DIARY OF A VAMPIRE STRIPPER
Chick Lit, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Rating: 2 Cups
Audra takes a job at a local strip club to pick up survival cash to get her through college, dancing under the stage name “Claudia,” inspired by Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire. Although the Hoochie Coochie Club’s rules concerning relationships with patrons are fairly rigid, the owner, Cal, doesn’t mind his girls bending or breaking them for the sake of his better-heeled customers. One of these is Darren, a man nearly three times Audra’s age and someone who keeps very strange hours — like from dusk to dawn.
One night Darren bites Audra and vanishes, leaving a note protesting his undying affection but no real explanation as to why he left her to fend for herself. Soon Audra is forced to confront the fact an ordinary life is now hopelessly beyond her reach and rebels by trying to assert a normal relationship with yet another club patron, this one a college kid with some rather serious digestive problems. As her life spins further out of control, she realizes just how far over her head she is and that all the “fairy-tale creatures” she once laughed at have a terrifying and bloody reality all their own.
As things progress from bad to worse, Audra finds herself straddling an uneasy alliance between the undead and their natural enemies, werewolves. Darren returns and tries to claim his blood-wife, only to learn she has committed one of the few truly unforgivable sins in the vampire world by giving her heart to a lowly human. The vampires and werewolves tremble on the brink of war, exacerbated by the presence of an uncomfortably high ratio of decapitated corpses flopping around on supernatural territory.
The title says it all about what to expect from this book. It reads like a B- movie set to paper, with all the worst clichés and tropes of the modern monster movie firmly in place. Audra moves from creep to loser to jerk to creep in an endless cycle that is intended to elicit sympathy, but more often only triggers annoyance. She vacillates between self-pity and “I am Woman, hear me roar!” with dizzying speed, and more often than not comes off simply bitchy when she’s aiming for lovable snark. Some of the plot twists defy logic, while others are so obvious the reader may have to quell the urge to throttle some sense into Audra. One key plot point is never satisfactorily resolved, relying on a villain so comic-bookish he all but vanishes under the weight of his own caricature. And the jokes about unusually hairy female genitalia and guys with bad gas drag on long after they stop being funny, even from a guy’s perspective. On the upside, people whose sense of humor runs to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Bubba-Hotep should find a lot to enjoy in this book.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More