerrelyn, you are a NYT best selling author! You couldn't be a little more creative? Give him a name that is a synonym of dolphin or fin? Have him be a tour guide? Or a Samoan? Something more creative than that!
Lastly, I'm not a big fan of the title or the cover, and if I wasn't a fan of Kerrelyn, then I wouldn't have picked it up based on the cover or title. Also, Gregory in the story has longer hair and I keep picturing him with a mullet. Not very sexy in my opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed Sexiest Vampire Alive. I'd give it 3.5 stars. The story is worth a read, and if you've read the rest of the series, you should enjoy this. I will pick up her next book as well, I want to know what happens next. Hopefully, the next one won't feel rushed and the bad guy given more time and detail. Plus, I hear it's about Phineas, another character I enjoy.