Review: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

VANNA is a Vampire Artificial Needs Nutrition Appliance. . .Shes the perfect solution to vampires who are still compelled to bite. And shell be available in whichever race or colour you prefer.

And this would be VANNA white? Roman grimaced. The marketing department is going to love this.

I was lucky enough to win this, and the rest of best selling author Kerrelyn Sparks back catalogue, through an Avon romance competition a few weeks ago. I have to say that I was a little dubious about the books, given that Im not generally a huge romance reader, and vampires tend to hold very little appeal for me. However, I cracked up laughing when I read the blurb to How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, and knew that I was going to have a fun time with this book. See for yourself:

Roman Dragenesti is charming, handsome, rich. . .hes also a vampire. But this vampire just lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldnt have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop-sided eater for all eternity.

So, having read that bizarre blurb, I was off reading. Soon I was ensconced in a bizarre vamps-on-vamps gang warfare book replete with a company that manufactures fake blood with product names such as Chocolood, vampire conferences, a vampire-slaying CIA team, and some vampire dental work that turns out to be difficult to manage given that our heroine, Shanna Whelan, finds it difficult to see a vampire and his teeth in her little dental mirror.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which sort of has a bit of a Buffy or Angel feel to it. Sparks draws on a lot of the old vampire tropes, but does so without taking herself too seriously, and I think its largely for this reason that the book really works. She teases her characters and throws them into absurd situations, and gives them bizarre character quirks that need to be worked out. Many of the vampire tropes are twisted in hilarious ways that, rather than being a bit tired, really add to the book. Her characterisation is generally very good, and the plotting and pacing are great. I did feel the end came a bit abruptly, which was perhaps due to the books being part of a trilogy. However, in terms of pacing, the only sections that I thought sagged a little were some of the romance sections, where vampire Roman and his lover dentist Shanna (who does finally replace his lost fang) declare all sorts of love for each other or wistfully consider the type of life they could have. My only other gripe is the books bizarre title, which has nothing to do with the book at all, and sounds as though its trying to fit in with a bunch of other recent titles that boast long and whimsical titles.

All in all, this is a surprisingly good book, and I now have the guilty temptation of Sparks other six books sitting on my bookshelves and waiting to be read.

Purchase How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.

Other books by Kerrelyn Sparks you might like: Vamps and the City; Be Still My Vampire Heart; The Undead Next Door; All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire.

Forthcoming reviews: Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright (literary, womens fiction); Lovesong by Alex Miller (literary).

Acknowledgements: dentists drill image by Suat Eman, courtesy of

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