I swear I’m not a vampire book reader and yet every January, it seems one has fallen into my lap that looks intriguing and needs reviews. This year I found an autographed copy of Peg Pierson’s Flirting with Fangs that probably came in a raffle basket.
Flirting with Fangs is a high concept farce. Heroine Bailey Hamilton writes a successful series of vampire romance novels until her mojo ups and leaves alongside her cheating husband. When a bit of magic brings her brooding vampire hero, Torin Kane, to life complications arise for Bailey’s heart and career.
Brutal honesty – I didn’t care for this book at first. I almost stopped twenty pages in because I hadn’t connected with the book and I’m not sure why. The concept amused me (I happen to be a big fan of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series). I kept reading because I noticed a quirk in the writing that impressed me. Pierson’s use of language changed in a meaningful way. The segments Pierson wrote as a novel by Bailey Hamilton incorporated a more flowery and melodramatic imagery than presented in the story’s “present day.” Torin’s dialogue as Torin-not-written-by-Bailey introduced a third linguistic style.
The contrast between these styles kept me engaged enough that I read on to see how my observation played out. I’m glad I did because the last third of this book is a rollicking laugh out loud farce that combines violence, scatological humor, sex, Halloween, public disaster, public drunkenness and Satan. Yeah, it’s that kind of book. In a standard rating form, I’d give the first part of the book a 3, well written and clever, but not my taste. The later portion full out 5 star absurdism.
I would not be a fan lining up to buy Bailey Hamilton’s books, but I’m open to reading more Peg Pierson.
You can pick up Flirting with Fangs at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Next up on The January Project, Draculaville by Lara Nance.
Are you over vampires and ready to throw your kindle across the room next time read a heroine swoons at the sight of elongated teeth? Yeah, me too. I read Draculaville anyway based on my previous experience with indy author Lara Nance. By the end, I wanted to hug my little ereader and dance around the house singing “someone made vampires fun again” to a tune of my own invention.
The standard vampire is dark and broods over his (or her) lack of mortality, that is when they aren’t consuming blood and/or seducing everything on two legs. Some of Nance’s vampires do this, but the hero (and love interest) Drake isn’t your standard vampire. Nance understands that as characters vampires have become victims of sorts of their own pop-culture success. They are too ubiquitous to be monsters. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Nance takes on familiar tropes of the vampire stories and pushes them to the next level in consumption. Huh? you ask.
Heroine Talia Quinton, an advertising exec, rescues her vampire, Drake, from a dark alley. Her head wasn’t working right after a bender over the career failure of being shut out of a big money advertising campaign and foisted onto a Romanian tourism project. Her resident vampire inspires a new direction – vampire tourism. The pinnacle of the project will be an amusement park, Draculaville, where patrons will pay money to be chased by seductive “vampires” in costume under the shadow of a ruined Romanian castle. Doesn’t this sound fun? I thought you’d agree. Better yet, this is the first book in a trilogy so there is more cheeky fun to be had. You can pick up book 1 (and 2 and 3) below
Here’s my full disclosure – I received an ARC of Draculaville in exchange for honest review. I know the author personally and we have swapped works in progress in the past. If I hated her book, trust me, I’d let her (and you) know.