Series: Love At Stake #12
Published by Avon on 27 March 2012
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
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Wanted: Undead or Alive is book number 12 in the Love at Stake series, and we finally get to know Phinneas 'Dr. Phang' a little better. He is in for a hell of an adventure in this instalment. Between the ongoing fight with the Malcontents and a new enemy showing up out of the blue, he gets beaten on from several angles at once. Add in an old love interest who treats him like trash - which helps another young woman to understand him a lot better, and there you have a winning story, all ready to be enyjoed and savored.
Wanted: Undead or alive left me with a first impressionl, I, who often don’t even notice covers, have to just mention this cover. That guy on the cover just can’t be Dr. Phang! Dr. Phang is black – that guy over there is definitely not black. I don’t understand why someone else is on the cover of Phang’s book. There, now that’s off my chest.
Wanted: Undead or Alive was quite slow in comparison to the other books in this series, but the relationship budding between Phinneas and Brynley was well suited to go slow. And it permitted the readers to really get to know both of them a lot better, and to understand their hang-ups and their defensive mechanisms. And I guess the vamps all needed a little breather after all that happened in the prior book. Of course, loose ends from before were both discussed and explained, so that was a good point as well.
I loved how Phinneas and Brynley were both trying so hard to not have feelings for each other, and trying to persuade themselves that they were all wrong for each other, to the point where the Brynley actually thought Pinneas hated her, and vice versa. It was funny how they were both a little insecure, but still always acting so strong and prickly towards others. Every female always thought Phinneas really was the Love Doctor, and he came to hate that this was what people thought was the most important thing about him.
I got punked at the very start of the story, I totally believed Phinneas’ spiel, and I was shocked! However, when I think about it, it truly was the best way to get Cory out of hiding, and he played his role so well that even reading about it was very convincing! I like that the vamps in this series can teleport – if I could have a super-power; that would be the one I’d wish for. Of course, it makes things very interesting when the vamps being chased can teleport as well, as it is impossible to follow someone that way, and the vamps can only teleport to places where they have already been before – or through calling someone and going towards their voice.
I loved all the interactions between Brynley and Phinneas, and their chemistry is sizzling! It was really a true love story, where most of the action happened with only Brynley and Phinneas in the picture, the other characters being elsewhere. Phinneas handled himself perfectly well, he showed his growth, he has changed a great deal from when he was first introduced, and the way he has matured is very pleasant.
There were quite a few bad guys in this story, and they were chased all over the world, while our good vamps were doing their best to keep everybody safe from harm or worse. There were a few new characters introduced to the cast, and both Freemont, Phinneas’ human brother and Nate, Brynley’s long lost friend were really great. Hopefully, we’ll see more of them in the future. There were some not-so nice additions as well, but that was to be expected. I especially loathed Brynley’s intended husband, and I was appalled at the way her father used her as a pawn to make himself stronger. No wonder both Phil and Bryn ran away from the pack at the first chance they got!
A blast form the past came in the character La Toya, luckily, only by phone, but her treatment of Phinneas made me hate her all over again – and here’s to hoping she will not show up later.
The final battle was epic, as usual, but with an unexpected twist that caught me completely unaware, and I was really worried for Phinneas.
He wanted to be more than that. He wanted someone who would look past his outward appearance to connect with his soul. Someone who would see him as special. Worthy of a lifetime, not a singe night.
“So you got tired of one-night stands?” Freemont wrinkled his nose. “Is that even possible?” “Yes, it is. Eventually, I realized that being wanted as an oddity is an insult. I want to be appreciated for being myself.”
Both of these quotes point out the change in Phinneas, from being the love-doctor only thinking about having fun and canoodling with different women every night, he realizes now that he wants more, and that he deserves more. It also made him treat other people (and vamps) differently, as he understood that he might not have been the only one playing a role.
If you are a fan of the ‘Love at Stake’ series, this is a must-read! And if you haven’t read it yet, but love paranormal romance with a dash of humor, I recommend that you start with book number one at your earliest convenience, and then just enjoy the ride. The books don’t have to be read in order, though there are some story-arcs that span over several books.