I’m the Vampire, That’s Why
Published 2006 338 pages
Reviewed by Lotte
Summary (from the book jacket)
Does drinking blood make you a bad mother?
Broken Heart is the city with the highest rate of divorce and highest percentage of single parents in Oklahoma. And I, Jessica Matthews, have been a member of that club ever since my husband dumped me for his twentysomething secretary and then had the gall to die in a car accident.
Now I’m not just a single mother trying to make ends meet in this crazy world…I’m also a vampire. One minute I was taking out the garbage; the next I awoke sucking on the thigh of superhot vampire Patrick O’Halloran.
But though my stretch marks have disappeared and my vision has improved, I can’t rest until the thing that did this to me is caught. My kids’ future is at stake…as is my sex life. Once a vampire does the dirty deed, it hitches her to the object of her affection for at least one hundred years. I just don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of commitment…
The cutesy cover and witty opening sentence clearly set the tone, so you know you’re in for a quirky, fast-paced read, i.e. chick-lit with fangs. Our narrator is Jessica, single mum to two kids. She’s had a tough time over the past couple of years and then she suddenly dies (without glamour in all senses of the word) as the first victim of an ancient vampire crazed by vamp plague, aka the Taint. She soon finds out she’s not the only newly undead single parent in town, but she is the one and only for Irish vamp superhunk Patrick O’Halloran. He’s really gorgeous and undoubtedly attentive, but is the four thousand year old vampire with the yummy thighs really Jessica’s soul mate…for the next one hundred years?
Anyway, there’s no time for Jessica to leisurely learn all the rules about vampire life. Instead, she’s soon facing further attempts on her undead life, jealous love rivals, deadly opponents, reconciling her feelings about her dead, unfaithful husband and working out just who in her new vampire community is or isn’t Tainted. And then there’s the minor matter of how to tell the children you’ll never again see them in daylight hours. Tricky.
The first thing to say is that this book is funny, laugh-out-loud funny in places. Secondly, there’s plenty of well-written sex, especially for a novel with a ‘will they/won’t they’ theme running throughout. In some ways, the sparkly fangs and cupcakes cover belies the careful plotting and attention to detail behind this story. There’s an intriguing Celtic Irish history of the seven sacred sects of the vampire family tree and we also find out more about why the supernatural world is convening on rural Oklahoma. This is all woven into the various story strands concerning Jessica and to a far lesser degree, the other new vampire parents. Happily for the reader, there’s obvious potential to focus on these other characters and expand all of this back story further in future books.
I don’t really have anything bad to say about this novel. It was fun! Ok, maybe I did think that a couple of the vampires were a bit too nice for blood sucking dead people, but that’s probably just me – I like my vampires a little bit dangerous. To be fair, we do get to meet the Wraiths, who are definitely very bad. They’re led by an evil vampire called Ron, who will happily kill humans, other vampires and just about anyone who gets in the way of his plan to rule the world.
‘I’m the Vampire, That’s Why’ is the first book in the ‘Broken Heart, Oklahoma’ series and although it’s a satisfying and complete read in its own right, there’s clearly a lot more to find out about Broken Heart and its new status as vampire central. Michele Bardsley has created a supernatural world with fun, likeable characters and I look forward to meeting more of them in the next instalments.
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