I feel that talking to the fiancé about this book was a bad idea. It is most definitely not a genre that he gets: mentioning the stupid “science” behind the origination of the vampires only made things worse really, seeing as he generally knows his chemistry and biology. But you know what? I knew that this was going to be silly. And if this was anything like Single White Vampire, then I had a pretty strong feeling that I would like it.
Bite Me If You Can follows Leigh, a restaurant owner from Kansas City, after she is bitten and turned by a rogue vampire. Before she can be corrupted by the rogue vampire, however, she is saved by Lucien Argeneau, who has been charged with hunting down those who break the rules of their society. He finds himself stuck with her as she goes through the, incredibly painful, changing process, a prospect that he initially finds intolerable. As they spend more time together though, they find themselves growing closer, despite their separate issues: he is still grieving for his long-dead wife and children, while she has serious trust issues after a bad marriage.
Much as my fiancé would like to believe, I still maintain that this is not as trashy as the premise makes it sound. It is a romance that feels genuine and human, often bringing up aspects of relationships that are ignored elsewhere. The part that impressed me most was when the plot looked at the concept of consent: in their initial sexual encounter, Leigh is under the impression that Lucien had his drink switched at the bar, meaning that he may not be in the right state of mind to properly consent. So she stops everything until she can be sure that his consent is genuine. I also rather liked that instead of pushing their relationship further, Lucien is content to allow her to progress at her own pace. It makes a fantastic change from the borderline-abusive alpha males that so many romance novels are enamoured with. And the sex scenes are still well-written, so that’s another point in its favour. So, like Single White Vampire, I have absolutely no complaints about the romance aspect of the novel.
Speaking of Single White Vampire, I still call bullshit on their explanation for the existence of vampires. Just pretend it’s magic, it makes the narrative seem less stupid. Also, I would argue that my previous criticism for the actual vampire element being largely superfluous still stands. Admittedly, the actual presence of a background threat does make it feel more understandable, but this still only really applies to the first and last couple of chapters. Most of the stuff in between probably wouldn’t be out of place in a vanilla romance. It’s not a huge complaint, but I can see those who really like vampire romance to have issues with this.
Like Single White Vampire, a well-written, down-to-earth romance with some very good sex scenes, marred only by the oddly superfluous vampire element. I’m just impressed that they managed to legitimately discuss consent, which is sadly lacking in other romance novels that I’ve perused. 4/5
Next review: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh