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After Caitlyn’s mom dies, she moves in with her aunt and uncle to a rural mountainside far from home. Discouraged and alone, Caitlyn wanders in the woods. Then a supernatural tornado-like thing nearly swallows her up. The boy who saves her turns out to be much more than the dark and swoony neighbor all the local girls wish they could get to know better.
But Adrian knows he’s placed Caitlyn in mortal danger. He is a vampire and his father, a demon (no, seriously,) wants to kill her. So the only way to protect her is to pretty much be with her constantly and, well, pose as her boyfriend, of course. Soon Caitlyn is the envy of every girl in school. But being Adrian’s pseudo-girlfriend comes with a high price. And the last thing she should do is fall in love with him.
When I picked up this book, I worried it would be sort of like a weird Twilight retelling. It is in the sense that he’s a vampire, she’s just a girl, and their star-crossed love would be frowned on by all if the truth came out. But West takes a different spin on vampire lore. Rather than vampires being created by bites from other vampires, they are the children of demons and human women. Yeah, it’s dark.
While I liked the twist on the vampire parts, other parts of the story were really a stretch to me, especially where it came to the romance. Things happened more than once that seemed contrived or almost silly rather than romantic. For the most part, I liked Adrian’s character. I felt like Caitlyn was a little tough to get into. She’s angry and distant in the wake of her mom’s death, but it was hard to really see past those feelings into the hurt and loneliness that would have made her easier to connect with.
The ending also felt like it went beyond setting a hook for the next story into introducing several ideas that didn’t connect with the current tale. I like having something to look forward to, but it felt like a lot of things just got thrown in there at the end that could have maybe been foreshadowed earlier in the story or just left out until book two.
Extreme profanity used moderately.
Caitlin’s girl friends tease her about whether or not she’s having sex with her boyfriend. They conspire to purchase lingerie for her as a Christmas present. Caitlin is embarrassed and conflicted about whether or not to show off her gift to her man. She and Adrian begin spending nights together after her nightmares grow worse. In pajamas, they nestle together in her tiny single bed. In one scene they strip to underwear and shower together. Afterward, they kiss and tumble around in his bed together (still in shower-soaked underpants) before falling asleep.
Adrian worries that his father may try to kill or impregnate Caitlyn and warns her to be on the lookout for strange men who may harm or attempt to seduce her. She gets in a dangerous situation with one man who tries to seduce her, but he doesn’t succeed.
Adrian is a vampire. Unlike other traditional tales of vampires, in this story, vampires are created when a demon and a human woman have a child together. The woman is killed at the birth of the child. The demon may try to take the child back to Hell or the vampire culture, who oppose demons, may try to raise the child among their numbers. There’s some hint that Caitlin may have some larger role to play in the battle between demons and vampires.
Caitlin suffers from violent nightmares. They get pretty gory. Adrian fights a demon in a battle that gets pretty intense. Caitlyn and Adrian also discuss how vampires keep “fed” using bags of human blood.
Caitlyn and her friends go to a party at which they drink alcohol.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.