High Stakes

Main Characters:

Ethan Carrick – 900 year old vampire and owner of the Eva casino is Las Vegas and President of the Vampire Nation.

Alexis Baldizzi – a prosecutor who meets Ethan because she is out to rescue her sister, Brittany, from Ethan.

Brittany Baldizzi – Ethan’s dentist.  At the start of the book, Ethan takes her home and has a little fling.  Also an Impure.

Seamus – Ethan’s head of security.

Main Premise:

Locations: Las Vegas

How it Ended:

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:


This cracked me up! The characters were fun. It’s not often I think of that when I pick something out of the trash… I mean romance section… but I was laughing so often when reading this! And, Alexis is a girl after my own heart. When I read the line “sang dan mahk ki” I literally said out loud “yes!” And every time I read the word “ki hap” I was excited. Clearly Ms. McCarthy knows a little something about Korean Martial Arts.

It was totally refreshing to read something that wasn’t this epic battle for good vs. evil in this genre. Paranormal romance is all essentially the same story – over and over again with different names (although I can’t tell you how many versions of the name “wrath” or “wraith” I have seen, and are they really all that different?) for the good guys and different names for the organization of baddies. To totally be a political story line – President of all the undead registered voters with his enemy being the other candidate… what a nice refreshing change. Of course, it is a little more then that – since how often do candidates try to bump each other off – or at least scare each other that much by attempting? And that’s part of what made it funny. Plus, there was just enough tension between Alexis and Carrick that I thoroughly enjoyed the love story too.

I had 2 complaints. First, there were so many open questions still at the end that sort of just got ignored for the wedding. I mean it was like things skipped 2 weeks forward and the author forgot to tell us what happened in those two weeks. I am hoping that we get the filler in the next book. Also, the whopper in the last chapter – who is Gwen (I get that she’s Carrick’s sister, but there seems to be more to it then that) and what will we see from her next?! But I am excited to get my hands on the next book to find out.

Second complaint – the love scenes were just ok. When I pull a book from this section of the book store, I am looking for a little fantasy. And here, they didn’t leave me breathless and with pink cheeks, the way I like to be left after reading these books. But again, maybe we’ll see better in the next ones. If JR Ward is the standard for the steaminess, these fall way short. But if JR Ward is the standard for plot – I think these just edged her out, if for no other reason then having an original take on a vampire romance plot.


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