Although Halloween is likely the first holiday that springs to mind when vampires are mentioned, this duo of sensual novellas gives a new twist to the vampire mystique as it is tempered by the magic of Christmas and love. A lonely 150-year-old vampire makes his annual pilgrimage to the rural Wyoming scene of his family's Christmas-night slaying and finds love and miraculous healing in the arms of the new owner of his former home in Child's heartfelt Christmas Cravings. A vampire from fourth-century Rome is annoyed by a bell-ringing "Santa" and then captivated by the sexy lawyer she turns out to be in Piñeiro's slightly edgy, bondage-tinged Fate Calls. Spicy, violent, and passionate, these stories resolve the human-vampire conflict in different ways. While the tales may not be everyone's holiday mug of cider, more adventurous readers might find the offbeat, darker aspects both atypical and refreshing.