cover image Bitten & Smitten

Bitten & Smitten

Michelle Rowen, Author . Warner Forever $6.50 (390p) ISBN 978-0-446-61700-0

Rowen hits the nail (or is it the stake?) on the head with her feisty debut novel about a reluctant vampire trying to cope with her newfound otherworldly status. After a blind date bites Sarah Dearly on the neck and is killed by vampire hunters, she discovers she's not only a vampire but also has been left to learn the ropes of the night by herself. Thank goodness for wise "master" vampire Thierry de Bennicoeur, who saves her life, shows her to the nearest vampire hangout and wins her heart in the process. Next comes a mix of misplaced trust, stakings and bad double dates, all with the goal of outwitting the vampire hunters and getting Thierry to see that Sarah's the one for him. Rowen perfectly balances suspense and wit by tossing in one-liners just when the novel could start getting too serious ("I just need to wash my face and brush my fangs first and we can get out of here," Sarah says). Mentions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Anne Rice ground the novel and make it a true modern girl's guide to (vampire) life. (Jan.)