This book was sent to me by a good friend, and she knows who she is, with a note that said it was cute and quick. I didn't really want to read it; have to be honest - not being a mother myself, I didn't see how I'd be able to relate to the lead character, Jessica Mathews, mom and now vampire. And it looked like one of those romances that calls itself "paranormal" by just making the characters vamps. Sigh.
Said friend said to give it a shot, she still thought I'd like it. And she was right (darn her!) I'm not saying it was the best book I've ever read, but it was certainly better than some of the other paranormal fluff out there!
Jessica Mathews is minding her own business (and taking out the trash, something her son Bryan has failed to do yet again) when she is attacked by something. When she regains consciousness, she finds herself sucking on the thigh of a very gorgeous and very naked man, one who also happens to be chained to a wall. She realizes pretty quickly she's a vampire, but can't understand why or what this man is doing in her life. Well, men, really - there's a whole bunch of male vampires, one very bitchy female vamp, some human scientists, and some lycanthropes about. All in the tiny, dying town of Broken Heart, Oklahoma. What in the hell is going on?
Turns out the vamps have been helping the city "die" as they want to set up shop there. A sort of "safe zone" for creatures no longer entirely human. There are seven vampire families and every vampire on the earth can trace their lineage to one of those families. The older you are, the closer to the head of one of the families, the more powerful you are. Which doesn't really matter for Jessica - she's a newbie, also known as a Turn-blood. Patrick O'Halloran, the man with the wonderful thighs, is not only her master but possibly her soul mate. There's a lot of Irish history here, both real and magical, as well as a lot of Gaelic dialogue (with a convenient glossary in the back). And there are Wraiths, which are basically bad vamps, as well as a vamp disease called The Taint.
This book surprised me. I thought it would be the usual "kids, what kids?" as Jessica and Patrick got down to do the horizontal mambo with some fanging to boot. But Jessica has a dead ex-husband and a lot of issues that go along with that whole scene, so while she's attracted to Patrick, she's also very wary of getting involved with him. Patrick, to his credit, is a vamp with a heart - he doesn't want her to do anything she doesn't want to do. And there is a well-thought-out history that explains why these two are soul mates - it's not just an attraction thing. The kids, while not heavily present, were not sent off scene nearly as much as I had expected, and some of the scenes of Jessica trying to explain what's happened to her to those kids was just heart-wrenching. No parent wants to be thought of as a monster.
Kudos to my friend, who was totally right - this is cute and it is a quick read. I think you'll like Jessica, and Patrick's not so bad himself!