Review: How to Catch and Keep a Vampire by Diana Laurence

Vampires are all the rage these days. True Blood on HBO, the Twilight series and movies, Being Human on BBC America has a vampire, even the recently (and sadly) departed Blood Ties on Lifetime (and the books by Tanya Huff) – those bloodsuckers are everywhere. (I’ve even got a giveaway featuring vampires!) And for the modern woman who can’t resist a real bad boy, Diana Laurence has written How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful. This fun bit of fluff is billed as a modern-day dating guide for the gal who wants her very own vampire boyfriend. It gives you all the inside info you need on where to meet a vamp, how to attract his attention, how to avoid a deadly dinner party…it even reveals The Secret of the Red Satin Ribbon. Follow that advice at your own risk.

The book starts with a bit of a cheat. To get around the obvious problem of not being able to be seen in daylight, Laurence provides vampires with LiquidShade – an elixir that keeps your new beau from bursting into flames when he steps out in the sun. She also explains that vampires long ago developed synthetic blood. After all, they have a lot of time on their hands for research and it was a pretty important problem for them to solve. Still, taking all the obstacles out of it takes some of the fun, too.

Laurence counsels “vampirophiles” on how to deal with their Inner Mina, named for Dracula’s victim in Bram Stoker’s novel:

“At every age we read vampire books and watch vampire movies over and over so we can imagine ourselves as Mina, melting into Dracula’s arms. We never tire of this fantasy of utter capitulation to the dangerous but imminently seductive power of the vampire. He is so dark, so foreboding…and yet promises such transcendant delights. All he asks is that you lose your will to him, and in return you will feel the glorious bliss of his domination…”

Okay, it’s not all quite that bad. It focuses on very modern-day problems, things like how to tell your co-workers you’re dating the undead, how to deal with the infidelity issue, whether or not to let him bite you on the first date. (And I do mean him — there’s really no info here for gents who want to meet a lady vampire.) She gives advice on where to meet vampires and how to balance dating a mortal boyfriend with keeping a vampire lover on the side. She also tells stories about her own dating experiences with her previous vampire loves – Conner, Mordred, Adam, Gunnar, etc.

There are also a lot of vampire myths to dispel: are they cold to the touch, can they see themselves in a mirror, can you kill them with holy water and garlic? And what about those fangs — how do they just pop out right when they’re needed? She treats these tops in a very matter-of-fact manner, as if you could pick up any issue of Vanity Fair or Scientific American and find the answers you need.

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire is, as I said, a bit of fluff. It’s fun, if you’ve caught the current vampire craze, and not a bad way to lounge away a weekend afternoon.

My copy of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire was provided free of charge for review.

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