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White picket fences can be dangerous to vampires. Sometimes a woman’s gotta choose…Pia Thomason doesn’t have a typical life, but she wants one. The husband, the kids, the house in the suburbs… With her fortieth birthday looming, she decides to do something drastic, and takes off on a singles’ tour through romantic Europe.But the few guys on the trip leave much to be desireWhite picket fences can be dangerous to vampires. Sometimes a woman’s gotta choose…Pia Thomason doesn’t have a typical life, but she wants one. The husband, the kids, the house in the suburbs… With her fortieth birthday looming, she decides to do something drastic, and takes off on a singles’ tour through romantic Europe.But the few guys on the trip leave much to be desired—unlike the two men Pia sees in a small Icelandic town. Handsome, mysterious, and very dangerous… Just the sight of them puts her in a dither. When their paths cross again, Pia knows one thing for certain: Where vampires are concerned, love isn’t the only thing at stake....

Title : Zen and the Art of Vampires
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451225603
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 332 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Zen and the Art of Vampires Reviews

  • Gavin
    2019-01-30 17:43

    This was a humorous and lighthearted PNR tale. Pia Thompson is on a singles trip around Europe when she becomes caught up in the battle between the Dark Ones (vampires) and the Brotherhood (a crazed cult). A case of mistaken identity finds her being mistaken as the new Zorya of the Brotherhood. Pia's new position gives her powers to see ghosts but also the responsibility to help them cross to Heaven. What ensues is a fun fast paced tale full of humor, action, mystery, and a tad of romance. I loved the fact that it took a bit of time to figure out both who the romance lead guy was and even who the bad guys were. Pia was a likable character. Definitely not the typical romantic heroine. She was a bit insecure about her looks, but not in an annoying way. I'm glad I knew before the end that this was only the first half of Pia's story or I would likely have been outraged by the cliffhanger ending. Pia's story concludes in Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang, which I will definitely be reading! Rating: 3.5 stars.Audio Note: Nicole Poole did a decent job. She had a wide array of accents and that was good since we had characters of varying nationalities.

  • Julie (jjmachshev)
    2019-02-13 13:47

    Humpf! I've been a reader of Katie MacAlister's 'Dark Ones' series--a lighthearted take on vampires--since it began. These are some very sexy vamps, but they don't have most of the supernatural powers other writers have given to their vamps. They are pretty much a group of people like others, although extremely long-lived to be sure. Those without a soul are looking for their Beloved, the one woman who can return their soul to them...but most believe a Beloved is a lot like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus! MacAlister's books, of course, tell about finding Beloveds, and her latest "Zen and the Art of Vampires" was both fulfilling and frustrating in turn. The continuing story of the Dark Ones and their world is advanced, yet the main couple don't quite get their happy ever after...yet.Pia is an overweight, almost forty year old who feels the need to do something drastic to find her dream of home and kids before it's too late. So she signs up for a 'romance tour' of Europe. When the tour hits Iceland, she's about fed up with the snarky, spiteful blonde who's one of her tour mates, so when the blonde dares her to approach two gorgeous hunks of Viking-sized maleness, she takes the dare...but chickens out and ducks into a book store where her life takes an unexpected, and at times unbelievable turn. Within forty-eight hours, she's slept with two men and is married to two men...and one of the men she's married to isn't one of the men she slept with! She's also found out about ghosts, vampires, and a deranged quasi-religious sect and the only ones who 'appear' to be on her side are the ghosts!I like MacAlister's writing. I 'get' her humor and there's a lot of it in here. I also like the fact that her Dark Ones don't have miraculous powers (for the most part) and instead must rely on their extensive lives for the knowledge and wit to come out on top. (Pun fully intended there) My only beef is that now I'll have to wait to get the rest of Pia's story :(

  • Terra
    2019-02-09 13:40

    Zen And The Art of Vampires is a fantastic paranormal cozy mystery with a dash of romance to enhance the flavor. Yumm!! Katie is at her best here again and can't wait for the next book.Pia Thompson is on a man hunting vacation. She is taking a singles' tour through Europe in hopes for finding someone who will spark her fires. She not's the usual skinny pretty woman that any man would drool over but instead she is a plain jane and has some meat on her bones. At least there is enough of her for a man to grab a hold of and at least hang onto. She has a bit of bad luck and it seems to cling to her like a child clinging to its mother.Pia is hoping for at least a one night stand with a handsome man but she gets more that what she has bargained for. Handsome men in Europe especially the tall dark and mysterious kind can get you into more trouble than trying to rob a bank. She soon spots two delectable mouthwatering specimens and her friend dares her to go up to them. She takes the dare and soon ends up on the ride of her life and in more trouble than a murderer. Trying to clear her name and get back somewhat of a normal life proves harder than she ever thought.We end up going on a wonderfully funny trip through a small European community with vampires, ghosts, a fanatical religious group while trying to solve a murder. This book so reminded me of the game Clue and with all of it's who-done-its. A true delight for the paranormal lover and any cozy mystery lover. Actually fits into the romance category also with it's mouthwatering, delicious male vampires that are sure to make you wish you were in Pia's shoes. The author has given us everything in one tidy delicious story that will make you want to come back for more.

  • Chessa
    2019-02-09 12:50

    **spoiler alert!***So I always like the Dark Ones books. They're funny, romantic, and STANDALONE. This one was funny, but not LOL funny as some have been in the past. The ghost interactions - yes; the love interest interactions, notsomuch. So can I get a big WTF about Katie MacAlister and her semi-cliffhangers of late?! My mom absolutely forbid me to read Playing With Fire (Silver Dragons, #1) until the second one came out because It. Just. Ends. In the middle. AAAGGHH! Ok, so Zen doesn't end in the middle, but it certainly doesn't finish, either! And there's another book with the same characters coming out in May 2009? Have any of the other Dark Ones novels been continued this way? I was kind of excited for my HEA and then I got this totally frustrating ending. Blargh.Don't get me wrong - I liked this book. I'm just aggravated by the ending.And Magda seems a little iffy to me. When the whole Denise thing went down at the end I was sure Magda had been a red herring, but she seems like she could be the real Zenith big bad. But who knows. I won't, not until next g-damn spring!

  • Desinka
    2019-01-24 13:46

    First read and reread: 2012Second reread: June 2014This proves to be an all time time favourite. When I read this book for the first time, I thought it was the best PNR romance of all times. Since then I've read a good number of PNR romances but Pia and Kristoff are still one of my all time favourite couples. The story is light-hearted and fun and the outcome of the romance, though a bit predictable is quite sweet and touching. Even though the story has its flaws and some of the happenings are plainly ridiculous, during this reread I was amazed to find out I felt the characters were very real and believable and their relationships were intriguing and fun. I loved the humour and the light tone of the story. The ghosts were a favourite part of the story for me:) The story of Zen continues in Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang.

  • Lori Whitwam
    2019-02-16 17:35

    The latest in the series of the Dark Ones, and the women destined to be their Beloveds, the ones who can redeem their souls.Pia is nearing 40, and on a singles tour of Europe. She is mistaken for the reaper (who can usher souls to the afterlife) of a strange religious group, then the real one is found dead in her bathroom, sending her on the run and straight into the arms of TWO Dark Ones, who are mortal enemies of this religious group. She's the Beloved of one, but which?Who can she trust?And what is she supposed to do with all these ghosts she's collecting before she can help them go to the afterlife?This is a "first of two" in Pia's story, so we're left wondering how she'll work things out with "her" vampire.

  • Janet
    2019-01-22 13:51

    I stayed awake all last night reading this book. Katie's books are always the perfect escape for me. I was supposed to be studying for a philosophy test, but, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....boring! So I opted for this instead. (btw, I aced the test anyway!) As always, I was not disappointed. BUT, do you know what that little Katie went and did? She didn't wrap things up all nice and tidy at the end. She left me (and our heroine) wanting! There's a sequel that won't be out until May!!!!! How ever will I wait that long?! Anyway, one thing's for sure, I really need to get me my own vampire(or a life - either will do)!

  • Lisa
    2019-02-07 16:54

    I love all her books, they're funny, romantic, serious, mysterious, and sometimes suspenseful. This is a very quick read and has some good twists and turns. I have to say I wasn't all that impressed with the new plot themes, that of the Brotherhood, and the Ilargi, but overall it was definitely worth it.

  • JazzRizz
    2019-02-05 14:41

    I liked this book a lot, but the cliff hanger at the end is what prevented a 5-star rating. I was so frustrated at the end of this book . . . I can hardly wait for the next book to come out.

  • Beth
    2019-01-28 17:01

    This was awesome! Funny, sexy and interesting. Great read! I cannot wait to see what happens with Pia next!!

  • Carrie
    2019-02-07 20:35

    Eh. I don't have any idea what the title had to do with the content of the book, other than "vampires."

  • Megan
    2019-01-30 16:56

    I hated this book. I hated the female MC. She was a freaking idiot. I mean seriously TSTL. And I HATE that for some reason this was split up into 2 books. Wtf? I hate that I have to read another book with Pia(sp?) as the narrator. GAH!!!!

  • Romance Novel TV
    2019-01-22 13:38

    Zen and the Art of Vampires: 4.5 starsCrouching Vampire, Hidden Fang: 5 StarsReviewed by Stacey AgdernIn a climate where authorial desire for innovation and reader expectations have clashed in very notable ways, Katie MacAlister’s latest ‘Dark Ones’ novels stand out as examples of how best to deal with both concepts and come out with a home run.No matter how many times people try to deny it, both authorial desire for innovation and reader expectations, are necessary and important parts of the author-reader relationship. Readers anticipate future volumes of long standing series as if they are old friends, and treat them accordingly. But if an author has written a large number of books in a series, they might, and sometimes do, get tired of the same patterns. So how are these two important principles to be reconciled? Or should they?“Zen and the Art of Vampires” and “Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang” combine to tell the story of Pia Thomason, a 39 year old woman who, while on a singles tour of Europe, manages to involve herself with a religious cult, ghosts, and two Moravian Dark Ones.Both books are filled with the elements that have made previous ‘Dark Ones’ novels so delicious. Snappy dialogue and wonderful description, all wrapped up in the first person narrative of a fallible heroine who’s difficulty in adjusting to the world she’s dealing with (and the dishy, well crafted, Dark Ones, who suddenly appear in her life), make it easier for the reader to empathize with her.However, MacAlister has managed, with these two books, to fundamentally alter the format of the series. Up until now, the story of the Dark Ones has appeared in stand alone installments which give readers pieces of a broader world. Now, with ‘Zen and the Art of Vampires’ and ‘Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang’, MacAlister has chosen to insert a two book-mini series, telling a larger story in the world of the ‘Dark Ones’As if to underscore the magnitude of the change, MacAlister makes an obvious covenant with her long term readers, by bringing back characters from some of the first books in her series. Christian Dante (who’s story came out back in 2004) as well as Sebastian, who had been a large part of the early books in the series (who’s story was part of a 2006 anthology) make appearances in both books, along with Christian’s beloved.At the end of ‘Zen and the Art of Vampires’, in the teaser for ‘Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang’, readers get to see that the bond between Pia and Kristoff is still active, even though the two are not together at the end of ‘Zen.’ It is MacAlister’s way of making sure readers know that they shouldn’t give uphope, even though the ending isn’t the happy ending they’d usually expect from a Dark Ones novel.So what does this ‘Dark Ones Mini-Series’ tell us about reader expectation and authorial innovation? Stay true to the spirit of the series, tell a good story and readers will follow you anywhere. I certainly will follow Katie MacAlister to her next ‘Dark Ones’ book.

  • Eli Easton
    2019-01-23 19:40

    I love Molly Harper, so when I saw this rec'd on facebook as being similar, I got the audiobook. I liked the story and writing overall, though the narrator was a bit whiny and grating. I particularly got into the storyline in the last 3rd of the book. The reason I'm giving it 3 stars instead of higher is because after 10 hours and 20 minutes of listening to the audiobook, I didn't get a resolution. This book ends without an HEA or even an HFN, with the H and h apart. There is a sequel for this couple that continues the story, but I HATE that! I hate when books have no resolution, forcing you to either give up on the couple or buy the sequel. I was watching the countdown minutes on my audible recording, and as it got under 30 minutes then 20, I'm thinking do NOT do this to me. Do NOT end this book without an HEA. But, yeah, that's what it did. So ten+ hours invested in this story and I don't have closure. That's, like, five movies or more worth of time. I don't know why editors and authors do this. I have published a number of books with big houses and small from the early 00's on, and my editors always discouraged breaking a story into multiple books. Because it pisses readers off. Well, here's one pissed reader!I sincerely wish there had been a warning that this was not a complete story. I would try this author again, because I really like paranormal humor, but only if I was sure the story was complete within the book.

  • Cindy
    2019-02-04 20:43

    The story arc continues into 'Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang' which is due out in May. The hero and heroine are mated but not together at the end of this book, which I find annoying. If I had realized, I would have simply waited for the next book and read them together - I don't deal with 'serialized' stuff well.As for the portion of the story you do get - I happen to be reading some of Viehl's Darkyn books at the same time, so the parallels of frothing fanatics wanting to torture, maim and destroy a minority group 'for their own good' is obvious. Of course the parallels to the Inquisition are obvious as well. Overall I didn't think it was as 'fun' as some of her others in this series.Dark Ones Series1. A Girl's Guide to Vampires 2. Sex and the Single Vampire 3. Sex Lies and Vampires 4. Even Vampires Get the Blues 5. Just One Sip6. The Last of the Red Hot Vampires 7. Zen and the Art of Vampires8. Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang

  • Katy-Del
    2019-02-18 12:33

    I have always liked the Dark Ones Novels. Katie puts in a lot of humor and there are often what I would refer to as a Lucy Situations (I have those occasionally and I relate to characters that do to.) But the books had all had a formulaic feel. (Heroine meets tall, gorgeous stranger, girl doesn't like or trust stranger, but is still deeply attracted, girl and stranger are plunged into peril and bond, fool around, discover girl is the Beloved who gives stranger his soul, couple lives happily ever after.)This book has an arc more similar to her Dragon Novels (If you haven't read them, go read them now). There will be at least one more novel about this couple and I imagine more relating to larger, more mysterious events in this fiction universe. The end left me deffinately wanting more.

  • Debbie
    2019-01-23 17:54

    I loved this book and think I found a new series to catch up on. It's apparently a part of the Dark Ones series and the next one is due out in May. I can't wait as you are sort of left at a cliff hanger at the end of the book and I really want to know what happens. I kind of wonder if Magda is really who she says she is? Seems like she was too good to be true but you never know. Pia cracks me up and I can totally related to being the "big" girl and I am glad she actually ends up with several guys liking her. Her personality was funny and I had to laugh over the thoughts she says out loud by mistake. What can I say about Kristoff except I love the dark and kind of surly guys. Talk about sexy. If you are looking for some sexy and funny vampire romance this is a book for you.

  • Heather T
    2019-02-13 17:36

    2.5 ish. I think most of this series just gets boring after a while since it seems to be rather repetative so I stopped reading it for a while. When I finally picked it up again it was because I needed a book that started with the letter Z for a challenge. This one is not great, but it stood out for me because it was different in some ways. Apparently the main character will be in the next story. I appreciate that the book ended the way it did because it took away a lot of the predictability factor. Although, I'm sure book 7 will end exactly as I expected it would happen in book 6. I'll actually give book 7 a try just because I'm happy the author switched things up a little bit.

  • Allison
    2019-02-19 15:55

    No deep soul-searching here, just good ol' fashioned fun :) Well, with vampires... and ghosts... and crazy religious cults. Don't forget the super hot vampire sex! Read this on a plane trip and it was perfect. Being an fan of steamy bodice rippers in my youth, I recognized the formula for a good girl meets bad boy romance but hey, I don't want rocket science here, I want something to keep me occupied while I'm hurling through the sky in a tin can. I was not disappointed :) You won't be either if you put aside lofty expectations and get ready to be seduced by the Dark Ones!

  • Leigh
    2019-01-20 18:34

    I can't say I liked this book much. I like Katie Mac and all, but I'm a little tired of her heroines obsessing about a few extra pounds for the ENTIRE book. Pia just came off as whiny and I didn't care much for her at all.

  • Kimchi
    2019-01-28 20:59

    I didnt like that the book didnt finish. It sucks when you have to wait for the conclusion of the first book. I also wasn't a fan of her having to decide between two men instead of having a like for the man she was suppose to love.

  • Annie
    2019-02-15 13:32

    i can't say how annoyed i was to reach the end of this book and find out that the story wasn't over. be warned, it's at least a two parter

  • Jean
    2019-01-20 13:54

    I've enjoyed Katie's books, but the ditzy heroine who stumbles her way around is getting old. I skipped to the back and was annoyed to find that it continues into the next book.

  • Leslie5373
    2019-01-28 16:53

    I loved this book. I am glad I took my friends advice and read it.

  • Lisa Rochon
    2019-02-04 19:58

    This was my first Katie MacAlister novel and I enjoyed reading it.Pia was on a singles trip looking for love, and she got way more than she bargained for, including two hot vampires (Dark Ones), and an entourage of ghosts, among other things.I found Pia to be entertaining and sweet, getting herself into situations that made me laugh out loud. I liked her "roll with it" attitude, and her desire to help others. I also liked the developing relationship between her and Kristoff and was left with my jaw hanging open at the end when I realized it was a two-part book. My only complaint is that the excessive references to Pia's weight in places where it didn't seem necessary to the overall plot were a little annoying, but that's just my personal opinion. Despite that small annoyance, I couldn't put the book down because I was dying to find out what was going to happen next!I recommend this book to anyone looking for a witty, fun, suspenseful paranormal romance with likable characters.As for me, I'm off to buy Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang to see how this ends!

  • Vickie
    2019-01-29 12:58

    I forgot how much fun it can be to listen to or read a Katie MacAlister book. Funny, romance that's not too over the top [I am an 'action on the streets, not between the sheets' kinda chickie], fab characters I like and intriguing story. I think I prefer her Dark One stories over her dragon tales. Both are nifty, but the Dark Ones play the lighthearted human with the broody vampire and it's a good contrast. I look forward to more with Kristoff and Pia. I could identify with Pia. She is a fluffy, older single woman and works with her personality rather than her looks. She's realistic about her looks and is fine with it for the most part. She has a good heart and wants to do the right thing. I like her. Definitely recommend.

  • Victoria Otero
    2019-02-15 20:38

    Realistically, I’d rate this more of a 3.5. It took a while for this story to pick up, and I wasn’t really invested until about 65% through. The plot felt someone disjointed at the beginning and Alec being immediately in love with Pia was weird. With that said, the story eventually developed a strong narrative thread, and I’m excited to see what the best book in the series has to bring for Pia.

  • Karen L
    2019-02-01 13:42

    Good story but it ends on a cliffhanger! I hate cliffhangers. You must get the next book in the series, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Vampire", to finish this storyline.

  • Buttons
    2019-02-09 19:53

    Unlike most books of this series, this one can not be read as a stand-alone book, Zen and the Art of Vampires and Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang belong together.Pia is a normal woman with a nice job, but being nearly 40 years old she decides to take part in a tour for singles. Through a series of coincidences during their stay in Iceland she gets hold of a special stone, gets involved with a religious cult called the Brotherhood of the Blessed Light, meets some ghosts seeking her help and gets kidnapped, seduced and threatened by a pair of gorgeous vampires. As if that hadn't been bad enough on its own, she finds a dying woman in her bathroom, who makes her swear to revenge her and take her place in the Brotherhood. While trying to solve the murder she has to evade the police, her tour members, the vampires, the Ilargi (a bad guy eating souls) and the cult members! She has not only to decide between her boyfriend, her husband and her other husband, but also between helping the Brotherhood killing vampires or helping the vampires stopping the Brotherhood. You can be sure this trip is the end to her live as she knows it...This is the first time we get to know Ulfur, a main character in the big background story taking place and a lovely ghost. The ghosts and their interest in Pia's (kinda) boyfriend and two husbands make up most of the humor. We also encounter the Moravian Council for the first time and the Ilargi, a very important group/person for the background story beginning with this book.But consider yourself warned, this book has quite a bitter ending and you should have the next one within reach, where the story continues.Here my review for the whole series:Summary: easy to read, humorous, paranormal, kick-ass romance with lots of good sex.The basic ideas are the same in every book: Every single book is humorous, has an macho Dark One and a kick-ass Beloved. The Beloved is the only human(-like creature) in the whole world who can save the soul of the Dark One and end his pain, most Dark Ones never find their Beloved. The dynamic between the godlike male and the female is always hot and really funny to observe. In most books at least one of the two doesn't want the relationship or has issues, he mostly wants to dominate her but she doesn't like that and gives it to him straight. Eventually he is under her thumb and she realises it may not be as bad to have a male in her live. There is a crisis they have to overcome and bad boys that need to be kicked in the ass. Always the same basic ideas and always successful. Nonetheless, each story is unique and all books are different, therefore it doesn't get boring, quite the opposite. Of course the stories are (more than) a bit corny but the really hot sex makes up for it.The story is always interesting (and funny) and the magic system and magic world that is revealed a bit more with each book is really(!) fascinating. First, the Dark Ones (kind of vampire) are introduced together with the fact that there is magic and there are psychics like summoners, who interact with ghosts, or guardians, who make sure that nothing demonic makes itself at home in the human world. But there is a lot more to it and at the end of the official tenth book I was very pleased with the system and magic world (like the system of heaven, hell, god and devil; it's just great)!My only critique is that the background story that becomes apparent after a few books is kind of annoying because it takes a very long time and you still don't know anything. Normally a common thread is nice but this is just annoying. I hate not getting answers to events and questions that happened, right now there are ten official books and which each book (starting with the sixth) there are only more questions. The first books can be read as stand-alones but all the characters we meet appear again in later books and I would reccomend to read them in order. I know there are quite a few books in this series, but they are easy to read and e.g. for the second book I did not even need 6 hours to read it.read: 07.03.15, 11.08.15

  •  Spanxmcb (Yovanka)
    2019-02-14 12:43

    This was a fun, light, humourous PNR! And this is my problem.It struck me as a standalone - although part of a series - but Pia's story didn't finish in this novel, so now I have to read the next one! And it's the 6th in the series, so I'll likely have to go back and read the prior 5 books too! This is why I don't generally leap into a series partway through. Even if they say it can be read as a standalone, you kind of miss out - or at least I think you do. So now I'm being sucked into yet another PNR series! Albeit a light and fun one, so I don't mind so much.Pia is a singleton approaching 40 who decides to go on a romantic singles tour of Europe, only to be dragged into the world of Brotherhoods, Dark Ones (aka vampires), ghosts and other worldly creatures. She seems to take it all in stride though, which makes for some lighthearted fun. I didn't find the book to be particularly dark, and the 'otherworld' of vampires, ghosts and such is integrated in an rather unalarming way with the human world. Dark Ones aren't the stereotypical vampires found in most fantasy fiction. They are just slightly different from humans. They can be outside in the daytime, they don't have any superpowers to speak of either. They are rather like humans except for living for a really long time, needing to drink blood and lacking souls - oh and of course it seems all of them are staggeringly attractive.Pia's life is forever changed on her tour's stop in Iceland when she meets two Dark Ones Kristoff and Alec. Without giving any of the plot away its like Shirley Valentine meets Twilight (without the teenage angst), and Pia ends up in a triangle of sorts - not that I think the triangle was entirely necessary, but I guess I'll see how it plays out in the next book, Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang. One of the elements of the story that I found quite enjoyable was the dynamic between Pia and Kristoff, it played out a bit like Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy (sigh), but with some silly humour and of course, vampires. I shall read on (and maybe even go back) since MacAlister has piqued my interest.