Dec 30 2014 12:30pm

First Look: Kerrelyn Sparks’s Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire (December 30, 2014)

Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire by Kerrelyn SparksKerrelyn Sparks
Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire (Love at Stake)
Avon / December 30, 2014 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Russell wakes from a coma to find he's become a vampire. Now he has a thirst for revenge. Determined to hunt down the master vampire who turned him, he's used to working alone . . . until he meets Jia. She is after the same vampire for murdering her parents and insists she can help Russell on this mission. Reluctantly, he agrees, and sets up some ground rules:

Rule #1: Their partnership is strictly business. If he holds her a little too close . . . if she looks at him with those exotic eyes . . . well, that has to stop.

Rule #2: He's in charge. Jia isn't used to taking orders and questions every move he makes. So he stops her the only way he knows how.

Rule #3: Don't fall in love. But the kiss that was supposed to quiet her awakens something else in him . . . something forbidden. Because Jia is engaged. To someone else.

Nearly ten years ago, Kerrelyn Sparks told us the ridiculous tale of the vampire who lost a fang and needed to find a dentist before sunrise or he would be left as a one-fanged vampire for the rest of eternity. I am sure she didn’t realize when she first sat down to tell her story that she was creating the phenomena which would become the Love at Stake series. As we say goodbye to the vamps at Romatech, we take a last look at the world Kerrelyn created for us.

“I am well over five hundred years old,’ Roman announced, “but I’d like to tell you tonight that in the last eight years of my life, I have found more happiness then I ever imagined possible. And to think it all began when I bit something I shouldn’t have.”

“My life is so much richer for knowing you all. We may be a ragtag group of different species, but we are family.”

Roman Draganesti, a former monk, is the scientific genius behind the synthetic blood developed by Romatech Industries. His synthetic blood has made it easier for the vampires to live among the humans. Forced to become a vampire over 500 years ago, Roman has made it his mission to protect humans from the evil vampires who still enjoy killing and feeding off humans, even though the synthetic blood comes in exciting cuisine blends such as bleer and chocolood. Roman works to save the humans with the help of his vampire friends and shifters at MacKay Security and Investigation.

They have fought against Casimir and his minions of evil throughout Europe and in the United States for centuries. They were finally able to defeat their age old enemy only to find out that Casimir wasn’t the only foul creature lurking in the shadows. While the vamps concentrated their efforts here, another evil was growing in power in Asia.

Master Han has been raising not only a vampire army, but the help of the demon Darafer, he has been turning humans into a superhuman slave army who can fight when the vampires cannot.

The last book of the series, Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire, focuses on Russell Hankleburg, a U.S. serviceman in Vietnam who went MIA. Russell is a victim of Master Han’s original plan for his vampire army and was left to wallow in a vampire coma for decades. Russell lost his family while stuck in stasis and the only thing he has left is his need for revenge. Russell has made it his mission to kill Master Han. He only needs to get tiger shifter, Jia, out of his way. Jia too lost her family to the malevolent Master Han and believes it is her right to kill Han for vengeance.

“I can’t go back before my mission is done.”

“Your family must be worried sick—"

“My family is dead! My parents and brother, hacked to pieces by Master Han. I won’t stop until I’ve killed him.”

The vampire stiffened. “You will not kill Han.”

“I will! I swore to avenge my family—“

“You’re not killing Han!” the vampire yelled. “I am!”

Russell has been tracking down Master Han since he has awoken. In his need to kill Han, Russell hasn’t even involved his new friends at MacKay S&I. He certainly isn’t going to take a female shifter into his battle.

“We never would have defeated Lord Liao or won that last battle without your help.” Howard gave him a frustrated look. “Whether you like it or not, we’re on the same side.”

“I work alone.” Russell turned to open the refrigerator.

With a sigh, Howard lumbered toward the kitchen table. “I was along for years, and it sucked.”

A vision of Jia flashed across Russell’s mind, but he pushed it aside.

Russell and Jia will soon learn that they need to work together if they have any hope of killing Master Han.

Although we will miss them all terribly, our good vamps deserve a chance to enjoy their new lives and growing families without their future being overshadowed of evil.


Learn more about or order a copy of Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks, available December 30:

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1 comment
1. Bluidsue
Okay, they do deserve a break and chance to raise the kids at Dragon Nest, but damn I'll miss them. Maybe they can come back in a series as the kids mature! I can always hope!
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