Monday, 10 February 2014

Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend: Got Fangs & Circus of the Darned (Ben and Fran, #1-2) by Katie MacAlister/Katie Maxwell


Fun read!

Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend’ is an omnibus edition of two very funny young adult novels published under MacAlister's pen name of Katie Maxwell: Got Fangs? and Circus of the Darned.

Got Fangs?

Our heroine is Fran, a 16-year-old girl who thinks she's a freak. Yes, I know most 16-year-olds think they're freaks but Fran is definitely not your average girl. She's 6 feet tall and, in her words, built like a linebacker, her parents are divorced, her mother is a witch (for real, not the kind most teenagers think of), and then there's the fact that she has to wear gloves all the time since if she touches you with her bare hand she gets a quick visit to your head.

Since her father has just picked himself up a trophy wife he has sent Fran to stay with her mother. So Fran is now stuck in a trailer with her mother traveling around Europe as part of a ‘GothFaire’. Some very odd people are part of the fair – including magicians who can do real magic, a psychic with a dead boyfriend (really dead, like a couple of hundred years dead), and a demonologist who dresses, talks, and behaves like Elvis. Her best friend at the fair is Imogen, a 400-year-old Moravian woman who reads palms and rune stones.

Our hero is Benedikt, Imogen's younger brother. (Younger, but not that much younger.) Benedict is a ‘Dark One’, a soulless vampire. Unlike many of the other vampire stories, ‘Dark Ones’ are truly cursed. Not their fault, in most cases, as their curse is the result of something an ancestor did. But there is a cure, if a Dark One finds his Beloved and bonds with her he gets his soul back.

Benedict has been searching for his Beloved for almost 300 years. He plans to love her and protect her and decide what's best for her. Then he meets Fran, and she is his Beloved, but she's not too sure about the love thing, is not impressed with the protect part and he better get over the idea of making her decisions.

So here's never-been-kissed Fran, with an instantaneous, super hot boyfriend she's not sure she's ready for, with baggage she's really doesn't want to cope with, and a white witch mother who is really unhappy with the thought of her 16-year-old daughter dating the soulless undead and the power to do something about it.

The plot is pretty light involving Fran solving the thefts at the fair, acquiring a very old horse, and being forced to read palms at the fair to earn the horse's upkeep. Of course there is the part about Ben dying, or the part where she and Imogen beat up a demon, and the part where Fran learns that a Mississippi kiss is better than an Iowa one... (Read the book for an explanation of that one. Oh, and don't worry about Ben, he's sort of immortal.)

Circus of the Darned

Fran is still at the GothFaire which has now moved to Sweden and joined with a group known as the Circus of the Darned. These folks are not average either, since they are part of a religion that still worships the Norse gods.

During this story, Fran acquires a necklace imbued with the power of Loki, raises a group of thousand-year-old Vikings who think she is a goddess and want her to get them to Valhalla. Along the way she has to take the Vikings shopping, meets the goddess Freya, who is annoyed at being called from a party in Venice, motorcycle riding Valkyries who have been staying at a resort in the Mediterranean, and Loki who wants her horse (don't ask why) and his necklace back. In the process she gets herself cursed by Loki (but she keeps her horse and the necklace), her Vikings get sent on to Valhalla, and her romance with Ben advances a little.

The sequel to these two books is called ‘In the Company of Vampires'. It is NOT a young adult story, though it is certainly Ben and Fran's story. It is also #8 in the Dark One series published under her Katie MacAlister name.

Ben and Fran
#1&2 Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend (omnibus edition)
#1 Got Fangs? (as Katie Maxwell)
#2 Circus of the Darned (as Katie Maxwell)
#3 In the Company of Vampires (as Katie Maxwell, part of both series)

Dark Ones
#1 A Girl's Guide to Vampires ... 
#2 Sex and the Single Vampire ... 
#3 Sex, Lies and Vampires 
#4 Even Vampires Get the Blues... 
#4.5 Bring Out Your Dead (from Just One Sip or My Zombie Valentine)
#5 The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires
#5.5 Cat Got Your Tongue? (from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon)
#6 Zen and the Art of Vampires 
#7 Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
#7.5 Unleashed from Cupid Cats
#8 In the Company of Vampires 
#9 Much Ado About Vampires
#10 A Tale of Two Vampires
#10.4 Lifestyles of the Rich and Undead
#10.5 Shades of Gray (from The Undead in My Bed)

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