Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks

Series: Love at Stake - Book Four
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 384
Book Source: Own purchase
Three signs that something is very different with your new man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.

2. He's attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.

3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very mysterious stranger. There's something not quite right about Jean-Luc, but still, she's never been with a man so charming, so attractive . . . so wonderful. Now if only a murderous villain wasn't after them, they might get their happily-ever-after.

This is my first Kerrelyn Sparks novel and while it's the 4th book in the Love At Stake series, it's a great stand alone novel. Coming after Halfway to the Grave, comparisons are very unfair, but this is a little like getting on the ferris wheel after the rollercoaster ride. Loads of fun but not quite the same thrill. So, on approaching The Undead Next Door from the pure entertainment angle, it's definitely a winner. Believable characters, well-paced story line, lots of romance and top marks in the fun stakes.

Hunky vampire Jean-Luc Echarpe is head of the European coven and a famous fashion designer. Unfortunately not aging in over 30 years has become something of a problem, you can only use the 'great cosmetic surgeon' excuse for so long when you've dressed Marilyn Monroe. Jean Luc decides to host a fashion show in the small town of Schnitzelberg, Texas before going into hiding and re-emerging as his own son. Evil vampire Lui has only one thing on his mind, killing Jean-Luc and anyone else who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Which brings us to the heroine, Heather, who I absolutely adored. She's a divorced mother of a 4 year old girl and a very refreshing curvaceous size 12 unlike the size 0 models she's surrounded by. Heather's independent, down-to-earth, creative and she says exactly what she thinks ...

“My point, exactly. Those poor women are so malnourished, they can’t think straight. Take my friend Sasha. Her idea of a three-course meal is a celery stick, a cherry tomato, and a laxative. She’s killing herself to fit into these clothes. Women like me can’t dress like that.”

 Heather's daughter Bethany is delightful and the gun-toting, tarot card reading housekeeper Fidelia is an absolute hoot. Add Jean-Luc's vampire security detail friends to the mix and this is an endearing cast of characters. Well, apart from 'baddie' Lui and Heather's obnoxious ex-husband who gets what he's due in a very creative way that's bound to ensure a giggle!

The romance in The Undead Next Door is really entertaining, Heather & Jean-Luc don't jump each other with the first smouldering glance but there is quite a bit of sexual tension, some steamy kissage, and lots of sweet romantic gestures. If you want steam without too much sizzle this is definitely one to try, I'll be hunting down more from Kerrelyn Sparks.

About the Author:
"Kerrelyn Sparks’ first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, zoomed out of the bat cave so fast it became Borders bestselling debut romance of 2005. Each book in the Love at Stake series has become a USAToday bestseller. When the fourth book, The Undead Next Door, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, even the Undead sat up and took notice, which made Kerrelyn a bit nervous. She lives in the Greater Houston area with her husband, children, and a house full of garlic. So far, there are no vampires in her family. Werewolves are another matter entirely."

This month on The Eclectic Reader you could win Fire by Kristen Cashore OR Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick OR Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. That's two in a row now - you'll have to stop this :)

    I have read the first three - and this one is next on my list

  2. Sounds good and I already like the heroine :)

  3. I've never read her but plan to one day:)

    It is hard to really like a book after you read a really awesome one:)I like your analogy:)

  4. I read one of her books from this series and enjoyed it, I'll have to check this one out too. Maybe I should try them in order?

  5. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.

    I love that line LOL. Will have to put this series on the list! Well done, a review a day! What's up for tomorrow?

  6. Sally ~ I know shock horror *grins*
    Are you glad you read them in order?

    B ~ yeah it was nice to have someone quite different for a change.

    Mandi ~ thanks, that was a challenge, I had to keep reminding myself, now this isn't Cat & Bones lol

    Patti ~ I can't believe I read a series out of order (normally I'm pretty anal about that lol) but as each book is based on a different main character and his love interest and the vamp world isn't overly complex I didn't feel at all lost. Some of the characters in this book are mentioned in previous books and the next book is about Ian (from Jean-Luc's security team)

    Alaine ~ well according to the vote it looks like Hush, Hush is the review for Thurs *YIKES*

  7. Great review! I love the analogy! It's always so hard to go from a great book onto something else.

    These sound like a good beach read. Must check them out.

  8. Your reviews are so much fun!!! I love reading them...highlight of my day when you've written a new one!! This does sound like fun but I've got that hangup about reading series out of order so I would certainly have to start with #1. The heroine sounds delightful!!!

  9. This does sound like a good one! I really like it when books have good hot romance and not that over barring get a grip kind of romance....Great Review!

  10. I actually read book 2 first - then 1 and last one was 3. I have this book and the christmas one on order (book 5)

  11. Bella ~ thanks, good idea, I think this one is a good holiday/beach read.

    Staci ~ Aww thanks, are you trying to get me writing another review? LMAO, it's not working, I'm straying from my schedule :-)

    Krista ~ I think you'd like the romance in this one, not overbearing at all.

    Sally ~ thanks, I'd better line-up some more especially with holidays coming up :-)

  12. Oh wow...this does sound like a good I'd love it. I'm going to look up book one though. Sort of freakish about not starting a series at the beginning.

  13. You've found another I haven't read yet! Thanks for introducing me to a new book. Great review!

    Dottie :)

  14. Well I now officially have
    The Undead Next Door
    and the next one
    All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire
    in the mail as I type - whoo hoo!!!


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