Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Molly Harper - The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running their daylight errands—from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled Faux Type O—gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vamps. Her rules are strict; relationships are purely business, not friendship—and certainly not anything more. Then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and her quiet life turns upside down.
Cal—who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris thought vampires were sexy—offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place. And even though he’s imperious, unfriendly, and doesn’t seem to understand the difference between “employee” and “servant,” she agrees. But as they search for who wants him permanently dead, Iris is breaking more and more of her own rules . . . particularly those about nudity. Could it be that what she really needs is some intrigue and romance—and her very own stray vampire?

Comment: I was looking through my books to decide what to finish the month of April with and this title came to mind. I had completely forgotten I had it to be read but decided why not, so that was my next read. Sadly, I believe I've overstayed my appreciation with this author's style...

In this PNR story, we meet Iris Scanlon, a human who has a business to cater and to help the vampires in her community, since there is a lot they can't do because of daylight. Still, there are things that can only be done during that time and Iris is there to do those things for her clients. 
The problem begins when she discovers Clay, a new wounded client ,in his kitchen floor and she tries her best to help him. This starts a chain reaction of a race against time to discover who is behind the poisoning her client suffered and how that can be bad for Iris' business.
Therefore, she joins forces with Clay and while they piece the clues together to find out who is behind the problems, they also learn quite a lot about one another...

Years ago, I bet this would have felt like catnip for me. A romance and vampires and a small mystery... perfect. However, nowadays I'm more into complex plots, well developed characters, a great sense of communities and I prefer stories focused on the development of the characters rather than the fight against evil.
This is why this story felt very weak to me.

Again, the style of this story is supposed to be heavily set on humor. Obviously, this is relative and everyone would appreciate humor differently and I must say that, for me, it was another weak attempt at it. I can understand how the situations themselves would appear to be funny to an outsider but.. I just can't see it in my head like that. The humor aspect seems to be forced, it has to be this way even if the path to that scene hadn't been that amusing. 
It would be better, I'd think, to write this as a serious story and implement funny scenes or funny dialogue here and there but not make the whole story a study in being funny! It just seems so unlikely people would behave like that, even in a weird situation with vampires.

I didn't have much fun reading this story. Iris is a cute character but at times she feels overwhelmed by her life, her involvement with the vampire community... I just didn't find anything special about her nor as why she would be considered such a professional by others.
The secondary characters are very cliché, the romance was not romantic to my point of view, simply because there was no attention to how their feelings were developing. The HEA felt laughable yes, but not in a positive way.
In the end, I don't think this was a captivating book, it ended up being a little boring for me.

I actually have fond memories of this author's stories, namely her werewolf trilogy, which I loved. The problem is that when I think about her vampire stories, somehow they just don't work out so well for me, and I'd say her contemporaries are a hot or miss.
In fact, now that I have sampled pretty much all her genres, I'd say I'm not as amazed by her writing as I was and I fear the idea of re-reading the werewolf trilogy, in case I'd see it with more negative eyes.
This means that, for me, this was goodbye with this author...
Grade: 4/10

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