I Want You to Want Me
2008, Vampire Romance
Brava, $14.00, 297 pages, Amazon ASIN 0758218575
Part of a series
Is there anything more generic than a generic vampire?
The vampire in this one has all the personality and verve of Safeway brand ketchup. And the heroine – his total match in blandness, by the way – has the ability of a CVS brand paper towel to bounce back from varying forms of vampirical adversity. Gosh golly, I loved them with all the passion and zest I feel when quaffing a Shasta diet soda!
Since there are many heavy-handed references to the hero’s vampire brother and his woman, it’s safe to assume that this book is a sequel, but it does seem to stand alone in its complete and total generic glory. It all has to do with artist Erika Todd, new resident of New Orleans, who seems to believe everything a psychic tells her. Since this is a romance, I don't think it would surprise anyone when I tell you that said prognosticator tells her that she will soon meet her dream man.
Natch, when a mysterious stranger looking just as her psychic predicted turns up in what she thought was a vacant apartment upstairs, Erika is determined to get to know him better, despite the fact that he seems less than interested and keeps nocturnal hours. (You'd think all those generic heroines would be starting to catch on to those seen-only-at-night-guys by now, wouldn't you? Hey, ladies: V-A-M-P-I-R-E!)
Of course, centuries-old Vittorio Ridgewood has reason to want to discourage her, largely because women with whom he gets involved end up dying mysteriously. Seems there is a Big Bad (who just happens to be his mother) willing to do anything to get Vittorio once again under her evil spell.
So, there’s a demon helping the Big Bad, a bland heroine, and a hero you'd think might make up for the heroine’s blandness since he’s lived for centuries and...well, you know, presumably must have learned a thing or two during all that time. Or maybe not since our hero thinks just like your basic 30-year old might with no echoes of anything older or more interesting. How shall I best describe my reaction? You know those reclusive artist types you lusted after from afar in high school because you thought they were so dark and mysterious and you just knew they’d be dark, mysterious, and interesting once you finally get close enough to find out, only to end up discovering that the reclusive guy was reclusive mainly because he really didn’t have anything to say? Well, meet Vittorio.
If forced to say something positive about this one, here goes: The prose doesn’t suck and anybody out there who just can’t get enough of vampires might find this one okay. But for me, this came pretty close to being a Wallbanger.
And regarding that title: I think the author owes Cheap Trick one major league apology. Good song. Bad book.
-- Sandy Coleman
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