The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper
Source: Free read on xoxoafterdark.com
“The thing to remember about a ‘stray’ vampire is that there is probably a good reason he is friendless, alone, and wounded. Approach with caution.”
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?
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THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES is set in the world of Harper’s Jane Jameson novels but you don’t need to be a fan of that series to read this novel. (Proof: I’ve never tried those books but I followed along well enough. I may have missed an inside joke or two but I still enjoyed reading THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES.) It’s very much a Molly Harper book, characterised by a light tone, some slapstick humour, and a sweet romance.
I don’t know if this is Iris’ first appearance in a Molly Harper book or if she was a supporting character in the Jane Jameson series but I thought she was just great. I love her business idea — working for vampires by running daytime errands while dodging them as much as possible — and the way she take care of her sister Gigi. She’s a very nurturing woman but, at the same time, she’s really tough and practical. She’s an interesting character with a lot of depth, and she’s more than a match for Cal.
The two are thrown together after a failed assassination on Cal’s life. Iris is very reluctant to help him but the promise of cash money sways her to help him against her rules. It’s not the most romantic beginning but it doesn’t take long for the sparks to start to fly between Iris and Cal. They’ve got some good chemistry and it doesn’t take long for the reluctant attraction to kick in. The assassination and Cal’s investigation are rather interesting, though not terribly complicated. There’s enough meat to the story to hold your attention but it’s not the most compelling mystery: you come to THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES for the humour and the characters, not the complex storylines.
If you’re looking for a light paranormal romance, THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES might be for you. Sadly, it’s no longer available as a free read on xoxoafterdark (I try to stay a few weeks ahead with my posts) but you can always see if your local library has a copy since I couldn’t find an excerpt link. I do hope you enjoy it!