Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare

It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare
Copyright 2011
Sourcebooks Casablanca - Romance/Paranormal
390 pages

Goodness, that's a steamy cover, isn't it? Guess what It Happened One Bite is about. Go ahead, guess.

Kiddo: "There's a vampire, right?"

Yes, but not just a vampyre (<---that's how the author team known as Lydia Dare spells it). There are witches, too. And, a werewolf. But, please, don't call him a werewolf. That's an insult; he's a Lycan. "Werewolf" is the equivalent of calling a vampyre a "blood-sucker". Who knew?

It Happened One Bite begins with a coven of witches casting a spell on James Maitland, Lord Kettering, basically putting him into a form of stasis. He appears to be a sweet, innocent vampyre just minding his own business, out for a smoke. But, the witches are really pissed off about something. At least, it seems that way.

Fast-forward 20 years and there's an entirely new generation of witches, the daughters of the women in the original coven. Blaire Lindsey is one of them, a "battle-born" witch. Her brother, Captain Aiden Lindsay, has inherited a castle that Blaire didn't know existed and of which he had only unconfirmed, vague memories. And, he's just dying to see his new digs. Blaire, Aiden and their little brother, Brannock, take off to check out the castle and find a very dusty castle in good condition -- and a little surprise. There's a vampyre in the cellar.

Blaire's return has broken the spell, but with the awakening of a very smelly James Maitland comes something even more sinister (Yippee -- danger! Conflict!) Plus, naturally, it's a romance and you can probably figure out who is going to fall in love with whom and why there might be some problems involved in the romance. Why did Blaire's mother and the other women of the previous coven lock Lord Kettering up for 20 years? Can Blaire really save her family from his dangerous enemies by letting Lord Kettering do that to her??? Yes, of course, it involves some erotic blood sucking and at least one graphic love scene; fortunately, there's not a great deal of sex.

What I loved about It Happened One Bite:

Fluff break! I like a little romance, now and then. Admittedly, It Happened One Bite is pretty silly and I don't get the whole concept that having one's blood sucked can be in some way erotic. I just don't. But, there was definitely something about this particular story that kept pulling on me. I liked Blaire and Lord Kettering. Blaire's brother Aiden was nice in a "big brother protector" way and young Brannock is just as cute as a bug's ear. I liked the setting and the storyline, although I did think there were some plot holes and the ending and beginning didn't quite mesh. In general, a plucky heroine and a romance that was at least unusual from my end (I've never read a witch/vampyre romance) made It Happened One Bite a pretty good read -- not great, not awful. Pretty good.

What I disliked about It Happened One Bite:

Vernacular. Argh!! Scottish vernacular!!! Major ugh!! I do not like having to mentally translate. Example found at random:

"Brannock Lindsay!" a woman cried. "I doona have time for such nonsense. Climb inta bed. We've got a long day ahead of us tomorrow."
"But, Blaire," the child complained, "I just want ta catch the kitty first."
"Aye. Ye always have somethin' ye have ta do first. But tonight I doona have the patience for it." Her voice dropped as she grumbled, but he heard her nonetheless. "Only ye, Brannock, could befriend a mangy, mottled bag of fur as soon as we arrived. "Ye're lucky it dinna scratch yer eyes out."
"It's no' a bad cat, Blaire."

--p. 27 of It Happened One Bite, Uncorrected Advance Copy. Some changes may have been made to the final print version.

Personal opinion and one I share with the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark: Accent can be detected just fine via the use of properly-spelled wording. The structure, cadence and the use of local slang will make dialect clear. It's not necessary to guide readers like the blind via misspelled words. That's my opinion and I stick to it . . . well, most of the time. Sometimes I change my mind. It's a woman's prerogative, you know.

The bottom line:

Don't go into It Happened One Bite expecting brilliant writing. Read it for escapist paranormal entertainment and offbeat romance. There are some astoundingly stupid moments. You won't believe how the battle between vampyres ends, for example. To be honest, I didn't care. I knew what I was getting into when I picked up the book and I liked it. I did hang my mouth open a bit, a couple of times, and there were moments that the tension was oddly broken when it should have remained taut and action-filled. Truly, it just didn't faze me. I was in the mood for a change of pace and It Happened One Bite was definitely something different. I'd particularly recommend this one to paranormal romance lovers.

Speaking of fun:

Wheeee! Ceiling fan pulls are a hoot! I didn't like the photos I took of Izzy chewing on the chain and the little crystal pulls, but I'll keep trying to get one I like. It's so fun watching her play up there. She's going to be irritated when we finish painting and move that cabinet away from the ceiling fan.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I haven't really been able to get into super sexy paranormal romances. I think that's why YA paranormal work better for me than romance genre ones.

  2. Amy,

    Yep, me too. I'm moving away from sexier paranormals but this one was already on the stacks. It was okay, but I do prefer YA.

  3. I agree completely with your comments re: dialect and such. And would only add, "Please don't overuse italics to communicate emphasis. If your point is important, we'll get it, and badly-placed italics stop me cold in my tracks."

    There. I feel better. ;-)

  4. Shoreacres,

    Ah, yes, the overdone italics thing gets on my nerves, too. I read a book that was very heavy on italics, recently, but I can't remember which title. It was truly annoying.

    I'm glad you feel better. :)

  5. That's a cute picture. Looks like the cat is having lots of fun!

  6. Kelly,

    She was having a blast, batting and chewing and just enjoying the heat from the lights. Very entertaining!!!

  7. My mom is really into this genre right now, and I bet this is a book she would love! Thanks for your honest take on it. I think I am going to point her towards your review. It's just the kind of escape she needs right now! Thanks!

  8. Zibilee,

    It's definitely an escapist read. I enjoyed it. I didn't think it was perfect, but sometimes perfection is of lesser importance than escapism. I hope she loves it, if she does read It Happened One Bite. :)

  9. I'm afraid the cover would stop me from picking this one up at the library. :) I don't mind a little romance, but don't really care for eroticism. Since you say there isn't much sex, I might like the book, but then there is the cover!

  10. I love a good romance once in awhile and love the change of pace it provides. This sounds like a fun read!

  11. Jenclair,

    When I requested It Happened One Bite, I did so based on the description. They didn't actually have a cover image, yet! I'm just like you in that way and I'm sure I would have avoided it. Having said that, I've read two in a row with shirtless men and I have one more on the pile. That first one was chaste and lovely, It Happened One Bite not bad -- really just one sex scene and two that are pretty erotic. So, I thought it was acceptable. It's really pretty silly and light. I enjoyed the reading. Not sure it's quite your thing.


    I do, too. While I dislike graphic sex, I love an upper and a romance is always fun to throw into the mix, now and then.

  12. I thought your review of this one was so fun to read and you really captured the essence of this book. I highlighted in my review that I just posted!


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