Angela likes Chloe. Chloe likes Angela. It should be simple enough – there’s just the small matter of Angela’s aversion to sunlight. And crosses. And mirrors . . .
In 1998, Angela was a smart, gothy astronomy student - until her then-girlfriend accidentally turned her into a vampire. A year later, she divides her time between her post-graduate degree (working on it in a dark, basement room, and only at night) and controlling her need for human blood.
Then she meets lonely but wryly humorous slush-pile reader Chloe, who’s battling demons of her own. Chloe’s anxiety and depression can make it hard for her to leave the house, while memories of her ex haunt her at night.
As sparks fly and romance blooms, Angela and Chloe struggle to hide their difficulties from each other – but sometimes the only way out is to let someone else in.
Its been a while since I read a vampire novel – they seem to have fallen out of fashion slightly. I was delighted to spot this one as I was looking through Netgalley as it sounded like a fun take on the genre. I like my Vampires with bite and this book certainly delivered that.
It’s always interesting to see which bits of traditional lore urban fantasy authors keep and which they discard. In this case we get a fairly traditional set of Vampire rules – no sunlight, garlic, reflections, permission needed to enter houses, fresh human blood needed to survive.
I enjoyed the slow reveal of how Angela became a vampire and what happened in her past to make her behave the way she does now. Chloe’s background is also slowly revealed to us over the course of the book.
Although an urban fantasy romance this book also deals with some tough themes, abusive past relationships, depression and date rape (even if it is vampire bites rather than sex, the victim is still drugged and has their free will removed, the parallels are clearly drawn) are the main ones and fairly central to the overall story.
Overall I enjoyed the story but it did feel towards the end as though the author felt the book hadn’t been paranormal enough and dropped in a couple of other urban fantasy beings for good measure.
An enjoyable read nonetheless, recommended for those who enjoy their vampire tales in the traditional vein with a side helping of romance.
With thanks to Jo Fletcher Books for a copy in exchange for honest review.
Love Bites is available now