Stakes and Stilettos
I had never read one of Rowen’s previous books from the Immortality Bites series, but the idea of vampire chick lit was one that I couldn’t pass up. And I’m glad I didn’t! For the first time in a long time, I read the book cover to cover without putting it down.
For those who haven’t read one of the books from the Immortality Bites series, the story follows Sarah Dearly, a young woman who was bitten by a vampire on a blind date, and then is saved by a 600-year-old master vampire named Thierry de Bennicoeur. In the previous stories, Sarah had a rough time adjusting to her new life as a vampire, lost her job and her belongings, and was constantly sought after by vampire hunters after gaining the title “Slayer of Slayers.”
However, in an attempt to live a “normal” life, Sarah returns to her hometown with Thierry for her high school reunion, only to have a witch whom Sarah slighted in high school curse her to be a nightwalker. A nightwalker is a combination of the well-known vampire stereotypes: burned by daylight, lust for blood, superhuman strength, and the thrall—the ability to control a human’s mind. To add to her problems, Thierry is still in a marriage of convenience with Veronique, and she’s not willing to end the marriage, even though she and Thierry have outside relationships. Rowen does a great job of creating a complicated romance without falling into clichés.
Besides being a fun read, Stakes & Stilettos has some steamy scenes, especially when Sarah and Thierry are both driven by their bloodlust. The love scenes are tastefully done and move seamlessly into the next scene. Despite all of the misfortunes that Sarah endures, there is quite a bit of humor, lightening the mood so the novel doesn’t have a depressive tone. Rowen writes an excellent romance novel that is intriguing and a pleasure—without being a guilty one.