Wanting What You Get

Fangs for the Memories
by Kathy Love
(Brava, $14.00, R) ISBN 0-7582-1131-7
I’ve never read a book by Kathy Love before, and I was very intrigued by the title of this one: Fangs for the Memories. The story lives up to the promise of the title and is a nice combination of traditional vampire lore, suspense, and humor.

Vampire Rhys is more than 200 years old, and he has grown bored and disillusioned about life (unlife?) as a vampire. It’s Christmas Eve, and he is simply looking for a bar where he can have a drink and forget about things for a while. His stop at a bar brings him into contact with Jane Harrison.

Jane Harrison is not a vampire, and she’s having a worse day than Rhys. After moving to New York, she lost her job, her apartment, and her purse. She stops in a bar to have a fun adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she is attacked outside the bar by a man she met there.

Rhys rescues Jane and drops her off at a hotel. Then, he returns to the bar to feed on the man who hurt Jane. In the meantime, Jane realizes that she lost her necklace some place between the bar and the hotel, so she backtracks to find it. She arrives at the bar just as Rhys is attacked by another vampire. The attacker erases Jane’s memory of the incident shortly before Rhys’s brother Sebastian finds them.

When Rhys wakes up the next day, he has forgotten his life as a vampire. He believes that he is in England during the 1800s and that Jane is his fiancée. Jane is bewildered by this form of amnesia, but Sebastian convinces her to stay until Rhys’s memory returns.

Fangs for the Memories includes many serious situations, such as the attacks on Jane and on Rhys. The amnesia itself is fascinating, since Rhys remembers modern conveniences like CD players and electricity, but represses memories relating to his life as a vampire. This made sense as a defense mechanism. Rhys simply doesn’t want to remember being a vampire, which made it an interesting contrast to the way amnesia is often presented in romances.

The serious scenes are balanced with humor, mainly relating to Sebastian’s attempts to explain the amnesia to Jane. In one scene, Sebastian enlists an employee to impersonate a doctor, and the results are amusing.

Jane is a sympathetic character caught up in a whirlwind romance. She falls in love with Rhys quickly and makes excuses to stay with him. Rhys’s amnesia allows him to let down his guard enough to fall in love with Jane. They are a convincing couple.

A predictable moment occurs once Rhys regains his memory and decides it’s not safe for Jane to remain with him. He slips into a familiar “it’s for her own good” routine, which doesn’t last long, thankfully.

Fangs for the Memories offers a fun and satisfying addition to vampire romance. This is Kathy Love’s first vampire novel, but I hope it won’t be the last.

--Alyssa Hurzeler

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