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on April 20, 2015
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Naomi lives an almost idyllic life in Jamaica. She has a daughter who adores her, a close-knit community that looks out for its own, and paradise as her playground. But she secretly longs for the touch of other women. It is a longing she finally gets to satisfy during a trip into the tourist heart of Jamaica. When she surrenders to the seduction of a compelling stranger, however, she is savagely transformed into Belle, a ruthless beast whose hungers know no bounds.
Now Belle is part of a vampire clan, reveling in an existence that lays bare the dark hungers within every soul. Part of her hates her new world, but another part glories in it and in the explosive sexual connection she shares with the powerful head of the clan. But as magical as her new world is, it also has its dangers. Dangers that threaten the people she loves.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
I invited my good friend Luisa @Lu_Scar_ to join our team of collectors. She loves reading, watchng TV and right now she’s my mentor in photoshop *hello sensei*. Please give her a welcome to the team. X. Angy.
Book Review: 4 stars
Before I dig in the reviewing part of this -possibly- long babble about a book I read, I want to give you a little bit of context of who I am so you can understand where I’m coming from with my appreciations, opinions -entirely my own- and decide if you roll with them or away of them, either way I appreciate you’re reading this.
I’m a 26 years old latina woman -race is important, you’ll see a few paragraphs below- sexuality, undefined really but really open so that’s why I am the one reviewing the lesbian vampire novella, I’m a feminist and I’ve been educating myself in gender and sexuality issues for 5 years now so there’s that little thing too, now on to the book!
This is a story about a woman called Naomi, she’s from a close knitted community in Jamaica, has a daughter whom she adores and she’s also been struggling keeping in secret her sexuality, the interest she has for women that goes beyond admiration and dip more into the “i-want-to-be-drinking-from-between-your-legs” ocean, you know the drill, so one time she goes to the tourist side of the island with her sister, who works at a hotel and she imagines this may be the chance to get out of her system the things she’s been repressing for so long, but to her surprise, after a rather enjoyable night with an attractive woman -Julia- between her legs… her life ends and starts all at the same time in more ways than one; then the journey begins.
I give this book 4 stars, and I’m still not sure how I feel about that, I’ll try to explain myself in the following lines, so I hope I’m doing an ok job at least and you decide to A) engage in conversation and B) get the book so you can fight me on this -or agree whichever I’m glad to talk-.
I enjoyed reading this book with my head/brain but not so much with my heart, but hear me out before you run away from it, when I read or enjoy any media my heart immediately reaches to a character, usually a female character that’s layered and struggling with themselves, with a massive dark side as they call it, and that’s not something I found in this book, it’s a self discovery story and that’s the part I love about it. It’s a story about a woman making peace with her desires -sexual and otherwise- making peace with her past and her future, and not any kind of woman, it’s a Woman of Color (WOC) and that’s so rare to find in media that gave joy to my heart and well, my brain too.
Media as a whole is still far away from representing minorities in a respectful way; books, tv, music, movies and every other aspect is lacking in the representation regard and representation matters, specially when you feel left out, when I started to read I was excited to read the story of a WOC so complex and shaped in such a way I could listen to her voice, how she appreciated other WOC -even if in her head she kept calling them beasts- and how she embraces the nature of her desires, I soared.
I love the author’s prose and how she can paint with words the smells, colors and whole atmosphere of a place I’ve never been, how I can see in the eye of my mind the beach, the house where her baby girl is growing up without a mom, how her heart breaks leaving Naomi behind and starts to become Belle, and a new set of struggles come to her life, I suppose that’s the magic words can create and how is that we end up addicted to stories and universes being told by skilled people…
So, independently of my connection to the book, and how it was mainly in my head not in my heart I could watch the movie in my head while I read and when an author manages such a feat in me, well they deserve a pat in the back or something, I’m so annoying and demanding of my media, I want all the perfect ladies to be perfectly flawed.
About the characters, my favorite dynamic was Belle and Silvija -The vampire clan leader- it was such a fun power struggle I can’t get enough of it, the most layered interactions in the whole book and I’ll leave it at that so you can enjoy it like I did. Secondary characters were a bit more tricky to get into liking, they lack the depth I like, but I enjoyed some of their appearances, especially when training Belle is concerned.
Any way you see this book it’s an empowering story featuring a very diverse set of characters that add to the story a little more fun and much needed air to the vampiric genre.
Have fun reading it and let me know what you think about the story or anything.