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Vamps and the City (Love at Stake Series #2)

Vamps and the City (Love at Stake Series #2)

4.3 424
by Kerrelyn Sparks

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Who says a vamp can't have it all?

Darcy Newhart thought it was a stroke of genius—the first–ever reality TV show where mortals vie with vampires for the title of The Sexiest Man on Earth. As the show's director, Darcy's career would be on track again. And she can finally have a life apart from the vampire harem. Okay, so she's still technically dead


Who says a vamp can't have it all?

Darcy Newhart thought it was a stroke of genius—the first–ever reality TV show where mortals vie with vampires for the title of The Sexiest Man on Earth. As the show's director, Darcy's career would be on track again. And she can finally have a life apart from the vampire harem. Okay, so she's still technically dead, but two out of three's not bad. Now she just has to make sure that a mortal doesn't win. If only she wasn't so distracted by a super–sexy and live contestant named Austin...

But Darcy doesn't know the worst of it. Austin Erickson is actually a vampire slayer! And he's got his eye on the show's leggy blond director. Only problem is, he's never wanted any woman—living or dead—as badly. But if he wins her heart, will he lose his soul? And if it means an eternity of hot, passionate loving with Darcy, does that really matter anyway?

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Love at Stake Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Vamps and the City

By Kerrelyn Sparks

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Kerrelyn Sparks
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060752017

Chapter One

"Eight-twenty p.m., male Caucasian, five-foot-ten, 180 pounds, mid-twenties, leaving a white Honda Civic," Austin Erickson murmured into his mini-recorder. He adjusted the telescopic night lens on his binoculars and zoomed in on the subject across the parking lot. The guy didn't appear to be armed. More importantly, he was carrying a king-sized cup of gourmet coffee and a bag of doughnuts. Lucky bastard. Normally, that would be considered . . . well, normal. But this was the parking lot of the Digital Vampire Network. Nothing was normal here. Especially after sunset.

Austin exchanged his binoculars for a 35-mm camera and took another look at the guy. "Subject is human. He's going in."

The guy was taking breakfast inside DVN? Didn't he realize he could be breakfast? A shaft of light cut across the parking lot, then slowly disappeared as the door swung shut. It was dark once more. Austin had parked his black Acura in the shadowed corner of this lot in Brooklyn. The large warehouse that contained DVN was dark, all the windows blackened out. Only three letters, DVN, glowed in fluorescent red lights over the black-lacquered front door.

With a sigh, he dropped his camera on the passenger seat. He supposed the guy would be safe. Austin hadbeen watching the vampire-owned television station for four nights now, and every night, several humans ventured inside. His conclusion -- DVN actually employed a handful of mortals. Did the poor saps know they were working for demonic creatures? Were their minds being controlled? Maybe the vampires offered a great dental plan. Whatever their reasons for being there, as far as Austin could tell, all the humans left about five in the morning still alive and apparently in good health. It was strange, but then, there were a lot of strange things about the vampire world.

He had learned of their existence about six weeks ago when CIA operations officer Sean Whelan had transferred him to the Stake-Out team. Sean had explained what vicious killers these vampires were, so Austin was eager to protect the innocent. He had expected action, lots of action, ramming wooden stakes into nasty green creatures with rotting flesh and bumpy foreheads. Instead, he'd found himself staking out a television network where the vampires looked and acted too much like humans.

In fact, the only way Austin could tell a human from a vampire was to look through the 35-mm camera. Both the living and the undead showed up in a digital camera, but vampires could never appear in a 35-mm for the same reason they never showed up in a mirror. Their image could not be reflected.

He moved the 35-mm to the floor in front of the passenger seat. The rest of his equipment was there -- night-vision goggles, digital camera with night lens, Glock with silver bullets, laptop, and his new favorite, his CV-3 video viewer. God, he loved working for the CIA. He had the coolest stuff.

He'd also been issued a box of wooden stakes. Made in China by a company that specialized in chopsticks. The box was sitting on the back seat of his car, open and ready for emergencies.

He opened his laptop on the passenger seat and typed in the secret frequency for receiving transmissions from DVN. The screen came into focus. Good, the vampire news was still on. And free for the taking. They naturally assumed no one could figure out their secret transmissions, and they didn't post guards around their facility. It was all indicative of what Austin considered their most obvious weakness. Their arrogance. He slipped in his ten-gigabyte thumb drive and began recording.

This was his mission -- stake out DVN, acquire information, and most importantly, learn the whereabouts of Sean's daughter, who was being held prisoner. The last time they'd seen Shanna was eight days ago in Central Park. She'd been surrounded by an army of Scottish vampires. To Austin, she'd looked like a willing captive, but Sean insisted she was brainwashed. Terribly outnumbered, the Stake-Out team had been forced to retreat, leaving Shanna Whelan behind.

Sean was furious. He was staking out Roman Draganesti's townhouse every night, but so far, there was no sign of his daughter. He'd ordered Garrett to watch the Russian coven in Brooklyn. Alyssa was watching Romatech Industries. The new girl, Emma, was manning the office in Midtown and scouring police reports for anything that indicated vampire involvement. And Austin was watching DVN -- the facility and the transmissions.

He slipped on his CV-3 video viewer. The special eyeglasses gave him a heads-up display that freed him from having to watch his computer screen. He could continue to scan the parking lot while DVN played on a virtual screen in front of his eyes.

According to the DVN newscaster, the Russian coven was in turmoil. Some of the male coven members were refusing to accept two females as masters. A civil war could erupt. Austin smiled to himself. Let the slimy vampires kill each other off.

He poured a cup of coffee from his thermos. Holy caffeine fix, he wished this was gourmet. And a few snacks would be nice. He should have confiscated that guy's doughnuts for evidence. While he drank, a commercial started. A sexy female claimed her yummy drink was low in cholesterol and blood sugar. Blood Lite.

Austin choked, spraying coffee all over his steering wheel before he managed to swallow. Sheesh, demon diet food? He grabbed an old napkin to wipe up the mess. Next was the vampire celebrity talk show, starring Corky Courrant. He eyed the hostess's chest. Those had to be implants.

His attention was diverted when a photo flashed on the screen next to Corky's head. A photo of Draganesti.

"You'll never believe it!" Corky exclaimed with a grin. "The most eligible bachelor in America is getting married! Yes, Roman Draganesti, coven master of East Coast vampires, billionaire inventor of synthetic blood and Fusion Cuisine, and CEO of Romatech Industries has announced his engagement. And you'll never believe who the lucky bride is! Stay tuned!"


Excerpted from Vamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks Copyright ©2006 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.

Meet 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.

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Vamps and the City 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 424 reviews.
Juanita_81 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book and this series for me started with book #9 and after reading it, I had to start at the begining to understand some of the characters. If you love reading about sexy, daring, and warrior type vampires finding true love you might also like reading "The Blackdagger Brotherhood" seres by J.R. Ward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although some people might enjoy the benefits of being a vampire (can you say live forever and superhuman strength?), Darcy Newhart did not. Four years ago, she lost her job, her family, and her freedom (not to mention her life) when she was turned without her consent. Yet things are looking up. Now that Roman Draganesti, the Master of the harem to which she belonged (how medieval is that?!), was engaged to a mortal woman, she has the chance to change her life (okay, afterlife). Contacting the Digital Vampire Network (DVN for short), she pitches a new show and is hired to direct the first Vampire reality show: The Sexiest Man on Earth. Using five of the female vampires from Roman¿s harem as judges and a combination of vampire and human (talk about ratings boosts!) contestants, she sets out to create a hit as well as a new life for herself. Yet what happens when she can¿t resist one of the mortal contestants? Will she risk her new job and life for him? Austin Erickson (AKA Adam on The Sexiest Man on Earth) is actually an undercover CIA operative working to gather information about vampires. With his off-the-chart psychic abilities, he¿s able to infiltrate the enemy¿s lair (so what if it¿s a luxurious penthouse?), gather information (including photos of the gorgeous Darcy), and prepare to rid the world of a few evil vamps. Yet once he really gets to know Darcy, he realizes he may just be falling in love with her. Can he compete with the vampire contestants long enough for him and Darcy to decide just what to do about their relationship¿and his vampire slaying job? How did I ever miss this series? Kerrelyn Sparks has created a wacky, witty, wonderful world in Vamps and the City. The characters are fresh and most definitely unique and the story is so much more that what you¿d expect. On one level there is the romance that builds between Darcy and Austin. Both know that nothing can come of it yet neither can resist the pull between them. They each get into quite a few escapades while trying to deny their feelings and jumping each other¿s bones. On top of that, there is the growth of the harem vampires who learn to value their self worth. Their outlooks on life, sex and masters will leave you laughing out loud and have you cheering for them. Finally, the shift in prejudices between both the vamps and the humans is skillfully woven into this lighthearted reality spoof. I can easily recommend Vamps in the City as one book that you won¿t want to put down. Not only that, it will leave you eagerly anticipating the next story in the series. Georgia Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s been four painful years since Darcy Newhart became a vampire. She thought that after her transformation, she¿d never be happy again, never feel warm again, and never see daylight again. But then a mortal, Austin Erickson, with his golden hair, tanned skin, and hot body ¿burst into her life like a brilliant sun.¿ Just as Darcy had resigned herself to giving up her old world¿her family, friends, and career in journalism¿and making the best of her situation by getting a job at the Digital Vampire Network, Austin shows up and tempts her with all that she can¿t have. Their relationship could never work, and she knows too well the pain of giving up a mortal life to ask that of him. But Austin only looks like a gorgeous surfer-dude. He¿s actually an undercover CIA agent charged with tracking and killing vampires, deemed by the government as ¿terrorist threats¿ to the United States. Austin¿s assignment is to infiltrate the Digital Vampire Network and become a contestant on Darcy¿s new reality TV show, sort of like ¿The Bachelor¿ for vamps. While he¿s supposed to be gathering as much intell as possible, Austin finds himself falling for the show¿s beautiful, sad director. Someone as vibrant, compassionate, and sweet as Darcy couldn¿t possibly be a vampire. Right? Convinced that she is mortal, Austin sets out to save Darcy from the evil vamps who must be holding her hostage, and ends up having to confront his own prejudices and stereotypes about these creatures of the night. Will he learn that, like humans, ¿vampires could be good or evil. They could love or hate,¿ before it¿s too late? Will Darcy allow herself a chance at love despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that separate her from Austin? VAMPS IN THE CITY, the follow-up to Sparks¿ HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE, admits readers into a Harry Potteresque world full of magic and wonderfully eccentric characters drawn with heart and creativity. Sparks¿ witty, intelligent story deftly walks the line between laugh-out-loud humor and sweet romance. This book will leave readers dreaming about the sanctity of true love and the risks Austin and Darcy take to be together long after the book ends.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Former TV journalist Darcy Newhart detests being a vampire as she can no longer see herself in a mirror or have her picture taken by a non-digital camera. However, thanks to the information age, she has been selected to direct a new reality show on the Digital Vampire Network, The Sexiest Man on Earth. The contestants, some humans and some vampires compete for the title since digital cameras enable vampires to show up on the screen with the prize being the vampiric harem of Roman Dragnesti (see HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE).-------------- CIA Stake-Out Agent and psychic Austin Erickson goes undercover as a contestant with the objective being to destroy this rat¿s nest of killing vampires. However, Austin finds himself attracted to the director of the show who seems nice and caring not bloody and murderous as his superior Sean Whelan insists all vampires are. As Darcy and Austin fall in love, she rejects any permanent relationship since she still struggles with being a creature of the night and unsure of star-crossed partnering with mortals.---------------- VAMPS AND THE CITY sparkles with humor, suspense, and romance. The story line is fun not just because of the antics of the lead duet the five vamps first prize consists of delightful interesting individuals whose differences add to the overall plot as readers wonder who will the harem. Vampire romance fans will appreciate this refreshing tale and look forward to more as the confrontation with the evil vampires remains unsettled.------------ Harriet Klausner
-jj- More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this second book in the series as much as the first. I especially like how the characters and plot in the first book,"How to Marry A Millionaire Vampire", continue into the second book.
love2read_kbl More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the Love at Stake series. I enjoyed this book even more than the first book, "How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire," - with Shanna and Roman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this series. To me it combines the Outlander series with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Shorty12 More than 1 year ago
it is a cool book i just cant wait to read the rest of the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sparks writes well and has some humor in her books. But its just another vampire series in a long line of vampire series'.
2angels4mom More than 1 year ago
This book was even more thrilling than the first one. I recommend this to anyone that enjoys getting lost in the vampire world!
leer_mucho More than 1 year ago
This is the second in the series. Loved the first.. I think I am hooked. Like the continuation of characters and fleshing them out =)
tx1babe More than 1 year ago
Loved the twist on the game show aspect...hilarious! Sexyand heartwarming too!
mybook37 More than 1 year ago
Great writing, great story, great characters. I loved it. So much fun.
furiouskitten82 More than 1 year ago
after reading book 1 in the love at stake series i was compelled (no pun intended) to read book 2. darcy is such a lively character and austin is such a charmer. again when i finished this book i needed to know...what comes next. great thing is this series gravitates around the same of characters you came to adore in how to marry a millonaire vampire (book 1). off to book three!
Maria Peaslee More than 1 year ago
I am loving this series!! have them all and cant put them down. this is the second in the set and was pretty good- I loved the story but got annoyed by Austin- whose self struggle to be with Darcy borders on extremely insulting. I felt the author created Darcy too tough for that but otherwise- cant wait for the rest
Krisren Morton More than 1 year ago
i have already read this book so i am re reading the whole series. but this book is really good and detailed.
Piano502 More than 1 year ago
Good story. I loved that the author injected humor into the plot. I'm going to read the rest of this series. I also love the suspense gendre. I've got to know how the Malcontents are conquered---so I've got to read this series. I just can't stop. thsi one I couldn't put down. Loved it!!!
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I love kerrelyns writing . I have read almost the entire series and have never been disappointed..Highly reccimended..but i agree ,with the ones saying to start at t:he beginning. ENJOY
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just O k
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