Because I'm the Vampire, That's Why

Don't Talk Back to Your Vampire

Over My Dead Body
by Michele Bardsley
(Signet Eclipse, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-451-22677-8
Over My Dead Body is the story of Simone Sweet, a vampire mechanic whoís a single mom, trying to rebuild her life after being emotionally shattered by her violent marriage and its terrible end.†Simone, her little daughter Glory and her blind mother-in-law, Gran, have put down new roots in Broken Heart, Oklahoma and are trying to put the pieces of a normal life back together.†This proves very difficult, as the repercussions from Simoneís brutal married life rise up to haunt them.†Glory hasnít spoken since the night her parents battled, and Simone carries guilt and grief over her participation in the marriage and the night that ultimately saw her husband die.

Shortly after that night, Simone was turned into a vampire, bitten by a renegade vampire while working in her shop.†Simone, Gran and Glory adopted a weird nighttime schedule to adapt to Simoneís new aversion to daylight, but itís been easier for them than it would seem.†Broken Heart is a paranormal town, home to all sorts of paranormal folks, so Simone isnít the odd one out.

Then Simone meets Braddock Hayes, a gorgeous local man whoís helping build a special paranormal shield to protect the town.†Brady is pretty open about his attraction to Simone, but she foresees some problems if they get close. Brady isnít a vampire.†He hasnít a clue about her terrible past.†And having sex, for a vampire, means being married for 100 years.†So, even if Brady has the finest body Simoneís seen in awhile, and he gets along with Glory and Gran, and he isnít grossed out by the whole vampire deal, and heís willing to play superhero to save Simoneís lifeÖis that enough?

Simone doesnít realize that Brady has a lot of baggage too, and heís currently on his own personal mission for justice that could drag her into a very ugly place.†Not to mention, something weird is starting to happen in Broken Heart; people are disappearing and acting suspiciously.† Even for a paranormal town used to strange events, this canít be good.

Over My Dead Body tries too hard to be a light, fun read. Simoneís irreverent humor often comes off sounding terse, as if sheís gritting her teeth trying to be funny.†There are some truly funny, belly-laugh moments in the story, such as Simoneís internal dialogue when Brady kisses her on the porch swing.†However, more often than not, the multiple forced attempts at humor seem naggingly hollow.

Brady remains an enigma, even at the end of the story.†Simoneís vivid description of Bradyís physical traits outweigh any tiny amount of emotional content that Brady contributes to any conversation.†If a lady wants arm candy, I guess Bradyís her man, but donít expect any stimulating intelligence or spiritual revelation from him.

There are quite a few background characters, some irrelevant and mentioned briefly, for unknown reasons as they never seem to reappear or function within the plot.†I did like George, the horny elderly vampire who takes an interest in Gran.†I was pretty annoyed by Flet, the pixie, as he seemed truly superfluous.†I understand that he was supposed to be annoying to the heroine, but he does an outstanding enough job that I didnít like him at all, which Iím not sure was the point.

Over My Dead Body isnít a must read, itís a silly, heartless romp with just a few shining moments.†

--Amy Wroblewsky †

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