I’m beginning to think that Candace Havens is some kind of romance Renaissance woman. Not only is she a prolific romance writer of many subgenres (contemporary, paranormal, Steampunk) but she also writes nonfiction (popular culture related), appears on a regular radio show, does numerous in person and online workshops, and was just appointed an editor at Entangled Publishing. Is there anything she can’t do?
After listening to her wonderful Fast Draft workshop via RWA conference recording, I was smitten with how delightfully funny she was. I’m a public speaker who strongly believes that if you get your audience to laugh and relax, they are going to retain much more of your message while enjoying the experience. While I’ve read other books by Havens (yay, Model Marine!), Take It Like a Vamp was the first book of hers I’ve read that seemed to incorporate her brash, sweet, Southern sense of humor and it added a great layer to what was already a good story.
Casey Meyers knows she’s a lucky woman. She gets to live in her former uncle/now aunt’s high end apartment next to her newfound best friend, Nick Christos, while working at being a successful graphic designer at an up-and-coming firm. Nick is kind, powerful, and is a great friend – that he’s serious eye candy is just icing on the cake. But it’s getting a little painful to see him go out with one supermodel after another when Casey knows that she’s never going to have that body or be his type. Still, she wouldn’t give up his friendship for the world and she gets the sense that this uber-rich powerful businessman doesn’t have too many really close friends, so she’s going to enjoy their relationship and only dwell on what she can give him (okay, except for when it’s just her and her vibrator, Mr. Nick, then all good intentions are put aside for fantasy land).
Nick thinks he might be going insane. He knows he can’t have Casey as anything more than a friend. She has no idea that he’s a vampire and one of the most powerful ones in the world, holding a major position on the council which has allowed him to keep peace between his kind and humans for a couple of centuries. But an outdated tradition decrees that he needs to select a wife in the first two hundred years of his job and the clock is running out. The other council members will select a wife for him if he doesn’t pick one, but all he wants is Casey. When his interest in her endangers her life, he knows this is the opportunity to make her his, but he has no idea how to have a real relationship and his ineptitude could botch the one thing that means the most to him.
This was a fun book. Nick’s hotness was only matched by his cousin Linc’s (please tell me his book will come out!) and it was nice to see a supernatural hero who was not the total brooding alpha male, but something a little softer and occasionally awkward. Nick takes more than a couple missteps in his relationship with Casey and, as doubting as she is that he really has feelings for her, she calls him on his behavior every time while still being understanding. My only wish was that he had a little less control around her – I wanted to see some more sexing to go with all that fun verbal byplay!
Take It Like a Vamp was a terrific reminder for me to go out and purchase more Candace Havens books. Any author who can have me grinning like a lunatic through most of a romance novel is someone I want to read more of!