I must admit I read, Kerrelyn Sparks’s How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire a while ago, but I still remember it quite well, and I thought maybe it was time for me to do a review about the first book in the Love At Stake series that I read in two sittings.
Nice & Easy
The book itself is quite enjoyable, first of the Love At Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks. There is no pretence in her writing which is something that I very much enjoy. It is easy to follow, no complications or “read between the lines” all is very well exposed and because of her writing, very relaxing.
The story was captivating from the beginning. The adventure very well thought out to be just enough that you don’t want to put the book down, yet just relaxing enough that you keep turning the pages. It was quite well thought out.
The characters themselves are charming and quite addictive. Kerrelyn Sparks‘ unique humor and puns are a relief in the darkest pages of the story. Again, this story was honestly and genuinely charming.
Roman and Shanna
There were some passages that I thought about slapping Shanna, waking her up and say, “Don’t expect to go out with a vampire and not bleed, idiot!” or “Calm the frak down! If he wanted you dead, you’d be already!” So, yes, not a fan of Shanna but that Roman? Quite yummy!
Shanna is a dentist, which is fine, it was a first for me to read a paranormal where the woman has an excellent, excellent job, although I was not expecting the background she had. You must read to know more! One problem though is that she has haemophobia, which is the fear of blood. It has you thinking, okay, her past caused her to be afraid of it then why not change career all-together?
Then again, her attitude and personality when it came to Roman, although sometimes realistic, had her come out as a whiner to me a few times for passages where I mentioned above the things I was thinking.
“Look, Laszlo. I’ll have the dentist with me, and I don’t want to alarm her any more than necessary. So take Vanna out of the backseat and stick her in the trunk.” — Roman Draganesti, How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
Roman was a very different vampire. Introverted, not at all pretentious and because of his crush on Shanna, always trying to please her in every way possible. He has enemies, like all vampires, he only wants to keep her safe and keep his distances since she comes out as afraid of him throughout a good chunk of the story.
Roman is a scientist, and he created an empire to satisfy the cravings of all vampires that misses certain enjoyable foods such as chocolates and among other sweets. Him, along with his team and laboratory, are creating a new era for the vampires and of course, not everyone is pleased with the changes that the company implies.
The connection between the two is very palpable, especially on Roman’s part. He is almost instantly attracted to Shanna and stops at nothing to try and win her over by showing his humanity. He is ready to keep his fangs away from her, act more like a man than a vampire. Also, he opens up to her and reveals secrets from his past to gain her trust. He is a good-hearted vampire.
He even went as far as promising her that he would always feed before approaching her so that he wouldn’t be the victim of an instant thirst. That Roman is just so perfect.
Let’s Be Honest
Now that I’ve told you the positive points of the story let’s speak of what annoyed me: first of all, Shanna, you’re a bitch! There, I said it. Roman is ready to put his vampire entirely, so basically who he is, aside to make you happy.
Not using his fangs, is like declawing a cat. It’s inhuman, and you’re just ready to accept it. Find yourself a man and leave that fantastic good vampire for someone who appreciates him.
The other thing that bugged me was the synthetic blood. I’m not claiming that Charlaine Harris came with the idea first in the genre, despite her first novel from The Southern Vampire Mystery series, Dead Until Dark that released in 2001 while How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire from the Love At Stakes series came out in 2005. There could’ve been another author with the same idea, or maybe they both thought the same thing at the same time.
“Sir, I suggest you go to a dentist.” Laszlo picked up the fang and offered it to Roman. “I’ve heard they can put a lost tooth back.” — Lazzlo, How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
However, it is the way of how it felt rushed in the novel that caught my attention. The entire scientific part of it was set aside, which is okay; I’m probably too much of a nerd, and that’s why I need and crave scientific data, but it just bugged me as a reader. It felt like something was missing and then, it became too much. It felt like Roman’s company was able to create anything out of thin air.
All of the above brings me to the incredibly rushed ending. The last 80 pages I felt like “Whoa! Where does that come from?” followed by, “How did he?” and the “Yes because that sounds realistic!” The happily ever after was way too soon in the story and despite the reasonable length of the novel, needed about an extra hundred pages to get to the ending she envisioned.
Also, ***spoiler alert***, a fertile male vampire who able to be in sunlight? All that because Roman wanted to please Shanna and become the “man” she wanted so, live in the suburbs, get married and have children.
His laboratory confirmed that all of that is possible, well, of course, all is possible. Again, no scientific explanation that is believable or at least a minimum research on the subject.
Other problematic, I’m French Canadian from the Eastern province of Québec, and I must admit that I took offense in the way she was making her French vampire sounds by adding the letter “z” in replacement of individual letters. As a writer, I am quite careful about the way I represent people that TO ME sounds like they have an accent.
She did the same when it came to her “Highlanders,” Scotts and express their language by again, exchanging letters and it bothered me. I read it as if it wasn’t there and instead, imagined their dialogs in my head. So to me, that was problematic that would need to address.
Shanna is a bitch. No. Let’s be serious, all the negative points for me happened mostly toward the climax to the end because it was all rushed at the end. Everything came out to me out of thin air without an actual purpose.
I believe Shanna couldn’t deal with being with a vampire and yet, she was okay with it as long as Roman was ready NOT to be a vampire. That’s some moral to a story.
However, despite all that, I would recommend to read it just for Roman alone. Forget the Shanna part, haha, and enjoy the character of Roman. He might come out a little weak, but not needy; you understand why he is ready to go to that length to make Shanna happy when you read the novel, and he reveals his mortal past. The vampire is just broken.
The Roman character is lovely in many ways other than sexual, and that was a delight to read. For those intrigued by the story, below is the summary of the novel that came out in 2005.
Roman Draganesti is charming, handsome, wealthy…he’s also a vampire. This vampire just 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 lopsided eater for all eternity.
Things aren’t going well for Shanna Whelan, either. After witnessing a gruesome murder, she’s next on the mob’s 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 rating, 7/10 and that is because of Roman, without him, it would’ve been 2/10 because Shanna is a character I cannot stand.
The OCD Vampire,