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 The Monster Librarian Presents:

Reviews of Chick Lit with Fangs


Ever dream of dating something tall, dark, and deadly. Well many folks out there do. Chicklit with fangs has the irreverent tone, humor, and pop culture references common to chick lit with a female protagonist who is entangled with the paranormal in some way. Common paranormal elements are vampires, werewolves, psychic powers, and witches.  The difference between “chick lit with fangs” and paranormal romances is that in a romance novel the core of the book is about the developing love between the hero and heroine, but in “chick lit with fangs” the heroine’s relationship with friends and family is often just as important.


Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley, 2009
ISBN:  978-0-425-22773-2
Available:  New and Used

    MaryJanice Davidson's 8th installment of the Undead series (also known as the Betsy the Vampire series) is written from two different perspectives throughout the book.  Half of the book is written directly from Betsy's point of view and the other half is written from the view of Dr. Mark Spangler, who is one of Betsy's roommates.  Betsy, her boyfriend Sinclair, their adopted son BabyJon, and her best friend Jessica fly off to Cape Cod at the start of the book to visit the Wyndham Werewolves.  They are on a mission to return the deceased body of their fellow werewolf, Antonia, to them.  The Wyndham Werewolves are more accusing than welcoming, as they can't comprehend how one of their own could have died protecting a vampire!  Adding to the stress between the werewolves and the vampires is BabyJon.  The werewolves seem to be uneasy around him, but Betsy can't fathom why they would be uncomfortable around a baby.  It seems there might be a bit more to BabyJon than meets the eye.
    While Betsy is away, sister Laura, the Antichrist, has a bit of her own "party" going on.  She has sent their friend Tina away, brought in a group of Satan Worshipers, and has even started killing vampires.  Mark is doing everything he can to get in touch with Betsy, but unfortunately every time he sends her an e-mail he types it in text messaging shorthand and Betsy can't seem to translate it.  Sinclair tries to call Tina to check in after not having heard from Tina in a few days and finds out that their phone service had been cancelled.  It looks like the only way to find out what is going on is to head home, but they can't do that until they resolve the whole "war" with the werewolves on how it is Antonia died.  Just your average Betsy week, right?
    Once again, MaryJanice Davidson has written a light, fun read that the reader will fly right through and that leaves you wanting more.  The quirky dialogue is always what I most look forward to in a Davidson book and this one is no different.  In this particular book, I think some of the funniest lines were in the emails sent from Mark to Betsy where he was using the text messaging shorthand.  Betsy was having a lot of trouble figuring them out, but it was fun sorting them out.  I mean, come on... who wouldn't know that "TSIATHTF" stands for "The Shit Is About To Hit The Fan"?  I am definitely ready to see what happens next with BabyJon and Laura so would like to have had a longer book in that sense, but it'll be well worth the wait for number nine!  MaryJanice Davidson's books are always a joy to read and are usually a one or two sitting read.  I just can't put them down!  Highly Recommended!
Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations
Review by Rhonda Wilson

Mermaid Series #3 - Fish out of Water by MaryJanice Davidson
Jove, 2008
ISBN:  978-0-515-14549-6
Available:  New and Used
    The final book in MaryJanice Davidson's Mermaid trilogy starts off with Fred buying a house and slowly obtaining unwanted roommates.  Houseguest number 1... Jonas, Fred's best friend, who insists on dragging her around to help plan his wedding, which Fred hates!  And to make matters worse, her boyfriend, Prince Artur, proposes to her!  Now Jonas is all excited at the prospect of planning a royal wedding for her.  Can things get any worse?  Wait!  This is Fred we're talking about.  Of course they can!  Enter... Thomas Pearson, marine biologist, and the guy Fred chose over Artur.  As if that isn’t enough bad news, let's add one more houseguest to the list... Fred's long-lost father, Farrem, who she has never met and who all the other sea folk think is their worst enemy.  How's a girl supposed to cope with everyone in such close quarters... especially when one is her ex?
    It's a shame that this is the end of the series, as I have really enjoyed the characters in this trilogy.  Davidson definitely could have continued on with this series a while longer as there is much more potential, so I'm hoping that more will come from these characters in spin-off stories somewhere down the road.  Dialogue is definitely Davidson's strongest suit and this book is filled to the brim!  Jonas had some of the quirkiest lines in the book and Fred's foul mouth makes me think of times I want to say something to and don't.  I admire her for being so outspoken.  She is never afraid to speak her mind, and that shows in this book, as she spoke up to several of the head people, including her own father. It's amusing as well, as they all tend to just laugh at her when she goes off on a tirade instead of getting angry with her.  I'll miss hearing about Fred, but I did like the way that Davidson ended this book.  I thought it was a good finish.  I think all readers of the paranormal romance genre will enjoy this fun, fast-paced read.  Highly Recommended.
Contains:  Adult language, Adult Situations
Review by Rhonda Wilson



Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowen
Forever, 2009
ISBN:  978-0-446-50584-0

Available: New

    Michelle Rowen brings Sarah Dearly back for her fourth book in the Immortality Bites series.  Dearly has recently been turned into a vampire and has just started adjusting to things when she stumbles into a witch, Stacy, with a grudge.  Stacy decides to make Dearly's adjustment period a bit more complex by placing a curse on her that turns her into a bloodthirsty nightwalker instead of the sweet vampire that was able to drink from the carton rather than the neck.  Sarah has to race against the clock to find a way to make Stacy reverse the curse before it becomes permanent and Sarah is stuck as a nightwalker forever.  Along the way she looks for assistance from her best friend, George, her boyfriend, Thierry, and the Red Devil, a masked stranger who saved her from getting staked.  As she seeks a solution to the problem of her curse, Sarah is also trying to figure out who the Red Devil is, and if he's for real.  In the midst of it all, she’s trying to figure out how to get Thierry to marry her, despite the fact he's already married.  If anyone can handle it, Sarah can!
    Stakes and Stilettos is yet another fun read in the Immortality Bites series.  This series has been fun from the start and Rowen has kept it interesting all the way through.  The more I read this series the more I find myself getting deeply involved with the lives of the characters.  They all have unique personalities and are very likable, despite the wicked personalities of some (i.e. Thierry's wife, Veronique).  I really have nothing negative to say about this book other than it left off with a major cliffhanger which made me want the next book immediately! I had a great time reading this book and will continue to read this series and anything else Rowen puts out.  I think all fans of the paranormal romance genre would enjoy this series.  Highly recommended.
Contains:  Mild Sexual Situations
Review by:  Rhonda Wilson



Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye

Random House Publishing Group, 2007

ISBN: 034549217X

Available: yes

    Dead and Dateless  is the second book of a series that falls into the ever-popular chick-lit meets vampires genre. In this book , a female "born-vampire"  who prefers to get her blood from a bottle fights her attraction to a "made-vampire"  and tries to run a dating agency for paranormals while on the run from the cops on a murder charge.  A good vacation book and a fun read, it is worthwhile to track down the first volume, Dead End Dating, especially for readers waiting for their next MaryJanice Davidson fix.  Recommended for public libraries.  Contains:   Sexual Situation  Entry by Havoc.


How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Avon, July, 2005
ISBN: 0060751967

Available: New and Used
    Vampire Roman Draganesti just sank his fangs into something he shouldn’t. Dentist Shanna Whelan is running from the mob. Roman’s mission is to make the world safe for vampires and mortals by providing synthetic blood. Shanna is terrified by the sight of blood. In the midst of mafia assassination attempts, vampire terrorist attacks, market studies, and CIA kidnappings, and in spite of Roman’s nosy harem and Shanna’s father’s psychic vampire slaying team, Roman and Shanna manage to fix his fangs, conquer her fear, outwit everyone who’s out to get them, and redeem each other through love. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is suspenseful and funny, with some great secondary characters. It’s a wild ride, with a hopeful ending and a story arc that suggests Sparks will be back to continue her story of love and war. There is a sequel, Vamps in the City, which showcases a few minor characters in this book. It’s much campier and doesn’t really advance the story arc suggested in this book, so I suspect we’ll see more books set in Roman and Shanna’s vampire universe. Contains: references to sex toys, graphic erotic sex, and terrorist violence. Recommended.

Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson

Berkley, May, 2006
ISBN: 0425210812

Available: New and Used
    The adventures of Betsy Taylor, vampire queen and shoe fashionista, are continued in the fourth installment of the series. Undead and Unreturnable doesn’t have quite the snap of the first few books: Betsy’s not quite as acerbic, the dialogue’s not quite as witty, and now that she’s decided she’s in love with Eric Sinclair, tall, dark and vampire, their conflicts seem pretty superficial. Of course, we have the reappearance of Laura, the devil’s daughter and Betsy’s half-sister, and of Jon, a former vampire slayer who wants to write up Betsy’s life story for his English class. Throw Christmas, a brand-new half-brother, and a serial killer into the mix, and you get an overstuffed but still entertaining plot, and an overcrowded but still enjoyable houseful of characters. Undead and Unreturnable could use some trimming, but readers of Betsy’s adventures should still enjoy this book. Contains: violence, murder, steamy sexual situations. Other titles starring Betsy Taylor include: Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unappreciated, and Undead and Unpopular.

Vamps in the City by Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, April, 2006
ISBN: 0060752017

Available: New and Used
    The title is a little deceiving: you won’t find four single women looking for vampire love in the big city here. The premise is original, though: Darcy Newhart, an unwilling vampire and former television reporter, applies for work at DVN(Digital Vampire Network) and gets the green light to produce a reality show, The Sexiest Man Alive. Wealthy vampire Roman Draganesti has fallen in love with a mortal and released the ladies in his harem, who are mostly at a loss as to what to do next. On the show, Draganesti’s former harem will choose a new master. Darcy decides to puncture a little vampire arrogance: unknown to the judges and viewers, half of the contestants are mortal. Our hero is Austin Erickson, a powerful psychic working undercover for the CIA’s “Stake-Out Team.” Darcy and Austin definitely have chemistry, but the vampire harem steals the show. Sure, they’re superficial, bigoted, and quarrelsome, but they are also very, very, funny, and by the end of the book you can see they’ve grown up quite a bit. The book’s ending was a bit of a letdown, but it was certainly different from what one expects in the average vampire romance. A note: The sexism and bigotry in Vamps in the City is hard to stomach, but it’s satirical in nature. If you can get past the yucky network executive at the very beginning, you’ll probably enjoy the book enough to want to read the next one.

This book is the sequel to: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

Contains: steamy sexual passages, obnoxious sexism and bigotry, minimal gore and violence. Entry by Francesca the Librarian

Undead and Unwed. By MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley, 2004.
ISBN: 042519485X (paperback)
Available: New and Used
    Elizabeth (Betsy) Taylor’s birthday really bites. First, she’s fired from her job as a secretary, then an SUV hits her and she wakes up dead. The rules don’t seem to apply to her: she can enter churches, sunlight doesn’t kill her, and holy water just makes her sneeze. It’s not enough that her stepmother stole her Manolo Blahniks and put her in cheap knockoffs for the funeral, now she’s the prophesied queen of the vampires, to her great annoyance. Adjusting to vampire life isn’t easy: she gets mired in “vamp politics”, and it seems like she’ll have to choose sides: repulsive, beastly Nostro or fabulously handsome, sexy, and obnoxious Sinclair. Is it too obvious that she picks the sexier of two evils? The vampires are the ones who are horrified- by her irresponsible, compassionate, contrary ways and her very human nature. The dialogue is a scream- Betsy gets better one-liners than Buffy ever did- and the sex is steamy. The relationship between Betsy and Sinclair is unresolved at the end of the story, which is okay, because it means you get a sequel which is equally funny and sexy. If you’re ready for a break from serious vampire fiction, look up Undead and Unwed. You won’t be sorry you did.  Contains graphic sexual situations, references to suicide and rape. Highly recommended.

Sequels: Undead and Unemployed
Undead and Unappreciated
Undead and Unreturnable
Undead and Unpopular
By Francesca the Librarian

Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen
Warner Forever, January, 2006
ISBN: 0446617008

Available: New and Used

    An addition to the "chick-lit" genre of vampire romance, with a sad lack of either horror or romance. Rowen is trying to create another Betsy Taylor: unfortunately, her heroine, Sarah Dearly, lacks Betsy's attitude, morals, dialogue, and fashion sense.  She has no chemistry with Thierry, the master vampire who made her promise to help him kill himself if he shows her the vampire ropes, and outside of one awkward groping scene there's not even any sex to keep it interesting.  She's got more chemistry with Quinn, a vampire hunter turned vampire who can't seem to decide whether he wants to kill her or date her. Rowen does create some very funny situations: Sarah's a vampire because her blind date decides she'd be a great undead girlfriend, and she discovers her cousin's married a vampire when she's asked to sign for a keg of O negative blood at the wedding. There's nothing too horrible about Rowen's vampires- sunlight, crosses, and holy water don't affect them, and they work as accountants, bartenders, and executive assistants. They don't have to bite people, they can just order up blood from delivery guys who get it from willing donors.  The main disadvantages of vampirism  seem to be an inability to keep down your lasagna and those pesky vampire hunters. An okay read to fill your time while you wait for MaryJanice Davidson to finish the next installment in the Betsy Taylor saga. Mild sexual situations, violence, references to suicide.

By Francesca the Librarian




Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries

MaryJanice Davidson’s “Queen Betsy” books

Kimberly Raye’s  “Dead End Dating” books

Katie MacAlister’s  “Sex and the Single Vampire”


Mom lit with fangs

Julie Kenner’s Carpe Demon: Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

Michele Bardsley’s Don’t Talk Back to Your Vampire




Horror Romance Series List by Havoc


Sherrilyn Kenyon's Darkhunters. Vamps and weres meet made-up Greek mythology in this on-going romance series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Primarly set in New Orleans (and no, she has no idea what she's going to do now that Katrina has hit) and featuring a slew of hunky immortals and the badly named women who woo them. The series is most known for its insanely in-depth and intricate mythology and the fact that she has clearly in love with her hero, Ash. Shelved in romance, and featuring lots of sex, this series is actually a lot of fun. It should really, really be read in order if only because with each book, the mythology gets deeper and harder to follow. Also of note: Kenyon's website and yahoo groups do a disturbingly good job of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, as during chats and in the groups, she has various friends who role play characters of hers for the rest of the people participating. The whole dark hunter world is fascinating if only because I can't think of any other writers who have done quite so detailed a job of trying to place their books in the real world.


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