Review: Christmas With a Bite by Patricia A. Wolf
Released December 15, 2014
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “So, what do two single people, all alone in the middle of nowhere, do for fun?” “Careful,” he warned her….
I’ve always been at home with paranormal fiction. I am very partial to my supernatural alpha males with a particular affinity for vampires. I don’t mind if they day walk or if they are just blatantly non-traditional blood suckers. What I do mind is that they are written consistently. If they are characterized as dangerous and frightening then I expect them to make me quiver. If the world building describes them as uber sophisticates who frown upon vein drinking and prefer to take their blood in crystal goblets – fine, I expect them to wow me with their class and refinement. Trouble begins when the story line feels schizophrenic and my vamps just do not know how to behave. In Christmas with a Bite, newly divorced Mara is rescued from imminent danger while on her way to visit her family, by vampire prince, Connor. Right away we discover that Connor has long been bound to Mara, though she has no memory of him beyond a nagging feeling that his eyes seem familiar. Their reunion is full of delicious sexual tension and I loved peeling through the layers of events that shape just how fated their union was to be.
Connor. He is all kinds of vampire yummy. Eyes that silver when passion or fury brings his vampire nature to the surface. Powerful and sexy- his point of view was my favorite in this holiday novel. Magnificent as he is, Connor has some serious baggage. Aside from a “family” who place demands upon him to find his-immortal- mate, he is also carrying around some serious guilt regarding the suicide of his ex-girlfriend, who shot herself in the head when he revealed his true nature to her.
She shot herself. In the head. With a gun. I figure I am supposed to sympathize with Connor, but I seriously can not help but wonder, WTF was that chicks deal? I can accept her running from him in fear and confusion, but she kills herself because she does not want to live in a world with vampires? That did not gel for me. Unfortunately, that was not the only plot quirk I had trouble swallowing. After saving Mara from certain disaster, Connor sends her on her way to her parents home, a parting that neither he nor Mara were interested in, but at the time a necessary evil. In her absence, Connor begins to seriously consider the possibility of keeping Mara in his life. Things seem all but impossible and the number one obstacle to keeping her is the oldest taboo and the secret that must be kept at all cost. Connor frets over not being able to tell Mara that he is a vampire (all things considered the last time he told a human lover that he was a creature of the night, things did not go…well). We go chapters and chapters of Connor mulling over breaking the Vampire Law only to find out not only do other humans in Connor’s life know he is a vampire, these humans are also Mara’s brother-in-law and own sister. *Hangs head* You can not build up this closely guarded secret, introduce a ton of manufactured angst and then come to find out that knowledge of vampires, specifically Connor’s vampire royal family, it is not a death sentence after all! Huge eye-ball to ceiling moment.
I was also disappointed that Connor did not really get to vamp out on my ass! Aside from a flash of his fangs and a few displays of superhuman speed and strength, Connor didn’t make me swoon with his vampy super skills. When he decides to go after Mara, he enlists the help of his best friend, Chase, to go “hunting” for her. Does he endeavor on a cool journey to find her, using blood-scent or hot vampy tracking ESP- no, he freaking looks up her family and asks her mother to help locate her. Snort. Seriously?? Booo!
The HEA resolution was just as “hunh??” inspiring as the worst kept vampire secret and girlfriend-blows-her-brains-out plot holes. By the end I had already said “wait – what??” so many times, the final head scratching event didn’t even phase me, as despite my problems with the story line, the characters themselves were very likable and endearing…and sexy…
“Sit down,” he rasped, trying not to sound desperate, even though he was. He wanted Mara so badly. his cock swelled as she nibbled her lip and did as he asked. He pushed the coffee table back and went to her knees in front of her. She moaned as he trailed the tips of his fingers up the inside of her thighs, encouraging her to spread her legs wide.
He kissed the inside of her knee and with exquisite care dragged his tongue over the flesh of her inner thigh. Her scent and flavor overwhelmed him, sending him spiraling out of control.
Unable to wait another second, he latched onto her core.
The pace of the book was quick and easy. Christmas with a Bite was interesting and pleasant enough to keep me engaged until the end. The banter and hot sex factor kept me on the hook. Standout scenes included EVERY time Mara and her married sister bemoaned aspects of boring married life (lol moments aplenty). Supporting characters can enhance or detract from a great reading experience. Mara’s sister and brother-in-law, Connor’s best friend and semi-confidant were all scene bandits- always leaving me wanting more. Ultimately, I was sufficiently entertained and enjoyed the story. All in all, an okay holiday paranormal romance read.