Apparently I dozed off and missed the intro-novella to this spin-off series, Driving Mr. Dead. Dammit. Never fear, I bought it, and vow to read it. Don’t worry if you don’t read the novella or are not familiar with the Jane Jameson series that inspired the Half-Moon Hollow series by Molly Harper. I think this book stands alone well, however you will not appreciate the cameos by the characters in the Jane Jameson series or the references to Dick Cheney. See there, you thought I was talking about Dick Cheney. But no, I’m talking about the other Dick Cheney…wait, this is getting confusing. What I’m trying to say is, I recommend the Jane Jameson series, but you can start here if you insist. Moving on.
Since the big “Coming Out” vampires now live in the open along side humans and Iris Scanlon has found a way to capitalized on the newish vampire market in Half-Moon Hollow. She is a daytime vampire concierge. For a fee, she does tasks that are commonly done during daytime hours for her vampire clients since they tend to burst into flames during the day. She runs errands, shops, lets in the plumber for repairs, etc. Although Iris is not totally comfortable with vampires, her business is booming. She tries to keep contact with her clients to a minimum and no fraternization whatsoever. She may be a little uncomfortable with her clientele, but Iris needs to enure her business is a success since she is the guardian and sole supporter of her teenage sister Gigi.
Cal is a vampire private investigator of sorts. He’s in Half-Moon Hollow because some of the synthetic blood supply has been tainted causing some vampires to go into murderous rages. The Vampire Council wants to keep it quiet to avoid mass hysteria by the humans. But someone doesn’t want Cal getting too close and tries to end his investigation before it gets underway. Iris drops by Cal’s temporary home to leave a contract and discovers him lying unconscious in a puddle of blood in his kitchen. He’s been poisoned. When he rouses and asks for her help—for a hefty fee—Iris finds herself stowing the sexy (not that she noticed) vampire in her basement in a tent while he works to figure out who wants him dead.
I love the southern town of Half-Moon Hollow Kentucky and the quirky residents even more. As much as I love Jane, the heroine from the Jane Jameson, it’s nice read a story based in the same community from another heroine’s point of view. Iris is snarky and sarcastic much like Jane. So much so that I sort of read her in the same “voice” as I do the Jane books. While the two heroines from each series are different in their circumstances, I wished that Iris would have stood out and on her own in personality and not been so Jane-like in her snark and wit.
In a vampire romance I always expect an overbearing alpha male who growls and tries to run the show. Cal is a little different. Oh he’s bad-ass and is not to be messed with and all that, but because of his circumstances he needs Iris and the help she can offer. He’s not totally at her mercy but he does need Iris and their adversarial relationship evolves into one of mutual respect and admiration as Iris and Cal get to know each other. Oh, and the sexual tension is fun too.
Gigi, Iris’s younger sister was such a fun character. I love that Molly Harper gives us two sisters who love each other and are making the best of an unfortunate situation. (Iris is Gigi’s guardian because their parents passed away.) Gigi has her teenager moments and creates some problems because of her “teenager-ness”, but she has a great personality and I enjoyed her witty banter with Iris and Cal. I’m hoping we’ll see her again in the future, maybe after a few years of college.
Like the Jane Jameson series, The Care And Feeding of Stray Vampires has it’s share of quirk, mystery, snark and sexy times. Cal and Iris have their happy-for-now ending and so I hope that means we’ll see more of them in the future since things didn’t end as they typically do. However, I do look forward to seeing the other unattached residents of Half-Moon Hollow find love and craziness with each other.
Be sure to enter to win a copy of The Care And Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper. Hurry, today is the last day to enter.