When I first started reading this, it came across as a standard romance. I knew that their would be some kind of twist to it based on the amazing cover. I had an idea but it just screamed ROMANCE. Anyhow ... Despite knowing the twins (online), Guinevere and Libertad, for a little while now, this is the first book of theirs I'd read. They know my taste and probably were expecting me to hate this book. By all accounts, I should hate it, but I can't. I actually loved it.
Melanie Blue is not your run of the mill vampire. She's ... Different. Despite being so old, she's not stuck in the old ways. She's socially conscience, quirky, a big Doctor Who fan, and as normal as normal can get. This isn't a standard vampire book either. Melanie is the only one like her. She has no aversion to sunlight, she doesn't grow fangs, but she does drink blood ... She simply draws it from a regular bite with her blunt human teeth. Yes, pain is involved, but she can get her fill. She's a petite curvy 'morenita' (black/latin or Latinx) with a shock of red halo curls, and from what I gather, she's beautiful.
Penley is my first love. He defines himself as Hapa but most people would see him as Filipino. Both of his parent are but both have other things in their background like spanish. Anyway ... He's a college freshman with a big crush on the junior in his class (Melanie). Needless to say, the rest is pretty standard. They end up in the same group for class, get into each other, start having sex, start spending tons of time together without a label ... all that jazz. The thing I love most about Penley is he's just a boy. He's normal and normal and addicted to his phone and ... Normal. I read a lot of UF and Paranormal and the male love interests are always remarkable in some way. Penley is simply normal. He has lots of tattoos, listens to a variety of different music, takes care of his body in a deliberate but not overdone way, and is just ... Normal.
Let's talk about the sex. If you're a regular reader of my blog, or you just know me, you know that I don't enjoy reading sex unless it's written in a certain way. GL Tomas has finally cracked me. The sex Melanie and Penley had in this book was basically the sex I would have. How can I hate that? It was believable sex. Sex that real people have! There was nothing over the top, no ton of talking during ... It was just two people really enjoying each others bodies. Yea, the word 'cock' popped up, but because the scenes weren't nasty, I could deal with it.
On to the story ... Someone is stalking Melanie. You'll get that sense from the start of the book but I felt like it was kind of ... Cliche. A lot of stuff in the book was cliche. I'm not sure how bad it is though. Anyway ... Some random guy is stalking her and at the end, he ends up getting his just desserts. I don't want to give away what happens but i basically goes the way you would predict it goes. Not only was the story cliche but some of the conversation was cliche. Well not really. How can I put this? It almost felt try-hard. There's a lot of talk, everywhere, about labels. Specifically Black Latinos. The term 'latinx' comes up a lot. It's used in this book. If you don't hang in the same circles as I do, then you wouldn't know what it was. The term 'hapa' is used and it's a term I literally only heard of 3 days ago because I read about it in my Cultural Studies and Diversity class. The terms 'cis' and 'pansexual' are used as well. Two terms I still don't have a clear definition of but I think I have an idea. I thought the whole labeling conversation was trying too hard to accentuate those terms. In a book this length, I didn't think it was a good idea. If this had been a full length novel, then great. There would have been ample time to explain, but not with this one.
The ending is hurting my soul. I won't give it away but it ends the way you think it would end, and for me there is no closure as to how the future would pan out. Will there be another book? Was this a standalone? Will I be forever left to wonder how these two handle the future? Is there a future based on what was said at the end? I NEED CLOSURE, PLEASE, LADIES.
Overall, I loved the book. I connected with both Melanie and Penley fully and would invest in those two if given the opportunity for more books with them as the focus. However ... Because of how cliche it was, the amount of stars dropped. Still ... I really enjoyed it. It was an easy read. It was easy to follow, the characters were great and I felt every bit of everything they felt along the way. Thanks for letting me read this, GL. I really appreciate it. But hey ... I WANT MORE!