The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Three signs that something is very different with your mew man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.

2. He's attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.

3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very ...

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The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake Series #4)

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Overview

Three signs that something is very different with your mew man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.

2. He's attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.

3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very mysterious stranger. There's something not quite right about Jean-Luc, but still, she's never been with a man so charming, so attractive . . . so wonderful. Now if only a murderous villain wasn't after them, they might get their happily-ever-after.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061755439
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Love at Stake Series , #4
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 16,986
  • File size: 905 KB

Meet the Author

Kerrelyn Sparks

Kerrelyn Sparks is the bestselling author of the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list. Kerrelyn is honored that her band of merry vampires and shifters is spreading love and laughter worldwide in fourteen different languages.

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Read an Excerpt

The Undead Next Door

Chapter One

Heather Lynn Westfield was in hog heaven. Who would have believed that a famous fashion designer from Paris would open a fancy store smack dab in the middle of Texas Hill Country? Whatever Jean-Luc Echarpe had been drinking when he'd made that decision, it had to be strong enough to knock your socks off. In his case, two-hundred-dollar silk socks embroidered with his famous fleur-de-lis logo.

Heather wanted to buy some kind of souvenir to commemorate the grand opening of Le Chique Echarpe, but the socks were the cheapest thing she could find. Hmm, should she buy a pair of socks she didn't need or make next month's payment on her Chevy four by four? With a snort, she tossed the socks back onto the glass shelf.

A brilliant alternative popped into her head. She'd grab one of the free hors d'oeuvres, stuff it in a plastic bag, label it Echarpe's Grand Opening, and hoard it in the freezer for all eternity.

"Heather, why are you looking at men's socks?" Sasha's baffled look shifted into a sly grin. "Oh, I know. You're buying something for a new lover."

Heather laughed as she nabbed a crab cake from a passing waiter. "I wish." She'd never had a lover. Even her ex-husband didn't qualify for that. She wrapped the crab cake in a paper napkin, then slipped it into her small black purse.

Female customers strutted about, wearing gowns that cost enough to rebuild New Orleans, their stilettos clicking on the gray marble floor. Heather hoped they couldn't tell that her black cocktail dress was homemade.

Glass counters displayed purses and scarves, designed by Echarpe. Anelegant staircase curved up to the second floor. A portion of the second floor was lined with reflective glass. One-way mirrors, Heather figured. As much as this merchandise cost, there was probably an army of security guards up there watching the customers like hawks.

The walls on the ground floor were painted a soft gray and boasted a series of black-and-white photos. She wandered over for a closer look. Wow, Princess Di wearing an Echarpe gown. Marilyn Monroe in an Echarpe dress. Cary Grant in an Echarpe tuxedo. This guy knew everybody.

"How old is Echarpe?" she asked Sasha. "In his seventies?"

"I don't know. I've never met him." Sasha pivoted like she was working the runway while she looked around to see who was watching her.

"You never met him? But you were in his show in Paris just a few weeks ago." Heather and her longtime friend Sasha had both dreamed of glorious careers in the world of high fashion from the moment they'd discovered their Barbie dolls had cooler clothes than anyone else in the small town of Schnitzelberg, Texas. Heather was now a schoolteacher, while Sasha had become a successful fashion model. Heather waffled between being enormously proud of her friend and being reluctantly envious.

Sasha snorted through her surgically shortened nose. "No one sees Echarpe anymore. It's like he disappeared off the planet. Some say he's suffered the cost of his own genius and lost his mind."

Heather winced. "How sad."

"He stopped coordinating his own shows. And he certainly wouldn't be bothered with a shop like this in the middle of nowhere. He has little people for that." Sasha pointed at a slim man across the room and whispered, "That's Alberto Alberghini, Echarpe's personal assistant, though I have to wonder just how personal he is."

Heather eyed the man's frilly lavender shirt. The lapels on his black tuxedo were encrusted with lavender beads and sequins. "I see what you mean."

Sasha leaned closer. "Do you see the two women by the old man with a cane?"

"Yes." Heather noted the two emaciated women with pale flawless skin and long hair.

"They're Simone and Inga, famous models from Paris. Some say Echarpe's involved with them. Both of them."

"I see." Maybe Echarpe was more like Hugh Hefner than Liberace. Heather eyed the two models. She probably weighed as much as their combined weight. Nonsense. Size twelve was normal. She turned to admire a daring red gown on a white mannequin.

"The media can't decide whether Echarpe is gay or into multiple partners," Sasha whispered.

The gown had to be size two. "I could never get into that."

"Threesomes? I didn't care for it much, either."

Heather blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Though I'd probably like it better if it was me and two guys. Better to be the central focus, don't you think?"

"Excuse me?"

"But with my luck, the guys would be more interested in each other." Sasha lifted her hand and studied it. "I'm thinking about adding some collagen to my hand. My knuckles are so bony."

Heather took a moment to assimilate. Sheesh, she and Sasha didn't have a lot in common anymore. Their lives had certainly gone in different directions since high school. "Maybe instead of cosmetic surgery, you could try something really radical. Like eating food."

Sasha tittered with laughter. Men in the room turned to stare at her, and she rewarded them by flipping her long blond hair over her shoulders. "You're such a hoot, Heather. But I do eat food. I swear I have no control whatsoever. I've eaten two mushrooms tonight."

"You should be flogged."

"I know. Let me show you the new gown I'll be wearing soon." Sasha led her over to a gray mannequin posed on top of a glossy black cube. The mannequin wore a stunning white gown with no back and a front neckline that plummeted to the navel.

Heather's eyes widened. Never in a hundred years would she have the nerve to wear such a dress. Never in a hundred years would anyone want to see her in it, either. "Wow."

"It's very clingy fabric," Sasha explained, "so I can't wear a stitch underneath. I'll be incredibly sexy."

"Right."

"I might wear it at the charity show in two weeks."

The Undead Next Door. Copyright © by Kerrelyn Sparks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 365 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 372 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Suberb storyelling

    Wannabe fashion designer Heather Westfield is ecstatic that renowned designer Jean-Luc Echarpe has opened one of his Le Chique Echarpe boutiques in her small Texas Hill Country town. She sketches some of his work only to have Jean-Luc stop to talk to her. However, sword carrying assailants attack Jean-Luc who tells Heather to stay out of the fray as he has it under control still she tries to come to his rescue only to conclude he somehow does have it under control. ------------------- Jean-Luc realizes that his enemies will assume that Heather is his current lover. To keep her, her daughter Bethany and her housekeeper safe, he demands they stay with him. As she wonders how he gets away with sleeping all day and her odious former spouse complains about her sleeping with her lover in front of their daughter, Heather and Jean-Luc fall in love. However, he knows he owes her one key explanation as to why he sleeps away the day he and some of his close friends are undead, but he loves her too much to make her dinner.------------------ Kerrelyn Sparks latest vampire romance (see HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE) is an amusing tale due to the lead couple whose first encounter is his accusing her of stealing his design. The support cast enhances either the feel that vampires are real (includes stars of previous stories in the Sparks' saga) or personalizes the heroine like her child does. The story line combines humor and danger as the size 12 woman rips his skin off for being arrogant yet protects him from a nasty villain. Fans will enjoy the gender battle between the vampire designer and the wannabe Texas designer.------------- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Addicting!!!!!!

    I do not get alot of reading time, but this book was so addicting I couldnt put it down! It was funny, sexy, and kept you wanting more!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Must read

    I really love this series....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Great Author

    You can't go wrong with Kerrelyn Sparks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    Wonderful addition to a thrilling series!

    Sweet Heather Westfield has an adorable daughter, an overbearing ex-husband, a feisty nanny, and too many dreams that were never fulfilled. The talented designer/seamstress stayed in her small Texas town to appease her mother and became a school teacher instead of pursuing her ambition to be a fashion designer. When one of the world¿s top names in couture opens a boutique nearby, she is drawn to the life she gave up, and to the man who has designed fashions for some of Hollywood¿s biggest stars. World-weary Jean-Luc Escharpe has seen it all since he was transformed into a vampire centuries ago. A skilled swordsman, he fought as a lieutenant-colonel in the vampire army, and in later decades, pursued his skills a businessman and designer. His career has kept him in the public eye a little too long, however, causing many to wonder how the designer who clad Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant still looks so young and handsome. What he needs is some time away and a place to hide out. But on the eve of his self-imposed isolation, he meets a beautiful woman who has been burned by love. Heather awakens long-dead feelings in Jean-Luc and makes him start to wonder if he could have another chance at love after all. But with a crazed killer bent on revenge tracking Jean-Luc¿s every move, being around him is not exactly the safest place in the world. Then there¿s the whole undead element thrown into the mix. Jean-Luc is certain a relationship with Heather would never work out because she could never accept him as he is. But Heather has some surprises up her homemade sleeves: she¿s declared a war on fear, and this Texas sweetie vows not to let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. And she wants Jean-Luc. The Undead Next Door, Kerrelyn Sparks¿ fourth book in the Love At Stake series, is a thrilling, fast-paced detour through the beautiful Texas Hill Country with two wounded but strong souls. As usual, the story resonates with Sparks¿ trademark humor, wit, and warmth. There¿s something here for every reader as the author deftly combines history, humor, deep emotion, and paranormal elements for a deeply satisfying love story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Blazer

    Kitty cat!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    Katniss

    Walks in her safehouse and locks the door*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Love these books

    These vampires are unique, funny and very charming. It's very hard not to really love these Vamps. You'll be addicted after reading just one book. Enjoy your reading!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    couldn't even finish

    The story was trite and unbelievable even stretching your imagination. The characters were irritating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Terrific!

    Highly recommend this series. Great story line, lots of hot romance and laugh out loud lines. Can't wait to read the next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Love this series. Quick, easy and fun reading! I'll be sad whe

    Love this series. Quick, easy and fun reading! I'll be sad when I get to the last one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Highly Recommended check out all the books

    This is a well writen book and I like how she makes the women into real people not what is thought to be a perfect woman. This when show that. They fall in love because of who they are as a person.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Once I began the series I couldn't stop.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    i love it XD

    i love it XD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Must read!

    This may be my favorite so far in the series. There are vampires, fighting, romance, plus i was laughing like i was there with the characters!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2012

    Recommend-check it out if you like fangs and fashion!

    Was a fun read. Enjoyed the character interaction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    This was a great book enjoyed the wonderful story line; it was hilrious as well and in the end you want to find out what happens to the other characters associated with the series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Fun Read!

    This whole series so far has been a wonderful, quick read. Being a fast reader, I usually go through one in two days, but they make me laugh, smile, sigh. I thoroughly enjoy them!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Beautiful...

    this series is just BEAUTIFUL. Kerrelyn kills it again in the undead next door. i love this series and can't wait for the next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2011

    J%27adore+Jean-Luc%21%21

    I+am+totally+smitten+with+Jean+-Luc+he%27s+everything+I+want+in+a+husband%2C+friend%2C++and+father+of+my+children.+As+a+vampire+lover+this+French+cutie+was+the+sexiest.+You+cant+help+but+fall+for+him+and+wish+you+were+his+Heather.+I+finished+this+book+in+1+day.+Bravo+Kerrelyn%21

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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