“Sparks skillfully infuses her writing with a deliciously sharp wit….Wickedly fun.”
Paranormal romance fans adore New York Times bestseller Kerrelyn Sparks and her wonderfully witty Love at Stake series—and now she soars to heavenly new heights with Vampire Mine! The passionate tale of a beautiful fallen angel and hard-hearted immortal warrior who find redemption and rapture in each other’s arms, Vampire Mine belongs on every romance lover’s “keeper” shelf, right next to the works of Lynsay Sands and Katie MacAlister, not to mention the Sookie Stackhouse novels of Charlaine Harris.
About the Author
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.
Read an Excerpt
Vampire MineLove at Stakes Series, #10
By Kerrelyn Sparks
HarperCollinsCopyright © 2011 Kerrelyn Sparks
All right reserved.
After four hundred and ninety-nine years of existence,
Connor Buchanan arrived at an inescapable
conclusion regarding himself. He was a coldhearted
He slowed to a walk after checking the extensive
grounds at Romatech. He'd enjoyed zipping through
the trees at vampire speed with the cool breeze whipping
at his face and filling his nostrils with the heady
scent of newly budded leaves and flowers. But then
he'd realized why he welcomed the coming of spring.
Not for the warmer temperatures. Not for the promise
of rebirth and renewal, since he would remain
the same as he'd been for centuries. No, to be brutally
honest with himself, it was the shorter nights he
was looking forward to. That meant longer days and
more death-sleep. More time spent in utter oblivion.
No thoughts. No memories. No remorse.
The main building at Romatech Industries came
into view, and he slowed his pace even more, struck
by a sudden reluctance to reenter the facility. More
and more these days, he preferred to be alone.
Why bother with companions? Was there any
conversation he hadn't already experienced a dozen or
more times? And if he even hinted at the black
despair that threatened to engulf him, he would only
receive knowing looks from other Vamps as they
doled out the usual diagnosis. He was nearing his
five hundredth birthday, and apparently, hitting
that mid-millennium marker could plunge the most
stalwart of Vamps into a mid-life crisis.
Bull crap. Roman and Angus were both older than
him, and they were content with their lives. They're
happily married. He shoved that thought aside. He
wouldn't fall prey to that form of insanity, no matter
how old he got.
No, he was fine with being a coldhearted old bastard
He was good at it. He'd been perfecting the
condition for years. He strode through a flower bed,
trampling the new blossoms underfoot.
At the side entrance, he slid his ID card through
the security console and pressed his palm against
the scanner. When his ultra sensitive hearing
detected the faint click of the lock releasing, he pushed
open the side door and trudged down the hall to the
MacKay security office.
His footsteps echoed in the empty hallway. No one
came to Romatech on Saturday night except those
who attended Mass on the far side of the facility.
He let himself into the security office and scanned
the wall of surveillance monitors. Parking lot clear.
Corridors empty. Cafeteria empty. Heart empty. He
pushed aside that errant thought and focused on the
screen showing the chapel.
Out of habit, he searched the small congregation
to make sure Roman and his family were all right.
Connor had been officially watching over Roman
for more than sixty years now as a MacKay S&I
employee, first as head of security at Romatech, and in
recent years as personal bodyguard. Since Roman
Draganesti was the inventor of synthetic blood and
the owner of Romatech where it was produced, he
presented a tempting target for the Malcontents
who considered synthetic blood an insult and threat
to their murderous way of life.
But the hatred went deeper than that. Casimir
had been the one to transform Roman back in 1491.
The Malcontent leader had thought it would be an
amusing slap at the face of God to turn a humble
monk into a bloodthirsty, homicidal vampire. But
Roman had refused to turn evil. He'd made his own
group of good Vamps, so they could fight the
Malcontents and protect humanity.
Connor was dying on a battlefield when Roman
changed him. He owed his existence to Roman. And
his sanity. Keeping Roman and his family safe gave
him a noble purpose, noble enough to almost make
him forget what a coldhearted old bastard he truly
He watched on the monitor as Father Andrew
gave his final blessing, and the congregation moved
from the chapel into the hallway. Connor's heart
squeezed at the sight of Roman's children,
Constantine and Sofia. They were as close as he'd ever
get to having children. Tino had celebrated his fifth
birthday last month in March, and Sofia would be
turning three in May. He touched the screen that
showed them prancing about the hallway. Having
to sit still during Mass must have left them with
pent-up energy that was now bursting free. He
smiled as they skipped into the nearby fellowship
hall, no doubt eager for punch and cookies. Their
mortal mother, Shanna, gave Roman a quick hug,
then chased after the children.
Connor's smile faded as he watched his Vamp
friends emerging from the chapel, nearly all of them
with a wife at his side. Most of the men had
succumbed to the silken trap of love. Poor romantic
fools. How could they remain single for centuries,
then out of the blue, one after another, plummet off
the cliff like a dazed herd of sheep? Not only had
they made themselves personally vulnerable to the
heartache and despair that came with love, but they
endangered the entire vampire world as more and
more mortal women learned of their existence.
The men seemed happy enough for now. Ignorance
was bliss, Connor supposed. They didn't see the risk.
They didn't feel the cold shadow of doom hovering
just outside their gilded cage. They had no idea how
love could drive a man to commit desperate, unthinkable
acts, destroying his own soul along the way.
He turned his head and focused instead on the
monitor that was playing the Digital Vampire Network.
A black animated bat flapped its wings while
underneath a message announced: DVN. On 24/7
because it's always nighttime somewhere.
The Nightly News came on, so Connor turned off
the mute button.
"One last item." Stone Cauffyn picked up a piece
of paper that had been pushed across his desk. "A
Vamp in Los Angeles believes he saw Casimir
several nights ago." The newscaster scanned the paper,
his face blank as usual. "I'm afraid we cannot con-
firm the report at this time."
Connor snorted. Last week, a Vamp claimed he'd
seen Casimir paddling an outrigger canoe in Bora
Bora, and the week before, someone swore he'd
spotted Casimir milking a reindeer in northern
Finland. The leader of the Malcontents had become
the bogeyman of the vampire world, spied behind
every tree and whispered about in dark rooms.
"And that concludes our broadcast for the night,"
Stone continued with his bland voice. "For all the
latest news on the vampire world, keep your televisions
tuned to DVN, the world's leading vampire
Not a stellar achievement considering it was the
world's only vampire network. Connor muted the
volume as the ending credits began to roll.
He glanced back at the monitor showing the hallway
in front of the chapel. Most of the congregation
was moving into the fellowship hall. Father Andrew
appeared to be in deep conversation with Roman,
who was solemnly nodding his head. They shook
hands, then Roman proceeded into the fellowship
hall while the priest walked toward the foyer, his
leather briefcase in hand. He was leaving earlier
Connor switched his attention back to DVN.
A commercial had started for Vampos, the after-
dinner mint guaranteed to get rid of blood breath.
A handsome male Vamp, dressed in an expensive
tuxedo, slipped one of the mints into his mouth, then
kissed his date, who, oddly enough, was dressed in
a skimpy bikini in the dark in the middle of Central
Park. On horseback. A likely scenario, Connor
thought with a wry twist of his lips, although his
gaze did linger over the woman's curvaceous body.
Bugger. How long had it been? Thirty years? Fifty?
Too damned long if he couldn't even remember. No
wonder he was a coldhearted old bastard.
Gregori, who always kept a roll of Vampos in his
coat pocket, was constantly nagging Connor to go
with him to the vampire nightclubs. Apparently, his
plaid kilt and Scottish accent would make him an
automatic "babe magnet." There was a multitude of
"hot chicks," as Gregori called them, who wanted
to relieve the boredom of immortality with a night
of screaming wild sex. Gregori claimed it was their
manly duty to keep all those Vamp women happy.
So far, Connor had declined. Attempting to cure
his loneliness with a long line of faceless, nameless,
desperate, Undead women didn't seem appealing.
Or very honorable. Hypocrite, a small voice in the
back of his mind needled him. Who are ye fooling,
pretending to be a man of honor? Ye know what ye did.
He struck the voice down and glanced back at the
surveillance monitors. Father Andrew had reached
the foyer, and he set his briefcase on the table where
Phineas had checked it earlier in the evening. As a
safety precaution, all items brought into Romatech
had to be searched.
The priest had left his overcoat on the table earlier,
but instead of putting it on and heading out the
front door, he strode across the foyer into the hall-
way on the left. Connor frowned, wondering what
the old priest was up to. The hallway was empty
"Bugger," Connor whispered as the priest marched
straight toward the MacKay security office.
He couldn't pretend he wasn't here. With a groan,
he pushed back a long strand of hair that had
escaped the leather tie at the nape of his neck while
he'd been running about the grounds.
He opened the door and stepped into the hallway.
"Can I help you, Father?"
The priest smiled. "Connor, good to see you again."
He shook hands, then peeked inside the office.
"Fascinating. I've never seen this room before. May I?"
Connor motioned for him to enter, then followed
Father Andrew pivoted, scanning the office. His
eyebrows rose at the sight of all the weapons in the
caged-off area in the back. He turned toward the
wall of surveillance monitors. "I wanted to let you
know how much we appreciate you keeping us safe
Connor inclined his head. It wasn't an idle
compliment. The Malcontents had tried bombing the
chapel before. With Roman in attendance, along
with Angus MacKay and other high-profile
members of the bottle-drinking Vamp world, they were
practically begging for an attack.
The priest gestured to the screen showing the
chapel. "So you were still able to watch the service?"
"Aye." Connor didn't admit that he'd kept the
volume turned off. "I wasna here all the time. I did
four perimeter checks."
"You're very vigilant," Father Andrew said with
the hint of a smile. The silver fringe of hair
surrounding his bald crown indicated an advanced age,
yet his clear blue eyes and smooth skin lent him an
oddly youthful and innocent appearance. "Roman
and his family are fortunate to have you."
Connor shifted his weight. "Roman is verra
The priest's smile widened. "You are all important
in the eyes of the Lord. I was wondering why you
volunteer to guard us every week. Surely you could
take turns with the other men? I haven't seen you at
Mass for months now."
Connor winced inwardly. He should have known
this was coming.
"I'm concerned about you," the priest continued.
"Perhaps it's my imagination, but I feel like you've
grown more isolated and unhappy in the last few
years. Roman agrees"
"Ye talked to Roman about me?" Connor snapped.
The priest's eyes widened, but he remained quiet
until Connor felt a twinge of guilt for raising his
"Roman tells me you're approaching your five
hundredth birthday," Father Andrew said in a
soothing tone. "I've heard that can cause feelings of
"or anger," the priest finished his sentence with
a pointed look. "In your case, I fear you're shutting
yourself off from your friends, which will result in
you feeling even more alone. What do you think,
Connor? Do you feel isolated?"
Not isolated enough since he was forced to endure
this conversation. He shoved the annoying strand of
hair behind his ear. " 'Tis no' the same anymore. All
the men are getting married."
"I heard that you disapprove of their relationships."
Connor shot him an irritated look. " 'Tis no' that
I want them to be lonely and miserable. They just
doona see the risk they're taking. There's nothing
more important to vampires than keeping our
existence a secret. That has been our top priority for
centuries, and they're foolishly flaunting it."
"They're in love."
"You don't believe in love?"
Connor grimaced as if he'd been poked with a
spear. Oh, he believed in love all right. Love was a
Father Andrew watched him closely. "There's no
need to feel alone, Connor. You could come to Mass
with your friends and take Holy Communion."
The wily priest was going for the jugular. Connor
was purposely avoiding Communion. He'd been
raised to believe he would have to go to confession
Father Andrew slipped on his reading glasses and
removed a Day-Timer from his coat pocket. "I'd like
to set up an appointment with you."
The priest ignored that remark as he thumbed
through the pages. "Roman would give you the time
"How about next Thursday evening at nine? I
could meet you here."
With his hand resting on an open page of his Day-
Timer, Father Andrew peered over the rims of his
reading glasses. "I've been a priest for over fifty
years. I can tell when a man is in need of
Connor stepped back, his jaw clenched. "I confess
Father Andrew removed his glasses and fixed his
blue eyes on Connor with a hard stare. "You won't
scare me away. I will fight for you."
A chill crept over Connor's skin. The fight had
been lost centuries ago.
The priest closed his Day-Timer with a snap and
stuffed it into his coat pocket. "I assume you fought
in the Great Vampire War of 1710? And until Roman
invented synthetic blood in 1987, you survived by
feeding off humans?"
Connor folded his arms across his chest. So in lieu
of a confession, the priest was attempting an
"I've learned a great deal about your world in the
last five years." Father Andrew slid his glasses back
into his chest pocket. "I seriously doubt there is
anything you could tell me that I haven't heard before."
He was wrong about that. Connor motioned
toward the door to indicate that the meeting was
Excerpted from Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks Copyright © 2011 by Kerrelyn Sparks. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have enjoyed reading every book in this series. They make you laugh, love & cry. I have to admit when I read a little about this one I wasn't too excited about reading it. It seemed really out there. I know a vampire book sounding out there! But, once you start reading your hooked. I loved this book more the any of the last 9 or even the one after (which I just finished!). It was so worth it! And if you have read any of them... you might be like me waiting for Conner to be the one falling in love. Knowing it would be huge... And, it didn't disappoint! The revelations revealed are truly astounding!
Connor's inner turmoil comes to a head as he watches his friends one by one fall in love leaving him no choice but to throw himself into work. As the search for Casimir narrows down Connor is the first on the scene only to discover an impossible scene, an angel. Marielle, truly an angel fallen from heaven, is exactly what Connor needs. He becomes her protector and as their time together passes they end up falling in love. Only Marielle's love comes with a choice, to remain on earth in her human body with Connor, or to return to her beloved home. Lets Talk About It: Let me start of by saying this is one of my must read series. As soon as the book comes out get it now must read type of series. One of two or three that fall into this category. And it doesn't disappoint. Through out the series I've become very fond of each character introduced and Connor is no exception. So I was happy to see this book would be about him, knowing he would finally find someone to call his own, however, it wasn't just about him and Marielle. One of the best things about Kerrelyn Sparks books is that it is full of plots. It's never just about the main characters falling in love. It continues on with the story set in previous books, weaves a new thread, introduces new characters and ends a chapter previous set in the series. I have never been disappointed with any of the books in the series. Each book keeps getting better and better. If you haven't picked up this book yet what are you waiting for? Trust me this one you don't want to miss! Melissa Reviewer for 1000 + Books to Read
I read How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, the first book in this series, and absolutely loved it! The underground Vamp culture, abilities, and characters that were created in that first book were hilariously endearing. Now I enter into the 10th installment of the Love at Stake series and am reintroduced to Connor Buchanan. Connor is a vampire on the cusp of his 500th birthday and is going through what his friends are calling a mid-life crisis. Is he buying fancy cars and being a sugar daddy to countless 200 year old whipper snapper vampire women? No... Instead, he's wallowing in the sorrows and deeds of his long existence. He feels he is unworthy of anything good; he's convinced that he is bound to a shame/guilt filled un-life until he can finally die and take his earned place in Hell. Connor has no problems risking his neck in the name of duty and often disregards orders in order to place himself in dangerous situations. It is during one of his defiant bouts that his path crosses with a severely wounded (but of course very beautiful) woman he believes to be a vampire severely wounded because she wanted to spare lives during an attack on humans just moments before. He decides that he must have her wounds tended so that he can question her on the events of the evening, so he gathers her in his arms - against her semi-conscious protests - and transports her to his home base. It is soon accidentally discovered that she is an angel of death, not a vampire, and Connor must transport and guard her until the Vamp organization can determine what should be done with her. When the woman regains consciousness, we learn that her name is Marielle and that she is a rebellious deliverer of souls (aka angel) who has been swayed by her compassion one too many times. She was banished by the Heavenly Host for wanting to spare the lives of three children that were killed during the vampire attack that evening. De-winged and bleeding from the wounds inflicted during her conflict/banishment, all Marielle wants is to return to Heaven and to do so, she believes it is her duty to help Connor and his Vamp society protectors take down their #1 enemy. And so begins their tale... My overall impression is that it is a cute book, but probably not one that I would actively recommend... I liked Connor and Marielle separately as well as together. Marielle's naivety surrounding the mortal world and the inner workings (including going to the bathroom) were cute and that made her endearing to me. Connor is a man's man who is sexy, brave, and flawed in a sexy "I-want-to-save-him" kind of way. My biggest complaint regarding Connor was his always present self doubt berating; I simply tired of hearing him say again and again that he's a "cold hearted bastard" and unworthy of peace, happiness, and love... There were a lot of 'in between' moments in the story, where it felt like I was just waiting for something to happen, but nothing really did. The action that did take place, no matter the placement in the book/story, was quick to happen & move on, leaving me thinking, "that's it?" The true action of the story took place within the last 60'ish pages. All the build up between Connor and Marielle ended on an anti-climatic note that felt rushed and/or forced and eluded to an outcome that is so similar, if not identical, to the other couples employed by Romatech. After finishing the book, I questioned if it was real
I have read all of the Love At Stake books and although it is not one of my favorites you do get to glimpse some of your favorite characters in the series. The angel was pretty comical.
Review of Vampire Mine Remember that song "At last" by Etta James? "At last, my love has come along. My lonely days are over, and life is like a song. Oh, yeah, at last." Well, you'd better start humming it along with this review because at last Kerrelyn Sparks has written a book for Connor Buchanan--499 year-old vampire and heartthrob in her newest book, Vampire Mine, from her Love at Stake series. Connor is reaching that "middle age" where all vampires start to get a bit grumpy and depressed about life. Almost to that 500 year mark and Connor's feeling like quite the compassionless dog that he thinks he is. And who would blame him? All of his friends have found themselves mortals or other vampire wives, and started to act like idiots. Idiots without their heads properly attached, but not Connor. He knows that no amount of love or years gone past can make his heart heal. Although, hunting down Casimir and his band of evil vampires, the Malcontents, has helped with his sense of justice and given us a fair bit of entertainment too. A lead for Casimir brings Connor to Mount Rushmore, where he finds a naked woman who has been scorched on her back. He can hardly believe his eyes at the burns, but also the woman is drop dead beautiful. Thinking she might be a rebelling Malcontent, he rushes her to Romatech lab where he hopes to get treatment for her. While frantically trying to help the burnt woman, Shanna Draganesti-a mortal, touches the mumbling woman, and instantly crumples to the floor with her heart slowing. The naked woman's burns are especially worse across her shoulder blades, as if searing something off the bone; the burnt woman is gorgeous beyond belief; and now Shanna lies in a heap on the floor dying. Connor realizes, as does Roman, Shanna's husband, that Connor has rescued an angel of death. Drop dead beautiful, indeed. Marielle has just been kicked out of heaven. She's rebelled against orders a few too many times, but in her defense she just couldn't handle her job as an angel of death any more. There were so many times that she wished she could be a Healer instead. Now there's handsome Connor who is trying to help her with her new human form and her wounds. Marielle just wants to go back home, but Connor is a tall, red-haired man who makes her feel very strange inside her new body, a nice kind of strange. She wants to touch him. And as she comes to find out, Connor is a vampire-a Cheater of death. She wants to touch a vampire? Surely that can't help her get back into heaven. As Connor helps Marielle heal, Marielle realizes that Connor needs a bit of nursing himself. He's got a thick wall around his heart, and as Marielle tries to get her balance as a human while fighting off a demon, she wants to break down that barrier. But would it help her get back into heaven? What should she do with this very human lust she has for Connor? And more importantly, what can she do with her heart that has gotten attached to Connor? Connor comes to find out that Marielle has a gift at defending herself, and maybe she can help with the cause of stopping Casimir and his Malcontents once and for all. And if she assists maybe that could help Marielle back into heaven, which she seems to want more than anything, heartbreakingly more than she wants him. But he had no chance with her anyway, right? He's a vampire. She's an angel. Would a bona fide angel ever fall for a Cheater like him? Or could he hope for
I am an Urban Fantasy devotee. I don't mind a little bit of romance, but I don't read a lot of novels where the romance is the most prominent aspect of the story. That said, there are a few paranormal romances that I really enjoy. Kresley Cole's "Immortals After Dark" series is one of those. Kerrlyn Spark's fantastic "Love At Stake" series is another. Not only do I buy each of these when they are released, but I have noticed that they quickly fly past many of my Urban Fantasy's to the top of my TBR pile. Yes this series always features a man and a woman (one or both members of the couple are supernatural beings of some type) who come together by the end of the book despite odds against them. Yet, these books are filled with humor and amazing characters that somehow manage to all fell unique and different. "Vampire Mine" was no exception. Readers have been clamouring for Conner's book for a long time...and now we have it. In this volume, Conner finds himself taking care of a fallen angel named Marielle. What happened to her? What did she do that was so bad that she was tossed from heaven? Can Conner get past his self-hatred/self-pity (and that IS how it came across to this reader) and find a future with this angel, who only wants to get back to heaven? Yes, these too do get together fairly easily. I found this refreshing. Sometimes that back and forth interplay gets old very quickly. Marielle is adorable. I really liked her and I think she is going to prove to be a great addition to this world. Conner is more fleshed out then I have seen previously and I enjoyed his back story a great deal. We see major plot story progression here involving a big change for Roman and Shanna and their family. We find out there are some new babies due for several of our previous book's starring couples. And Casimir, or dear. The good vamps hunt for the Malcontent (evil) vamps has been an ongoing thread since the first book. That story is hugely wrapped up by the end of "Vampire Mine". There is a new thread that is left dangeling and we are sure to have more adventures to come. There are several complaints that this story wrapped up too easily and while I can see where these points are coming from, I was just really glad to see the story progress in this new way. It was time for something to happen or that particular plot line was going to sour. Overall I am very pleased with the newest installment and look forward to everything the future brings to the "Love At Stake" series.
[Vampire Mine] by Kerrelyn Sparks 369 pages 4 starsVampire Mine is the story of Conner and Marielle an angel from heaven. Conner is the one in the Vamp group that doesn't understand why his friends are getting married to mortal women. This book has a lot of changes in it. It feels like it could be the end of the series. A good story though.
I've read all of the Love at Stake series and am a huge fan but have to admit this book left me unimpressed and disappointed. Starting at book one most of the other books built off of one another and continued on telling the story of the fight against the malcontents with individual conflicts added in. Each book focuses on it's own main characters but still involve all the previous characters plus a few new ones to keep the story going. However, I feel this book didn't build on anything that happened in previous books was only written as a tool to bring in the heaven/hell idea so that you would understand where the demons came from in future books. The main characters were both well written and were interesting in their own rights but there were a lot of moments where the inner thoughts of one of the characters took multiple pages so when they started "talking" again you had to go back and figure out what they were even talking about to begin with. There were also many times where felt like the preaching of how amazing God is took over and I felt like I was a little kid back in church just wondering when the sermon was going to end. Although this book is important in the series since it is where we first get into the angel and demon aspect that appears in all the future books, when I choose to go back and read the series as a whole I always skip this one. Other than bringing the demon aspect into the story line it does nothing for the series as a whole.
4.5 stars Nobody was a bigger fan of vampires than me several years ago. Then Twilight got popular and I found myself dismayed with them. Vampire Mine was such a great read for me, though. I found myself taken away by Connor's complex world and the adversity he had to face not only with the Malcontents but with himself. I loved him as a character and could completely relate to his internal struggles. Marielle is so adorable, I found myself loving her, too. I love the both of them together. I will definitely read more from Kerrelyn Sparks. I recommend this book to fantasy and romance lovers alike.
How old should a reader be to read this book. ?
Read this twice.
I wasn't very sure about having Connor as the main character, but I have to say I LOVED his story!