DON'T TALK BACK TO YOUR VAMPIRE by Michele Bardsley
Sometimes it's hard to take your own advice - or pulse.
Ever since a master vampire became possessed and bit a bunch of parents, the town of Broken Heart, Oklahoma, has catered to those of us who don't rise until sunset - even if that means PTA meetings at midnight.
As for me, Eva LeRoy, town librarian and single mother to a teenage daughter, I'm pretty much used to being "vampified." You can't beat the great side effects: no crow's-feet or cellulite! But books still make my undead heart beat - and, strangely enough, so does Lorcan the Loner. My mama always told me everyone deserves a second chance. Still, it's one things to deal with the usual undead hassles: rival vamps, rambunctious kids adjusting to night school, and my daughter's new boyfriend, who's a vampire hunter, for heaven's sake. It's quite another to fall for the vampire who killed you...
When I pick a book for FAB, I don't do it lightly. Not only do I have to genuinely like the book, but I have to connect with it as well. The minute I closed the cover on the first novel in this series I knew I had found something special. Books that not only combined the paranormal that I so enjoy but also have a fabulous romance intertwined. Not only that, but books that had characters that felt real to me. Plus, the characters are from OK, which is a state that I am literally just a hop, skip, and jump from, and Bardsley writes them so real that they could be my neighbors.
The second book set in Broken Heart, Oklahoma is the story of Eva LeRoy. Single mother. Town librarian. Book and word lover. All around nice person. Eva inherited the job and the house the library was housed in when her paternal grandmother died a year previously. New to Broken Heart, she found a great friendship with Jessica and seeing how she was a single parent, she fit right into the community of Broken Heart.
When Lorcan O'Halloran went mad and killed the townspeople, Eva was one of the victims. Ever since waking up a vampire, Eva has noticed that animals seem to have taken a liking to her. When a dog starts showing up at Eva's house but not coming up to her like the rest of the animals, choosing instead to stand on the outskirt of her yard and watch, Eva takes an immediate liking to the fellow, naming him Lucky. "...I didn't know if my mojo had drawn him here or not. Maybe he knew something about loss, like I did and that bound us together." But one night, Lucky doesn't appear. Instead, Lorcan literally falls from the sky at her feet - hurt and bleeding.
Eva knows she should be a bit afraid of Lorcan, but fear is the last thing she feels when looking at Lorcan. But, Lorcan cannot seem to forgive himself for what he has done to the townspeople of Broken Heart. And Eva knows that in order for anything to happen between them, Lorcan will first have to overcome his own demons.
When Eva's donor Charlie (a paid blood donor for her to feed from) starts acting strangely, things really start to change in Eva's life. Her powers seem to be developing quickly and the ability to communicate with the two natured telepathically, has Eva wanted by more people than Lorcan.
DTBTYV, like it's predecessor, had it all. Times when I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Times that were so romantic I was fanning myself, "I know how to give a compliment, a stoirin."...."Prove it"..."The sun weeps because it can no longer caress your skin or warm your lips...I do not envy the sun, Eva. But I truly hate the moon, because its light touches you in all the ways I cannot."
And while the romance was phenomenal, it was the relationships Eva had in her life (past and present) and the way she handled the people in them that captured my heart. Eva was an incredible protagonist - she has a heart of gold, but a spine of steel when needed. She suffered the loss of her mother and then her life, but even in her undeath, she finds the strength to forgive and to love.
Eva's relationship with her daughter Tamara is great. Their love of words is what inspired the contest for this FAB pick and also led to some great lines, "Holy Zarquon's singing fish," intoned Tamara...."Not quite as satisfying as yelling, 'Shit!'"
Eva also often thinks of her mother and her advise on life. I'm not sure how Bardsley managed to put such meaningful phrases into a book that still had tons of humor, but she balanced the two nicely. "Life was for living, not grieving." This is something that I often have to remind myself.
I could seriously go on and on about this book. I have marked many pages with post-it notes, so that I could quote them here, but when I started looking I realized I would be quoting over half the book, and I think that would be frowned upon. So, if you haven't yet read this book, I highly recommend you do so now. Bardsley writes with a wit and charm that pulls you right into the pages and leaves you wanting more when you reach THE END.