Wanted: Undead or Alive
by Kerrelyn Sparks
(Avon, $7.99, R) 978-0-06-195806-9
****
If you’re looking for a paranormal romance that isn’t afraid to get a little campy, then Wanted: Undead or Alive is probably right up your alley.

To sum up: Boy meets girl. Boy turns out to be a vampire who stars in cheesy vampire commercials for a blood /chardonnay hybrid beverage call Blardonnay. Girl turns out to be a werewolf whose father is the leader of a massive pack in Wyoming. Shenanigans ensue. They fall in love and they have to fight to keep that love.

Wanted: Undead or Alive is an interesting mix of humor, romance and action. It’s a paranormal romance that is self aware and is not afraid to poke fun at its own genre.

Phineas McKinney is a vampire who (in his pre blood sucking days) grew up as a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks in the Bronx. Now, he’s a rising star on the vampire television circuit, who has a series of ads modeled after the Old Spice commercials with the ‘perfect man.’ Hello ladies...

Phineas can have any vampire hottie he wants, so naturally he can’t stop thinking about Bryn, a werewolf who hates him and all other vampires.

Bryn wants to live her life free of her domineering father who wants to use her as a pawn to help get him more power in the werewolf community. She wants to be able to marry for love and she wants to find someone who will love her for who she is. When Bryn’s twin brother escaped their father, to join up with a group of crime fighting vampires, Bryn was crushed. Now she harbors a grudge against vampires in general, which is making things mighty confusing once she becomes sexually attracted to Phineas.

Bryn and Phineas find themselves teamed up in a global hunt for a rogue vampire named Corky who has deemed herself queen of a group of upstart vampires named the ‘Malcontents.’ The ‘Malcontents’ believe that vampires should be able to lord over the humans and eat whoever they want whenever they want. The rest of the vampire world are cool to drink synthetic blood and to live quietly alongside the humans. Bryn and Phineas are on the hunt for Corky in Bryn’s home territory: Wyoming. Now the two of them have to find Corky, stop her evil plans, and try to work out the feelings that are obviously developing before them.

And feelings are definitely developing. Bryn and Phineas range from having sparks flying between them to being downright electric at times.

I enjoyed the characters in this novel, including the supporting characters. There is a back country ‘werebear’ hick named Digger who is especially entertaining. Digger adds a little comic relief to the parts of the story that are a little heavier.

On the whole, I enjoyed Wanted: Undead or Alive . The dialogue was snappy, the plot moved along at a good clip and I found myself able to back the main characters, so when milestones were reached, I was happy for them. I did find the novel got a little too carried away at times and just became ridiculous. At times, I felt the extra stuff thrown in for comic effect to just be distracting and unnecessary. But other than that, no real complaints here.

So, if you’re looking for a novel that is current, sexy and paranormal, then I say pick up a copy of Wanted: Undead or Alive . It’ll keep you entertained and smiling.

--Lindsey Seddon


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