Vampire Vacation

Rated 4.57/5 based on 15 reviews
Vivian is a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. They've created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where guests explore their wildest fantasies. What will the innkeepers do when a dead body shows up in a locked room? More

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Published by Red Hot Publishing
Words: 84,640
Language: English
ISBN: 9780982661017

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Review by: Mandie White on July 14, 2013 :
I simply loved this story! I can not wait until
the second book is available!! please let's know how soon I can get it
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Julie Smeltzer on July 11, 2011 :
A dead body is found on the first page of the story. However, it takes until halfway through the book for any more real plot development. I really enjoyed the second half of the book. The hunt for the killer was really cool and all the different powers the vamps have were creatively used.

There's a quote in about the last third of the book that really defines how I feel about the entire first half: "Is something wrong with me? Here I am, in the woods, a killer on the loose, turning an employee from death’s door with semi-immortality, and what do I want to do? Feed from my husband and bring him to completion with my bite." Yea, pretty much. The entire first half is sex, sex, and more sex. Sure, she has a business to run, and part of her business is getting the guests to "enjoy" themselves. But I just found it annoying that there is little plot development in the first half of the book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shontrell Wade on April 12, 2011 :
Before reading Vampire Vacation, my exposure to any kind of paranormal or vampire-related fiction was restricted to the late night Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney movies I grew up watching and Twilight.

I was hooked on this story from page one. Werewolves and vampires and sex, oh my.

This book has it all - an interesting mix of characters, a mysterious murder, and habanero-hot sex. Some authors use sex scenes as the central focus of a story and some inject it gratuitiously. The sexual scenes in this story are woven masterfully into the plot and serve to enhance it.

Vivian/Dria and her husband, Rafe, have a unique relationship. Despite having been together for hundreds of years, the sex is still exciting and *gasp* -- they communicate with each other. Verbally and through telepathy. After all these years together, they still like each other.

Vivian has other interesting powers too. I shiver to think of the damage I could do with her power of persuasion! If my boyfriend tuned out my voice (like I know he routinely does), I'd simply get into his head where he couldn't avoid me. But I digress....

The characters are well developed and the reader is able to become involved in the story through their thoughts and actions. As others have commented, I would have liked to have more background on Vivian, so I'm looking forward to the prequel.

This story is captivating and a fun read. Given my limited exposure to vampires and werewolves, I would have expected the author to have made the story darker and closer to the horror genre, but she kept it just light enough to be entertaining without being too comedic.

The fact that this was completely done in first person point of view is outstanding in itself.

Considering how well this was written, it's hard to believe this is the author's first book. I can't wait for the next one.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Tanya Wires on Jan. 12, 2011 : (no rating)
I give this book 4.5 stars. I'm usually not into Erotic type books but the way C.J. tied all the sexual scenes together it was wonderful. It wasn't like some books where they throw in hot sex in every room after only a walk down the hall or something and your thinking oh no...they just had sex. C.J. ties it in perfectly and it was a great who did it story that kept me eager to keep reading. I loved the characters, not just the main characters but all of them. I look forward to the next book because she has mentioned going into more of the characters from their view. So excited! This book has a setting in a very cold place but it keeps you very warm reading it ;) I highly recommend this book to read. You most definitely will not be dissapointed.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Brandy Boyer on Nov. 23, 2010 :
Vivacious Vampire Vacation

I give this book 4 bats with tiaras out of 5 bats because it was a great read and always leaves you wanting more.

This little gem of a story has been a great find and read. I am one of those people that usually if a book doesn't interest me by the end of the first chapter, it is doomed to have to work the rest of the book to hold my interest. Vampire Vacation on the other hand had my attention by the end of the little glossary of people in the front of the book. it makes you look twice when the description for one of the people is “the dead guy in the first chapter.”

I would have to say that Jonathan is my favorite character. Gotta love the sexy werewolf with a heart of gold and a sense of humor that would make Loki proud. Plus he makes a hell of an exit, ;)

This book is a nice mix of mystery and a new look at a situation with vamps and weres. There's also a glimpse into how seethes and other parts of vampire lives in this world work.

If you are looking for a good read mixing mystery, paranormal,and erotica this is the book you should find.
I can't wait for the next one and a big part of me is hoping for a prequel to get all the details of Vivi’s back story.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Melinda G. on Nov. 09, 2010 :
Loved it!

Vampire Vacation by C.J. Ellisson is a great book. I loved it. It’s about Vivian (Alexandria), who is a 580 year old Vampire. She and her human husband Rafe are currently running a vacation spot, the VV Inn, for Vampires. Vivian is what is called a “Manipulator”, a vampire that has the power to make others believe and see things that aren’t actually happening. She is the last Manipulator and has to keep her ability secret because Manipulator’s are considered too powerful to live. She uses her abilities to help her guest have a good time at her inn. She is able to see what they most desire usually sexually and she uses her ability to help give it to them. She does this through others not herself. She is completely monogamous with her husband. It’s an erotic book but not overly so. The story held strong throughout. It’s about Vivian finding a dead body in one of the inn’s rooms and follows her efforts in figuring out what happened and who killed him.

I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. It was really well done. I would never have guessed that this is the author’s first novel. I loved the characters. Rafe was wonderful and I really enjoyed reading about him and Vivian together. Jon was interesting and Asa was a great addition. It was fast paced and interesting. There is humor mixed in throughout and a good mystery to keep it interesting.

Vampire Vacation reminds me some of Nina Bangs’s books about the Woo Woo Inn. So if you like those I’m sure you’ll love this one, I know I did. Highly recommended.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Laurie Jenkins on Oct. 24, 2010 :
Vivian and Rafe own and operate an inn north of the Arctic Circle. The remote location makes an ideal get-a-way for their fanged guests. A new entourage is due to arrive in just a few hours so Vivian is doing a final inspection tour to ensure all is in readiness for the new guests. Unfortunately, she learns all is not well at the VV Inn when she discovers a dead body. So begins the adventure and mystery.

I loved the humor that was woven throughout this engaging story. It was a pleasure to read the well-edited pages. There were quite a few secondary characters within the story but the author did a great job individualizing the important ones so that it was easy for me to keep track of who was who. The descriptions of the landscape glistening under a heavy blanket of pristine snow in the near continuous darkness were so realistic and believable that a few times I actually shivered.

Vivian sets the bar high with her alluring sexuality and there are several scenes that are intense and provocative. The exceptionally erotic sex-scenes, however, are written in a fun, playful manner and the reader is encouraged to abandon inhibitions and fully enjoy the freedom of the fantasy.

This book is the first in a planned series by this debut author and I am looking forward to further madcap adventures with Vivian, the sometimes despotic ruler of her domain, Rafe, her soul mate and fierce protector, and all the other unforgettable characters who serve the dedicated and loving couple.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Danielle Gavan on Oct. 06, 2010 :
Fantastic read. A fresh, new look at vampires and their world. Can't wait for the next book. Bring on The Hunt!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kunning Linguist on Oct. 04, 2010 :
I was hooked from the moment I started reading. This has such a refreshing look on the supernatural. What an experience! The entire piece was well thought out and flowed beautifully.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: kel bel on Oct. 01, 2010 :
Love the concept of a respite for paranormal beings, and the integration of a human husband.
If you thought "Twilight" was too tame, step up to these adult vampires and feel the heat!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Catherine Levesque on Sep. 30, 2010 :
This is NOT Twilight!
So happy to have a vampire story for adults. This was a delightful read!!! A spicy, amuzing, captivating story....don't miss out....great way to escape reality for a bit! Thanks for a great story C.J.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Matt Leo on Sep. 28, 2010 :
C.J. Ellison's "Vampire Vacation" is a contemporary fantasy novel set at a resort for vampires. The resort is situated above the arctic circle to take advantage of the perpetual winter nights. As I picked up this book, I was nagged by questions. Does the world really need another vampire story? Isn't the market saturated with vampire novels? After reading "Vampire Vacation", I think that this may be the story many vampire fans are waiting for.

The vampire genre is not so much saturated as it has broken loose from its moorings. One critique I've frequently heard is that Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" vampires aren't vampires a all, but fairies. Presumably the critics mean gossamer Andrew Lang type fairies rather than the insane and terrifying mound-dwellers of Susanna Clarke. Although this is an insightful observation, it may not be entirely fair to Ms. Meyers, who writes for an audience of tweener girls. "Twilight" is a fable of the power of a girl's awakening sexual allure, but is necessarily more chaste than a vampire story really needs to be.

Bram Stoker of course faced the same need for circumspection when he published "Dracula" in 1897. He solved this by writing this way: "I lay quiet, looking out from under my eyelashes in an agony of delightful anticipation. The fair girl advanced and bent over me till I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. Sweet it was in one sense, honey-sweet, and sent the same tingling through the nerves as her voice, but with a bitter underlying the sweet, a bitter offensiveness, as one smells in blood."

Bram Stoker was an Irishman, and I always say nobody can write English prose like an Irishman. Stoker's writing is most evocative when it skirts the subject of sex. I don't think it makes me a radical feminist to say that the Victorian era was uncomfortable with female sexuality. It's not much of a stretch of the imagination to connect Dracula's horrific appeal with anxiety about the loss of feminine chastity and the rise of feminine sexual power. The "Brides of Dracula" are long fallen, and enjoy supernatural sexual allure through their pursuit of squalid pleasures. Lucy falls under Dracula's influence, becoming a monster who must be destroyed before she too can claim that power. Mina has fallen under Dracula's spell, and can only be rescued from falling by the destruction of her seducer.

That's all very well for 1897, but what would vampirism look like in the twenty-first century? Possibly a lot like the world in "Vampire Vacation". C.J. Ellison's story world is not one where there need be any circumspection about what vampires are up to when they suck blood. It isn't just a sensuous experience, it's *sex*. Maybe even *sex plus*, since it involves the usual exchange of bodily fluids plus blood. This both returns the vampire story to its erotic roots yet removes it from the poisonous opium-den sentimentality of Victorian mores.

Again, it is almost impossible to discuss a contemporary vampire novel without comparing and contrasting it to "Twilight". The most serious stylistic fault of "Twilight" isn't the chasteness of its vampire lovers; it's that the scenes with Edward Cullen meander so endlessly. It is Bella's interminable dwelling upon her vaguely focused lust that earns "Twilight" the contempt of the serious vampire story fan. Like Bran Stoker, Ms. Meyer must be circumspect, but she doesn't have his poetic gifts. Who does?

Ms. Ellison, on the other hand, has no need for circumspection. The lust of her characters is not vaguely focused. Oh, no indeed. They are very clear and specific about what they want: they want tab A in slot B. Or sometimes slot C. Be forewarned, there is lots of explicit sex in "Vampire Vacation". At first I found this hard to take. Numerous times I cringed as yet another encounter began, but unlike Meyer, Ellison is a writer who knows how to write a scene that gets to the point. I soon overcame my reluctance to plow through the next encounter. It helps that Ellison has a curious gift for blending raunchiness with innocence. Her writing is free from the noxious undercurrents of self-loathing or misogyny that make much "erotic" writing so tedious (e.g. "The Story of O").

Some might consider "Vampire Vacation" erotica. I don't. Ellison has done a remarkable job at integrating vampire sex into her story world, tying it to sustenance, love, and the lust for power. In that world, the power of the vampire's sexual glamor does not exist in an ethical vacuum; it has consequences that raise moral questions. For example, the service that a human renders a vampire master cannot entirely said to be voluntary, although there is some mutuality in it. Ellison recognizes this, and that lends a satisfying complexity to the story's background. Unfortunately she does not quite have room to explore those ideas in this debut novel. That brings us to the real problem with the erotic scenes in this book. The sheer number of them impede the progress of the story.

It is often difficult for fantasy authors to get stories off the ground while explaining all the special rules you need to know to understand what is going on. Professor Tolkien had to interrupt the opening of "The Hobbit" to give us a brief lecture on their natural history. Ms. Ellison has to introduce the rather complex mechanics of her story world, as well as a very large cast of characters for a story this length. I found myself frequently referring to the helpful dramatis personae at the start of the book. Add to this more sex scenes than was strictly necessary, and the mainspring of the story (a murder subplot) does not really start to unwind until the last quarter of the book. When it does, the story would have benefited from more attention to the villain (who could have been formidable) and the heroine (who ought to be more vulnerable). Every superman needs his kryptonite, and it is clear that the protagonist Vivian's weak spot is her human husband Rafe. Although the final act of the story unfolds with admirably brisk pacing, it could have been more suspenseful and the "surprise twist" would have made more sense if Vivian and Rafe's vulnerability had been more clear.

Despite the plotting difficulties, the story did not drag -- a tribute to Ellison's solid and forthright prose. In any event, plotting in fantasy is notoriously derivative. What readers seek in fantasy is to be guided through a new world of delight, terror, and release. It is here Ellison really delivers, painting a world that is credible and satisfyingly complex. This is a first novel that displays formidable talent and imagination. It will be interesting to see what Ellison delivers in her second outing in her story world, once freed from the burden of exposition.

The world will always need another good story. What C.J. Ellison brings to the vampire genre is some much needed new blood.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: helena gardella on Sep. 28, 2010 :
This is one of the best books I've ever read! CJ Ellisson creates fun characters and a great story line. Her story keeps you glued to the pages and guessing until the very end! Each time you read it you discover a new clue to unlock the secrets in the end. I love this book!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Real Esoteric on Sep. 27, 2010 :
I've read a lot of romance stories and a lot of vampire stories. I refuse to read Twilight. The idea of little teeny-bopper vamps makes my blood run cold. :) This story is all grown up and full of mystery, intrigue, sex, more sex, well written characters and all the other great earmarks of a fantastic story. Sink your teeth into this one.. it does not disappoint!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Heather on Sep. 27, 2010 :
Absolutely fanatastic.
Loved every word.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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