Fangs for the Memories

Wanting What You Get

 
Fangs But No Fangs
by Kathy Love
(Brava, $14.00, R) ISBN 0-7582-1133-3
****
I reviewed and enjoyed Kathy Loveís previous book, Fangs for the Memories, so I was delighted to see Fangs But No Fangs in my review package. While not as good as its predecessor, Fangs But No Fangs is nevertheless an enjoyable story about a man who finds redemption and love.

Vampire Christian Young has left New York and lives in West Virginia. After seeing the consequences of his negative actions in the previous book (which I wonít detail, to avoid spoilers), he wants to change his life. To that end, he creates a list with 12 steps of being human. Heís been avoiding step 11, making contact, until he learns one of his neighbors is in trouble.

Trouble landed on Jolee Duganís doorstep in the form of her drug-addicted brother, a felon who wants money to satisfy his habit. When the situation takes an ugly turn, Christian steps in and forces Joleeís brother off the property. The recluse vampire and social woman are surprised to find themselves attracted to each other.

In some ways, Fangs But No Fangs is a classic opposites-attract story. Christian is a vampire, Jolee is human. Heís reserved, sheís an extrovert. Heís wealthy, sheís not. This is a familiar romance scenario, and itís done well here.

What makes this story more than your average opposites-attract plot are the ways Jolee and Christian are similar. Yes, they have their differences. Jolee lives week to week on the funds earned from her karaoke bar, and Christian has family money and doesnít need to work. Despite their differences, Jolee and Christian believe they donít deserve to be loved, and itís lovely to watch them overcome this idea and find love anyway. The way they come to know, care for, and understand each other is very touching.

Despite its strengths, the story does have a few weaknesses that made me like it a little less than the previous book in the series. The ending seems a little short; it could have been extended a bit. One event in particular happens in only a few pages, and I would have liked to see it drawn out more. In addition, the pacing is slow at times.

Fangs But No Fangs is no non-stop action vampire romance. Instead, it focuses on two interesting people who find each other. I recommend it to readers who enjoy character-driven romance. Iím already looking forward to the next book in the series, and Iím excited to see what Kathy Love will do next!

--Alyssa Hurzeler


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