LoveSpell, $6.99, ISBN 0-505-52554-2
Paranormal Romance, 2004
The good news is, Sex and the Single Vampire is more readable than Katie MacAlister’s last vampire story. The author has toned down a little of the over-the-top “females acting stupid is funny” comedy and the heroine doesn’t make me want to hammer nails into her skull with my bare hands. But since this is Katie MacAlister we are talking about, her toning it down a little is like saying that the little girl that has stolen Mommy’s lipstick is more careful with applying the lipstick to her lips today. It’s still far from subtle, and any reader that has a negative reaction to this author’s books in the past is advised to stay clear of this book.
Christian “CJ” Dante is a Dark One – a vampire to you and me – who is wandering around looking for his Beloved who will soothe his torment, heal his pain, that sort of thing. Our heroine Alegra Telford is a Summoner. What else does she do but to summon ghosts? Or at least, she tries to. But her stint in London is not proving to be a success, and her boss at the United Psychical Research Association insists that she return home if she doesn’t show results soon. She believes that she has summoned CJ when she really didn’t, and she finds CJ arrogant, vexing, annoying, but oh-so hot. But when she finally succeeds in summoning ghosts, freaks and cultists from all over the place start going after her and poor CJ has to step in and help her extricate herself from the mess that ensue subsequently.
While Alegra isn’t as annoying as this author’s heroines can be, she is still annoying, even if she’s one of the less annoying dim bulbs the author passes off as “ditsy and adorable” heroines in her books. But let’s overlook the usual “Katie MacAlister’s heroines are one-step away from being outright shrill and brain-damaged imbeciles” rants and let’s focus on one distressing trend that is emerging in this author’s books: the permeating sameness in practically everything she writes. The heroine may have a different background, but essentially she’s the same heroine that the author has reprised in all her books, right down to the way her limited thought bubbles work. The hero, CJ, is the same old arrogant man with secrets. The conflict is again the tedious and childish trust issue separating those two that could have been solved if those two would stop acting like children and communicate like adults for once.
Katie MacAlister, in her industrious output that can put Christine Feehan to shame, can’t seem to include much variation in her characters and themes and relationship development. It is one thing for an author to churn out books at the rate of one book per month if her books are of consistent quality. But in her case, she may rightly claim that the basic premise of her plots change from book to book, but when it comes to her characters and the way they behave, she’s just repeating herself.