When Anna is invited to a secluded retreat full of selfish, greedy humans, of course she doesn’t say no. Not only did she manipulate the CEO of the world’s largest oil corporation, Peter Beyer, into organising the four-day getaway in the first place, but no self-respecting vampire would ever turn down such easy prey. Her weekend gets even better when she meets Saira, one of Peter Beyer’s employees, and they begin a whirlwind affair. Blood and beautiful women are Anna’s idea of a great time.
She should have known it was too good to be true.
Hunters are dangerous, deadly, and dedicated to eradicating vampires. When a group of them turn up at the retreat, Anna must use her centuries of experience to escape their ever-closing net. Will she get out unscathed, or will they finally catch up to her? Will she give into her intense and unexpected feelings for Saira, or will she leave her to burn as she destroys all evidence she was ever there?
A fresh twist on urban fantasy, with an added splash of sapphic romance.
I received this novella to judge for the SFINCS semi-finals. Opinion is my own, and does not represent that made by the team. I wish this was available in paperback! Again, I am part of team JamReads, and I am just posting my review here to boost the author!
This is a sapphic vampire novella that features a likable, yet somewhat despicable main character. Anna is a vampire, over 500 years old, and she finds it best to salve her hunger with the blood of truly despicable people. Her infiltration of CEO Peter Beyer’s company has led her to an employee retreat. She doesn’t intend to let them leave.
I really enjoyed this. It is both a new take on vampires while still holding onto that classic feel. Vampires are day-walkers, the nocturnal antics only a rumor put out to confuse. So Anna sunbathes while reading a book by the pool, yet she still feels like a classic vampire stalking her prey.
For me, I would say this is horror first, with its graphic violence and descriptions. And honestly this just read as really grounded for a huge chunk of it. Anna’s choices in dinner felt kind of like Dexter meets vampirism. But with the vampire heightened strength and speed, as well as the hunters, it still has that urban fantasy feel to it.
The sapphic angle shows Anna finding herself propelled towards Saira. There is in-scene explicit ‘spice,’ which you may know is not my cup of tea, but with the heightened senses and lust, I did feel like it read as warranted for this one. The two of them together feels real, the author does a great job making the reader feel how drawn to each other they are and honestly, I didn’t even think far enough ahead to see the twist.
Overall, this was fast, fun, and a bloody good time. Anna’s use of someone else’s arm as not only a weapon, but a shield in some causes was my favorite part.