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Friday, January 11, 2008

Review: The Accidental Vampire

The Accidental Vampire
by Lyndsay Sands


Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black’s been catching her z’s in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there’s more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can’t very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she’d meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman—dead or alive.


Rich, powerful, and drop-dead gorgeous, Victor’s the perfect man for a novice neck-biter like Elvi. He’s willing to teach her everything he knows, but he’ll have to do it fast. Someone’s out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe – and satisfied – for all eternity.

This book was my first Argeneau novel by Lyndsay Sands. It won't be my last. Even better, it stood solidly on its own, though I'm certain I would have enjoyed it even more (if that's possible) than I did if I'd had a background in the series. Don't let not having read any of the books prior to this one stop you from picking this up!

I love Ms. Sands' idea that vampirism isn't a curse, but an infection of sorts. I had fun watching Victor Argeneau and his vampire friends debunk one after the other to a shocked Elvi and her best friend, Mabel. The secondary cast was strong and colorful, and I'm ready to pack up my bags and move to Port Henry.

The story begins when our hero, Victor Argeneau, and his friend, DJ head to Port Henry to find out what on earth is going on. A vampire who should be sworn to secrecy about her existence, according the the Laws, has advertised in the newspaper for a mate. Is she out of her mind? Is she an actual vampire? It's their job to find out and report their findings to the council (which is headed by Victor's brother).

Once there, they discover they aren't the only vampires who have answered the ad--four others have shown up as well. Worse? Elvi has no idea why they're there. What else could possibly go wrong? How about the fact that someone is trying to kill Elvi. Or is it Victor?

The author handled this story carefully, doling out equal parts humor, romance and suspense in a wonderful stew of plot. I didn't want to put this book down! I read until my eyes blurred last night, and picked it up the moment I awoke. I'm ready to read it again, AND to pick up her entire backlist (I have the titles written down, and I'm going shopping online the moment I finish this review).

Elvi is so human despite the fact that she's immortal. She truly is an accidental vampire, and had no one to guide her as she turned, so she used legend and the information found in the movie version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" as an instruction manual. One by one, she discovers that she's been wrong about things, and watching her learn to live again was both hysterically funny and moving.

Victor doesn't want to believe Elvi is his lifemate. He's already had one, who was burned at the stake, and can't imagine being so blessed again. But he finds Elvi irresistible.

The other group of vamps are such clear individuals, and I can't wait to read about them again (note to Ms. Sands: You are going to include them in your futures stories, aren't you?).

I can't recommend this book enough to fans of romance and/or paranormal stories. It's incredibly well written and a page-turner. This one goes on the keeper shelf.

Review by Poppy