Sunday, November 9, 2008

Review – “All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire” by Kerrelyn Sparks

Toni Davis's Christmas wish list
1. Springing my best friend from the psych ward.
2. Living somewhere that doesn't have coffins in the basement. Occupied coffins.
3. Finding Mr. Right. Please make him tall, dark, handsome, and alive.

This Christmas isn't so merry for Toni. Her best friend's been locked up in a mental hospital ever since she told the police she was attacked by vampires, and the only way for Toni to get her out is to prove that bloodsuckers really do exist. So she's taken a job as a bodyguard for the Undead, but she gets more than she bargained for, especially when she meets Ian MacPhie, a Scottish rascal looking for Ms. Right.

Although Ian's nearly five centuries old, he looks and acts like a twenty-seven-year-old hunk. How can a dead man be so damn sexy? Could Mr. Wrong be Mr. Right? One forbidden kiss could lead to an eternity of passion—and all it takes is one moment under the mistletoe . . .
All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire is Book 5 in the Love at Stake paranormal romance/comedy series. This time around Ian, one of the vampire guards has used Roman’s stay awake formula to age himself from his physical appearance of 15 to a more mature 27. Why? So that women (specifically vampire women) will take him seriously. After 500 years, he is in the market for a mate—a vampire mate.

Toni on the other hand is human. She is rescued by Connor from a vampire attack by the Malcontents (the bad vampire faction) while investigating her best friend/roomates claim that she was attacked by vampires. Rather then wipe her memory, Connor offers her a job as one of the daytime guards for the vampires. Toni agrees so that she can gather evidence that vampires exist and prove that her friend is not insane.

One of Roman’s ex-harem vampires agrees to help Ian in his quest to find the perfect vampire mate by setting him up on an online dating service. This plot thread is the source for most of the humour/gags throughout the course of the novel. Despite the plans of mice and men, Ian instead recognizes a mutual attraction with the non-vampire Toni and the romance dance begins.

Two other principal story arcs drive the action; the Malcontents seek to find and obtain by any means the formula for the stay awake drug, and Toni enlists her friend Carlos and eventually Ian to help spring her roommate from the nuthouse.

All of these story elements should add up to the engaging para-rom-com experience that the Love at Stake series has delivered in the past. Instead I found myself having a few reservations about All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire. This is a brief sampling -
  • The chemistry between Ian and Toni seemed forced and the characters more one-dimensional compared to the couples featured in the previous novels
  • The dating gag went on far too long and the appearance of the recurring character of Corky just didn’t seem to have any spark
  • We clue into Carlos nature almost from the moment he is introduced allowing for little suspense when it is revealed
  • Although there are a few good fight scenes, their dramatic impact is diluted because Jedrek and the Malcontents are all portrayed as bumbling fools with overly melodramatic dialogue
  • Secrecy is paramount among the vampires, yet Toni’s betrayal is accepted and forgiven much too easily and there are numerous illogical scenes and decisions that involve Carlos, the roommate and another inmate they rescue from the sanatorium
While the title is clever, the rest of the story is far less engaging, as if the series is running out of steam or this installment was rushed. The essential elements are there, but for me All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire was not near as entertaining as the previous books.


Read the first five chapters.

HarperCollins Publishers
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780061118463
Pages: 384

Love at Stake Series

  1. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (2005)
  2. Vamps and the City (2006)
  3. Be Still My Vampire Heart (2007)
  4. The Undead Next Door (2008)

View the book trailer…


  1. i'd rather have a werewolf for christmas, that time of year a warm furry body has more appeal thana pretty cold one. ;)
    Really enjoyed Fallen Angel although took me a couple of chapters to get into it.

  2. LOL How true. I will have to try some Bedwell-Grimes. Glad you liked it so I will take it as a recommendation.


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