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Stakes & Stilettos Cover Picture

Stakes & Stilettos

Michelle Rowen

Published 2009              362 pages

Summary (from the jacket)

Newly-vamped Sarah Dearly wants her normal life back, but fate is fighting against her. She tries to get a nice, regular job and gets staked at the interview, only to be rescued by a masked vampire who calls himself the Red Devil. Then a wallflower-turned-witch curses her, making her a bloodthirsty, sun-allergic nightwalker - the worst vampire there is. As if all that weren’t bad enough, she can’t get married because her 600-year-old boyfriend, Thierry, is in a centuries-long marriage of convenience he can’t escape.

As Sarah’s nightwalker tendencies make her more dangerous, even to those she loves, she’ll have to counteract that curse, unmask the increasingly intriguing Red Devil, and  - oh yeah - get a commitment from her man. But if that’s what it takes to secure her happiness, Sarah is ready… even if it means embracing her inner vamp to do it.

The Review

Stakes & Stilettos is the fourth novel in Michelle Rowen’s light-hearted Immortality Bites vampire romance series. With the exception of Lady & The Vamp (which follows the romantic adventures of vampire-hunter-turned-vampire Quinn, a secondary character from the first two novels) the Immortality Bites books are serial romances.

Each book features the same main protagonists (Sarah Dearly a fledgling vampire and Thierry her master vampire lover) and with each book they have more adventures as Sarah adjusts to her new vampiric lifestyle – the romantic relationship between Thierry and Sarah develops further with each book too. Because of the serial nature of the Immortality Bites books new readers would be best advised to read Bitten & Smitten and Fanged & Fabulous first rather than starting with Stakes & Stilettos. 

A prologue and a quick recap of events so far is provided in the first chapter of Stakes & Stilettos to bring existing readers up to speed before the story gets off to a flying start with Sarah going to a job interview that ends with her at the pointy end of a stake. Unfortunately for Sarah this isn’t the last time someone will try to stake her during Stakes & Stilettos, since in this aptly named novel both stakes and stiletto shoes feature heavily.

Stakes & Stilettos is narrated in first person by Sarah. Her voice is by turns comic and sarcastic but considering that she is a major trouble magnet she has plenty to bitch about. Her sharp wit and her reactions to some of the strange situations that she finds herself in are truly funny, so be warned if reading public that outbreaks of spontaneous laughter are likely.

In addition to Sarah’s narration there is a sprinkling of “interlude” chapters throughout the book that show snippets of events from Thierry’s past. A previous criticism of Bitten & Smitten was that Thierry’s character was not very well developed (yes, I know that he had that whole vampire of mystery vibe going on but still…) his motivations were unclear and it was difficult to engage with his character as a result. The “interlude” chapters show readers his hidden depths adding warmth and an extra dimension to his previously cool persona.

In addition to the romantic elements of the story, Stakes & Stilettos has a fast paced plotline that sees Sarah lurch from one supernatural related disaster to another. From trying to escape the curse of a vengeful witch to the mystery of the identity of the vampire vigilante known only as the Red Devil there is no shortage excitement for the characters of Stakes & Stilettos, or for the readers of this novel either.

Stakes & Stilettos is the strongest book of the series so far and is recommended reading for romance fans. Hugely good fun!  

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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