Maggie O'Brien has had a long-time crush on the Digital Vampire Network's #1 soap opera star Don Orlando de Corazon. All she ever wanted was to be his leading lady, but now that she has the job, the Latin lothario isn't all he's cracked up to be. But who is Don Orlando really? No one seems to know, least of all Don himself. When the handsome leading man cuts the act and starts to open up to Maggie about his mysterious past, she falls for the real guy behind the facade and wants nothing more than to help him find his family in time for Christmas.
A Very Vampy Christmas is a cute, holiday-themed addition to the Love at Stake series. I honestly didn't care much for Don Orlando, the infamous Latin vampire lover and soap opera star. In the previous book of the series, he came off as a comically melodramatic playboy who sleeps with nearly every woman he meets, but this short story shows a whole new side to him that I didn't expect. Readers get to find out that he's not the man we thought he was, and in fact, he has a very sympathetic and mysterious past. He turns out to be a really stand-up guy who truly is worthy of Maggie's love.
I really liked Maggie when she was introduced as Darcy's friend in Vamps and the City. She struck me as a kind, caring woman whose story of being turned vampire tugs at the heartstrings. She had a mad crush on Don Orlando, and wanted nothing more than to become his leading lady. Well, she got her wish, but he didn't end up being all she thought he would be, which broke her heart. Once he starts opening up to her though about his past, she wants nothing more than to help him find his family in hopes of reconciling with them in time for Christmas.
A Very Vampy Christmas has a delightful cast of secondary characters. Ian, one of the Scottish guards, helps Maggie and Don Orlando with their investigation. Between his Scottish accent and kilt and him not being able to get people to believe he's not a kid but a centuries-old vampire, this guy is adorable. I can't wait for his book, All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire. We get to meet the New Orleans coven master, and two transvestite vampires who are a total hoot. Don Orlando's family ends up being a mixed bag of personalities who were a lot of fun too.
This novella had a few weaknesses. The romance was sweet, but it would have been nice to have a little more build up. The one brief love scene felt kind of rushed too. The Christmas theme only orbits the periphery of the story with very little actual celebration of the holiday present. The supposed family curse wasn't very well explained either, but overall, A Very Vampy Christmas was an entertaining diversion that I enjoyed reading. A Very Vampy Christmas can be purchased as a stand-alone novella in e-book format and can also be found in the print anthology, Sugarplums and Scandal.
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