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Friday, March 5, 2010

The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks

The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books / Harper Collins
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, action/adventure
Length: Full (345 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

Olivia's packing list:

1. Sunscreen
2. Bathing suit
3. Flip-flops

FBI psychologist Olivia Sotiris was looking for a cool ocean breeze, sand between her toes, and a break from her crazy, chaotic, and sometimes all-too-dangerous life. But when she escaped to the small Greek island of Patmos, all she got were meddling grandmothers trying to marry her off. Can't they see that none of the men around interests her—except Robby MacKay?

Robby's packing list:

1. Synthetic blood
2. More synthetic blood
3. Jogging clothes (even vamps have to stay in shape!)

Robby needs to cool off, too, since all he can think about is revenge on the Malcontent bloodsuckers who once held him captive—but then he meets Olivia, the beauty with wild curls and a tempting smile. When a deadly criminal from a case back home tracks her down, Robby will have to save her life—along with giving her a first time she'll never forget . . .

My absolute favorite types of books include tormented heroes, strong heroines, a wacky cast of characters and an unpredictable plot. This book meets all those requirements and more.

I admit to being a fan of the "Love at Stake" series. I also admit that I've missed a few, so hadn't read the book immediately prior to this one. That said, this book stood alone quite decently, though whet my appetite to pick up the ones I've missed!

Robby McKay, vampire and hot highlander, is utterly focused on taking revenge on the Malcontents, to the point where it's compromising his ability to function well as a member of the McKay security team. He's forced to take a "vacation" to recover from being tortured nearly to death and he goes to Greece like he's ordered, but his focus never wavers.

Until he sees Olivia.

FBI agent Olivia Sotiris is visiting her grandmother in Greece and hiding out from a crazed serial killer who has become fixated on her. She has a gift, something passed down through her family: she can tell when someone is lying to her. Because of this, she's never had a real relationship with a man because, after all, everyone lies now and then.

And then she meets Robby. And she can't read him at all. She's completely conflicted -- part of her is glad she can't, part of her won't trust the man. But, WOW is she ever attracted to him in every possible way. What's a girl to do?

The book is packed to the gills with action, excitment, fun and sexual tension. It's a real page-turner, and kept me reading long past my bed time. Robby is such an amazing hero, full of angst and emotion, love, hate, determination. He owns this book and has now become my favorite of Ms. Sparks' vampire heroes. My heart ached for him as he struggled with falling in love and needing revenge. Olivia challenges him in so many ways, forcing him to do tremendous amounts of soul-searching and to really decide what's important in the long run, and what isn't.

Olivia, too, has much to deal with. Her grandmother is trying to marry her off to a nice Greek boy, her job is stressful, the serial killer seems to have a cohort outside prison whose sole job is to terrorize her and she's falling in love with a man she can't read and must suspect the worst of. She knows Robby is hiding something and it's making her crazy that she doesn't know what it is, can't tell if he's lying to her, and still can't stop her feelings for him.

Mix in a hearty serving of bad guys, and lots of non-stop action from the middle of the book on, and you have a winner. If you like fun, angst, excitment, tons of hot-hot-hot sexual tension and an amazing cast of characters, you'll love this book. Though I strongly recommend reading the entire series in order, you don't have to. But I assure you, you won't regret picking up every last one and adding them all to your keeper shelf.