Review: The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks
The book opens with Robby MacKay, a character from several previous novels in the series, intent on revenge for the torture he endured at the hands of the Malcontents (bad vampires). Also a vampire, Robby is just now recovering from his wounds and, due to lingering anger issues, is sent by his boss (and great, great grandfather) Angus to a remote Greek island for four months of physical rehabilitation and mental healing. While there, he meets Olivia Sotiris, an FBI agent with a paranormal ability of her own, who is also recovering from emotional trauma on the island.
I have some serious issues with this book, much of it to do with pacing. Only a third of the way through the book, and Robby and Olivia are spouting declarations of love. Considering the suspicious natures of both Robby and Olivia, I found that too much of a strain on my suspension of disbelief. Since the relationship is so serious, so early, it means that circumstances and perceived dishonesty is left to keep them apart. Throw in a serial killer, a Malcontent path of destruction, and a problem with communication, and you have the entire plot.
What really brought this book down for me was the noticeable lack of levity. Carlos, a were-panther, and Olivia's grandmother provide a few, brief moments of humor, but overall, the tone of this one was not what I had come to expect from this author. It was way too earnest. The reason the series has worked so well for me in the past is because it kind of winks at the silliness of the entire concept. Kilt wearing Scotsmen drinking blood-spiked whiskey and chasing down the bad guys in the same way they've done for centuries. Silly. But that sense of whimsy was missing here.
Still, it was an okay book. Just not as good as previous books in the series and therefore disappointing for a long-time fan.
My Grade: B-/C+