Monday, March 10, 2014

Review - Kissing With Fangs

Kissing With Fangs
Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
March 2014

When her workplace burned down, Claudia should've taken it as a sign to move on—and not just professionally. She's been secretly lusting after her mysterious boss, Anthony Cross, for years. There's no way she should agree to help him rebuild if she wants to keep her heart intact, and yet it's impossible to stay away...

The flames that destroyed Anthony Cross's beloved bar are nothing compared to the heat he feels every time he lays eyes on Claudia. But he can't have her—it's against paranormal law for a vampire to date a human. Besides, he has some dangerous enemies, and one in particular already has her sights on Claudia. He owes her the truth—both about his feelings and his vampire nature—which means their lives are about to get hotter than ever...

Claudia's heart was definitely endangered while she worked for Anthony. So was her sobriety. Claudia is a closet alcoholic, one who works all day and not indicate a problem but who would go home at night and drink until she passed out. Working in a bar, day after day, wasn't helping her at all. So when the bar burns to the ground, Claudia loses her job and her hopeless love for her boss, Anthony, in one fell swoop. But when Anthony gets word that Claudia isn't doing well, he's determined to find out why.

His search leads him to discover that Claudia has left her hi-rise apartment and moved to a smaller walk up in a seedier part of town. When he finally locates her new apartment, he discovers that she's rip roaring drunk. Being a vampire, he needs her invitation to come in and he wrangles one out of her as she leans out of her third story window. Anthony is shocked by what he finds - empty bottles all over and Claudia barely able to stand up. When she finally passes out, he lets her sleep on the sofa. But another calamity arises. Her parents are there and want in. Now.

Once more Anthony comes to the rescue, getting Claudia awake and, more or less, ready to see her demanding parents. Meanwhile he lets himself out but there's too much foot traffic to use his vampiric speed to return to his lair so he ends up spending his death sleep in the sewer.

Claudia realizes she has to do something about her drinking problem and turns to AA. Their advice is to drop the boyfriend and stay away from any place that serves alcohol. Claudia doesn't want to drop Anthony especially since he now plans to re-open his bar as a tea room that's alcohol free. She knows he still has the pycho ex-girlfriend but he assures her he's taken steps to send her on her way. While Anthony is dealing with the re-build and helping Claudia stay sober, there's another problem involving the supernatural community. Some are missing and no one knows where they've gone.


Kissing With Fangs is an interesting book, well written and with unusual plot twists. I liked Anthony whose history comes out more fully in this book. And the secondary characters were more detailed than they'd previously been. Sadly, I wasn't as fond of Claudia as I expected to be. She definitely was admirable in trying to get her life back on track and away from alcohol but…there was something missing. I was also disappointed with the stereotypical depiction of Claudia's parents but, having read the previous How To Date A Dragon, I see this as a pattern. Other than this quibble, I found the book entertaining and a great way to spend a quiet Saturday evening.

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