Holiday With A Vampire – Maureen Child, Caridad Pineiro

8 Jan

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Silhouette Nocturne, 2007 (e-book)

“Silhouette Nocturne is proud to present these two sensual, heartwarming tales of love during the holiday season. True, the heroes may not wear red suits or be very jolly. But tall, dark and handsome, with the unusual power to thrill, can sometimes be the best gift of all.In Christmas Cravings by Maureen Child, a vampire finds himself in need of a miracle, and discovers it on the doorstep of his childhood home in the form of Theresa Franklin.

Most women dream of being swept off their feet by a man—not whisked away by a devastatingly handsome vampire. But for Connie Morales in Fate Calls by Caridad Piñeiro, Hadrian’s tempting kisses make her long to deliver the gift of life to a man who thinks he has no soul…”

A warning: I found it even more difficult to grade these “short stories” than to grade categories. I seldom read them. I try to get better with categories but I’m not sure about these kind of stories.

Christmas Cravings – Maureen Child

I thought Christmas Cravings a nice story with likeable and believable characters. I thought the ending is a bit contrived with the the-showdown-must-be-on-Christmas because in both the hero’s and the heroine’s past Christmas was a major turning point in their lifes (that, and that it’s a Christmas story). Why would the over-the-top mad villain wait over a week to get to the heroine instead of just going after her right away? Especially after he must have realized that there was a man living with her?

But that is minor as evidenced by the fact that I only made one annotation for the whole story.

Would I read something else by Maureen Child? – Yes
GRADE: 4 / 5

Fate Calls – Caridad Pineiro

This story didn’t quite work for me. It’s a strange mixture of dark and light or better unpleasant (the captive plot element) and light. It didn’t help that I sometimes thought the characters’ behaviour incomprehensible. For example: why did Connie decide to seduce Hadrian while she was held captive? Or this:

She wanted to please him, although she had struggled with the reasons why for the past days. Everything and anything logical said she should hate him. He had taken her captive. Violated her body by feeding from her. Shattered her trust by breaking his vow.

Pineiro didn’t succeed in making this behaviour fly completely. Too much relies on the romance novel conventions – that is, I “know” what Pineiro is suggesting as the answer for the behaviour but I didn’t see it clearly enough. It relied too much on “the hero is the man the author says and it always ends happily.”

What kept me reading was Pineiro’s way to explore the paranormal tension. Compared to Child, there’s much more (and it’s more original) in this story. For example the way she writes about the hero’s human-demon nature. So while Fate Calls had more potential in terms of interesting story line/originality the execution didn’t live up to it.

Would I read something else by Caridad Pineiro? Probably not.
GRADE: 3 / 5


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