Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Undead Next Door-Kerrelyn Sparks

The Undead Next Door
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, Feb 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061118456

Wannabe fashion designer Heather Westfield is ecstatic that renowned designer Jean-Luc Echarpe has opened one of his Le Chique Echarpe boutiques in her small Texas Hill Country town. She sketches some of his work only to have Jean-Luc stop to talk to her. However, sword carrying assailants attack Jean-Luc who tells Heather to stay out of the fray as he has it under control; still she tries to come to his rescue only to conclude he somehow does have it under control.

Jean-Luc realizes that his enemies will assume that Heather is his current lover. To keep her, her daughter Bethany and her housekeeper safe, he demands they stay with him. As she wonders how he gets away with sleeping all day and her odious former spouse complains about her sleeping with her lover in front of their daughter, Heather and Jean-Luc fall in love. However, he knows he owes her one key explanation as to why he sleeps away the day; he and some of his close friends are undead, but he loves her too much to make her dinner.

Kerrelyn Sparks latest vampire romance (see HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE) is an amusing tale due to the lead couple whose first encounter is his accusing her of stealing his design. The support cast enhances either the feel that vampires are real (includes stars of previous stories in the Sparks' saga) or personalizes the heroine like her child does. The story line combines humor and danger as the size 12 woman rips his skin off for being arrogant yet protects him from a nasty villain. Fans will enjoy the gender battle between the vampire designer and the wannabe Texas designer.

Harriet Klausner

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