A Vampire for Christmas

Who would have thought that a vampire might be a good thing to find in your Christmas stocking? Or even better, helping you out of your Christmas stockings! In the new anthology, A Vampire for Christmas, with novellas from Laurie London, Michele Hauf, Caridad Piñeiro and Alexia Morgan, sometimes a vampire is just what a girl wants Santa to bring her for the holidays.

Like all collections, the stories vary in appeal.

Laurie London’s “Enchanted by Blood” is for those who prefer their vamps to come complete with political machinations. Trace Westfalen has already given up his human lover Charlotte Grant once. And wiped her memories. All in the service of preserving the secret that vampires live among us. And in the interests of preserving his possible seat on the ruling council. Not to mention the secret of his nasty cousin’s even nastier habits. However, when he finds Charlotte in trouble, he can’t resist coming to her rescue. When he sticks around long enough to let her fall in love with him again in spite of her memory wipe (he never fell out) their troubles begin all over again. Will Trace decide that love is worth the cost?

Caridad Piñeiro’s entry, “When Herald Angels Sing”, is a Christmas redemption story with a twist. A guardian angel’s assignment is to redeem the soul of a vampire. Little does she know that the vampire’s task is to redeem her heart.

On the other hand, “All I Want for Christmas”, by Alexis Morgan, has a very pronounced urban fantasy flavor. Everyone who frequents Della’s Diner, from the fry cook to the customers to the punks who try to rip her off, seems to be some sort of supernatural creature. Including the cop investigating drugs and disappearances and finding himself wanting to sink his fangs into purely human Della.

My favorite story of the bunch was Michele Hauf’s “Monsters Don’t Do Christmas” for its terrific characters and very unusual take on who is and who isn’t a real monster. Daniel Harrison is a vampire, but he’s not the real monster of the story. The real monster is a purely mortal woman, who just so happens to be a superstar. I loved this story.

Escape Rating B: Collections are always mixed. Some of the stories work for me, and some don’t. But that’s the point, you discover someone or something new. For me it was Hauf’s story. Her take, that the superstar machine creates a person who feels more of a monster than an actual monster, made the entire book.