The Last of the Red Hot Vampires
Published 2007 340 pages
Summary (from the back cover)
Physicist Portia Harding's life is grounded in facts. There's nothing that can't be explained by logic and science...until she travels with her best friend to England and accidentally summons an ethereal virtue who bequeaths her gift of weather control to Portia.
Now Portia is walking around with a literal cloud over her head, and a heart stoppingly handsome maniac trying to kidnap her. But Theo North is no run-of-the-mill lunatic. He's a nephilim - the son of an angel - who needs Portia's help to change his fate. Problem is, Portia's down-to-earth attitude frustrates beings from both heavenly and hellish realms, and gets Theo turned into a vampire. But at least he has Portia to satisfy his newfound hungers...and possibly save his soul.
The Last of the Red Hot Vampires is Katie MacAlister’s fifth book in her paranormal romance Dark Ones series. For anyone who is not familiar with this series, Dark Ones are vampires cursed to be without a soul and to have to drink blood for eternity. A Dark One can be redeemed by his Beloved (his fated soul mate) and get his soul back if they complete a joining ritual of seven steps but even redeemed a Dark One is still a vampire although he has a soul.
Think the premise sounds similar to Christine Feehan’s Dark series? Well, it is similar (fated soul mates and vampire romance fiction generally go hand-in-hand after all) but Katie MacAlister usually writes it in a way that makes it seem a lot more fun and a whole lot less angsty.
The Last of the Red Hot Vampires is not an exception to the author’s usual light-hearted fun style but I did feel that that humour in the book, especially at the start, was heavy going in places. Portia’s complete unwillingness to accept that the paranormal might exist coupled with her friend Sarah’s complete gullibility was more irritating than funny. Later in the novel when Portia accepted that the supernatural did exist, both she and Sarah became slightly less irritating but I couldn’t work out if they were written this way or whether I had just had my fill of irritation and couldn’t be further annoyed by their antics.
I found the romance between Portia and Theo to be somewhat less than satisfying too. They met, they argued, they fell into bed together and then they spent the rest of the novel indulging in love chats via mental telepathy. I found their telepathic chats distracting from the main story line and their constant use of the word “sweetling” somewhat irritating.
However, my main irritation with The Last of the Red Hot Vampires has got to be the lack of vampires in the story. Is it too much to expect a vampire romance to concentrate on vampires! Theo is a nephilim who half way through the story get turned into a Dark One. He doesn’t explore his transformation at all (probably because he’s too busy having sex with Portia!)
So what do we have? A vampire romance that isn’t really about vampires, a romance that isn’t really a romance (there’s plenty of lust but precious little romantic development or interaction between the characters) and a light-hearted comedy that’s more irritating than funny. Not to mention the strange title of the novel which is in itself misleading. According to the author’s acknowledgement page this isn’t the last vampire book she’s going to write so Theo really isn’t “The Last of the Red Hot Vampires” and as a character I didn’t find him engaging. In fact, he left me cold. So he isn’t really “Red Hot” either.
If you like paranormal romance and aren’t too fussed about vampires you might enjoy this book as an undemanding beach read. If you are looking for something with more romantic depth (or more vampires) I think you might be disappointed. If you haven’t read any Katie MacAlister before, I’d start with Sex and the Single Vampire or Sex, Lies and Vampires both of which are fantastic reads and light years ahead of The Last of the Red Hot Vampires.
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