October’s Book-of-the-Month Discussion…May contain SPOILERS

Okay, so today is the day we discuss this month’s Book-of-the-Month.  Since this is the first time I have ever done this, I am learning as I go so bear with me!

 

October’s book was The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks.

 

I have included no spoilers in my discussion (or at least I didn’t include anything that I would consider a spoiler)…it is basically just a review or commentary in a different and more relaxed format.
However, the comment section may contain some minor spoilers depending on what others have to say, so please read at your own risk!!!

 

If you would like to continue reading go ahead…and be sure to check back tomorrow for the announcement of November’s Book-of-the-Month!

 

 

 

***

So here are my thoughts…

 

-My (very) brief summary of the book:

Fashion designer, Jean-Luc Echarpe has come to a small town in Texas intending to go into hiding before the world can discover his secret…he’s a vampire.  When he first spots Heather Westfield at his new store, he is instantly attracted to her.  When he learns of her aspirations to design fashions and sees evidence of her talent, he offers the single mother a job, but an enemy from his past has discovered Jean-Luc’s whereabouts.  Now both Jean-Luc and Heather and those they care for are in danger.  Jean-Luc will do anything to keep Heather and her daughter safe and to keep history from repeating itself.  As he falls for Heather, he worries how she will react when she discovers his secret.

 

-My general thoughts:

Okay, so The Undead Next Door was a very fun paranormal romance with a hint of suspense and intrigue.  It was my first book by Kerrelyn Sparks and as I have said it is part of a series.  This book was selected by me rather than voted on by all of you and I chose it because the blurb intrigued me and I wanted to see how it held up on its own without me having read the previous books in the series.  Well, even though it was a later book in the series, it stood alone very well.  While we met other characters from the other books (and I am very curious about their stories), and the characters appear to share a common enemy (or story arc) I didn’t feel lost as I read the book (as I have with some other series).  So this book could be read alone or out of series order.

 

As for the story itself, the suspense and intrigue of the plot were interesting and I enjoyed the vampire aspect.  While the “enemy from the past” plot device has been used quite a bit, this was an interesting take on it and helped to bring the main characters together.  Also, there are many ways to write about vampires and their world and this story definitely added an interesting take on the vampire lore.  Ms. Sparks created quite a few fascinating vampires in both her hero and some of the secondary characters.

 

The romance of the story was also appealing.  Jean-Luc and Heather had an instant attraction to one another and it was interesting watching them deal with this attraction despite their doubts and fears not to mention interference from outside sources (and they had quite a bit of that). 

 

Having been controlled in the past by her ex-husband and an overprotective mother, Heather is reluctant to allow Jean-Luc to tell her what to do even if it is for her own safety…plus she doesn’t know much about him at first and what she does learn makes her suspicious.  Heather is just beginning to learn to stand on her own and make a stand when she meets Jean-Luc.  He has to earn her trust and respect and his secretive nature makes her suspicious of his motives.

 

As for Jean-Luc, despite his loneliness, he is reluctant to allow himself to care for someone he might lose, but knows he is fighting a losing battle when comes to Heather and her daughter.  In my opinion, he was a very quiet and understated hero, if that makes sense…he had a quiet strength and calmness about him despite the events and wasn’t so in-your-face with his strength and prowess as some heroes in romances can be.  He was very down-to-earth and sensitive despite his obvious strength and attractiveness and I found it very interesting.

 

In addition to the plot and characters, I found the humor of the story quite pleasurable.  Rather than being another dark vampire romance, this one was somewhat light-hearted yet suspenseful and I enjoyed that.  If this is an example of what to expect in the other books, I do believe I will be reading more of this series.

 

-Favorite character?

While I enjoyed the main characters, my favorite character was probably Fidelia, Heather’s live-in babysitter/psychic.  She was a colorful character who added quite a bit of comic relief to the story.  She had me smiling and laughing and was a fun character that I really liked.

 

-Favorite thing about the story?

What I really enjoyed about the story was that it was a light-hearted vampire romance (despite some dark events), as I have mentioned.  As a paranormal romance with vampires, it could easily have taken a dark turn, but it didn’t really other than a few events.  There was a nice balance of humor and suspense that made the story very enjoyable.

 

-Least favorite thing about the story?

I won’t name names, but a few of the secondary characters (and those of you have read the book probably know which ones)  kind of annoyed me and made me want to smack them.  But I guess they made me appreciate the main characters even more…LOL…so their purpose was served.

 

-Would you recommend this book?

Yes, I would recommend this book to those looking for a fun paranormal romance with touch of suspense and humor.

 

***

 

Okay, so there’s my take…how about those of you who have read it chime in…

 

And here are a few rules regarding the discussion:

– No personal attacks on authors or other readers (of course, that’s a general blog rule anyway)…we are discussing the book only.

– Limited spoilers, please!  If you are concerned about this one, e-mail me first and I’ll let you know.  I just don’t want to reveal any major plot points since the blog is such a public place.  Be vague if you must include them.  Even though I have posted multiple warnings, I would hate to make someone mad.

– Everyone is different so everyone will have a different opinion.  Don’t bash or insult anyone for their opinion. 

– If you break any of these rules, your post will be deleted!

 

So go ahead…share your thoughts.  Or do you have a question about the book?
If you don’t feel comfortable posting your thoughts here, you may e-mail me.  I’d love to know everyone’s opinion regardless of what it is.

I am going to see how this goes before deciding on opening up a Yahoo group for discussion.

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4 Responses to October’s Book-of-the-Month Discussion…May contain SPOILERS

  1. Liza says:

    I really enjoyed The Undead Next Door. I don’t usually pick up a book in the middle of a series, but agree that this one could stand alone pretty well. I do want to go back and read the others in the series, just to find out more back story. This was also my first book by Kerrelyn Sparks and I really enjoyed her writing style. It was a quick fun read, and eventhough it is about vampires, I didn’t feel like there were too many dark areas.

    I too loved Fidelia, but I think Heather was my favorite character. She had been through so much, but was such a strong woman. I would recommend this book, especially to someone who wants to give paranormal romances a try for the first time.

  2. Jennifer Y says:

    Well said, Liza. It was definitely a quick fun read and I agree that Heather was a great character.

  3. Helen says:

    I am so sorry I couldn’t get this book to read I love the way you have decribed the book Jennifer and I am going to put my hand up and say that I have not YET read a vampire romance book but after this review I really think that this would be a great book to start with, actually I get my books online from Rendezvous bookstore and their catologue this month has all of Kerrelyn Sparks books from this series listed in it so I hope to get some of them (depending on finances of course)when I put my November order in.
    Jennifer you have definatly got me wanting to read this book.
    Thanks

    Have Fun
    Helen

  4. Jennifer Y says:

    No worries, Helen. And I am glad I have you curious about reading a vampire romance. A light-hearted one would probably be a good one to start with if paranormal romances aren’t your thing and this one definitely has some humor.

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