Because Your Vampire Said So
Published 2008 320 pages
Reviewed by Lotte
Summary (from the book jacket)
When you’re immortal, being a mom won’t kill you – it will only make you stronger.
Not just anyone can visit Broken Heart, Oklahoma, especially since all the single moms - like me, Patsy Donahue – have been turned into vampires. I’m forever forty, but looking younger than my years, thanks to my new (un)lifestyle.
And even though most of my customers have skipped town, I still manage to keep my hair salon up and running because of the lycanthropes prowling around. They know how important good grooming is – especially a certain rogue shape-shifter who is as sexy as he is deadly. Now, if only I could put a leash on my wild teenage son. He’s up to his neck in danger. The stress would kill me if I wasn’t already dead. But my maternal instincts are still alive and kicking, so no one better mess with my flesh and blood.
If you’re familiar with the Broken Heart series, you’ll already know what to expect from this third installment – fun, sexy vampire romance that zips along at a fast pace. Again the narrator is one of the eleven single parents turned at the start of book one by an ancient vampire crazed with vampire sickness, the Taint. So this time we get to know more about Patsy Donahue, beauty salon owner and single parent to troubled teen Wilson. We also find out more about the wider vampire community and its uneasy history with the lycans and other supernaturals.
Michele Bardsley’s books overflow with action, characters and attitude. Book number three is no exception with its thrilling vampire superpowers, strange new werewolves, quirky ghosts, silly zombies, arson, kidnapping (again!) and lots of fighting. In addition, there’s a rather somber dash of psycho-education about very real human problems, namely drug and alcohol abuse and the effects it can have on families and relationships. As with the other two books, you get a sense that the author is probably not dissimilar to the characters she seems to like best - feisty, independent, opinionated women.
I liked the female leads of books one and two, but I struggled to warm to the character of Patsy and didn’t care enough about her story. It’s not that the author can’t write, because I think she can. For me, the problem is the pace of these novels. They’re such a busy mix of plot and people, but I want her to slow things down and perhaps reduce the ideas so they are explored more thoroughly. The USP of this series is that all the new Broken Heart vampires are undead parents with living, human children - an interesting angle to explore if only Michelle Bardsley would give it more attention. In reality this is a romcom series about ordinary people, suddenly made extraordinarily dead who still need love, be they parents, vampires or both.
The most interesting sections continue to be the Celtic history about how the vampires originally came to exist – this story is revealed gradually in all the novels as random chapters interrupting the main narrative. This is well thought out and intriguing, but unfortunately for this book, I enjoyed these sections far more than Patsy’s romantic dilemmas. In the first two books I was engaged with the main characters and their developing romance, but this one didn’t do it for me, although her admirer Gabriel has his attractions.
This may be book three, but you won’t have a problem reading this as your first introduction to the Broken Heart series. I do think that the first book is superior to its successors, but generally they are all a quick, enjoyable read. Essentially, if you want a fun vampire romance, then you’ll probably enjoy this book, but if you prefer delving into supernatural ideas and individual motivations, it’s unlikely to satisfy you after the initial entertainment rush. As with the second book, more explanation of the plot would have excited more than the explicit sex scenes, but maybe that’s just me. Following my third visit to Broken Heart, I’m in no great hurry to go back immediately, but I’m sure I will at some point. So, if you’ve not been there yet, it’s worth checking out.
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