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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks

Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (369 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

Nothing on earth can make this vampire fall in love . . .

After 499 years of existence, Connor Buchanan has arrived at an inescapable conclusion: he is a cold-hearted SOB. He\\'s been watching his friends—those poor romantic fools—plummet off the cliff into love like a dazed herd of sheep. But not Connor. He knows that love leads to nothing but heartache.

Until Marielle . . .

She is an angel cast down from heaven for disobedience. Trapped in mortal form, she finds a protector in Connor, a Scottish vampire haunted by a dark past. Marielle hopes to heal his broken heart and earn her way back home, but suddenly she has these . . . feelings. This strange yet pleasant physical yearning—for a vampire! Is this the work of a demon luring her into hell, or has this angel found heavenly bliss?

Angels and Vampires and Demons ... oh my!

I often wondered just what kind of woman would be Connor Buchanan’s downfall. I never could have guessed who author Kerrelyn Sparks would have chosen! Truthfully, though it took some time for me to wrap my brain around the idea of an angel and a vampire, once I’d finished this book I knew that there was no more perfect mate for Connor.

Connor tore my heart out in this book. He’s so sad, and carries a black cloud with him everywhere he goes. His heart is full of shame and sorrow, and he feels unworthy of everything, including love. All around him, his fellow vamps are getting married and having children, and he knows with certainty that he’ll never be in that situation.

Of course, something happens to change his mind – the fallen angel, Marielle. What an amazing mix of innocence and sensuality she was. Her despair at being cast out of heaven warred with her delight in the new body she inhabited. It could taste, touch, feel ... and she reveled in each new sensation. This included the unexpected (and somewhat unwanted) desire she feels for Connor. Ms. Sparks made each new experience of Marielle’s so clear, I felt like I was feeling those things right along with her. Her sorrow at no longer being able to commune with fellow angels, her first taste of ice cream, her first kiss. Oh, so well done. Marielle truly tugged at my heartstrings and I loved her from the start.

Of course, the path to “happy ever after” is never easy, and Connor and Marielle had their hands full. Between the evil vampire, Casmir (who’s been a recurring villain throughout the series), a demon who wants Marielle’s soul, and Marielle’s own need to return to heaven (something Connor promises to help her with), not one step is simple.

But don’t think it’s all dark. With nail polish “mishaps” and plenty of fun with “educating” Marielle, there’s lightness as well.

This book was a fabulous addition to the series and really touched me on so many levels. Connor was the best tortured hero I’ve read in quite some time, and Marielle was the only woman who could be his match. I smiled, laughed, cried, ached and needed right along with them.

For one of the most emotionally satisfying books in the Love at Stake series, I highly recommend Vampire Mine. Though it won’t stand alone well, that’s okay! If you’re new to this paranormal series, just start at the beginning. Each book is a gem.