Book Review: The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée by Kristen Painter

Posted June 2, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée by Kristen Painter

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Vampire's Fake Fiancée by Kristen Painter
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism
Published by Sugar Skull Books on January 6, 2016
Pages: 360
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, All Fired Up, "Prologue to The Vampire's Mail Order Bride", The Vampire's Mail Order Bride, The Werewolf Meets His Match, The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Vampire's Priceless Treasure, The Werewolf Dates the Deputy, "When Birdie Babysat Spider", Miss Frost Ices the Imp, Miss Frost Saves the Sandman, Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish", The Vampire's Cursed Kiss

Fifth in the Nocturne Falls magical realism fantasy series and revolving around a small town in Georgia that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. The couple focus is on Tessa Blythe and Sebastian Ellingham.

My Take

Wow, Sebastian is carrying this loyalty thing way too far, far enough to make him a pushover! As for Tessa . . . whoa, what a wimp! She’s not like any valkyrie I’ve ever “met”. Although I did enjoy that comparison Painter made between the sisters — one who likes guns, cold beers, and catching criminals versus the other who likes art, literature, and beauty.

I love it! Sebastian realizes a lovely truth, which leads us into the story . . . and leads to my despising Evangeline! Unfortunately, that truth leads to Sebastian sticking his foot in his mouth, poor baby, over and over and over. Of course, with Tessa shaking things up, Sebastian starts to question his choices.

We do learn more of the Ellingham backstory and why Sebastian feels so strongly about Evangeline. It’s that dilemma that enables Tessa to resolve her own character arc. It’s all a win-win for everyone, including the world!

Lol, the whole situation leads to great fun for Jenna . . . she gets to do a makeover on Tessa who prefers the middle-aged lady look, lol.

I do kind of hate reading this series. Painter is always describing Delaney’s sweets, and I WANT SOME!

Ooh, snark! Part of the grounding is Painter using third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Tessa’s and Sebastian’s perspectives, so we read their responses to each other (and others) as well as their thoughts about the comments. Oh yeah, laughter r’ us. Greaves taking Tessa’s side in the kitten argument only makes it better.

Hmm, what is with Grandmamma? Her grandsons are old enough, oy, to live their own lives and she’s threatening them?? No. That’s simply not on.

It’s simply too sweet. It’s about kindness . . . and the lack of it.

The Story

The unwanted return of Julian’s globetrotting, world-spending wife and a reluctant valkyrie, Tessa Blythe, needing that job, leads to a fake engagement intended to “prove” to Evangeline that Julian has closed the chapter on his wife.

The Characters

Tessa Blythe, a reluctant valkyrie who happens to be a librarian, has a new kitten, Duncan. Kettlingr is the sword she no longer draws. And she may have a new job as Dean of Library Studies. Her sister, Jenna, is a deputy sheriff in Nocturne Falls and has embraced her inner valkyrie.

Sebastian Ellingham is the oldest (“technically” the Duke of Sinclair) and handles the finances of the family and the town. Greaves is Sebastian’s rook and had been his valet before he was turned. Sebastian’s wife is Evangeline, a vampire he only sees when she needs money. To complicate matters, Sebastian is her sire as well. She’s using the name Eva Wynn these days. Lord Heathcote had been Evangeline’s father, a marquess and a great friend to Sebastian’s father.

Nocturne Falls is…
. . . the Tim Burton version of Disney and a refuge for supernaturals. A place where they can be themselves. It’s also a town mostly owned by the Ellinghams, a family of vampires. Hugh is the second oldest, and he’s married to Delaney (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, 1) who owns a sweets store, Delaney’s Delectables. Stanhill is Hugh’s rook. Julian Ellingham is the youngest brother (and grandson) and is considered the playboy of the three. Elenora “Didi” Ellingham is their grandmamma. Alice Bishop is Elenora’s powerful witch secretary, who made it possible for the Ellinghams to daywalk. Frauke is Grandmamma’s cook.

Luckily Greyson Garrett, a Roma and a vampire, is happy enough to fill in as Vampire of the Day (VOD) for Julian. Mrs Turnbuckle owns a D&B, a dead-and-breakfast inn that caters to vampires and other supernaturals. Willa Iscove is a fae jeweler who runs Illusions; she hooked up with Nick Hardwin in The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, 3. Jasper is her cat. Corette Williams runs the bridal shop, Ever After. Sheriff Hank Merrow is a werewolf and married to Ivy (The Werewolf Meets His Match, 2). Alex Cruz, a panther shifter, is another of Merrow’s deputies.

Harmswood Academy is a private school for supernaturals in Nocturne Falls. The Poisoned Apple is a local pub.

Mrs Unger is Tessa’s nasty boss. Varren had been a berserker who sent Tessa into a rage. Being a rook provides the privileges of both sides: more strength, more speed, and sharper senses without being affected by the sun. Alard Desmarais is the vampire who had turned Grandmamma.

The Cover and Title

Aww, it’s a wedding on the cover. There’s a bright red border at top and bottom; the top also has sparkling stars with a paler red full moon on the right. Two-thirds of the cover is a graphic design in the middle with a rose-covered arch slightly off-center with Sebastian in a tux and holding out a huge diamond ring to the poufy blonde Tessa in her form-fitting white dress, a couple of books clutched in her right hand and holding a sword, pointed at the ground, in her left. On the left, Tessa’s brown and black-striped kitten, Duncan, is on top of the the series pumpkin, which is slightly above the wooden sign indicating the series info in yellow. The title is in a slightly gothic font in white with a thick black outline. The author’s name is below the couple in white with a black outline. Beneath that is an info blurb in white with a thick black shadow of a background.

The title is Sebastian’s dilemma and salvation: The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée.

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