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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks

Series: Love at Stake - Book Four

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Copyright: 2008


Rating 4 Crowns

Book Blurb:
Three signs that something is very different with your new man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.

2. He's attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.

3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very mysterious stranger. There's something not quite right about Jean-Luc, but still, she's never been with a man so charming, so attractive . . . so wonderful. Now if only a murderous villain wasn't after them, they might get their happily-ever-after.


This is my first Kerrelyn Sparks novel and while it's the 4th book in the Love At Stake series, it's a great stand alone novel. Coming after Halfway to the Grave, comparisons are very unfair, but this is a little like getting on the ferris wheel after the rollercoaster ride. Loads of fun but not quite the same thrill. So, on approaching The Undead Next Door from the pure entertainment angle, it's definitely a winner. Believable characters, well-paced story line, lots of romance and top marks in the fun stakes.

Hunky vampire Jean-Luc Echarpe is head of the European coven and a famous fashion designer. Unfortunately not aging in over 30 years has become something of a problem, you can only use the 'great cosmetic surgeon' excuse for so long when you've dressed Marilyn Monroe. Jean Luc decides to host a fashion show in the small town of Schnitzelberg, Texas before going into hiding and re-emerging as his own son. Evil vampire Lui has only one thing on his mind, killing Jean-Luc and anyone else who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Which brings us to the heroine, Heather, who I absolutely adored. She's a divorced mother of a 4 year old girl and a very refreshing curvaceous size 12 unlike the size 0 models she's surrounded by. Heather's independent, down-to-earth, creative and she says exactly what she thinks ...

“My point, exactly. Those poor women are so malnourished, they can’t think straight. Take my friend Sasha. Her idea of a three-course meal is a celery stick, a cherry tomato, and a laxative. She’s killing herself to fit into these clothes. Women like me can’t dress like that.”

Heather's daughter Bethany is delightful and the gun-toting, tarot card reading housekeeper Fidelia is an absolute hoot. Add Jean-Luc's vampire security detail friends to the mix and this is an endearing cast of characters. Well, apart from 'baddie' Lui and Heather's obnoxious ex-husband who gets what he's due in a very creative way that's bound to ensure a giggle!

The romance in The Undead Next Door is really entertaining, Heather & Jean-Luc don't jump each other with the first smouldering glance but there is quite a bit of sexual tension, some steamy kissage, and lots of sweet romantic gestures. If you want steam without too much sizzle this is definitely one to try, I'll be hunting down more from Kerrelyn Sparks.

About the Author:
"Kerrelyn Sparks’ first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, zoomed out of the bat cave so fast it became Borders bestselling debut romance of 2005. Each book in the Love at Stake series has become a USAToday bestseller. When the fourth book, The Undead Next Door, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, even the Undead sat up and took notice, which made Kerrelyn a bit nervous. She lives in the Greater Houston area with her husband, children, and a house full of garlic. So far, there are no vampires in her family. Werewolves are another matter entirely." http://www.kerrelynsparks.com/

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ibeeeg said...

This sounds like a fun read.

I really liked your statement:
{{Coming after Halfway to the Grave, comparisons are very unfair, but this is a little like getting on the ferris wheel after the rollercoaster ride.}}

As I liked Cat and Bones I think I will like this book.

Elena said...

I've seen her books in the store, but never really looked into them. I think that's going to have to change.

BTW, I've nominated the entire Royal Reviews blog for the Zombie Chicken award. Not sure of the protocol for a multi-reviewer blog so if this is incorrect, I apologize. The Award

Jenny Girl said...

This sounds like a fun vamp read. And the heroine is a size 12? Someone i could relate to.
Count me in!

Jennifer said...

This is not usually a genre I am interested in, however, this book sound interesting. :)

elnice said...

I have heard many great reviews about her work. Everyone who reads them seems to love the stories. The only thing stopping from ordering her books right now is the characters. I believe that the main characters change in every book. She is still on my wish list though!

ParaJunkee said...

Great review, thanks for sharing. I'm now following!

Teddyree said...

ibeeeg ~ It really is a good fun read, I think you have to approach it not expecting it to be like something else LOL. A good paranormal romance!

Elena ~ thank you so much on behalf of all the girls at Royal, we really do appreciate the award! Because of time constraints on a collaborative blog we are unable to post but we do love getting them.

Jenny girl ~ I thoroughly enjoyed that refreshing side of the novel, very real!

elnice ~ each book you learn about a different character and his love interest. The characters in this book are mentioned in previous books and the next book is about Ian (from Jean-Luc's security team)

Jennifer ~ hope you enjoy it if you try it.

parajunkee ~ enjoy the reviews and the fun!

The Book Resort said...

I will give this series a shot but I have to start w/ the 1st in the series because I tend to be a bit anal. LOL!

The Book Resort said...

The cover has my attention for some odd reason!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Teddyree!

Well, I haven't read this series yet, I don't know why. I've picked it up and down it down so many times, I thinks it a yo-yo returning to my hand. I must stop stringing it along and read it. lol. I could use a good read with a little steam. Thanks for the recommendation, moving it up in my TBR stacks!

Dottie :)

Teddyree said...

Diane ~ normally I'm like that too, but it didn't seem to matter with this one and Sparks' vamp world is not overly complex so there isn't any catching up to do.

Dottie ~ I've got quite a few yo-yo books. I find if I don't read them straight away, enthusiasm drops until you see an awesome review that inspires you to finally take it off the bookshelf!

Patti said...

Your roller coaster/ferris wheel comparison was very accurate. I've only read one Kerrilyn Sparks book and it was enjoyable. This one looks fun too!

K said...

I haven't read any Kerrelyn Sparks yet, but this sounds interesting.
I like when a book is just plain fun to read.

ibeeeg said...

Teddyree... ferris wheel rides can be just as much fun as a rollercoaster. Especially if you are not in the mood for your heart to drop down to your toes! *smile*

donnas said...

I love this series and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fun read.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Mishel said...

I'm just like you Diane - I think I'll be giving this series a shot. Teddyree's review definitely piqued my interest. I'll be going for book uno though =)

Teddyree said...

Patti ~ thanks and which book of Kerrelyn's have you read, might add it to my list?

K ~ we need the 'just plain fun' ones every now and again

ibeeeg ~ totally agree :-)

donnas ~ I did say I was going to hunt down more KS and thanks to your recommendation I'll be sure to stock up before holidays.

Mishel ~ I've seen the first 2 at our library so I'm going to grab those for our next holiday