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Secret Life of a Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 6)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 1, 2009
Giacomo, or rather, Jack de Venezia is the illegitimate son of Casanova. As such, he is supposed to follow in his famous father's footsteps and be a lover of all women. He is, just sometimes he is sad because the women he has loved in his two hundred plus years were never able to accept what he was - a vampire. And his being alone is never more predominant than now when he is throwing a bachelor party for Ian MacPhie. With blisky flowing and VANNAs throughout the room to entertain, the party gets a bit out of hand and the police are called. Lucky for the vampires attending the party that human minds can be controlled, right? That's what Jack thinks. Too bad he is oh so wrong.

Enter one police officer unlike any Jack has ever seen - Lara Boucher. No matter what he tries to do, he can't control her mind or hear her thoughts. The fact that she is stunningly beautiful doesn't go unnoticed either. Jack knows that it would never work out between him, a vampire who dies during the day, and Lara, a human cop. His mind knows this but his heart refuses to listen. His fellow vampires try to warn him away from Lara but he can't help himself. Her suspicious nature is leery of the man he is but her romantic side wants Jack as much as he wants her.

With the vampires of McKay Security still trying to hunt and get rid of Malcontents, now is definitely not the best time for Jack and Lara to fall in love - especially since women who look like Lara are disappearing at a rapid rate off college campuses. Jack vows to keep her safe even when she takes a risky undercover case. Jack isn't happy with her decision and stubbornness but he does love her and because of this, he is willing to fight for the life they can have together. Now if he can keep Lara alive long enough to get her to commit to it.

Kerrelyn Sparks' vampires are just so much fun. With insanely hilarious scenes such as the bachelor party in each book, I can't help but be addicted to her entire Love at Stake series of books. SECRET LIFE OF A VAMPIRE made me laugh out loud - I kept picturing sexually stimulated vamps feeding off of the plastic VANNAs and would just giggle.

With another vampire succumbing to love, Jack finds himself a bit sad that he does not have a woman to cherish - the ones he trusted with the truth of what he is ran hard and fast away from him so it is hard for him to trust - not to mention dangerous. That doesn't stop Jack from falling in love with Lara Boucher. Lara is curious about Jack as soon as she meets him. Well, maybe not curious. She was suspicious. Because of this, she was the one person that Jack couldn't control with his mind and that reason alone made this beautiful ex beauty queen stand out.

With dreamy and playful love scenes and a well written and fabulous plot, SECRET LIFE OF A VAMPIRE is a worthy addition to my keeper shelf. Kerrelyn Sparks has the gift of taking a normally dark and dangerous type of character and making them loveable and realistic. I feel like I could walk down the street at night and meet one of her characters. I can't recommend her books enough - but I do recommend reading them in order!

***Natalie S.***
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I've read all but one of Sparks' Love at Stake series and have to admit, this one wasn't my favorite. I enjoy the series and think they're usually fun, romantic reads without a whole lot of darkness in it, despite the vampires. This one fell short for me. Jack, son of Cassonova and burdened by his father's legacy, is hosting a bachelor party for the soon to be wed Ian and Toni from All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 5) at an exclusive hotel, but as it turns out, vamps can't hold their blood fusion drinks and the party gets raucous enough that hotel security calls the cops. Unfortunately for Jack one of the cops that arrives on scene is Lara Boucher, former beauty queen, former car crash survivor, and totally immune to his mind mojo. She's tenacious, relentless, inquisitive, and the most gorgeous female Jack's ever seen. But he's lost loves to the truth of his existence before and he's not willing to risk trusting another, not even the woman who quickly steals his heart. When Lara, trying so hard to be a detective, stumbles across the case of disappearing college girls and all the witnesses have that same sort of vagueness that she'd seen Jack force onto others, she suspects the handsome...if bizarrely powerful...man is up to the sort of no good that ends in blood and death. Or he's an alien. Possibly a superhero, though. She's not entirely sure. He's either the sexiest good guy she's ever seen...or the sexiest evil guy she's ever met. Can either one of them ever learn that to love is to trust and not trusting...could end in death?

I had a hard time with Lara's character in this one. I liked her in the beginning, but by the time she finds out what Jack's deal is, her ideas and thoughts about it had become preposterous and her reaction really disappointing. For a woman trying to be a police detective, she didn't strike me as very mature or intelligent. I also didn't find Jack to be as appealing as some of the other lead males in this series. I didn't have any real complaints about his character, but there just wasn't anything all that compelling about him. And all the 'bellissima's and 'cara mia's and 'merde's got old far before the middle of the book. It was like the man couldn't start a dialogue without some Italian saying. That was a little too Gomez Adams for my tastes. I could have forgiven a lot of all of that had the pair had some good chemistry between them, but while it was okay, it lacked a lot of the passion and sense of fun, along with the fiery heat that others in the series shared. That aspect was particularly disappointing.

This series has never been a heavy hitter in regards to plot, overall it's more chick lit than complex, and that's not a complaint - I love a good light romantic read...with fangs. In this one though, the plot and even the dialogue seemed a bit too unsophisticated and unrealistic (relative to the genre) to really impress me. Again, nothing horrible...except maybe that whole Greek God thing. That didn't work for me. Still, the development of the relationship wasn't as romantic or sexy as I'd hoped, and the story didn't progress as well and wasn't as good as I'd hoped, and the characters...well...sorry, but they weren't as appealing as I'd hoped. I wasn't bored while reading it, but I wasn't wowed either.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2009
Officer Lara Boucher has been through a lot in order to get where she is at this point in her life. She began her life fulfilling her mother's dreams of becoming a beauty queen, but when a tragic accident leaves her unable to distinguish reality from fantasy, Lara decides that she will do something meaningful with the rest of her life. So, armed with new resolve and her new best friend, and former hospital roommate, Lara leaves for college and then onto New York City to dedicate her life to serving others. However, when she comes to a hotel to bust a rowdy bachelor party, weird things begin to happen that have Lara beginning to doubt her sanity - especially as she seems to be the only one that can remember the incident at all. But the more Lara looks into these odd happenings the deeper she is plunged into a world she doesn't understand and scares her to even think it might be real.

Jack has spent his life avoiding his legacy as the son of the famous Casanova, yet that same fame makes him a favorite among everyone he meets. However, this one bachelor party that he put together definitely leads to more trouble than he ever imagined - synthetic blood all over, hungover vampires leaving trails of blood everywhere and a nosy cop, Lara who is someone that he can't control or erase her memories. But the main problem that Lara represents is that Jack can't stop thinking about her and she keeps showing up in the most inconvenient places. But the closer he comes to Lara the more he comes to love her - but will she accept who he is? Or will she be disgusted by his vampire nature?

Still, all this must be swept aside as they discover that there have been a string of abductions that seem to leave a supernatural trail behind them...will Lara and Jack solve the crime in time to save the abducted women?

Secret Life of a Vampire continues the Love at Stake series with the story of Jack and Lara. Jack is a disillusioned man as he has never found a woman that could see the real him beyond the Casanova name or his vampire nature, but Lara changes all that for him - if Jack lets her. Lara is intent in proving that she is more than a pretty face, but meting Jack might change Lara's life forever. Kerrelyn Sparks fills Secret Life of a Vampire with plenty of humor and sensuality, while keeping her characters dancing with anxiety and keeping readers glued to the pages just to see how Jack and Lara will get over themselves and finally come together. Secret of a Vampire Life is a fun and entertaining book that is a summer chick-flick in book form - entertaining, goofy, emotional and of course, full of romance!

Sabella
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 31, 2009
I would categorize Kerrelyn Sparks' latest paranormal in her vampire series, "Secret Life of a Vampire" as one of the sweeter, yet still hot, in this whole series. Her hero is more Gamma than Alpha, her heroine is an ex-beauty queen turned cop, and there's not much blood spilled unless it comes from a glass.

The vampires in this series are divided into two camps; Malcontents who want to rule the world and feed from humans at will, and the good vamps who feed off bottled blood and battle the Malcontents. Even though this same good vamps vs bad vamps has been done over and over, Sparks adds enough twists to distinguish her series from the rest. Her good vamps have their own 'Black Pages', their own Vamp Network cable TV station, and their own Vampire Fusion Cuisine.

This story begins at a wild vamp bachelor party that gets raided by a pair of cops due to the noise of the bagpipes. Yes, I said bagpipes. The humor in this series isn't just in the dialogue. I mean kilt wearing, sword-bearing, sexy vampires in New York City? Be still my heart.

Anyway, my enjoyment of this series is its refusal to bow to the popularity of the more serious and darker vein (couldn't resist) of stories that currently abound. Fun and funny, sweet yet with enough heat to satisfy most romance readers, I confess to being hooked.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lara is NYPD and his called to the Plaza Hotel were she discovers what seems to be a bloody crime scene Jack is an Italian Vamp whose father is the real Casanova!! the two meet at the crime scene, the characters are well developed the story is mediocre. If you are looking for Hot Sensual romance it only happens on the last few pages of the book. The outcome is predictable. This is not a thriller, nor is it exciting!! Sorry because in the past I have enjoyed the other books in this series!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2009
First of all i love this series very much. But i wasn't very excited for Jack's story. We first met him very briefly in book 3, and i didn't see a spark. Jack's romantic saying's were kinda cheesy so was his romance with Lara. Speaking of which Lara was way to desperate for Jack. And how could she actually believe easily that he can read minds, wipe minds, and even teleport with her and she finds it kinda normal. But when she finds out he's actually a vampire. OMG! get away is how she reacts. Which is normal i just felt she was kinda stupid. She could of wrote a book for Gregor instead of Jack or even Dr. Phang, Robby, and Connor. I know Connor is book 8 btw. I'm more excited to read vanda's story next. So overall ok book, but this was the first slip in the series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When an author is marked as a NYT Bestselling author that raises the bar pretty high. So when they miss the mark, I first look at me. Did I miss something? If the reasonable answer is no--then it's fully on the author. The story drags along, characters have no chemistry and worse--we don't care or believe in them for a minute. Pass on this one and save your precious $$ for stronger writing, characters and plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 15, 2009
Jack, vampire son of Casanova, gets stuck with clean up after Ian's ( All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire) bachelor party. With Blissky- a blood & whiskey combo- spilled all over the upholstery, swords laying everywhere, Laszlo the undead scientist hurling blood on the floor, and other hotel guests complaining about the obnoxiously loud bagpipes at 3 a.m. it's no wonder the cops are called to the scene. That's when he meets Lara, a no fuss cop whose mind he and the others scarily can't manipulate and who knows something fishy is going on even after the vamp maids clean up the room and Jack cleans up all the humans minds.

Determined to figure out exactly what kind of creature Jack is and find out if he and his friends have anything to do with college girls who have been mysteriously disappearing from the area Lara starts to investigate. With Jacks help they have a lead on the true kidnap culprits, but mistrust and squirlly hormones come between the two. Yet, when Lara gets kidnapped next after Jack causes an FBI sting to go wrong, they realize their love and Jack will go to any ends to find her.

It was a good book, but just not quite great for me. The bad guys have this whole Greek God thing going on that is never fully explained and are of course easily out manuevered with Jack saving the day a little to conveniently. Still I'm dying for Ms. Sparks to get to Connor's story and the next book with werewolf Phil sounds promising enough to keep me reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
It started out hot between the two... but lost steam. The conflict with antagonists just dragged on too much and found myself tuning out and praying the problem would wrap up
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
Fun reading but my least favorite of the five in series I have read so far. Laura's character seemed weaker than the past heroines and I was also less intrigued by Jack.
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