Tag Archives: vampire

the Lover Unbound review

when I broke up with my first long-term boyfriend, what made me the most terrified, the most heartbroken, was that in a couple of years it would no longer matter. I wouldn’t feel the pain, and he would be nothing more than a memory I might take out once in a while.

At the time, in the midst of breaking us up, that felt like a horror.

That’s a bit how I felt about the romance in this book. And as I realise that I probably need to catch you up on what I’ve been going on (and on and on) about (with spoilers):

Vishous is a vampire warrior/son of the vampire deity who has never let himself care about anything or anyone. Until a human cop joins the Brotherhood. Butch and Vishous become roommates and start finishing each other’s sentences. Butch becomes the first person V has ever let close.

Then V saves Butch’s life, is the only one who can keep him alive if Butch is going to do his part in the war, undertakes the gruesome rite to turn Butch into a fully-fledged vampire (no bite-and-bury in Ward’s world!) and sponsors him to join the brotherhood.

During that ceremony Butch offers his neck to V and they share the most intimate moment of any in any of the books. All the while Butch is apparently falling for Marissa, bimbo-extraordinaire. (Ok, so I don’t mind her so much outside of her capacity as Butch’s soulmate, but will talk more about Alphas and their females soon.)


Cut to Lover Unbound, and instead of brushing the whole thing off, Ward made the decision to actually name what V feels for Butch. The book opens with a whole bunch of delicious longing on his part.

In fact, it opens with Butch half naked, forcing V – with great tenderness – to look at him with the tip of a very sharp dagger.

So, it’s official. V is in love with Butch.

And then this miraculous thing happens. He meets a woman, who from one second to the next boots Butch out of “that secret chamber in his heart”. Ta da!

Jane was actually a pretty great character – an amazing surgeon, head of the Trauma team, stands her ground with aggressive men. But there was only really one moment in the whole book when I actually believed that she had gotten through to V: she makes a silly joke to him at an inappropriate moment and surprises a laugh out of him that no one else could.

I think there was the potential between these two for a great love story, but the problem was this: his love for Butch was just too much more convincing. So to have it just disappear in a matter of minutes?

Not good.

And then once it had magically gone, there was that feeling again. Instead of enjoying his new love story, all I really felt was the great melancholy that his love for Butch wasn’t going to matter soon. And what a horror that was.

I’m sorry to say, I have a lot more rant in me on this subject, so tomorrow I’m going to briefly touch on the give-and-take between writer and reader, and what I think has happened in this case.

Then I’ll move on. Promise.

(Er, though it might just be to the next book in the series…)

homoerotics in straight vampire fiction

You may have started picking up on the fact that I’m reading J R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. We’re talking a book a day here, but I got some homework done this arvo, so it’s all good.

I just finished the third book, Lover Awakened, which is by far my favourite so far. In fact, I think it would make it onto my top ten romance books list.

It also had by far the most homoerotic vibe so far, and I think it’s so interesting how J R Ward manages to do that in a hetero atmosphere that’s safe enough for leery readers.

Just to get the basic premise out of the way: Six specially bred vampire warriors are part of a mystical brotherhood and they protect their race from extinction. One of them is their blind king, and they are revered but violent and kind of psychotic. But in a good way, I guess.

Ward allows them not only the closeness of loyalty and brotherhood, but also a physical closeness, a physical loyalty. When Zsadist’s mate comes back after 6 weeks of torture and is being checked by the doctor, his brothers hold him up between their two bodies and he hides his face in the king’s mane of black hair.

(There’s a lot of context here: the guy hasn’t let anyone touch him in, like, centuries.)

Another of the brothers feeds his unwitting human roomie/best friend a glass of vamp blood then holds him while his body goes through hell – and climaxes in, er, a climax.

The best thing, I think, is that there’s a lot of ribbing each other about being gay, but not the tiniest hint of judgement or even a great amount of definition between them on the issue. All there is, is their love for each other.

Heady stuff.

It’s the same reason she pulls off the straight relationships too, I think. One particular part stood out for me: There’s a young kid watching his hero get pussy-whipped by the wife on the phone. The guy hangs up, and Ward writes how he respected his wife too much to do any of that rolling-the-eyes crap.

I like this woman.

vampire, vampire…demon?

I got a bit excessive yesterday, even for me, and read 1.5 books…

Which brings me to the end of book 6 of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark – the series that has, as you know, swallowed me whole.

I think one of the reasons those last two books caught me in such a non-stop way was that the heroes were demons. For people who read paranormals regularly, demons are probably a bit old hat. For me they were a revelation, and a real head-scratcher.

Vampires, even for someone who doesn’t read much paranormal, are very familiar. (According to special k, the first vampire was Cain.) They drink blood, an act which normally brings a kind of pleasure to the biteee (when it doesn’t kill them) etc.

I just had no idea how she was going to fetishise demons.

It turns out that they have horns which are incredibly sensitive (i.e. you wouldn’t touch a demon’s horns in public unless you wanted to be particularly crude) and lengthen with rage/passion. When they claim their mate they go “fully demonic”, which includes their skin going red (which acts as a kind of stimulant) and their eyes going fully black. They grow top and bottom fangs which they use to, uh, bite their female in a particular muscle that stuns her. In other words, she goes completely still while they have their way with her.

Oh, don’t worry though, she can’t help her pleasure while it’s happening, either.

Can you see why it made me scratch my head? Not because of how bestial and random it is, but because it does actually work as a fetish – it comes off as erotic.

Will maybe think a bit more about why when it disturbs me less to do so.

what’s with vampires, anyway? (a naff little rant)

Just finished watching the second season of Being Human, and watched True Blood (s03e04) yesterday. So much blood.

I know vampires are huge right now, blah-di-blah. But what is it about those rivers of blood that makes me feel…


It makes me think of the incredible description by Anne Rice in Interview with a Vampire when Louis drinks from his first human. I really wish I had the quote. Louis describes the way he can feel the heartbeat, the way he swoons inside the human until he almost dies with him.

Maybe that’s the fascination: vampires have intimate knowledge of what’s inside us, beyond DNA. They know, much better than us, what makes us human.