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    Review of FANGS BUT NO FANGS by _blankKathy Love (see her website)

    Kensington Brava, February 2006

    Christian Young is desperately trying to be human. He's got a blog where he recounts his strides, and he's got a "becoming human" list posted on his refrigerator. He doesn't even bite people any more--he picks up expired blood at the blood bank. Still, he is a vampire, with all the advantages, and drawbacks of that lifestyle. Unfortunately, he's already made too many mistakes--mistakes that can never be forgiven. Although he's rich, he's living in a trailer park as part of his attempt to flee from his evil past.

    Jolee Dugan is trailer trash. She's trying to make something of herself though, and owns a bar that once, and maybe in the future, features Karaoke, but her drug-abusing brother keeps hitting her up for money and an ex-boyfriend also looks to be causing trouble. When her brother pulls a knife on her, her sexy neighbor Christian show sup, disarms him, and then insults her. Jolee isn't surprised by the insult--but she doesn't need it and vows to have nothing to do with Christian. Still, when he almost runs her down with his car, the two seem thrust together.

    Author Kathy Love delivers the Cinderella myth with a vampire serving as both fairy godmother and Prince Charming. Ultra-rich Christian wants nothing more than to take Jolee to nice places, give her nice things, help attract lots of customers to her bar where he serves as a waiter for free, and ultimately to provide her with the best sex she's ever had--or ever imagined a woman could have (extra-large condoms only, please). Although he's tortured by his past, he knows that he's found what he'd always imagined he would never know--love.

    Love starts with a cute premise--a vampire working on a 12-step program, but doesn't really deliver on the humor. Christian may have been hard and evil once, but he's pretty much a push-over in this story. And Jolee can't decide whether she's independent or shattered. Her reaction to being discovered while making out with Christian just outside a fancy restaurant, for example, is annoying rather than cute. The issue of Christian's missing fangs really should be the source of either great humor or great angst--but Love glosses over the problem and solves it by the magic of writing it away rather than through some magic that actually flows from the story.

    Readers who just can't get enough of the sexy vampire/humor story may want to check out this series. Love's writing is capable and the 12-step program has potential. Those who aren't completely addicted to the subgenre, though, may want to give this one a pass.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 5/30/06

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