Molly Harper is known for her romance novels, including a couple of paranormal romance series. This fun little novella is the prequel to a novel to be released in 2015, The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire. When I saw the book cover for I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, I couldn’t resist finding out more but I was concerned it might be a book in the middle of a series I hadn’t read.
It is part of the Half-Moon Hollow series, which has included at least two prior books about the main character’s family; however, I had no problems jumping right in and reading it as a stand-alone. It’s a quick read at only 132 pages so, if you’re pressed for reading time during the holidays and don’t want anything heavy, this could be just what you’re looking for – and did I mention that the price is a real bargain? Win-win!
Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t read the prior Half-Moon Hollow series novels, this review does include spoilers for at least the ones involving vampires. Sorry, but it can’t be helped. You have been warned…
Gigi is a mortal girl who’s coming home to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky from college for Christmas. She’s just a bit anxious about it for a few reasons. First, she’s interviewing for a computer job with the Vampire Council, which does not please her sister, Iris, and brother-in-law, Cal, at all. In fact, they believe they’ve talked her out of it completely – yep, she’s doing it on the down low and hoping they won’t find out until she gets the job, if she gets the job. It doesn’t help that she’ll be interviewing with Vampire Council member Ophelia Lambert, who has made it clear she can’t stand Gigi just because Gigi helped a high school vampire friend, Jamie, get accepted to her college. Sheesh. It’s not like Gigi has designs on Jamie or anything. Ophelia needs to lighten up but that’s probably not going to happen during this century. Of course, Gigi believes that means there’s no way Ophelia will hire her so no pressure, right?
It will also be the first time Gigi’s spent with Iris since Cal lovingly turned his wife into a vampire. Iris is more skittish about having her there than Gigi is, because Gigi doesn’t believe her sister would ever intentionally harm her. Iris, on the other hand, has been panicking ever since she was turned that she might not be able to keep herself from biting Gigi. It seems like the whole vampire community has been working with Iris to allay her fears and ensure her control is solid enough to be around Gigi. Iris would just die (metaphorically, of course) if she did anything to harm her baby sister. No stress there, right?
“’So how is Iris doing, really?’
Miranda brightened. ‘Under the circumstances, really well. To be honest, I think she’s wanted you to come home since the first night she rose, but she felt she needed time to adjust. Jamie has been a big help to her, believe it or not, as the most recently transformed vampire in our little circle.’”
“More than anything, I worried that there wouldn’t be room for me in her new life. It wasn’t just a case of new hours or a new diet. Her whole life had changed. She was more now, more powerful, more dangerous. And I was just a human. How could John Hughes movie nights with her baby sister compare with late-night vampire shenanigans?”
There’s a third reason Gigi’s a bit anxious. She and Ben have been best friends forever and that sort of naturally led to them becoming a couple but something’s changed. It was wonderful for a long time but lately Gigi has realized she may love Ben but she’s not actually in love with him. She wouldn’t hurt him for anything in the world but she’s going to have to find some gentle way to let him down while hopefully saving their friendship. No way to screw that up, right?
Oh, and Iris has decided that she simply must make Christmas as normal as possible for Gigi. That means she’s trying to be a Martha Stewart clone. She insists they must do all of the things humans do for Christmas, even though almost all of their friends are undead, werewolves, or witches. All of the family traditions must be invoked and carried out to perfection or Iris believes Christmas will be ruined forever. And we all know what happens when someone attempts to pull off the perfect Christmas, right?
“My gingerbread man had fangs.
Why did my gingerbread man have fangs?
I glanced over at Miranda Puckett, undead transportation specialist extraordinaire, who refused to take her eyes off the highway. ‘Your sister’s really excited about you coming home for Christmas, Gigi,’ she said, wincing a little. ‘And she’s worried that you’re not eating enough. This is an obsessive planner’s idea of road-trip snacks.’
‘But were the fangs really necessary?’ I asked, waving the vampire gingerbread man at her.”
Now if all of this isn’t a set-up for a fun disaster, I don’t know what is!
Since I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas is a novella and novellas are pretty short, that’s all I’m going to tell you about this one. I know, I’m evil, but it’s enough to give you the set up for this fun holiday story and it also lets you see that there’s a lot more going on than you might usually expect in a novella. I was surprised Molly Harper could pack so much into such a fast, light-hearted read and make it work so well. [Oh, and did I mention that there are some killer (no pun intended) Southern holiday recipes at the end?] I laughed a lot at the holiday mayhem created by this human/undead family and their friends, a lot of which is played out in families every Christmas – without that whole undead, paranormal thingy. If I’m Dreaming of An Undead Christmas is an indication of how well her novels work, I’m thinking I need to read more of them – particularly the Half-Moon Hollow series!
Can’t wait to read it?
I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas was published as an e-book on November 17, 2014, so it’s available from your favorite online bookseller below (or in the right column for iBooks)…and it’s a bargain at only $1.99.
I’d love to get your comments on I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, Molly Harper or her other work, and/or this review.
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