Release Date: 31 Jul 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Paranormal, Romance
Summary: Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands—from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg—gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship—and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.
Cal - who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way - offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he’s imperious, unfriendly and doesn't seem to understand the difference between "employee" and "servant," Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him - particularly those concerning nudity.
Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue & romance—in the form of her very own stray vampire.
Buy It: Paperback or Kindle eBook
Review: I liked Iris in Driving Mr. Dead and, while I didn't find myself loving her a quickly as I did Miranda from that novella, I came to completely adore her in The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. Iris was good, humorous, a hard worker and wary of vampires. Her healthy uncertainty and fear of vampires was actually what drew me to her. So often in UF/PNR the heroines are so brave and fearless from the get go that they act stupidly. They insist on being part of fights where they stand no chance, ignore warnings from their paranormal hero etc. Iris wasn't shaking-in-her-boots afraid, she was just cautious, smart, and knew when to run or when she was making a dumb choice. She also knew when risking her own life was worth it though. I loved the relationship between Iris and her sister, Gigi.
“Why would I take an unstable, hungry vampire home with me? Do I look particularly stupid to you?”
He snorted. “No, which is why you should take me home with you. I already know where you live. While you were running to your car, I looked in your purse and memorized your driver’s license. Imagine how irritated I would be, how motivated I would be to find you and repay your kindness, after I am well again.”
The storyline for The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires was a great one. I've always been curious regarding the contents of human blood in relation to vampires in fiction and why it isn't used more often. After all, most things end up there in some capacity (alcohol, drugs, sugars etc). I think it's a perfect way to attack vampires and would be interesting to see more of. Of course if I saw it all the time I wouldn't have been as excited to see it here... Anyway I was glad to see Harper's spin on it.
“As best we can tell, the vampires in question all suffered a form of poisoning. The compound is like steroids for vampires, on an exponential level. It brings out the worst of our aggressive, territorial behaviors while enhancing our strength and lowering our inhibitions.”
Cal was a difficult character for me to decide what I thought about. At first I found him to be too similar to Collin from Driving Mr. Dead. They were both haughty, stand-offish, only put up with the heroine because it was their only option etc. To be honest I was really disappointed by this. I absolutely loved how funny Driving Mr. Dead was and I didn't want it to be just a formula for this book too. As the novel progressed Cal started showing his differences though and became his own vampire. He loved to start fights with Iris because he found it amusing, he was calculating, he was a lot more vampire-y to me. Cal had been poisoned by bad blood that made him sick and was unhappily relying on Iris. The vomitous shower scene... loved it! I really enjoyed reading about a sick vampire, enough so that I might need to go hunting down similar books. A sick werewolf or zombie would be great.
“Besides, what happened to ‘no emotional attachments’?” I asked him pointedly, though I didn’t pull away. “I’m just a human, after all.”
“I shouldn’t have said that.” He hesitated. “I find myself … more attached to you than I previously believed. It’s particularly strange considering I’ve only known you a few days. Perhaps it’s like Stockholm syndrome.”
“Hey, what’s this?” I asked, pulling a copy from the pile. “The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. A comprehensive guide to safe, loving treatment of the injured undead.”
I flipped through the book and found nutrition guides, feeding schedules, an appendix on skin care after minor sunburns. “This would have been useful a week ago,” I muttered.
“Wait, he’s injured? Your vampire is injured? Iris, you didn’t pick this guy up while he was hitchhiking or something, did you?”
I loved how this book was wrapped up especially the glimpse of the future between Iris and Cal. Overall The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires was an immensely satisfying, fun read. Rating: 5 Bites (Phenomenal, loved it)
Because I'm clueless, I didn't realized Half Moon Hollow was a spin-off series. Did you enjoy the Jane Jameson series? How do they compare?
What are some books that involve sick paranormal heroes/heroines?