As I mentioned in my Sony Reader review last week, I love a good paranormal story and nothing is better than the classic vampire tale. By classic, I mean old school vamp: dark and brooding, relegated to the night, and on a restricted diet not some of the modern reconstructions. At this time or year, it's nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle with a holiday story, something Harlequin is good at providing, and in this Silhouette Nocturne, Holiday With a Vampire, I was treated to two vampire stories set during the season of giving.
When you're an avid reader, buying a book can certainly be a spontaneous purchase. So, when the impulse to read a paranormal with a holiday theme hit me this week, I sat at my computer and accessed Sony's Reader store. With a few clicks of my mouse I had found this book, and in less than five minutes it had been downloaded to my computer and then added to my pocket reader. Had it not been that simple, I may have filed the notion away until my next trip out or possibly let it go altogether.
The collection includes two novella-sized stories: Christmas Cravings by Maureen Child and Fate Calls by Caridad Pineiro. The first finds Grayson Stone returning to the home he lived in before becoming a vampire to mourn his past, only to find his future in the form of Tessa Franklin. Grayson, while trying to forgive himself for not being able to save his wife and child from the vampire attack that changed him, is also avoiding taking sides in a brewing political war, choosing to be Switzerland, a choice neither side is willing to let him make. Tess is also hiding from and trying to reconcile with her past. She is being stalked by a guy she dated twice a year ago, but has turned her life into a living hell ever since. In his attempt to set Tess free from her predator, Grayson loses himself to her and in the end receives a Christmas miracle he didn't think possible.
Child walks a very thin line of staying true to traditional vampire lore and giving way to some tired clichés, but for the most part she delivers a touching tale with a realistic development in the relationship. You feel the danger that looms, and she shines at describing Grayson in his predator mode.
With Pineiro 's Fate Calls we get a darker story. Though it is still a holiday tale with the concept of "a season of giving" carefully weaved throughout, the plot twists with the hero Hadrian, kidnapping and holding the heroine, Connie, hostage. It may seem like an off-putting scenario, but she handles their journey, which moves them though Hadrian's troubled past, with sensitivity.
Though both stories are filled with peril, Fate Calls feels like a heavier story with darker themes. In Christmas Cravings, Grayson mourns his loss of humanity and curses the beast inside, but Hadrian actually wrestles with the demon within, sometimes unsuccessfully, in the latter.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets such impulses and—with the ability to easily access the type of book I wanted and with a few clicks of the mouse—to be reading these stories within minutes not only yielded a satisfied customer, but also the sale of a book. As much as I love to whittle away the time perusing the shelves of my local bookstores, a hectic life—complicated even more by the holidays—prevents me from doing that. With only stolen moments available to read, the Sony pocket reader is a blessing that satisfies this shopper and reader.