Friday, October 14, 2011

Paranormal Review: A Vampire for Christmas by Laurie London, Michele Hauf, Caridad Pineiro & Alexis Morgan

FORMAT:Mass Market Paperback
GENRE:Paranormal Romance
PUBLISHER:Harlequin-HQN (October 18,2011)

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.(source: back cover)
WHERE TO FIND LAURIE: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
WHERE TO FIND MICHELE: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
WHERE TO FIND CARIDAD: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
WHERE TO FIND ALEXIS: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook
WHERE TO BUY: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook | Book Depository
BOOK EXTRAS: Enchanted by Blood | Monsters Don't Do Christmas | When Herald Angels SingAll I Want for Christmas
Go and Buy it NOW!


Okay, this is the first time I've written a review for an anthology so it's going to be done almost the same way I do my other book reviews.

OMG y'all. My first Christmas book of the season and I loved it! I may be a little biased on the 5 purple hearts rating since I'm a huge Christmas themed book fan. Don't judge me. I like the feeling of magic that accompanies the season, throw in some hunky fanged men and I just swoon, not due to the loss of blood if they ever take a drink from my jugular, but because of their maleness, their love for their women and the magic of the holidays that brings people together.

Let the magic of the sugar plum fairies usher in the holidays.

"ENCHANTED BY BLOOD" by Laurie London ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The vampire and the party planner.

Trace Westfalen, former Guardian and almost member of the Governing Council, is ready to take on the duties required of a Council member. Charlotte Grant has just been abandoned by her friend, who is going home with some guy she just met at the bar. She heads to her car alone. Not a good idea, a woman alone is a huge target for creatures of the night. Cue in the tall, dark stranger who comes to her rescue. Well, he's not really a stranger since they met last Christmas but he wiped her memory after witnessing a traumatic scene. She feels comfortable with him and even allows him to drive her home, in her own car. Trace can't forget a woman like Charlotte. He's still drawn to her, still affected by her nearness and begins to question his decision of wiping her memory. They have a one night stand, which you know isn't going to just be a one night stand.

Charlotte is a decorator and sometimes party planner. He hires Charlotte to plan a Christmas party at his home and they end up falling into a comfortable pattern as they did last Christmas. And cue in the bad guy who pushes Trace to reassess his feeling about Charlotte, who has already fallen in love with him.

She ran her hands over the wood and for some ungodly reason, she found herself wondering if any of its owners had ever had sex on it. It would've been unplanned, of course. Sex on a hard surface wasn't one set out to do. It would've happened spontaneously.
OVERALL: What a great way to start my Christmas themed reading. We meet characters from the other Sweetblood books, Jackson once again steals the show and I'm left eagerly awaiting his story. The chemistry between Trace and Charlotte sizzled off the pages and their "reunion" is as heady as spiced cider with a splash of rum.

"MONSTERS DON'T DO CHRISTMAS"by Michele Hauf ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
The vampire and the pop star.

What a way to start the holidays, getting pummeled by werewolves. Daniel Harrison, once had a successful career and all the shiny toys money could buy, until he got turned into a vampire. Olivia Adorata comes upon Daniel fighting with the werewolves and comes to his rescue. She seems so chill with the fact that there are creatures of the night. Olivia decides to take a chance on Daniel and it sort of pays off.

Daniel is one type of monster: vampire. Olivia is another: international pop star persona. The holidays are her time off from that crazy world until her publicist makes her do an appearance to sing Christmas songs. She invites Daniel who is very surprised at who she is. Meanwhile, Daniel is trying to prevent this homeless woman with two little girls, from turning into a vampire. He sees himself as a monster but his compassion and understanding sets him apart from the soulless blood sucking vampires.

As Daniel and Olivia start to fall in love, they must come to grips with the fact Olivia will be in the spotlight due to her career, and Daniel is a very private creature of the night.

The vampire's fangs glided into her vein and Olivia gasped and clutched his bicep. Her soul glittered and reached for the intrusion, pricking herself upon Daniel's darkness and drowning, sinking, nut loving every wicked moment.
OVERALL:Daniel's compassion for Laura Jones,the homeless woman, had my heart aching. Olivia's need to have a private life away from the spotlight and be "normal" made me smile. I appreciate the entertainment celebrities give me, but I think people need to respect their privacy even if they are public figures. Daniel's constant thinking of himself as a monster sometimes made me want to slap him and yell--'Wake up! You've got a gorgeous woman who is falling for you, you're helping a homeless woman and her kids. Get over yourself!' This is a Christmas story that will warm your heart, make your toes tingle and make you believe that risks are worth taking.

"WHEN HERALD ANGELS SING" by Caridad Pineiro ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The vampire and guardian angel.

OMG y'all. I cried while reading this book. It's a story where love and sacrifice once kept Damien and Angelina apart but in the end, brought them together for a much deserved HEA.

Angelina is sent to be Damien's guardian angel to protect his soul. She fails the first time by getting herself killed and Damien turned into a vampire. Angelina returns again to save Damien's soul and once again, she fails. Angelina comes back on more time, has her wings cut off by Captain Pedro Ramirez, the man hell bent on claiming Damien's eternal soul.

In A Christmas Carol-like fashion, Angelina shows Damien visions of past Christmas Eves in which she tried to save him. He in turn is an active participant and changes his actions, only to be pulled back into the present, watch what really occurred and come to terms with his deeds. As each past Christmas Eve is re-visited, both Damien and Angelina learn something about each other that they did not know before. If Damien, who has picked fights with Ramirez in the past, ends up killing Ramirez, his soul is damned for eternity

Angelina and Damien must learn from the past and apply that knowledge to the present Christmas Eve in order to thwart Ramirez's attempts at inciting anger so consuming, it leads Damien to killing him.

Believe in the power of love and all of Heaven will be yours.
OVERALL: Um, why have I not picked up a Caridad Pineiro book until now? From the first page until the last, this story enthralled me. I'm a fan of A Christmas Carol and squeed the moment I realized this was a loose take on that. Out of all the stories in this anthology, Damien and Angelina's had me tearing up while sitting on a bench at the boardwalk looking like a crazy person. This is a heartbreaking story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness and redemption.

"ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS" by Alexis Morgan ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
The vampire and the diner owner.

This story is a must read. Why? Ugly Christmas t-shirts, a sexy undercover cop who is a vampire, a soft hearted diner owner and a city where the things that go bump in the night are very real but remain hidden in the shadows.

Eagan McHale doesn't like the holidays. Della Breit is a big fan, going as far as donning Christmas t-shirts. Teenage kids turning up mutilated and drained of blood brings them together. Happy freakin' holidays! Eagen must go undercover and what better way to do it than to pretend he's down on his luck and try to work for at the diner situated near the disappearance site?

Della is kind and puts others before herself. She's too trusting and sometimes ends up getting into trouble. Her dishwasher, a teenager, suddenly become unreliable and secretive. She is worried about him but tries not to seem too pushy.

Eagan and Della a very much attracted to each other, despite the disapproval of her friend. As they get to know one another, there's a spark just waiting to explode. Eagan's admission of being a vampire, thanks to a cookie making accident that reveals his true nature, freaks her out for a hot minute but finally accepts him for what he is.

The sun was rising in the east, meaning he needed to haul ass to get home and get horizontal before the day sleep claimed him right out in the middle of the squad room. The last vampire that had happened to hadn't faired well at the hands of their jokester coworkers.
OVERALL: This story made me smile all the while eyeing my glitter glue, iron on letters, puffy paint and hot glue gun. Why you ask? Della is constantly wearing Christmas themed shirts. You know, like those ugly Christmas sweaters with the 3-D Santa protruding out of your chest or the slightly cartoonish reindeer with a goofy grin? Yeah. Those. From the first line-- "Deck the freakin' halls" until the last, this story had be laughing, guessing and slightly slobbering. I mean, who can resist a sexy vampire? How about an undercover cop? Now put them together and you've got a lethal combination of panty dropping, drool pooling, didn't know I was clenching my thighs together, specimen of a man. Oh Alexis Morgan, why have I not read you before now?

***book provided by Laurie London for review***
Disclaimer: My 5 purple hearts rating was not swayed due to the fact the author provided the review copy. I would have still thoroughly enjoyed this book even if I had picked it up on my own.

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