Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire 
Kerrelyn Sparks
371 pages
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

So what if he's a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn't have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren't going well for Shanna Whelan either...After witnessing a gruesome murder by the Russian mafia, she's next on their hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she's afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she's found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman's fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her...

My Thoughts:
This novel is the first book in Kerrelyn Sparks' series called Love at Stake.   There are 11 books in the series.  I've actually read the fifth book in the series, though when I started this book, I didn't know they were connected.  Once again, appealing to my theory that I can only read books from series in order.

After I read Twilight, which was my first vampire novel, I have to say that it took me a long time to get adjusted to differing "Vampire Theories" (my own term, though there is probably an actual technical term for it somewhere).  I call Vampire Theories all the basic plot details that surround the vampire characters, such as whether or not they drink human blood or hunt animals instead, whether they cannot go in the sunlight due to being burned or sparkling, whether they sleep in the daytime or not at all, etc.  You get the picture.  Because Twilight was my first, I originally was devoted to that Vampire Theory.  Thus, when I first read a Kerrelyn Sparks book, I didn't like it.  Now that I started at the beginning of the series and with a much more open mind to small details that don't really matter all that much, I can say that I was able to enjoy the story for what it is.

Love at Stake is a series of novels that surround a group of vampires that generally revolve around the company Romatech Industries.  The owner of Romatech is Roman, the main character in this book.  But there are also the vampires that surround him, his security team, friends, and other workers in the company, as well as other major vampires from other countries.  Sparks created a close-knit community revolving around Romatech Industires, and each novel is about a different character in the community.  But the thing I enjoyed about the beginning of the series is the many interesting different characters.  Unlike some love series that have to continue to introduce new characters to create new books, Ms. Sparks created a wealth of interesting characters that play a major part in the stories.  Just because I had also read the fifth novel, I could see those that come to play further in the series.  It made for an enjoyable, fun read, getting to know everyone from the beginning.

One major thing that bugged me about this novel is the sex.  Ok, so I know that this may be a personal rant and others may disagree, so I'm just going to state that this is my opinion and I am only offering it up for thoughts.  One thing that has always bothered me about romance novels is how out-of-place sex can seem.  I will say this for Ms. Sparks, she did a wonderful job creating a romance novel in which the sexual aspect wasn't the entire story.  But really?  Of course, if I were the main character, I totally am going to pause, after a major break in the mystery, while people might be in danger, and have long, impassioned sex with my new-found love.  I'm sorry, but it just seemed unrealistic and a tad ridiculous.  I'm just saying the timing was way off.  But I will give a bit of a disclaimer: there was some steam in this novel, and I would think twice before recommending it to younger readers.  

But, after saying that, the story between Roman and Shanna was cute.  There were several laugh-out-loud moments, and I greatly enjoyed their banter back-and-forth.  Roman was a more developed character than I expected him to be, and it was nice to see a take into his background.  It made him more realistic as a character.

I enjoyed this novel as a fun, light read that gave me lots of laughs and a few "ah" moments.  The mystery was not entirely unpredictable, but it gave some suspense to the story.  I enjoyed the romance, though I think it was the humor and surrounding characters that really made the story.  I will continue to read the books in the series, simply because I want to see what happens to those characters I've gotten to know.  I gave the book a 3 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed it, but I probably won't read it again.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance.

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