Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Any Way You Want It" by Kathy Love

"Maggie Gallagher spends her nights with lots of men. Of course, they're all dead composers, but why nitpick? Her love life is just like the musical compositions she researches - undiscovered. It's time for Maggie to let loose and go wild. In a dive bar on Bourbon Street, Maggie makes a real find in the house band's keyboard player. He's hot. Sexy. Flirtatious. Soulful. And she could swear he's playing an unknown piece she's been researching, which is impossible, unless he's dead...

Centuries before he was a bad-ass vampire with a rock-star wardrobe and Big Easy charm, Ren was Renaldo D'Antoni, a composer on the verge of great success until he was betrayed. No one could ever know that, but tonight, the shy strawberry blond with the big eyes and obviously borrowed outfit actually seemed to recognize his long-lost composition. Now, she wants to know about the composition, and Ren wants to know her... intimately. But what starts as attraction - and distraction - just might lead to the biggest discovery of their lives..."

Yes, Ms. Love is still writing vampire romances. However, having exhausted the Young brothers (and their sister), she's had to find fresh blood (pardon the pun!). Enter a new location and a new group of vamps. You got it - Ren isn't the only immortal in the band. What better place to hide if you're a vampire than in New Orleans? After all, it's where Anne Rice first introduced her bunch.

This book follows the fairly standard formula that Ms. Love has used in her previous books. Girl with a lot of self-esteem issues meets hot vampire who thinks she's Aphrodite incarnate and they fall for each other. Misunderstandings abound, each have their own issues, and there's lots of sex. But surprisingly enough, this "formula" continues to work for the author - and for me. Granted, I did find myself skipping through some of the sex scenes this time around (sorry, but after a while they pretty much all sound alike!) but the story itself isn't bad. A bit contrived at times, but overall a decent read. Perhaps these books appeal because Ms. Love writes about what I think of as real women - they aren't size 6 bimbos. Maggie is smart, but not really what one would consider beautiful by today's standards. She likes to eat and has the curves to prove it. How refreshing to see Ren want her, rather than the stick-like anonymous women dancing on the dance floor!

There is a bit of a paranormal twist to this title. Ren is actually a lahmpir - that is, he steals the life energy from people, rather than their blood. No neck biting required, and no death to worry about either. He doesn't have to take much; in fact, he usually gets what he needs from the crowds in the bar. WOW! Wish I could do that! Then again, if I could just get a nice little nap every afternoon, I'd probably have all the energy I need. Then again, who wouldn't love a nap?

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