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Wicked Game Paperback – May 13, 2008

69 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the WVMP Radio Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newbie marketing intern Ciara Griffin lands a job at WMMP, a station threatened with being sold to Skyware, a giant communications conglomerate, unless ad revenue picks up. A former con artist with a canny way with people, Ciara soon learns that the DJs are undead and specialists in the musical eras in which they were turned into vampires. One of them, Shane McAllister (turned in 1995), is really hot and dangerously tempting. In order to attract more listeners, Ciara promotes a new marketing strategy and the Sherwood, Md., station becomes 94.3 WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock and Roll, exploiting the fang factor (which no listener takes seriously) for profit. It works, until an ancient vampire cult wants to pull the plug. Also playing in is The Control, an equally ancient paramilitary group created to protect good vampires and kill bad ones. Smith-Ready's musical references are spot on, as is her take on corporate radio's creeping airwave hegemony. Add in the irrepressible Ciara, who grew up in a family of grifters, and the results rock. (May)
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From Booklist

As far as romance is concerned, it’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die. The last maybe literally when onetime con artist Ciara meets sexy Shane. His eyes meet hers, she gets him into bed, he does as expected, then sinks fangs into her thigh, necessitating multiple stitches. Ooops! NOT an auspicious first date! So goes this sometimes scary, sometimes fang-in-cheek romp that establishes Smith-Ready as a standout vampire-romancer, adept at creating an entire team of vampire DJs, each a specialist in the music of their former lifetimes and whose undead lives are jeopardized by a threatened mainstream buyout of their radio station. Marketing intern Ciara launches an all-out, vamp-in-your-face campaign that outs the team and multiplies listenership by a factor of 10. A delightful read, part vamp romance, part ironic look at advertising’s powers of manipulation, part wry commentary on the takeover-ridden financial scene, and all entertainment. --Whitney Scott

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st Pocket Books Trade Pbk. Ed edition (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141655176X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551768
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,437,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine has produced twelve published novels for teens and adults since 2001.

Jeri lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats, who often play tag-team "sit in the author's lap and keep her from writing." (The cats, that is, not the husband. Though, actually...)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Hartsell VINE VOICE on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

Ciara Griffin is a con artist paying her way through college with her cons. Now however, she's trying to put that reputation behind her and start working a real job. Marketing intern to the owner of a local radio station, WMMP, sounds like just the ticket she's looking for. However, upon starting work, she learns her employers have a few surprises for her.

WMMP is floundering and Skywave, a giant communications company is trying to buy them out. WMMP has an eclectic late night lineup, covering each decade for about the 1940s/50s through the 90s and Ciara is in for the shock of her life when she learns a little secret the DJs are keeping. They are all vampires, permanently stuck in the years in which they were turned.

Ciara's has a brilliant marketing concept - revamp the station, changing the name to WVMP "The Lifeblood of Rock and Roll and have the vampires hide in plain sight, telling everyone they are vampires. After all, everyone knows vampires aren't real so no one will believe the truth. Unfortunately a local band of ancient vampires are none too keen on revealing their secret, ready to put an end to the radio station once and for all. Now, along with her new vampire friends, including one very hot DJ she'd love to get to know better, Ciara is neck deep in the Wicked Game to pull off the greatest con of her life.

Wow! Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready is a refreshingly original take on modern vampires in urban fantasy. From her unique concept on vampire society to the lively rock and roll radio station, this book is a breath of fresh air. The stakes are high as Ciara, and in turn the readers, learn why the radio station is so crucial to the vampires' survival.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Wiley VINE VOICE on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
What would you do for a job?

Ciara Griffin has always lived for the con. Now she's trying to get her life straight and get a job in sales and marketing. A local radio station, WVMP, offers her a job, but there's a catch: the DJs are all vampires. These aren't ordinary vampires, however. Each DJ is stuck in the "Life Time" in which they died. Now a huge corporation wants to buy out WVMP. Will Ciara be able to play the con of her life in order to save WVMP? And what about her growing attraction to vampire Shane McAllister?

Jeri Smith-Ready is simply a master at creating vibrant characters, full of life! Ciara is a delight, with her old "con" nature tugging at her. Her wicked side constantly wars with her desire to do the right thing, making her all too human and very likable. Shane, too, has his darker side that he struggles against. Jeri Smith-Ready excels at showing growth in her characters as they encounter conflicts, both internal and external, and this is evident in WICKED GAME. Ciara and Shane will have to overcome their own inner struggles, as well as the threat of the corporate takeover, if they hope to succeed.

The tone of WICKED GAME is crucial to its success. The story has its darker moments as vampires are not portrayed as simply glamorous and sexy beings. No, Jeri Smith-Ready shows us their allure as well as their darker, blood driven side. However, there are touches of humor interspersed to keep the tone from becoming too intense. And who can resist a book that refers to humans as "sunnysides"?

WICKED GAME is a very clever twist on the vampire theme and one that left me hungering for a sequel. Jeri Smith-Ready has created a world populated with characters that I want to see more of. Regina, David, Jim...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Hinton VINE VOICE on June 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ciara Griffin is a con artist who is trying to put the past behind her. Ciara parents were two professional swindlers who taught her everything she knows. But now that her mother's behind bars and her father has disappeared, Ciara just wants to be like everyone else. She performs one last con--a big one--to get her enough money to pay for college, and then decides to become an honest woman. It's with this in mind that Ciara goes to an interview for a marketing internship at WMMP (which sounds disturbingly like wimp to her jaded ears). It seems that Ciara's past makes her a prime candidate for the position, but before she can start the job the general manager gives her some required reading that might help her get to know her coworkers a little better--and help her decide if she can hack it (no pun intended). The required reading is a field guide to vampires. Long story short, vampires are stuck in the life time in which they died. Time is basically standing still for them, and it can be difficult to adjust to modern times. Each of the DJs at WMMP is so good at what they do because they are still frozen in the time period of the music they play. Like Monroe, an African American who died in the 40's and has a blues program, or Shane, a grungy rocker who died in the mid-90's with a penchant for Nirvana and angst.

Ciara is initially skeptical and dismissive--she was raised on scams and she knows one when she sees it. But when one of the DJs (Shane) proves just how real vampires are by biting her, Ciara comes face to face with the harsh reality that everything is not as it seems. And when the station is threatened from a buyout by a corporate giant (think
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