The Bite Before Christmas

When you think of Christmas do you think of Vampires? Do you wonder if Vampires celebrate Christmas? I honestly don't tend to. Paranormal folks are all the range right now, but I wouldn't judge that trend by this collection however.

"All I Vant for Christmas"

I'm not a stranger to navigating prickly relatives during the holiday (just ask me how many serving platters we go through each year), but my family has nothing on Connor's perpetually college-age brother and sister. Jillian's handling of them was believable--reverse psychology for the win every time. The instant attraction between Jillian and Connor was amusing, as was their 'frank discussion' about the mechanics of human/vampire sex.

The inclusion of why Jillian's ex-boyfriend broke up with her felt unnecessary however and just tacked on to give her a reason to 'seduce' Connor. The ending was refreshing as it felt more 'realistic' than a lot of vampire romances; no eternal pledges of love, just acknowledgement that what they have is special and worth pursuing.

"A Vampire in her Stocking"

I had one major problem with this story, no wait actually two major problems. One was the manner in which Nick becomes a vampire and two is his reaction, not too long after, said change. I find it highly suspect that Angelina would do such a thing, even if it was in the best interests of Vivian and Nick. Since she seems more like one of the vampires who wishes to blend in and not create a stir. I give Vivian props for being so adamantly upset with Angelina for what she did, but what she did was just this side of ghoulish.

And then Nick's response wasn't much better. His initial response was called for and understandable, but a couple weeks later? When he learns that being a vampire might not be so bad if he gets to have rocking sex with Vivian whenever? Yeah. I'd think there would be more consequences of Angelina's actions, at the very least with his family? His coworkers? None of that is really explored, instead we get an angst filled tale of guilt and sex.

"It's a Wonderful Bite"

I'll be honest, I mostly skimmed this tale. I have nothing against the movie for which this is loosely based around, but this re-invented version was maudlin and needlessly dramatic. Add to it that Angelina as a mortal seemed stripped of all her common sense and this made for a forgetable, lamentable read.

Angelina mourns the fact that her lover of 80 years, Ian Hart, hasn't asked her to marry him. Its pretty obvious that until she approaches the subject with him (during sex) that its not a topic they've discussed before nor did she really seem to care until recently. We don't really get a good handle on Ian in this story either. Ian as a vampire only makes appearances at the very beginning and very end, and Ian as a mortal has some highly questionable moral issues to work on.

As a collection this was a letdown. The stories went downhill as they progressed and with the exception of the first one I didn't even buy into the romance.

Book Blurb for The Bite Before Christmas

"All I Vant for Christmas" introduces Connor, who loves trimming the Christmas tree, baking gingerbread cookies, and hanging the mistletoe. But his vampire siblings won't help. His friend Angelina sends party planner Jillian to the rescue. But when Jillian, who's mortal, discovers she's decking the halls for a family of vampires, she must decide between running for her life - or putting Connor's mistletoe to good use. In "A Vampire in Her Stocking," Vivian becomes heartbroken when she learns that her secret crush, Sean, is terminally ill. Confiding in Angelina, Vivian refuses to turn Sean into a vampire. Deciding to play Santa, Angelina changes Sean and leaves him wrapped in a red bow on Vivian's doorstep. Angelina, the heroine of "It's a Wonderful Bite," is happy with her boyfriend Ian, but she's ready for a commitment. After drinking eggnog and watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve, Angelina falls into a dream where she is mortal and Ian isn't interested in her. Talk about the nightmare before Christmas! But Santa must have checked his list twice because this Christmas Angelina's wishes are coming true...

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 3.00