Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (360 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Poppy
Her modern Casanova was not quite as modern as she thought…
A typical bachelor party is all about beers and beautiful women. A vampire bachelor party is no different—except the men are drinking Blissky (whiskey-flavored synthetic blood). And no one can throw a party quite like Jack. When you’re the illegitimate son of the legendary Casanova, you know how to have a good time. But when the party gets out of hand and the cops show up, Jack has some explaining to do…if only he wasn’t struck speechless by the beauty of Officer Lara Boucher.
Lara is sure there’s something more than a bachelor party going on. What is Jack hiding? How come no one at the hotel remembers him the next day? Why does he warn her to leave him alone when he’s obviously attracted to her? As a woman, she finds this modern day Casanova hard to resist. As a police officer, she’s determined to uncover his secrets…if she can only get the job done before he seduces her.
So much fun! Who would have thought that getting a suite full of vampires drunk on Blisskey would be such a hoot? And poor Jack... stuck holding the bag--or in this case, a bloody and wrecked hotel room, with no good explanation for the cops when they show up at the door. Even more frustrating? Sexy Office Lara Boucher doesn't respond to his powers of suggestion.
And he thinks he's frustrated! Poor Lara--she knows what she saw, but no one else will back her up. How is it possible that even her partner doesn't remember the blood-covered hotel room? Something is fishy, and she's going to figure out just what it is.
With cleverly devised scenes and a plot that is both funny and dark, Kerrelyn Sparks has another winner in her "Love at Stake" series. Though this book stands alone easily, I'm sure it would be richer and even more fascinating if the reader has been following the series.
The author has such talent in finding the humor in even scary situations, and although I am frequently surprised at the ease with which some of the human characters accept the existence of vampires, she still makes the entire scenario believable. Lara goes through a gamut of emotions as she tries to figure out just what is going on--even wondering if Jack is some sort of comic book-type superhero. Watching her struggle with her desire and admiration for him, all the while knowing that she is unwise to even consider any type of relationship was heart-rending.
Worse, you can't help but feel sorry for poor Jack with his inferiority complex from having grown up in the shadow of his famous father. He doesn't believe he can live up to the "Cassanova" reputation (and the reason why is explained in this book), but he still attempts to seduce Lara despite being sworn to secrecy by all the other vamps involved in Romatech Industries. Telling a police officer that they're all vampires? Never! And worse, telling a police officer whose memories are impossible to erase? Absolutely out of the question. So, how do you develop a healthy, deep relationship when you can't offer honesty and trust? You don't. And it's heart-breaking to watch Lara and Jack dance around one another, knowing that they're made for each other, but fighting their hearts every step of the way.
These two agonize about everything and this reader looked on voyeuristically, frustrated by the two of them fighting their feelings as they find reason after reason to admire one another, and all the while falling a little more in love. There were times I wanted to shake them both! Then, when you think it can't get any worse, as they grow closer, they also discover something terrifying: one of the cases Lara is investigating involves the Malcontents -- evil vampires who don't believe in drinking synthetic blood, but instead feast on humans and kill indiscriminately. How can Jack continue to hide who he is in light of this latest development? And how can he protect this woman for whom his heart yearns, and still help her solve her case?
Fabulously written, intriguing and edge-of-your seat exciting ... I couldn't put this book down! This was a tremendously emotional book, and one with an Alpha vamp who has many Beta tendencies. Ms. Sparks showcases her talents admirably in this book, and it has to be one of my favorites in the series. If you're a fan a vampire novels that aren't dreadfully dark, I highly suggest you pick this (and every other book in the series) up as soon as you can!