How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake Series #1)

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake Series #1)

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by Kerrelyn Sparks

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So what if he's a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn't have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

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So what if he's a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date? Yes, Roman Draganesti is a vampire, but a vampire who lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn't have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop–sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren't going well for Shanna Whelan either...After witnessing a gruesome murder by the Russian mafia, she's next on their hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she's afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she's found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman's fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her...

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Love at Stake Series , #1
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How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire

By Kerrelyn Sparks

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Kerrelyn Sparks
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060751967

Chapter One

Roman Draganesti knew someone had quietly entered his home office. Either a foe or close friend. A friend, he decided. A foe could never make it past the guards at each entrance of his Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse. Or past the guards stationed on each of the five floors. With his excellent night vision, Roman suspected he could see much better than his uninvited guest. His suspicions were confirmed when the dark silhouette stumbled into a Louis XVI bombé chest and cursed softly.

Gregori Holstein. A friend, but an annoying one. The vice president of marketing for Romatech Industries tackled every problem with tireless enthusiasm. It was enough to make Roman feel old. Really old. "What do you want, Gregori?"

His guest whipped around and squinted in Roman's direction. "Why are you sitting here, all alone in the dark?"

"Hmm. Tough question. I suppose I wanted to be alone. And in the dark. You should try it more often. Your night vision is not what it should be."

"Why bother to practice my night vision when the city's lit up all night?" Gregori groped along the wall till he located the switch. The lights came on with a muted golden glow. "There, that's better."

Roman leaned back into the cool leather of his wingback chair and took a sip from his wineglass. The liquid burned his throat. God-awful stuff. "Is there a purpose for your visit?"

"Of course. You left work too early, and we had something important to show you. You're going to love it."

Roman set his glass on the mahogany desk in front of him. "I have learned that we have plenty of time."

Gregori snorted. "Try to work up some excitement here. We had an amazing development at the lab." He noted Roman's half-empty glass. "I feel like celebrating. What are you drinking?"

"You won't like it."

Gregori strode toward the wet bar. "Why? Are your tastes too refined for me?" He grasped the decanter and sloshed some red liquid into a wineglass. "Color looks good."

"Take my advice and get a new bottle from the fridge."

"Ha! If you can drink it, so can I." Gregori tossed back a good portion before slamming the glass down with a victorious sneer aimed at Roman. Then his eyes widened. His normally pale face turned a purplish red. A strangled sound vibrated deep in his throat, and then the sputtering began. Coughing, followed by choked curses, followed by more coughing. Finally he pressed his palms against the bar and leaned forward to gasp for air.

God-awful stuff, indeed, Roman thought. "Have you recovered?"

Gregori took a deep, shuddering breath. "What was in there?"

"Ten percent garlic juice."

"What the hell?" Gregori jerked to an upright position. "Have you gone mad? Are you trying to poison yourself?"

"I thought I'd see if the old legends were true." Roman's mouth curled into a slight smile. "Obviously, some of us are more susceptible than others."

"Obviously, some of us like to live too damned dangerously!" Roman's attempt at a smile faded into oblivion. "Your observation would have more merit if we weren't already dead."

Gregori stalked toward him. "You're not going to start that "woe is me, I'm a cursed demon from hell' crap again, are you?"

"Face the facts, Gregori. We have survived for centuries by taking life. We are an abomination before God."

"You're not drinking this." Gregori wrenched the glass from Roman's hand and set it down out of his reach. "Listen to me. No vampire has ever done more than you to protect the living and tame the cravings within us."

"And now we're the most well-behaved pack of demonic creatures on Earth. Bravo. Call the pope. I'm ready for sainthood."

Gregori's impatient look melted into curious speculation. "Is it true what they say, then? You were once a monk?"

"I prefer not to live in the past."

"I'm not so sure about that."

Roman clenched his hands into fists. His past was a subject he would discuss with no one. "I believe you mentioned some sort of development at the lab?"

"Oh, right. Sheesh, I left Laszlo waiting in the hall. I wanted to set the scene, so to speak."

Roman took a deep breath and slowly relaxed his hands. "Then I suggest you begin. There are only so many hours in a night."

"Right. And I'm going out clubbing later. Simone just flew in from Paris, and boy--"

"--are her wings tired. That was old a century ago." Roman's hands fisted once again. "Stay on the subject, Gregori, or I will be forced to send you to your coffin for a timeout."

Gregori gave him an exasperated look. "I only mentioned it in case you wanted to join us. It's a hell of a lot more fun than sitting here alone, drinking poison." He adjusted his silk black tie. "You know, Simone has always been hot for you. In fact, any of the ladies downstairs would love to cheer you up."

"I don't find them particularly cheerful. The last time I looked, they were all dead."

"Well, if you're going to be picky about it, maybe you should try a live one."

"No." Roman jumped to his feet, grasped his wineglass, and zoomed with vampire speed to the wet bar in one second. "Not a mortal. Never again."

"Whoa. That hit a nerve."

"End of discussion." Roman poured the blood and garlic concoction down the drain, then emptied the remainder of the poisonous brew from the decanter. He'd learned his lesson long ago. A relationship with a mortal could only lead to heartbreak. Literally. And he'd rather not experience a stake through the heart. What a great choice he had for companionship--a dead female Vamp or a live woman who would want him dead. And it would never change. This heartless existence would stretch on and on for centuries. No wonder he was depressed ...


Excerpted from How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks Copyright © 2005 by Kerrelyn Sparks. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 693 reviews.
LadyJaxel More than 1 year ago
Got this as a freebie but I would have paid for it. I enjoyed the characters sense of humor. Will buy the entire "Love at Stake" series. I loved the fact that they had their own culture, TV shows and personalities. Sometimes I wonder if some of my friends could be Vamps! Thanks Ms. Sparks for a truly entertaining read. I now like Vampire love stories.
Laura84 More than 1 year ago
I'd almost describe this as Twilight with a lot more sex. It's a very good book, captivating story, and is very well-written. The development is great and there are no lingering questions at the end of the book and no points where I was confused by anything written. The 2 main characters are pretty fleshed out, and the vampire back-story and related issues were well-explained. The only 2 criticisms I can offer are: 1, It did end rather abruptly in my opinion, but everything was neatly wrapped up so I can't really complain too much and there are more books in the series.. and 2, Roman the vampire doesn't seem to use any other expletive but "God's blood" and it does get a bit tedious to keep hearing that in your head over and over again. BUT even with all that "God's blood" it's still a great book and I'd definitely recommend it if you like vampire romance novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a worthwhile read. But I think "Harriet Klausner" really needs to get a life or a job somewhere annoying someone else!! It's so unnecessary and rude to plot spoil books like she does EVERY time!! They should limit the space to 3 or 4 lines to "rate the book", then annoying biddies like Harriet Klausner can't wreck it for everybody!!!
papillonnoir More than 1 year ago
I got this as a 'Free Friday' nookbook, and I figured why not? I knew this was going to be a one of a kind of book. I mean, read the the's Romance for crying out loud! I got everything I expected from this story and I can't wait to read the rest.
HazelTessera More than 1 year ago
I struggled through this book, and it was a relief when it ended. The characters need filled out more, and the pace needed slowed down. It was completely unbelievable in places -- the vampires have a cable channel, a huge, multi-national synthetic blood corporation, and annual vampire-only balls, and they are surprised that the CIA knows that they exist? It would've helped if things were taken at a slower pace and the characters had time to develop, or if the setting of the story was a little more filled out. At times the characters seem to be talking in a vacuum, with little or no sense of what the setting of the scene is, or how that makes anyone feel.
Terpsichore-3 More than 1 year ago
This was very funny. I could not stop laughing at the characters and their situation. I know this book is in the romance section but it should be in comedy section. If one decides to read this book just remember the words "I'm thinking...".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a cute book and good start to the series. The thing I like the most about this series is that you hear about the characters in the books to follow so their story contiunes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to be the one to break a trend of great reviews but I did choose this book based on the reccomendations and I was disappointed. I got the sense it was trying very hard to be humorous but never quite made it all the way. While the situations held potential for laugh out loud fun they just never quite made it past mildly amusing very mild. The relationship between Shanna and Roman is hard to buy and Roman as a character is hard to believe. As vamps go, he isn't exactly cool or believable. Ultimately, the (questionably) dangerous situation they find themselves in lacks the heat and intensity that could have been the redeeming grace of this story and all the solutions are simply too easy. In the end there is no real resolution to the plot that sparked Roman and Shanna's relationship nor is any thought given to the obstacles inherent in their relationship.
katiebatie More than 1 year ago
This is not exactly what I expected. While I have no issues with it, I was not expecting the erotic level to be what it was... its a bit more explicit that I expected from reading the summary. My only complaint was the authors use of he term "God's blood" If I never hear that term again it will be too soon. Way over used, and not sure why it was necessary. The book's character is a vampire who used to be a monk, who still has some of the church's beliefs, why would he use this term. Seemed like just a way to (unnecessarily) show this is a vampire story. I got it for free one friday, I wouldn't have bought it, but it was a good read for a weekend.
Pebby2702 More than 1 year ago
I have to say from the title I wasn't really expecting a good read but damn! The love scenes in this book were some of the best I've ever read and I didn't expect there to be any when I started the read. There is a good mix of action and I really enjoyed the story line. I'm hoping the story gets a sequel.
Michyland More than 1 year ago
I admit it, I bought this book because I thought the tittle was clever. I read an excerp and was funny so I got it. But OMG, it's so funny! The character are funny, well created and overall endearing. I admit, the part of how they met, lmao. Excellent story, I'm a devoted fan of the whole series!
romance_lover1 More than 1 year ago
Roman Draganesti has been around for over 500 years and thought darkness would be his only friend. then when testing a product for Romantech industies Roman finds himself in need of help from a dentist. thats when he meets Shanna Whelan whos a member of the witness protection program because of witnessing her friend's gruesome murder from the Russian Mafia. Shanna finds herslf in a bind in the fact that she might have to quit her job because of her fear of blood. with the help of Roman and some of his Vampire friends they will have to help Shanna conqueror her fear and put Romans fang back before sunset! with Shanna's life at stake over countless assassination attempts on her life Roman will have to go against things he believes in to protect the one he loves. this is the first book by Kerrelyn Sparks that i've read and i cant wait for more. This book is full of Adventure of Mind, Body & strength. Praise for Kerrelyn Sparks!!!!!!!!
romantic_ronin27 More than 1 year ago
So far I haven't found a vampire romance book I could put down and walk away from. This is it. I could never really get into the plot or even the characters, and the diction left something to be desired. I wouldn't recomend this to avid vamp fans, though it did have it's 'lol' moments. It was a Black Dagger Brothehood novel without the awesomeness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book!!!! I mean it say some not kid words. But it is awesome. Who agess with me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like reading a stupid soap opera written by someone in jr high. So pointless. I can't believe I bought this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is Twilight meets 50 Shades. Just as in 50 Shades, there are repetitive phrases used througout the book that I found annoying. I found this to be an entertaining, light read. Nothing great, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really, this is poorly written and mindless. Stupid plot, bad dialogue, etc. I am glad I only paid $.99 for this book. Misleading title, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was better than i expected it would be. The sucky thing though, is that the author doesnt continue with will happen after this book! Please continue!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, my rating is a reflection of mixed feelings (but I chose to be generous). This book is definitely cheesy and predictable, however it somehow became a guilty pleasure. The premise/plot is ridiculous but it is a vampire love story so you can't expect too much depth. For a fluffy, and at times entertaining read it delivers. I wouldn't pay more than 99¿ for it though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was boring, I felt that this would be more suitable as a short story, I had to skip over large portions just to keep myself interested, honestly i didnt even finish it. Dont waste any money on this.
TMBreck More than 1 year ago
The book itself was cotton-candy fare: light and tasty --but ultimately empty-- calories. It's nothing serious or ground breaking, but it is a nice way to pass the evening. I really liked the main female character as well as the side characters. The lead male was a bit broody and self-hating for my taste. Also, after the Sookie books and watching True Blood, I've had it up to *here* with synthetic blood. What's worse, I'm not fond of vampires that don't bite at all. However, the fun characters allow me to over look that bit.
Shannon Thies More than 1 year ago
It was a nice read, but way too graphic sexually. I did enjoy it but I think the eroticism did not fit the romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great! It was definately a page turner. Very original!
Tina Berg More than 1 year ago
this was a great book and cant wait to read more in this series
Audrey Kuebodeaux More than 1 year ago
Would love to see more about Roman and Shanna!