Review: The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn

Title: The Vampire Shrink {Kismet Knight #1}

Author: Lynda Hilburn

Published: Quercus Sept 2011 {Reprint}

Synopsis: 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.

Status: Read from August 16 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy courtesy Pan McMillan Australia

My Thoughts:

Kismet Knight is a psychologist whose therapeutic treatment of a vampire wannabee plunges her into a paranormal subculture she refuses to believe exists. She considers her patient’s tales of vampire hypnosis and blood drinking a product of a desperate young girl crying out for attention until she meets Devereaux who claims to be 800 years old and declares Kismet his soul mate. Yet Kismet is still unwilling to succumb to what she is sure is nothing but mind tricks and illusions even when she confronts bodies drained of blood and wakes trapped in a coffin after being kidnapped. Despite Kismet’s determination to deny the entire absurd situation, as the irresistible Devereaux’s destiny, she finds herself in the middle of a vampire war, and at the mercy of a psychopath.
I have had The Vampire Shrink on my TBR list for two years so I was thrilled when I received an ARE as it is being republished here in Australia (and the UK). The premise intrigued me and I had high expectations for a unique story that I was sure I would love, but sadly I didn’t.
I thought the actual story a really strong idea, while neither paranormal romance or urban fantasy it had a good mix of action and romance (well lust anyway). With good and bad vampires, ghosts, witches and even visits to other dimensions there is something for everyone. I thought there was potential for creating more tension had the identity of the villain been less predictable but the pace is quite good and there is plenty happening.
Yet my enthusiasm for the story waned in the face of Kismet’s immature and inconsistent personality. From a analytical, sensitive, intelligent psychologist Kismet devolved into a close minded victim with wild mood swings and the desire to jump every male’s bones. The changes in her personality just weren’t believable even given the strange circumstances. Initially I understood her rationalization to deny the existence of vampires but it continued far too long until I was rolling my eyes with impatience. I just couldn’t reconcile the character we were introduced to with the character that she became.
Unfortunately I didn’t think much of the rest of the leading cast either – Devereaux embodies the cliche – gorgeous, rich, mysterious and dominant and was further hindered by some truly awful dialogue. FBI Agent Alan sparked my interest until his main focus became getting into Kismet’s pants and Bryce was simply nasty, though his bisexuality was an unusual source for conflict. I thought a few of the more minor characters had untapped potential including Midnight and ‘Bull’ but in general I felt the characters lacked dimension.
There are aspects of The Vampire Shrink that I liked but since I found Kismet so frustratingly uneven, I ultimately found it an unsatisfying read. Based on my experience of this start to the series I’m undecided if I will try book #2: Blood Therapy, when it is released, but despite my disappointment I’m not ruling it out either.


Available to Pre Order

@ Pan Macmillan Australia

@ Book Depository

All books discounted at

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynda Hilburn
    Aug 21, 2011 @ 09:57:48

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review my book. I really appreciate it.
    Best, Lynda Hilburn



  2. Trackback: The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn « Book Monkey

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