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Friday, December 16, 2011

A Vampire For Christmas - Anthology

Title: A Vampire for Christmas

Michele Hauf's Website : click here
Laurie London's Website : click here
Alexis Morgan's Website : click here
Caridad Pineiro's Website : click here

Format read: Galley

From Goodreads:
All they want for Christmas is you… 

It's the time of year for twinkling lights on trees and kisses under the mistletoe. Yet the passing of another year means nothing to the stunning immortals who lurk in the shadows of the new-fallen snow. 

And they don't care if you've been naughty or nice. 

Let four fanged lovers open your eyes to a passion you never dared to imagine. After all, there's no place like home for the holidays—and these dazzling vampires can't wait for an invitation

Ok, I’m going to lay it out here.  I picked this book and requested it from NetGalley for a couple reasons.  
1) The cover.  The vampire on the cover reminds me of Ian Somerhalder (aka Damon from The Vampire Diaries).  Yes, I know he wasn’t in this book, but we can’t see a book without seeing the cover first.  Was that a little superficial?  Maybe.  But it’s the truth.

2) Vampire Anthology.  Keyword: Anthology.  I needed a change of pace.  I’ve been reading back to back to back to back, and I needed a change. 

3) Christmas stories.  It’s December, Christmastime.  Sure, this book was published in October.  But I hadn’t requested it then. I actually received it in late November.
So I don’t know a whole lot about any of these authors.  I’d heard of a couple, and read a tiny bit of another. 

I’m going to review 2 of these stories.  That’s the gamble with an anthology.  You probably won’t like all the stories.  Two of these I rather enjoyed, one I am on the fence with, and one I read about halfway before deciding it just wasn’t for me.

Enchanted By Blood – Laurie London
Apparently this story is part of a Sweetblood series.  I’m thinking I may have to check that out, although I am disappointed the stories aren’t about the lead characters in Enchanted By Blood.  I mean Trace.  The rest of the characters in this story paled in comparison to him, even Charlotte.  He stole the show. 

Trace was a Guardian, a peace keeping vampire.  Now he is in position for a seat on the council.  He puts his sense of duty and familial loyalty ahead of his own happiness. 

And then he finds happiness.  And she finds out his secret.  And then he has to meddle in her memories.  That’s the backstory.  What happens in Enchanted by Blood is when Trace and Charlotte find their way back into each other’s lives.

Right away this story caught my eye, I was excited to get into it.  The author has great attention to detail without losing sight of what’s happening with the character.  There is a scene with Charlotte outside a club, walking back to her car.  You are transported through the pages (or e-ink in my case) and you are walking with her. 

I loved the story, from beginning to end.  I only have one complaint, and its more a complaint about alpha men/paranormal men in general… They are so frustrating!!! Why do they have to be so damn stubborn?  Hello!?? The woman loves you, she wants you… don’t erase her memories!!!

All I Want For Christmas – Alexis Morgan
I really enjoyed this story.  It could have stood alone – but then I would have definitely been screaming for more. Or at least insisting in a mildly loud manner.

This story is about Eagan, a vampire cop that is undercover in a neighborhood trying to find out who is behind some mysterious deaths that seem vampire related.  And then we have Della, the sweet as can be diner owner who is just as loving a person as you could hope for.  She tries to help everyone, not just people she knows.  I would love to know more of her backstory.  Heck, I would like to know more of Eagan’s, too.

These two are drawn together.  He’s seemingly the stereotypical vampire.  He doesn’t need anyone, he can take care of himself! And she is the “chronic do-gooder”, in his words.  An unlikely pair.  But as soon as they are face to face the sparks are palpable. 
I really liked how the situation brings them together.  The author did a great job of building up anticipation, even though the story was rather short.

One thing about this book… It instantly reminded me to update my shopping list.  Must buy mistletoe…  That kiss?  Woooohooooo!  Hot!  I loved it. 

Eagan is really quite capable of a lot of love, and opening his heart.  When he was about to leave her bed, and well… what he does… that is just so romantic, and you don’t see a lot of that in stories anymore.  The protective yet caring and thoughtful  alpha male.  I’d like to see more of him. He could quickly rise in ranks to be my next favorite vampire. 
And then trouble comes, and you see that not everyone is who you (or Della) thinks they are.  Of course we know there is a wolf, but two?  And some fae??  I would love love love to see this made into a full length book. 

The problem with short stories and my job (ok, my pleasure) of reviewing them is that it is really super difficult to say what you think without giving the whole story away.  But I recommend this book.  I’ve read a few different reviews on it, and we’ve all had different takes on the stories.   But these two were my favorite.  And these two authors have just gotten another reader, cause I am definitely going to look them up.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you find your vampire!