Be Still My Vampire Heart
Kerrelyn Sparks
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Buy *Be Still My Vampire Heart* by Kerrelyn Sparks online

Be Still My Vampire Heart
Kerrelyn Sparks
384 pages
March 2007
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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This is the third book in Kerrelyn Sparks' series which began with How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (a catchy title but not that close to the feeling of the book) and continued with Vamps in the City. The second book was rather weaker than the first, but this third installment is definitely an improvement.

Emma Wallace is a member of the CIA's vampire hunter squad, and she's very committed to her work - it's an opportunity for her to avenge herself on the vampires that killed her parents. She's English and arrived in America seven months ago, having previously worked for MI6. When lurking in Central Park to try and slay vampires, she comes across Angus MacKay, a kilt-wearing Scottish warrior; she doesn't know if he's a vampire or not, but her certainly catches her attention.

Emma knows the truth about vampires - that they are all evil. However, as soon as she starts to get to know Angus, who is indeed one of the evil undead, she has to start reconsidering her firmly held views. Angus works hard to get her to trust him and to keep her safe. There is far more politics involved in vampire slaying than Emma understands, and as she gradually learns more about the Malcontents (bad vampires), her safety is put at risk. Can she and Angus stay safe and happy, and will they get over their differences?

Despite our heroine Emma being English and our hero Angus being Scottish, their use of language is a little too American for verisimilitude. For example, both Emma and Angus seem to think that English slang for underwear is 'unders'; I'm an Englishwoman and I've never heard ANYONE call them 'unders' - they are, of course, 'undies' (although at the end of the book she finally gets this right). Equally, a running joke about Scottish attire and the sporran has Emma referring to it as Angus's 'purse'. This is the American word for handbag; a purse to Brits is a female's wallet, a small coin-holder, and not the bag that they are evidently referring to. It struck me that an American author using English and Scottish characters ought to check her dialects.

I do like the way that Kerrelyn Sparks doesn't make Emma's distrust of Angus drag on and on (she is a little more polished with this tale than the first in the series, where Shanna just seems so dense). The romance isn't all that romantic particularly, but you did feel that the central characters have enough in common to make a go of it. Most importantly, unlike the previous two books where one half of the love-interest is completely opposed to being made a vampire, this book has a little more 'realism' about the future possibilities between an undead and a mortal.

We meet the characters in the previous books in this one - Roman and Shanna feature quite a bit, and Shanna's baby is part of the story; Austin and Darcy appear briefly. However, it's not at all necessary to have read the other books to understand this one.

As a lighthearted read, this works very well. Don't expect anything too deep; just enjoy the whiz through history that Angus provides and the well-woven story.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2007

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