Hello, there! A wonderful Thursday to everyone! I’m particularly happy, as I get to stay home for the first time in the week, haha! And it’s review time here on the blog! Stripped with the Vampire, from Jax Garren, it’s the first book in the Austin Immortals series and our book of the day, received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publisher!
Vince Pagano loves his job. Despite all bad things people usually say when you reveal that you are a stripper, Vince regrets nothing, as he wins a good deal at his club, has time for his hobby (blacksmithing, in the case) and hot dates. The only shadow in his mind is his ex, Charlie.
Five years ago, Charlie broke up with Vince after discovering Vince’s real job and, as much as he would like, Vince knows he’s not over Charlie yet. And being forced to seek shelter with the man after running from were-rats in the middle of the night is not helping matters in the slightest. How can Vince get over his ex if the man is just the same as he was back then, for good and bad?
Charlie, in the other hand, regrets how things turned up for them despite being the one that broke things up. Being a vampire, Charlie felt how empty his life used to be before Vince entered it and missed the young man. But could he give them a second change knowing that it would never be forever, even if Vince wanted so?
More important: can Vince and Charlie solve out the differences in their relationship in the middle of the vampire apocalypse?
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
THIS BOOK OMG THIS BOOK OMG!
I was hooked since I’ve read the blurb available at NetGalley, but unfortunately took me some months to get to actually reading it and OH MY GOD, this was one of the best vampire books that I read! Jax Garren is brilliant in her writing, characters building, scenarios description, connecting loose ends… BEST. BOOK. EVER. I read it in two days and a half because life insisted in getting into the way, but it’s a book that you can finish in a sitting, just because YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DROP IT! Vince and Charlie are definitely one of my favorite couples in the world and I can’t wait to read more books by Jax! FIVE STARS, PEOPLE!
Okay, let’s get serious and professional now.
The narrative was in third person with alternating points of view between Vince and Charlie. This is my favorite type and Garren did a wonderful job building Austin Immortals’ world in both perspectives. The reader knows the difference between Vince and Charlie’s thoughts: where Vince has a goofy sense of humor and is very optimistic and easy-going, Charlie has a sophisticated sense of humor, is very pessimist and shy. All those characteristics are subtly present on the way Garren writes their points of view.
The plot was good. It’s not complicated or have any big twists, but the reader can’t be sure of any pairings, including the main one and takes a while for us to be sure of who is the real villain. That’s pretty amusing and I liked who it was – I won’t say due to spoilers, but they are a great team, haha!
I was impressed with the personal growth that Garren makes her characters go though. I honestly didn’t have a bit of faith in Charlie and he is the person that grows the most through the book. What is really nice to see is that he becomes someone better for the sake of Vince, because Vince gives him strength to defy his fears. Besides being overly cute, this is awesome. Cash also grows up through his friends, for their sake, but he is badass since the beginning, so I think he, like Christina Aguilera, just keeps getting’ better, haha!
Rhi, Vince’s best friend, also evolves so much from the beginning. She faces indescribable horrors in the book and she manages to keep it light as much as she cans, Rhi is just wow. But I have to admit that my favorite female character was Winnie. She doesn’t show around much, but she is badass in a quiet style, like “I’m just going to take your head off now, excuse me” kind of way. And she has the best reactions in a strip club, along with Modron and Emma, haha! BEST. SCENE. EVER. I have to share a small piece this with you guys:
The pants came off, ripped from the Velcro at the sides, and the crowd went nuts. Now it was bad. The red crap of underwear barely contained him [Vince]. No, it wasn’t bad – it was obscene. And everyone loved it. Charlie licked his lips as the need to cover his ex up made him clutch the table in fear he’d go do something about it.
Emma leaned over, laughing as she cheered. “Please tell me that ain’t a sock.”
“Shi-i-it.” She leaned over to Winnie. “Charlie says his ex, unlike yours, is not faking that rocket.”
“I said, ‘No comment.’” Charlie gritted out.
“Your tone is telling.”
(Stripped with the Vampire, p. 159)
The vampires of this book were also highly interesting, as they led a completely regular life without being able to walk in the sun and Charlie hid many things from Vince while they were in a relationship, so we get to discover everything along Vince. Other thing that I liked is how Garren illustrates her vampires’ dealings with eternity, how they see their own immortality. It was different without too many revolutions. I liked it, haha!
Bonus point: the sex scenes. I liked all the sex scenes in this book because none gone to waist. All the times they appeared, they were meaningful, both characters wanted badly to be together and it was anything but vulgar. Just the way I like them to be ❤
Bonus point pt. 2: this cover. Let’s take a moment just to appreciate all the hotness here witnessed.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this book if you, like me, is into vampires, gay romances, light books and really hot guys. Definitely one of the best books that I’ve read this year!
That’s it! Thanks for reading and thanks again to NetGalley and the publisher for sending this my way! ❤