Okay. Before you smack me. Yes. This book is romance. It has scenes I would rather skim through. But. BUT. It’s got vampires. Also, lately I’m in the mood for light reading until I hit the heavy books. So yes I did pick up a romance book even though I don’t like the genre itself.
High Stakes is the story of Alexis Baldizzi who storms into a casino owned by Ethan Carrick (a very sexy vampire) who has her sister “hostage”. Things change however, when Ethan decides Alexis is the woman he actually wants to make his campaign as President of the Vampire Nation attractive to his voters. Within this growing romance, you also have another story line between Alexis’ sister Brittany who falls for a banished French vampire named Corbin, and a plot to get rid of Ethan for good.
I had to grudgingly admit (this is coming from someone who runs away from the romance shelves) I actually liked this book. Alexis is a great likable character; she’s got wit, she’s stubborn as an ox, she knows how to fight back (literally), and her sense of humor is hilarious. With a main character like that, it was thanks to her that got me so interested in this book I read at least more than half of it in one morning and then finished it the next day.
The plot was all right. It does follow the typical romance genre standard plot line but the characters are likable and engaging and they provided so much entertainment, I found myself chuckling a couple of times because of Alexis and Ethan and how they felt about each other at first, and their banter was extremely entertaining. Although the sub-plot of several of Ethan’s enemies trying to oust him from running for President is interesting, I actually wished they focused more on that plot instead of having to spotlight the main couple all the time. It left me with a lot of questions and now that certain events now happened regarding some of his enemies, I really want to know what’s going to happen next. What bugged me was, although they were some trying to kill Ethan, it seemed as if both Ethan and Alexis didn’t really care, they were too busy being in love with each other – which caused me to roll my eyes in frustration. Yes, I do realize this is a romance novel, but the intrigue plot is so interesting, why give that up to showcase the couple? wouldn’t the plot to kill Ethan be just as exciting?
I also liked the plot with Brittany and Corbin. I thought they made such a cute couple and I was actually wanting more of those two instead of Ethan and Alexis, sure they were fun to read, but as soon as the “mushy stuff” came in, I just wanted them to move on and wanted to learn more about Corbin and his “research”. Although Brittany strikes me a terribly naive and a little on the ditzy side, you can’t help but like her because it’s like she doesn’t have a bad thought for anybody and nothing seems to ruin her day. She’s such an exact opposite of Alexis but it’s nice to see, so at least you don’t see the book through eyes of one side all the time.
There are love scenes for those that enjoy that sort of thing, I particularly don’t care much for them, so those were skipped. They do become more frequent as Alexis and Ethan are closer together towards the end of the book. It does get old, and tiring and the plot just remains stagnant with those two. I do admit, they do make a nice couple. (Although upto the point where they got mushy I switched to preferring Brittany and Corbin). The other problem I do have is it was predictable in some parts. Oh well. I actually expected that in this story. It wasn’t bad enough to ruin my enjoyment of the novel.
Overall, it was a nice light read despite some pitfalls. I was able to tolerate it and I enjoyed it because of such entertaining characters. The story and plot could have used some work though. Those that love romance with vampires in it, give this a try. It’s on the light side so don’t expect things to get too dark.
I give it a 6 out of 10.