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Monday, December 12, 2011

A Very Vampy Christmas by Kerrelyn Sparks

A Very Vampy Christmas by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Short Story (77 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Maggie O'Brien is thrilled when she lands a starring role on the Digital Vampire Network's hottest soap opera, As the Vampire Turns. Doesn't hurt that her leading man is Don Orlando de Corazon, the greatest lover in the vampire world! But who is Don Orlando really? Nobody knows, not even Don Orlando. As the couple sets out in search of his mysterious past, "home for the holidays" takes on a new meaning when the recently-turned vamp discovers his own Christmas miracle.

Reading A Very Vampy Christmas should come with a warning for funny bones everywhere. Even after re-reading the story, I still giggled and guffawed. The only reason I was affected so effectively was because of the quality writing. So even when I knew what to expect, the perfect comedic timing still came through making those clever parts continuously grin-worthy.

The first hint that I had that Ms. Sparks had written a light and entertaining tale was the ring incident. Good thing I wasn’t drinking at the time. My sudden urge to laugh uproariously would have had dire consequences for my laptop.

Then the author switched gears after hooking me with humor. She delved into both their histories and their hearts by exploring both Maggie’s and Don Orlando’s points of view. Talk about star crossed lovers! At that point, Ms. Sparks presented me with two people who very much needed love but had no idea how to go about it. They both harbored secrets and insecurities and at that point in the story, I couldn’t wait until it was revealed as to how they were going to accomplish getting beyond them. Of course, it didn’t help with Maggie shouting at Don Orlando, “I’m not your banana!” That made getting the two of them together quite the challenge. I’m glad to say, the author was more than up for the task because at the end of one chapter, she had Don Orlando drop a bombshell. I never saw that one coming and it was so gripping!

The next thing I knew, I was feeling sad and sorry for both Maggie and Don Orlando. They both had hurts. The best thing, however, is how they banded together to figure it out how to fix things. They rose to the challenge, taking them both on an amazing journey of discovery and revelation. And after a bit of uncertainty and light drama, Ms. Sparks did it again. She made me laugh and giggle when I least expected it. And she brought in one of the hunky guys from McKay Security and Investigation. I love it when characters from other books come and play too. This sentence totally cracked me up, “I’m 479 years old, ye moron.” Vampires can be so much fun.

Of course the mystery of just exactly who Don Orlando was ended up being the icing on the cake. Poor guy, his first name as a vampire was very embarrassing but adorable. Then I got to meet, Scarlett and Tootsie--secondary characters guaranteed to have readers grinning from ear to ear. I have often wondered where the author comes up with all the goofiness and hilarity she infuses her stories with. It’s a riot and I love it! I mean, there’s this serious part where he says, “…they murdered me!” the reply was, “So, you were having a bad day.” How does anyone expect me to keep a straight face with witty repartee like that?

Things did get serious for a bit, so readers will find plenty of meat and substance to hold the story together. It was good enough to keep my interest and have me rooting for the hero. He had lost so much in his life and the goal of the plot was to get it back and be worthy of loving Maggie. What great motivation! Eventually I got to find out who Don Orlando really was, where he came from and what a very unusual family he has. In fact, that brought about more laughs and smiles as well as happiness. All’s well that ends well --with a grin and a kiss.

A Very Vampy Christmas is chock full of laughs, good feelings, spicy encounters and a satisfying happily ever after that will leave fans pleased and content. It’s hard to believe that this was a short story because so much was packed into it. I enjoyed the dialogue and the secondary characters. I thrilled to the protagonists’ quick declarations of love and enjoyed the clever way Ms. Sparks wrapped it all up. If a reader is looking to treat themselves to holiday cheer, this adorable paranormal romance will do the trick.