Title: A Girl's Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones #1)
Author: Katie MacAlister
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins) 2003
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Fantasy; Support Your Local Library; A to Z Authors: M; 2011: Will Power, What Will Power?; January New Books
All Joy Randall wants is a little old-fashioned romance, but when she participates in a "Goddess evoking" ceremony with her friend, Roxy, Joy finds out her future true love is a man with the potential to put her immortal soul in danger. At first the ever-practical Joy is ready to dismiss her vision as a product of too much gin and too many vampire romances, but while traveling through the Czech Republic with Roxy, Joy begins to have some second thoughts about her mystery lover because she is suddenly plagued by visions of a lethally handsome stranger. Then, when she and Roxy attend a local GothFaire, Joy meets Raphael Griffin St. John, head of security, and she becomes even more bewildered because the dark and dangerous Raphael seems too close to her dreams for comfort. Readers will gladly give in to the wickedly sharp bite of MacAlister's wit in this temptingly toothsome romance. With its superb characterization and writing that manages to be both sexy and humorous, this contemporary paranormal love story is an absolute delight.
I wasn't looking to start another series (since I have am in the process of reading about 4 series) but this caught my eye at Target last week. I had a few gift cards left over from Christmas and decided to pick this up along with a new pair of Chucks and the first season of Glee on DVD. Oh happy day! Dancing, singing, shoes, and a book!
The book pleasantly surprised me. I initially thought, "Ok a vampire romance. Is it going to be completely cheesy or just sex scenes or really bad writing?" I find that like it. A nice mix of story, myth, and romance. I won't go into the mythology (lots of intricacies; two types of vampires) but it was refreshing to read a mythology different from the Twilight model.
I liked the main female character, Joy, but felt like she was a little too trusting when she jumped into bed with Raphael. It was very forward and sudden. What really got me was how she complained that he wasn't telling her his secrets. My thought was "well, you've only known him for two days; most people do not reveal everything about themselves within two days of meeting." Otherwise, I liked Joy's fearlessness when it came to speaking her mind. Some days I really wish I could tell people what I really thought, but then I would be the big meany in the room. Oh well, I will just have to live vicarious through characters in books.
As to the big mystery of the novel, it wasn't much of a mystery. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't enjoy it. I did enjoy watching the characters figure out the mystery. The red herrings were a nice touch. The ending was a little bit of a cliffhanger and I hope they visit some of the characters in the subsequent novels. Thankfully it wasn't too much of a cliffhanger, so I'm okay with the ending.
I went to the library and got the next couple in the Dark Ones series in case I get in the mood for vampires in the next month. However, I think I need a bit of zombie therapy for the next book selection.
- #1 A Girl's Guide to Vampires
- #2 Sex and the Single Vampire
- #3 Sex, Lies, and Vampires
- #4 Even Vampires Get the Blues
- #4.5 Bring Out Your Dead
- #5 The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires
- #5.5 Cat Got Your Tongue
- #6 Zen and the Art of Vampires
- #7 Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
- #7.5 Unleashed
- #7.8 Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend
- #8 In the Company of Vampires
- #9 Much Ado About Vampires
- #10 A Tale of Two Vampires
- #10.5 Shades of Gray
- #11 Lifestyles of the Rich and Undead