*I received an ecopy of this book from the authors. This has not influenced my review.*
Even though this was only Book 2 in the series, it was already a comfort kind of read for me and one I was really excited for. And let me tell you, this book jumped right into the good stuff: relationship problems, murder, and sex, all within the first 10%.
One of the things I love most about this series though is all the tension that Thad’s religiousness brings to the story. I didn’t fully explain the premise in my review of Book 1, and it’s not that clear in the blurbs, so I’ll explain it here. Thad is devoutly Catholic. He’s working for a special group of monks, helping them kill demons, in order to repent for his vampirism so that he can get into Heaven. He is (or was going to be?) a monk himself even. So obviously he wants to do what the monks tell him to, avoid sinning, etc. That’s why he always had female blood donors in the past (so he wouldn’t be tempted to have sex with them) until a man was hired by mistake. Now he’s in love with and sleeping with Sara, thus having sex with a man, which is a definite sin in his mind, and that causes him a whole bunch of inner turmoil. Then you have Sara’s side of things—imagine what it would be like if every time you had sex with the person you loved you knew they were considering it a sin, basically considering their and your sexual orientation a sin. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine that would feel good. It’s a kind of inner turmoil and relationship struggle I’ve never seen in any other book. But, despite all of that…
I love Thad and Sara’s relationship. I love the emotion in it. I love that it’s not perfect. I love the respect they have for each other despite their vast differences. I love how, when something happens, when there’s an issue, they talk, even if talking is hard. (There was one thing Sara didn’t talk about, but I could actually understand why, so that’s excusable.) Their relationship is beautiful. And I would say healthy as well. Yes, Thad’s jealousy was a big part of this book, but not in a jealousy-is-sexy sort of way. Thad was ashamed of his jealousy and the way he acted sometimes. And more importantly, he apologized to Sara for it and the other things he did wrong, he reminded himself that Sara didn’t belong to him, and he never tried to manipulate him or force him to stay. Sara apologized too when he did things wrong since he wasn’t perfect either. The authors have managed to make their relationship just angsty and emotional enough to be engrossing without being frustrating. Thad and Sara love each other, and I love their love, and there is so much love in this paragraph lol.
I also, yet again, just really liked Thad’s POV in general. He has such a different way of thinking, of feeling, of coping with those feelings than I do and than any other character I’ve read about does because of his vampirism combined with his Catholicism combined with his homosexuality. It’s a chance to understand a completely new perspective filled with guilt, humility, faith, judgment, self-punishment, shame, forgiveness, love, and so many other emotions. He was also a lot more vampire in this one, so that was fun. Well, it was fun for me, not so much for poor Thad who kept feeling ashamed of himself because he hates the fact that he’s a vampire.
Of course Sara was great too. Still realistic and relatable as a 20-something, but he seemed more serious and mature this time, which makes sense with the experiences he’s been having. And Nohea was there to help as well, despite still being angry with Thad. There were also some new characters who weren’t very likeable but were well-written.
The New Orleans setting also played a big part in this one since parts of the plot involved Mardi Gras. And of course there was also magic and paranormalness and a mystery for the characters to figure out.
Overall, another great book in the series with an adorable romance and characters who continue to shine!
Fans of Book 1 in Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt's Hours of the Night series. Anyone who likes M/M, vampires (and in this case, a Catholic one), sweet romantic relationships, and lovable characters.