Erin McCarthy,
Vegas Vampires #4: Sucker Bet
(Berkley Sensation, 2008)

Gwenna is a very old vampire, born in the 11th century. Having gotten a divorce from her controlling husband, Gwenna has lived the last 300 years or so in almost complete isolation. She came to Las Vegas to witness the marriage of her brother Ethan, Vampire President, to his wife, Alexis, and decided to stay.

She's been filling her time on the computer in a vampire-slayers chat room, when she finally decides to meet one of the members, Slash. Only when she gets to the meeting spot Slash isn't there; instead, she finds a dead body.

Detective Nate Thomas is investigating the murder and at the same time going through a horrible time in his personal life. Gwenna has been through a lot in her long life and the two find common ground and an easy companionship in each other. But soon the bodies are piling up, tied into the slayer group and the Vampire Nation. The two work together trying to solve the crimes, even though Nate is oblivious to vampires and their existence.

Erin McCarthy writes an emotionally complex tale in this fourth book. Gwenna is finally starting to come out of her shell, find herself and stand up for herself. Her ex is still harassing her and is creepily obsessed and possessive, but Gwena is fighting back. With a murder-mystery looming over their heads, Nate and Gwenna share some similar sorrows and quickly fall under one another's spell. They have a whirlwind romance and a promising future ... except Nate doesn't know what she is.

Like usual, I flew through this book in a day. McCarthy has a knack for writing books you can't set down. My only complaint about this book is it lacked the easy humor most of her books usually contain. There are a few laughs but it's far from the page after page of giggles I usually enjoy with a McCarthy read. Even without the giggles, I enjoyed this book immensely; Gwenna is a fascinating heroine.

This is not a stand-alone tale; you really must read the previous three books (High Stakes, Bit the Jackpot, Bled Dry) to really know what's going on.

review by
Cherise Everhard

15 March 2008

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