|Title: Wanted Undead or Alive
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: Love at Stake #12
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Julia
Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.
He’s a vampire from the big city . . .
Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He’s got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he’s got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn’t hate every vampire on earth.
She’s a werewolf princess . . .
Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she’s more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.
As someone generally unfamiliar with the Love at Stake series, WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE started off very slowly for me. The first several chapters were a crash course in vampire politics, and “Queen Corky” is not the type of villain that could keep my attention. Phineas was up to his neck in some ridiculous reality T.V. plot to find Corky, and it was not until he and Brynley get some face time that the story picked up.
Brynley and Phineas both have emotional scars and insecurities, and I liked how they were each looking for someone to love them for themselves. Phineas was tired of being used as a sex toy by women looking for a fling and Brynley wanted someone who love her, not her status as a werewolf princess. There was a fair amount of misunderstandings and hurt feelings between these two, but not to the point where it was annoying. Once they started opening up to each other, things progressed nicely. Of course, by that time, Brynley’s dark family past had been revealed, and my interest in their budding romance was completely eclipsed by a burning desire to see her awful father get his just desserts. Nothing worked out quite the way I expected, however. Brynley’s beloved, long-lost little sister turned out to be oblivious, bumbling, and rather annoying and Brynley’s father got off much, much too lightly for my tastes.
As a romance, WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE is a sweet, funny story of two wounded souls finding true love. Phineas’s Old Spice parody got me to laugh out loud a few times (for a particularly well timed, “Hello, ladies” and his bonding moment with the white stallion), and Brynley’s relationship with her inner wolf was less reverent than entertaining. Unfortunately, on the paranormal side of things, the politics and mythology of WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE were lacking. I still find it very hard to believe that no Alpha werewolf had ever bitten a vampire before, and the vampire/werewolf politics Happily-Ever-After was tepid at best. In WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE love only conquered some, and I can only hope that daddy dearest gets what’s coming to him eventually.