Tour’s Books Blog

February 20, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

I confess I’ve been on a ‘fun with vampires’ binge lately. The mysteries have become too predictable and the thriller/espionage books of any quality getting fewer and further between. Searching for something different led to the saturated market for vampire books. Like the breezy Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands, Kerrelyn Sparks’ Staked series is ‘vampire light’ and played as romance, not horror, though they do have a darker side notably absent from Sands’ books. Sparks’ books holds the more traditional kind of vampire with the daylight death sleep, silver is toxic, never eat food and death by sunlight. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is the first in the series.

Roman Draganesti is an old vamp that never lost his conscience or his fundamental humanity. He is also the inventor of artificial blood, a life saving medical breakthrough that has made him rich and allowed vamps to dine on things like ‘Fusion Cuisine’, Blisskey (whisky and blood) and many other vampire foods. Always looking to improve vampire quality of life, a researcher in his company comes up with a lifelike mannequin that has circulating blood so vamps can put the ‘bite’ back in their meals. He presents the Vampire Artificial Needs Nutritional Appliance – VANNA – to Roman and invites him to give her a test bite. Drawn by the irresistible smell of circulating blood, Roman sinks his fangs into VANNA’s throat – and that’s when the fun starts.

Roman finds an all night dentist, Jane Wilson, and goes to have his fang implanted before dawn catches him and his gums heal making him a one fanged vamp. Unfortunately, Jane faints at the sight of blood. Then the Russian mob shows up. Roman teleports to a safe roof top with his still loose fang and the out cold dentist. Seems she’s a witness to a mob hit and is in protective custody, a kind of witness protection, till she testifies. She’s Shanna Whelan and Roman decides to save her so she’ll save his fang. Sparks does a good job of spinning the tale of Shanna and Roman while setting the stage for her series. The story is clever and has enough meat to keep the reader entertained for the full 370 pages.

It’s hard not to like the key players in this book. Though a certain level of predictability is there, the book still does its primary job of entertaining with ease. I’ve read two more of the series, Be Still My Vampire Heart (Book 3) and The Undead Next Door (Book 4). Both are solid C+ to B- books, though not quite as good as the first.

My Grade: B

Who would enjoy these books: Vampire fans who read authors like Lynsay Sands, or fans of Julie Garwood’s modern romance who’d like to give vampire books a chance. My Rating is PG-17 NOTE: The entire series is elegible for Amazon’s 4-for-3 promotion

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