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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Review: One Bite Stand

One Bite Stand
By Nina Bangs

Harpies don’t get callbacks. That’s why Daria’s job as night manager of the Woo Woo Inn is the opportunity of several lifetimes. Where better to prove that in the snatch-and-dispatch business she has CEO potential? So what if she doesn’t really fit the corporate image. So what if she has to nurture her inner bitch to compete. And triple so what if she’d rather take Declan MacKenzie to bed than on a one-way all-expense-paid trip to Tartarus. His sexy blue eyes and hard male body lure her into deep and dangerous erotic waters.

With a monster eating guests for its midnight snack, cosmic troublemakers cooking up chaos and Declan making serious moves on her, this looks like a lot more than a …
One Bite Stand.

This story is quite a switch. So used am I to reading about females who decry their plain looks, their height in any direction, unmanageable hair and microscopic chest assets, One Bite Stand was an intriguing difference of perspective.

Daria is a harpy who wants to be ugly, scary and mean. She finds her nemesis and competitor in the ultimate harpy competition, Eris, to be everything she wasn’t. Daria tries so hard because her mom and aunt are two of the top three harpies. She wants to earn her mom’s respect but she’s doesn’t look like she should and it’s bothered her all her life. She even has her brother, Kal, put glamour on her to make her uglier. She does all this, and stresses over it all because her and her brother had the misfortune of having Apollo as their dad. You can well imagine how Apollo looks, so Daria has an uphill battle ahead. She absolutely can’t fail at being the ‘perfect’ harpy.

Daria thinks that her dad’s lineage causes her problems? She can’t hold a candle someone else’s paternal parentage. Wait until you get a load of him-he makes Hannibal Lector look sane.

Enter Declan MacKenzie and Daria starts to question her goals. He’s a man who’d make any woman take notice but he’s been alive for so long, he really doesn’t connect with people anymore. Declan is a bit more than your average vampire. I appreciate the angle that Declan is a born - not a made - vampire. Because he was born, he did what regular human men do and you’ll get a wonderful glimpse of that in the story … at some point. It might make you feel mushy.

I enjoyed reading his change in heightened senses when Daria walks onto the scene. The man in him takes notice and it’s a driven alpha from then on. A good romance brings out the best in the hero and heroine, even when they fight against it. I always get a kick out of it when one of the main characters decides to pursue and not run. Half the fun comes from the chase. Yum.

Just to make things interesting, I got treated to my favorite cosmic troublemakers, Sparkle Stardust and Ganymede – who is still enjoys roaming around in the from of a rather well-fed cat. Sparkle cracked me up when she decorated Daria’s room with eye-popping décor. Sparkle doesn’t nudge her victims toward their romantic fate - she pushes them off of a cliff. And when a character tics off Sparkle, she gets quite creative with her retaliation.

A new monkey wrench is thrown into the relationship with Sparkle and Ganymede. I’d heard reference to the Ice Cream Man before, but never had a clear picture of his purpose in getting involved with the two cosmic troublemakers. I think I get it now, and it’s an ‘Aha!’ moment.

This story is a delight and pure escapism. Working within the world that Nina has created, the conflict is believable, the HEA satisfies, the good guys aren’t really all that good and the weak characters proved their mettle. I shouldn’t be surprised when the underdogs come out on top because anything can happen at the Woo Woo Inn.
Once again Nina delivers an entertaining and fun read to while away the hours of a winter’s day.

Review by Xeranthemum