The 2007 version is out of print. I hope you'll read the rewritten/expanded version of The Vampire Shrink (UK version), released by Quercus Books, September, 2011. Or the new USA version (rewritten/expanded) from Sterling Publishing/Silver Oak April 3, 2012.
Paranormal Women's Fiction
Bloody, Sexy & Funny . . .
Kismet Knight, PhD, doesn't believe in the paranormal. She especially doesn't believe in vampires, but she begins to wise up when she is introduced to a handsome man named Devereux who claims to be 800 years old. Kismet doesn't buy his vampire story, but she also can't explain why she has such odd reactions and feelings when he is near. Then a client almost completely drained of blood staggers into her waiting room and two angry men force their way into her office, causing her to consider the possibility that she has run afoul of a vampire underworld. Enter FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real, and one is a murderer -- a murderer who is after her.
Lynda's books can be classified as urban fantasy/dark fantasy with romance, suspense/mystery, satire, horror, humor and sex.
Lynda Hilburn writes paranormal fiction. More specifically, she writes vampire books. After a childhood filled with invisible friends, sightings of dead relatives and a fascination with the occult, turning to the paranormal was a no-brainer. In her other reality, she makes her living as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic/tarot reader, university instructor and workshop presenter. Her series, Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist is being rewritten and will be republished by Quercus Books in the UK and Europe, and by Sterling Publishing/Silver Oak in North America. The UK version of the first book in the series, "The Vampire Shrink" will be published September, 2011. The North American version a few months later. Book #2 (tentatively titled "Blood Therapy"), which is a new book, will be published a year later, and book #3 (the book that used to be called "Dark Harvest") will follow a year later. She also has a short story in the anthology, "Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance," called "Blood Song." "Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker" and "Undead in the City" are available through Amazon.com and Smashwords.
Kismet Knight ist Psychologin. Eines Tages ändert sich ihr bis dahin eher langweiliges Leben schlagartig, als eine neue Patientin ihr von ihren Erlebnissen mit Vampiren berichtet. Kismet glaubt natürlich kein Wort, schließlich hat sie jeden Tag mit Menschen zu tun, die sich die unglaublichsten Dinge vorstellen. Aber plötzlich sieht sie sich selbst in die Geschichte ihrer Patientin verwickelt und lernt echte Vampire kennen. Natürlich glaubt sie nicht, dass es tatsächlich echte Vampire sind... Aber nach und nach wird sie eines Besseren belehrt, und letztendlich verliebt sie sich natürlich in den Chef der Vampire... ** Mir hat der Roman im Großen und Ganzen sehr gut gefallen. In gewisser Weise ist die Handlung vorhersehbar, aber trotz alledem ist es ein gelungenes Buch! Der humorvolle Schreibstil der Autorin macht es zu einem Leseerlebnis.
Where do I start with this one? I loved the idea of this book and it seems ages since I lost myself in a really good vampire book but unfortunately despite wanting this to work it didn't, well for me anyway. The blurb's good and there's loads of reviews so I'll skip my usual summary and just give my opinion. Kismet annoyed me from the start, she's a psychologist but her thoughts seemed so childish and silly, on top of this Kismet has no confidence with the opposite sex, which is fair enough and that explains why she's not had sex in two years but then it turns out she's not only gorgeous but men are throwing themselves at her and she's lusting after them as well! For an intelligent woman she seems pretty clueless and the amount of time it took her to actually believe in vampires was annoying and really dragged the book out. That's another thing it was too long and I found myself skimming a lot of the time, it also seemed jumpy and kind of all over the place. I liked Devereux initially I mean he's tall, sexy and immortal what's not to like? But then he did that dance, I couldn't read for cringing it was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever read and I had to put the book down and try and block it out before I could continue. The dance: Then he came and stood in front of me, set the chalice on the floor at my feet, threw off his duster, and danced for me. Vampires dance? Who knew? Well, he did say it was a pagan ceremony. His movements were totally unlike his usual elegant, contained presentation. His hips undulated, his stomach muscles rolled, and his arms sliced through the air in deliberate, graceful motions. He threw his head back, his platinum hair flew, and his face went slack, as if he’d got gotten lost in ecstasy. He reminded me of a performance I saw in a film with famous dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. A potent energy sparked off Devereux as he danced. I felt the tension building inside myself and thought that if he didn’t touch me soon, I’d explode. As I caught some of the expressions on the faces of the other participants, I saw I wasn’t the only one having that reaction. Devereux’s skin shone with sweat, like liquid diamonds. He moved his hands seductively over his body, locking his eyes with mine. Bending toward me, he opened his mouth and slowly and deliberately licked his upper lip with his tongue. Why did I continue? Not all of it was bad I really liked Alan and Amy grew on me and the idea was good plus I'd already downloaded the second book so I did want this one to work. I made it to the end but I won't be continuing on, like I said the idea is good and I would imagine the writing will improve but I don't really like Kismet and despite my best intentions the image of Devereux dancing that 'erotic' dance just won't go away.
As a woman who has read a gazillion of vampire stories...this one is the best. A new twist to an old story line and none of the cheesiness that seems to be popular these days. It is romantic, sensual, and totally engrossing...and I'm not even done with it yet!
UPDATE: Ok, now that I'm done. Here is a shocker...this story is so well written and so engaging, and I'm a long time Laurell Hamilton fan, that I have closed my Hamilton collection down to make room for this fabulous new series. The characters are lively and even the "good guys" you're not really sure are all that good. I love that the vampires are just that and not gushy humans with fangs. Hilburn's vampires are as diverse as can be which makes them unpredictable. Devereaux is a hero through and through with a huge "I get what I want" streak that is so expertly woven into a compassionate and responsible personality that he doesn't come off as overbearing or a bully. Kismet is the kind of heroine that I really enjoy. She is solidly grounded in her scientific world and rebels against the idea of vampires to a degree that I think any one of a scientific background would. Her character is spunky and she has a good spine even when she's truly terrified, I like her. And I don't say that too much about heroine. For me, the heroine is the vehicle I use to get into the story, not in this one. Kismet stood on her own and allowed me to follow her, not usurp her role in the story. Not many authors have written a female character that strong. Great story, engaging characters, and a story line that is strong and inticing. A wonderful read.
Opening Line: " My involvement with vampires began innocently enough."
Dr. Kismit Knight is a respected Denver Psychologist who doesn't believe in the paranormal. She especially doesn't believe in Vampires. Kismit's character has been written like a real person, not your average romance heroine, she could be you or me and that's what makes it so great when she stumbles into the Vampire world. It could also be you or me.
The story begins with Dr. Knight taking on a patient with a Vampire fetish. The girl frequents a Goth club and has a crush on the owner, who she claims is a Vampire. She in fact wants to become one of the undead. Kismit of course thinks she's crazy but decides that this Vampire culture would be a great idea for a book. Kismit puts an ad in the newspaper promoting herself as the "Vampire Shrink" hoping to gain valuable research material. What she doesn't count on is meeting Devereux. The 800 year old, wealthy and extremely gorgeous club owner. After a two year drought in her sex life Kismit finds herself inexplicably drawn to him even though she thinks he's delusional for indeed claiming to be a Vampire. Through a series of misadventures and blood drained bodies she also finds herself spending time with FBI profiler Alan Stevens. Enter the love triangle.
Throughout this story we get to hear Dr. Knights running internal dialogue and it's awesome, especially after she learns that Devereux can read her mind. "Yes I desire you as well" he whispered into my mind.
The climax takes place at a Vampire ball on Halloween night. With a gruesome multiple-personality antagonist named Lucifer out to kill Devereux and drain Dr. Knights blood. It also finds FBI man Alan dressed as Gary Oldman from the movie Dracula. This is a hilarious book, full of sassy sarcasm and cool wit. It is also quite sexy. With both love interests more than suitable as romance material.
Highly recommended for fans of sexy Vampires, sexy FBI men, sarcastic wit, paranormal romance and an all around good read. I'm looking forward to reading Dark Harvest next to see where the series takes us.
Excerpt from the Vampire Shrink: "I choose fictional creatures for 500$ Alex." Propping my feet up on the chair that'd been recently vacated by the firm hindquarters of the cutest FBI agent I'd ever seen, I raised my coffee cup in a solitary toast to the memory of his tight jeans exiting my kitchen and loudly vocalized the theme song from the TV game show Jeopardy. I put on my best Alex Trebek voice. "These bloodsucking undead denizens of the night have taken over the rational minds of the populace of Denver" I pretended to push an invisible button on the table. "What are vampires?" imitating Alex again "Yes our new winner is Dr Kismit Knight formally a respected psychologist now a permanent resident of Denver Psychiatric Hospital" I sang the theme song again, applauded myself and heaved a huge sigh. I definitely didn't get enough sleep."
It wasn’t only that they’d invaded my privacy, or that they appeared dangerous, or even that they could assault me at any moment. It was something else, some basic preverbal fear that caused the hairs on my arms to stand up and the warning system in my head to fire a red alert. I kept having the strange, less, than-comforting intuition that death was in the room, and my usually manageable radar was picking up so much fearful information that it plunged into overload and threatened to shut down.
. OMG! I can’t read this anymore. I can’t do it. This book is a whole bunch of nothing.
Why is there an info dump about the intuition of death during a supposedly scary scene? Two dangerous thugs just walked into Dr. Kismet’s office and she’s rambling on about how fearful information may plunge her into overload. The whole book so far has been like this, filled with cheesy writing, repetitive sentences and italicized thoughts. This is first person. You don’t need italicized thoughts!
I’m very disappointed. I was really looking forward to this book. I think somewhere in this dribble there’s probably a 100 page, cool vampire story, but I’m not going to read through 451 pages of drek to get to it. DNF!
This book had real potential. It's a new premise after all on the old and abused vampire/human love. However it read like fanfiction. The author used the word ORBS to describe eyes. That is unforgivable. Beyond that it's just cheesy. The erotic scenes are borderline tasteless and crude. Dev says things like "You have the nicest breasts I have seen in 800 years." Puuuhlease. I think the next book will be better but this one is on my black list for it's fanfiction faux pas.
I gave this book 273 pages to improve but it never really did lift from its bottom level of cheesiness. Probably the worst vampire book I've ever read. I gave up during the part where she had to go to a "protection ceremony" and then was dressed up by nubile female vampires. Ugh! Don't waste your time.
Not very good, maybe 1.5 stars. Definitely a different kind of vampire culture than I've seen before, but not good enough to redeem the book. The main character was very cold blooded except when facing the "overwhelming" arousal of being near any hot male, which got pretty tiresome after a while. However, much of the book was tell tell tell with very little show so it's really hard to get engaged with it. Having a clinical psychologist as your main character who basically seems disassociated from her thought process with all these traumatic things going on around her was very jarring. Also there are a lot of plot points that were started, like her third eye,and the psychic abilities she has, and what's going on with the Tarot card reader, and other ideas dropped on the reader, not explored in this book at all or even remotely explained or used. Someone else's review said that this has a real kick-ass main character, and I really can't see it, not in this book, anyways. Recommend only for 16+, and really, only for those who want to check out the novelty of a different vampire 'world', before going back to a good series.
3.5 stars. Incredibly entertaining and fast paced. The story was better than I expected and it was hard to put down. Because the title is so cheesy, I almost passed it up, but I'm glad I listened to my gut. One of the things that got on my nerves was all of Kismet's inner dialogue. It got annoying and at times took away from the flow of the story. Also the one sex scene left little to be desired which was shocking because she was great with the sexual tension. That being said I am glad I read the book. It provided much needed entertainment.
I’d say The Vampire Shrink (Book 1 in the Vampire Psychologist Series) by Lynda Hilburn was pretty entertaining. The main character, Kismet Knight, is a young clinical psychologist who specializes in helping those that believe in all things paranormal. She recently decided to take on a client who believes in vampires. Of course, like anyone else, Kismet herself doesn’t believe in these things, and she often struggles between maintaining her professionalism to analyze their situations scientifically and her internal natural thought process that just wants to knock sense into these people. That is, until she’s thrust into this world herself.
A good deal of the book is spent with Kismet denying that vampire exist, even though all of the strange events add up to it. I guess that could be a realistic response, but it was a little irksome. Though she is a psychiatrist there are times what her inner monologue doesn’t sound very sophisticated at all, especially when it comes to men. That could be intentional due to her lack of experience with many men, or maybe it’s due to her age. She is unusually young for a shrink. It’s also a little hard to believe that she doesn’t get attention for being attractive. She is described as looking like Megan Fox yet when good looking men flirt with her she literally says that this doesn’t happen very often.
We meet some really cool vampires. I like their powers. I’m happy they don’t sparkle. I’m even happier that they have fangs…and boy are they used… Deveraux is sophisticated and enigmatic.
Like many paranormal romances, there is a love triangle. Kismet’s torn between an FBI agent and the vampire Devereux, who takes her as his mate. I’m sure it’s not difficult to determine who I rooted for the whole time, haha.
Normally with these kinds of series I usually don’t like when the main character falls in love with the guy in 10 pages. I don’t connect with that whatsoever as a reader which is why I generally am selective about my paranormal romances. But for some reason, I didn’t mind it in this book. That is probably because there is something special about Kismet and their union was foreshadowed.
The villains are evil and beautiful, evil and ugly, and evil and crazy. I was seriously creeped out in a couple of scenes, but they were well done. Hilburn doesn’t mind exposing the reader to disturbing situations.
This was rewrite but I actually did not notice any major differences aside from newer pop culture references over the past 5 years, so my opinion did not change much from the previous edition (which I also read). Towards the end it really picks up and gets very intense and engaging so I hope to see more of that in future novels all throughout. I’m not quite sure whether or not I’d consider the ending that much of a cliffhanger or not. At least it helps that you can easily move onto the next book and see what happens next. I know I will.
It's so hard to say something about this book but I'll try.
First thing... for 80 pages this book was sooooo boring , but I insist... and I glad I go on and finished.
Devereux (the main male character) is really interesting... you will discover a little about him (and when I said "a little" I'm saying, "almost nothing". Lynda Hilburn let a lot to be told). Kismet (the main female character) is so annoying! She is a shrink (oh yes, the title has a meaning) and everything she saw she try to analyze. This book is her perspective (she is the only narrator) so be patient (or skip the most annoying parts). Alan (one male secondary character) was perfect! I love him! A lot! Certainly he will show up on other book of this serie.
Second, I'm putting on my urban-fantasy shelf not my paranormal romance one. Why? Well, 250 pages to the first sex... oh yes... 250 pages to read... was so hard to read up to there but I did it! And I'm proud of my stubbornness! After the great and well described sex scene the book became much more interesting!
The end (the vampire ball) was really amazing... was not expecting what happen... and I like it! A lot!
So my (cruel) judgment: It's worth of 3 stars... not more...
I have a weakness when it comes to paranormal romance books, especially the kind I’m too embarrassed to read in public. You all know the types I mean – the embarrassing titles and the covers that make old women raises their eyebrows in questioning. Thus, it was no surprise The Vampire Shrink grabbed my attention when I stumbled upon it.
The main thing to grab me about The Vampire Shrink was the promise of something a bit different – a paranormal romance book that was mixed with psychology. Being a student of psychology, my interested was more than grabbed. I also went in with a lot of expectations in my mind.
I will be honest, things were a bit different. Not massively so, but this is clearly a series that will stand out in certain ways. At the same time, however, it felt like a lot of the same. I don’t mind how certain things seem to reappear across the genre – there is only so much that can be done, after all – yet the more I read, the more cliched this one seemed to become.
In truth, I started off a wee bit unsure about this one. Once I got into the story it became a four-star rating. As the story continued, however, that four-star rating became a three-star rating. The story continued to hold my attention, I cannot deny that, but it kept throwing out things that bored me – things I have seen far too many times.
I think the hardest pill for me to swallow, the one I always have difficulty with, was the excessive amount of interest the main character suddenly found herself receiving from males. We went from zero interested males to her giving off some kind of pheromone that had every male – both the living and the dead – interested in her. Even with the story trying to explain it off, I found it hard to enjoy this element of the story – it dragged away from the stuff I was really interested in.
I am interested in picking up the next book, Blood Therapy, but I’m not as crazy about it as I had expected to be. There are things I want to understand better, things were opened up I want to know more about, but the way things ended so quickly in this one lessened my desire to pick up the next book. It is more so a case of I will grab it if I see it on offer, but I will not go out of my way to grab it.
Overall, this was an okay read. I wasn’t as crazy about it as I had hoped to be – in other words, it is not to be another paranormal romance series I obsessively power my way through – but it was decent enough.
I'm honestly surprised by the number of people on GR that rated this 5 stars. While I found it a decent read at the start, it quickly lost coherence, and the vampire worldview was barely drawn in a consistent way. At first I found the heroine very likeable, a retiring, sensitive psychologist who hated shopping and loved take-out food. However, as events spiral out of her control, her moods swing wildly from one extreme to the other and I feel she loses coherence and believability. She also suffers from an excess of libido, and falls in lust with a doctor, a FBI agent, a vampire, her ex, and a chiropractor within rapid sequence. Its a bit of an excess, especially when her ex sees her in the tub naked, the FBI agent sees her in the tub naked, and Devereux reads her lustful thoughts about getting naked. I enjoyed the start, and thought the scene with Kismet and her first vampire wanna-be client was well drawn, with Kismet working on establishing a connection and conceptualizing the vampire fetish as a typical unhealthy coping behavior. But her client only serves as an introduction into the vampire world, and Kismet quickly loses interest once she sees all those hunky men. Her supernatural interactions build quickly, with a minor stalking by the head vampire, Devereux, and then attack by two vampires from another faction. Oddly, these events do not particularly rouse her fear or begin a belief in vampires. Shortly after, she finds herself accompanying the FBI agent the the vampires' dance club and hideout, the Crypt, and is introduced to Devereux's magic and mysticism. Suddenly there is a fight between vampires, Kismet is knocked up and wakes up in a coffin. The investigating officer is very confrontational with Kismet, which starts to appear like she may be targeted by the police as possible perpetrator. Instead of worrying at the mysteries, however, Kismet is mostly concerned about whether or not vampires exist, despite the abundant proof in front of her, and acting out her confusion with dramatic mood swings. The quiet, sensitive psychologist we were introduced to doesn't seem familiar later in the book. And then we jump to Harlequin romance interlude, where Devereux comes to her house and romances her into bed, using romance in the loose sense of the word, since he brings flowers and chocolate and says "I am here to make love to you." Of course, then they have real sex, he leaves because its daylight, and then they have dream sex. I confess, I started skimming at this point, because I couldn't take any more of the dialogue, Kismet's lack of belief in vampires, or the general dippiness of the vampire world.
I love this book. it’s a mix between PNR and UF, so you get a little of both worlds. There is no HEA in this one. If you like a book where a woman is torn between two loves and you like to read about vampires fighting with fangs out and blood everywhere, teleporting in on you when your not expecting it, abilities to telepathy, an air of danger around them.
Kismet is a PH.D , A vampire shrink, to those who believe to be vampires, but are they really? Kismet thinks not. So one of her clients tells her that Dev (Devereux) the leader of the vampires wants to met with her after hours, of course, Kismet agrees. Well little did she know what she was getting herself in to. As soon as she sees him she has feelings for him of lust etc, but what she dosen’t know is Dev has known her for way over hundreds years. Dev will take all the action necessary to keep Kismet, so be prepared he is sneaky.
Devereux is a vampire I like to read about. he is kind, but he has the ability’s as in top paragraph plus some and is not afraid to use them to get what he wants. Plus he is top vampire, so he has a bad guy side, its yummy!
The downside to this book is Kismet is very stubborn and at times it really got on my nerves.
***Spoiler*** Here is a chopped up passage form the book its my favorite. Imaging if you would, you meet a dangerous vampire and you go to his club he takes you to look around where he stays, you see his is an excellent painter, he has one of his mother you can see they resemble quite a bit, then he starts telling you about his life before he became vampire, he tells you he was schooled in magic and art, that his family comes for a line of wizards and witches and he has talents and he became a seer. Then he goes to a cabinet and opens it and pulls our a canvas of a painting of you. And you say “ when did you have time to paint this?” then you notice something in the painting, your wearing the same items at that moment and he has never seen them. Then he tells you, “this woman in the portrait haunted me, she filled my dreams for years until I would surely go mad and she spoke in to my mind a repeated word” “Kismet” So I thought this painting was my fate, my destiny I have waited patiently for her to find me, after years I put the painting away. And its been locked away until now. And all you can say is “Are you saying this painting is not recent?” “when was it painted?” then the vampire says, “Over 800 years ago!”
Now this is what happened between Kismet and Dev. if you liked that, then you have to try the book.
*groan* I have no idea how I managed to drag myself through this book, but somehow I did.
It felt like the author went through a 'new age vampire checklist' ticking off necessary characters and info.
*Totally clueless human woman who thinks of herself as ugly, can't talk to regular men and hasn't had sex in a while and is therefore justified in wanting to jump every cute guy she sees. Lives alone, doesn't take care of herself, and seems to be waiting for someone to come along and sweep her off her feet. *Nice, understandable human guy who should be perfect for human girl but you just know she will abandon him eventually for the 'mystical and hot' vampire *Said vampire is often only described as 'attractive' is somehow mystically 'in love' with the human on sight, has a funky, weird name "Devereux". He is rich, owns a dance club (now where have I read that before? hmmmmm) and has a snarky, female second in command who doesn't warm to the human. *The vampires feel no need to share with the reader about their magical powers (random dream magic? what?)
200 pages. That's how long, after being attacked, told, told again, seen fangs, told again, before Kismet realizes there are vampires. Reading her explain away everything as delusions got old, quickly. But not to worry, as soon as she accepts there are vampires, she sleeps with one. Problem solved! reality renewed!
What I'm basically saying is, if you like vampire stereotypes (and this book had so much potential, a vampire shrink? that sounded so cool *sigh*) then go for it. You want no info? go for it. But there is no way I'd pick up this book again, or read anything else in the series. ARGH!
6/1/09: Reread - At the top of The Best of The Best ... one of the most enjoyable, unique and entertaining paranormals I've read ... and I've read lots of them.
Simply outstanding, a *gem* - definitely on my Top Reads of 2008! One of those "Oooo, why didn't I read this sooner?!" books :-)
Lynda Hilburn's unique tale features Kismet Knight, a sensible professional psychologist who does not believe in the paranormal, vampires, etc. counseling people whom she first believes are suffering from delusions, are acting out, etc.
Kismet is soon faced with odd reactions, feelings, and experiences when she meets a man claiming to be an 800 year old Vampire -- forcing her to rethink her view of the possibility of a Vampire Underworld within the Denver community.
Lots of past paced action, darker than the "happy sexy" vampire paranormals out there. This book grabbed me hook, line and sinker from page one - I didn't want it to end!!
This was horrible - the author is a shrink herself - and should stay in that field and away from books. This book does not FLOW - it has huge leaping jumps from one section to the next - one minute the character is walking down the street the next she is walking up in a coffin surrounded by dead bodies - she falls in love with a vampire - maybe... he obviously has a thing for her - but you dont understand why - and you never learn anything about him - there is no hero - there is no heroine - its choppily written. you never understand why she walks up surrounded by bodies in the coffin. You dont understand anything about the vampire she says she is in love with (they never have a conversation - literally never get to know each other - the vamp just sends her about 5 ramdom messages telepathically - and sends body guards to protect her - although the body guards turn on her and try to eat her... horribly disappointed - the book subject - a shrink working with real vampires had so much potential - its such a creative subject twist. And then the book ends -with a bizarre battle scene - and NOTHING is explained - i kept thinking there would be a wrap up chapter where everything random in the book now made sense. What was happening with Midnight and Bryce? Whats with the ghost in the mirror? Who cares that the FBI guys moms might be a vamp? (the story doesnt give you enough to let you care) How did this book get passed editors? How did this get published? If I could give it less than one star I would AVOID - the book is a lot of random what, the where literally jumps dimensions with no explanation - or understanding, the how is never explained or suggested, - the descriptions are "the bedspread was colorful" - everything is colorful - but nothing else - poor descriptions. Hands down the poorest written book ive ever read. Ugh.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
To paraphrase the beginning of the book, my involvement with this novel started innocently enough.I picked it up at the bookstore, read a couple of pages; it seemed like something witty and funny, so I decided to give it a go. Not to mention I am, in fact, a psychologist and a book named "The Vampire Shrink" would surely catch my eye. Little did I know it would turn out to be one of the worst books I've read in my life. First of all, the main character is a complete and total dimwit. She's stupid! For more than half of the book, she refused to accept what was before her eyes and attributed what she was seeing to all sorts of crazy explanations. I wouldn't normally have a problem with that except that: a)it got boring and b)the character showed no consistency at all. I mean, seriously, you believe in psychic powers and have attended Wicca rituals but, hey, vampires you draw the line at! Seriously! Another thing that irritated me big time was the fact that almost every single male character in this novel was extraordinarily handsome. I felt like I'd gone through a portal and found myself in the set of America's Next Top Model Male Edition. And I'm contemplating this: if Mrs. Hilburn had been a MALE writer writing in this manner about FEMALE characters, everyone would jump at the opportunity to call said writer a misogynist. But, because it's a female writer writing about male characters, it's suddenly romantic? The plot was nothing new or exciting, the interaction between characters wasn't particularly interesting, the mythology was neither original nor well-crafted. All in all, not a book I enjoyed.
I must start by saying that I only got half way through the book before throwing it aside in disgust. Admittedly part of my negative review is duet to the fact that I was expecting so much more from a book with an original plot idea with potential for some great character development. As someone that is a fan of the vampire genre and a psychology student, I saw the potential for some really interesting plot twists. Yet instead of getting a horror novel with a bit of romance, or even a psycho-sexual thriller I got your standard run of the mill vampire fluff.
Kismet's credit as a real psychologist is almost immediately thrown out the window. She gives up scientific reasoning almost immediately, and sleeps with her patient so quickly that it is actually sickening to anyone who has been taught the importance of keeping a clinical distance. A better author would have drawn out the sessions between Kismet and Devereux, made it a real and frightening struggle for a scientifically minded woman to accept the supernatural.
I feel like the premise had such potential and the author took the cheap and easy way out. I mean maybe I was expecting too much as a psychology buff, but I can't help but think of all the awesome possibilities this book could have had if it hadn't been satisfied being another piece of nondescript vampire smut.
This novel had potential to be something interesting only it fell miserably flat. The book read like a really long and disconnected fan-fic. Simply wasn't enjoyable at all, the characters were silly, there were plot-holes, et cetera...
2013 has only just started and yet I have already found a book that I believe will make my top reads of 2013! The Vampire Shrink was flat out amazing! I enjoyed this so much and I am so happy to report that! Lately the paranormal (urban fantasy) genre has been..meh for me, it's just a genre I can't get myself into lately, but Vampire Shrink completely flipped that around! If you're someone that loves vampires, a steamy romance, hot men, hilarious dialogue, and action then this is a book you need to pick up!
Lets start off with the characters...I freakin loved each and every one of them! Very often when I read a book the characters will come off as sharing way too many personality traits, but not with Vampire Shrink! Everyone has their very own distinct personality, and I loved each of them! Even the bad guys in this novel I found myself liking just because their personalities differed SO much from everyone elses.(They were CRAZY!!)
I don't even know if I should start on the romance...it was perfect. You have Alan who is the sweet, sexy, funny, FBI agent...then you have Devereux who is the old school, sexy, mysterious vampire that believes Kismet and him are soul mates. I just loved every second of the romance in this book, it had the perfect amount of everything, there weren't too many steamy scenes, there weren't too many over lovey scenes, everything just flowed so smoothly with the romance and I can definitely understand why Kismet is confused!
Last but certainly not least I have to talk about the authors writing, it was another thing among many things that I loved. I flew through this book within (less than) 24 hours, anytime I could find a spare minute I was reading this book. Last night I was literally sitting in a Burger King drive threw with my car light on reading while I waiting for my food...seriously any minute I found to read more of the Vampire Shrink, I took! I did not want to put it down, I was so curious about what was going to happen and what was going on! The author wrote amazing characters, an amazing romance, and made the mystery very suspenseful! This is a book I really believe people will have a hard time putting down!
Overall the Vampire Shrink is a book that any paranormal/urban fantasy lover should pick up! I have nothing bad to say about this book and I really just loved it, Lynda Hilburn has officially gained a new forever fan!
I've always been a huge fan of Vampire fiction and The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn was one of the earliest I read , so when I read that she was doing a new cover , I thought that I would do a review and ignite it to all those readers out there who have yet to discover its awesomeness. If you love Vampires and Pyschology , then this is for you and if you love the suspense and mystery element then you have that chucked into the mix also. I have a thing for covers and at the time I had the cover on the far right but I would have to say my two favourite covers is the one on the far left and the one 2nd to the right. In The Vampire Shrink , we meet Pyschologist Kismet Knight , she runs her own office and the thought of Vampires actually existing makes her laugh , to her there is no such thing as the supernatural . That is until one of her patients who goes by the name of Midnight , longs to become a vampire and opens Kismet up to the fact that their is a huge gothic Vampire following in the nightclubs. When a tragedy occurs and girls start turning up dead with their bodies drained of blood , it seems that maybe Midnight was telling the truth and then when Deveraux , an 800yr old sexy as hell Vampire who reminded me of Eric from True Blood appears at Kismet's office needing her help. She may be persuaded to change her whole view on the supernatural , especially when sexual tensions and passion starts to flare up and she finds herself unable to stay aware from Deveraux. Who knows, becoming involved with Vampires , may be a whole new profession for Kismet. Find out all this and more in an exciting Vampire series , that everyone should read as it has the fun side of Tate Hallaway's Vampire Series , the therapist side of MJ Rose's The Butterfield Institute and combined urban fantasy of authors like Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks.
This is by far the worst book I've read since Terry Goodkind (and I've suffered through Twilight and 50 Shades). From the get-go I hated the main character. "For someone who sits on her butt all day talking to people I can still move pretty fast when I want to. I am blessed with one of those long, lean runners' bodies, an inheritance from my father's side of the family, and my body fat percentage is on the low end. But thanks to my mother's genetic contribution, I am too well-endowed to actually enjoy running on a regular basis." She's unbelievably hot (all the other characters comment on it), every single guy is drop-dead gorgeous and wants to bang her, every other woman is either an eighteen year old vampire wannabe (easily dismissible) or ugly and bitter. "A bulky female officer approached me. She was big the way that a weight lifted is big, not fat, but solid and muscular. She must have been six feet tall. Dressed in a no-nonsense, dark-blue pantsuit, she appeared to be in her late forties, and the years hadn't been kind. Her grey-streaked hair was cut very short in a style that required little upkeep, and the lines in her face had formed themselves into a continuous scowl. I guessed she'd been someone for whom high school had been hell, and she'd taken the gold in the Olympic Holding a Grudge competition."
Add into the fact that the prose is florid, she's actually a really really really bad therapist, and the vampires are just caricatures of sexy ridiculousness and I really wish I could give this less than one star.
Extremely good read. An absorbing look at vampires and vampire society through the eyes of a non-believer, a psychologist who keeps trying to help the 'delusional'. As she is sucked [:)] further in she keeps clinging to denial but is finally forced into acceptance. The pace of the book - which includes an XFiles-style FBI agent, multiple murders, mind control, rabid fanatics, magical elements, the rise of Evil, politics played as a blood sport and lots of vampires and those who love/hate/fear them - prevents anyone from sitting down and having the kind of life altering discussion the situation deserves.
And then there is Devereaux. He's waited 800 years to see the woman of his vision and she arrives just when someone wants to use her as a bloody [literally:] pawn against him. He must protect her. He must protect his people. But evil is on the rise and it wants him...
If you're looking for Ward or Adrian style [armed and dangerous:] vampires you won't find them here. Nor will you recognize any similarities to Sands or McAllister [we're just people with a few odd habits:] vamps. LH's spin on vampires is unique in my experience. I look forward to the sequel.
I have no idea where to start. I really should have stopped reading it, but some thing intrigued me to keep going ... there fore I finished it and gave it 2 stars.
Here is my analogy on how I feel about the book: It's as if a friend of mine wants to tell me this awesome story and there's all this babble and talk that seems to take away from the focus of the story and then I get to the end and I think - that was a horribly told story and it really wasn't worth listening to. But I'm confused because it has all these great reviews and there were parts of the story that were intriguing but apparently it was all told wrong.
The not believing in vampires part of a vampire book, got annoying after awhile, yet it played a constant roll in the book and I think it just really took a lot away from the story for me. There was a good plot going ... you have the love triangle ... the creepy psychotic vampire ... it all has a lot of promise. I guess it just all came together wrong for me and I really didn't care for the way it was written together. Obviously that's just me ... it has great reviews.
Before I start on the review, here is my heartfelt plea to Quercus!
Guys, honestly, the cover is atrocious - fake blood and peroxide-burnt hair? What were you thinking?!! It hurt my eyes. This is how you imagined delicious Devereux with his lustrous long hair the colour of moonlight? Like Curt Cobain-wannabe?
Now getting back to my review. This is a revised and extended version of the original story which I read in 2007. Of course, when Lynda HIlburn contacted me, I was very curious to see how the story will differ from what I remember.
The Vampire Shrink was different in 2007 and it stayed refreshingly different in 2011, only got better.
Kismet Knight is a young psychologist with her own practice in Denver. She is pretty, very clever being a daughter of two scientists; she breezed through her school and university at quicker pace than normal and as you can expect I'm leading you to the conclusion that she is a geek at heart, socially inept, have very few friends, she is still recovering from a broken relationship from 2 years ago and have more phobias than I can count on my fingers.
Enter her client, a vampire wannabe girl, who regularly goes to Gothic club The Crypt and worships his owner Devereux who she claims is an ancient vampire. Fascinated, Kismet decides to explore the subculture of people pretending to be vampires and die-hard Twilight fans, and *gasp* maybe write a research book on the subject. So she places an ad in the local paper calling herself The Vampire Psychologist.
All Hell breaks loose.
Enter Devereux, with whom the author had so much fun you won't believe it. He is just as beautiful and dramatic as Jean-Claude (at least his taste in clothes) and he's got every imaginable power you can give him. He even has a wand! *naughty, naughty, it's not what you were thinking about*
Enter vampires with multiple mental disorders, trail of bodies drained of blood, psycho killers, different dimensions, Druids, magic and a gorgeous FBI agent a la Mulder.
Because Kismet is so unsure of herself and doesn't handle relationship very well, some of the things which would have bothered me in a different book are actually amusing. Devereux is not below being a pompous ass and directing Kismet's life, and because it's an untried field for doctor Knight she stumbles and flails a lot.
Kismet also has a peculiar self-deprecating sense of humor and her inner geek comes out at the most unfortunate time. I loved the references to Twilight, Harry Potter and even Jocker from Batman. I loved Doctor Knight even if I wasn't keen on all Devereux yummy goodness. Sorry, I just love my vampires dangerously wicked, down and dirty... *grinning* although this man wasn't without some major talents.
But Kismet? Kismet I definitely want to know more about. *hint-hint*
He brought his hands around from behind him. They held a huge bouquet of pink roses and a box of chocolates. "Gifts for you, my love." He leaned in and brushed my lips lightly with his. The familiar, delicious scent of him filled my nostrils and my lips instinctively puckered in anticipation of more of the same. Instead he burst out laughing. "You have pigs on your feet!" (Kismet is wearing Miss Piggy slippers)
Kismet is defined as "fate or destiny" and after having read Lynda Hilburn's "The Vampire Shrink," this reviewer is quite convinced that that is a story that readers are destined to love.
As it happens, Kismet Knight PhD, is also the unlikely heroine of our little tale. In Kismet readers will find a woman who should have the world on a string...beautiful, talented, brilliant...empathic. Yep, that's right! Look out Sookie Stackhouse, our girl Kismet's got skills. The thing is she's afraid to use them. The fact is Kismet is afraid of pretty much everything that doesn't involve other people's problems. She uses her practice and her quest to solve the psychological 'rubic's cubes' that are her patent's minds to escape her life's own 'unsolved mysteries'.
Until... Midnight Midnight is Kismet's newest and strangest patient. A young lady with a troubled past, an uncertain future, and a story that will change Kismet's life forever. Oh yeah, she's got fangs too! Well sorta.
Is She Crazy? Or Is It Devereux?
What's not to like here? He's rich, cultured, and Norse god sexy. He's also Kismet's second fanged client. Only...his fangs are real. Devereux is an 800 year-old vampire and the central character in Midnight's couch confessions to Dr. Knight. Though her psychic bells and whistles go hay wire every time he comes near her; our dear Dr. just can't see the fangs right in front of her. She can however, feel the HEAT. The attraction between these two is strong enough to create black holes in space.
But, there are no such things as vampires...right?
Out Of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire
If there is one thing that Dr. Knight can't seem to get enough of, it's mysteries, and after the biggest one of her life literally walks into her office, the floodgates open and all bets are off. The story told here has everything that a reader could want: 1. Murder 2. Mayhem (most of the fanged and bloody sort) 3. Love triangles (seriously...triangles, as in more than one) 4. Mysteries 5. Psychology 6. Magic 7. Romance (sex not sold separately) 8. VAMPIRES Wanna read it yet?
In short... This book is many things: paranormal romance, mystery, psychological thriller, and comedy. Lynda Hilburn skillfully manages to craft an intelligent story that encompasses a wide range of varying genre elements in a way that is simply unputdownable. Her characters are likeable, unique, and completely fine with being flawed, weird, or 'off their beams". The pacing of this read is never rushed and the transition from action to drama or romance is seamless and never predictable. The scenes within this book are written in such vivid detail that each one etches itself in the mind of the reader in much the same way that a favorite snapshot captures a treasured memory. This story is one that wraps itself around you like a blanket fresh from the dryer. Leaving you smiling and happy long after the book is closed.
...and as if all that was not enough, it's the first book in a series!
Wanna read it now?
This review was cross posted from my blog.... and is published without the author written excerpt included in original post.
If I could have forced myself to read more than 27% through this book, I'd rate it one star. But that seems unfair. Maybe it would have improved at some point after I threw in the towel. I doubt it. But maybe.
My first major hurdle was the depiction of Kismet as a psychologist. I know that is my own stuff after close to 25 years in Mental Health and perhaps others wouldn't notice or care. I was surprised to see the author states on her GR page that she is a psychotherapist. I found little believable in her portrait of Kisment's work starting with a jolting assertion that "It's publish or perish!" Um, if you're a professor, sure. In private practice? Not that I've seen. Then there were her odd intepretations of danger to self/others and even odder choices of what did or did not constituted client confidentiality.
But even beyond the numerous HIPAA violations, the writing was amateurish with one dimensional characters. A prime example is Kismet's "FBI guy" who fit that description in that there was nothing that made him seem like an actual federal agent. The First Person narration didn't help things. It's hard to avoid being annoying when chortling about your pesky sense of humor or describing yourself as slender, other than your large breasts. Add to that Kismet's often innane commentary and stray thoughts and I couldn't take it any more.
I've had my Kindle for about 26 months and have only been unable to finish 3 or 4 books in that time. The Vampire Shrink has made that list. At least, it was an inexpensive mistake.