Friday, February 12, 2010

One Bite with a Stranger by Christine Warren

Regina McNeil has been sexually celibate ever since she discovered her boyfriend having sex with his secretary when she walked in with him one day at lunchtime, but her friends, the one she formed a "Fantasy Fix" team with to help them live out their fantasies in the real world, won't let her remain celibate forever. Though she's not ready to end her sexual fast just yet, they bully her into writing down sexual fantasies that they will help her fulfill.

Pressed, she writes down four sexual fantasies she knows they won't be able to find for her, but the fifth is actually something she does want to find- a man to tie her up and master her. They pick two fantasies and the ones they pick are for her to screw a vampire, and the sexually mastering her one. Although she tried to give them things they couldn't fulfill, they wouldn't let her get away with it that easy- and demanded she attend the vampire ball with them, where they set her up with a "vampire" who is also into S&M, bondage and domination.

But when she is at the club, she attracts the attention of a real vampire, Dmitri Vidâme, who sees her and cannot resist talking to her- or taking her back to her apartment, where he fulfills every single one of her desires while practically screwing her into the mattress. But when she agreed to become his, she has no idea that Dmitri takes her vow very seriously indeed- and he is looking for her to be more than just a one-time lay.

Her friends aren't satisfied with her satisfaction- in fact, one of her friends, Ava, appears to be quite pissed off with her when she will neither share the real details with her friends of what happened to her the night before nor agree to a second shot. She declares that the night with Dmitri "doesn't count" towards having her fantasy fulfilled and ruthlessly ropes her into another one. Her other friends protest, but give way before Ava's determination.

Ava sets up Regina on another fantasy, but also gets angry and confronts Dmitri, wanting to ensure he's not some kind of horrible serial killer out to kill Regina, and she's more than a little angry at Regina as well. But Regina doesn't know why, and she isn't quite sure she can defuse her friend's anger- or if she wants to.

Dmitri wasn't in that club for no reason- he was there trying to get a lead on who has been running around making packs of new vampires without permission and letting them run wild to attack humans and others. As part of the council that oversees all the Supernatural Creatures, Dmitri must find the one responsible and bring him or her to justice.

But even as he deals with that, and Regina deals with her friends, she is attacked by her old boyfriend, who has somehow been turned into a vampire and attacks her for revenge on her after she threw him over when she discovered he was cheating. But as her sexual antics with Dmitri continue and she falls ever more deeply in love with her, can they keep each other alive as someone seeks to eliminate them both?

After having read Christine Warren's other book, "Walk on the Wild Side", I wasn't sure exactly how well I was going to like this one, but in the end, I did. Yes, the hero, Dmitri, does stuff to her that does seem borderline abusive, with heavy BDSM going on, but the difference is, in this case, Regina wanted what he was doing to her. He pushed her boundaries, and she made a token protest, but at the same time, she wanted it- he was reading her mind to know what she really wanted, and she was extremely turned on by it- not so in the case of the earlier novel.

Who really comes off badly in this novel is Regina's friend, Ava, who is acting like such a bitch that it was hard to remember that she was a friend and trying to protect Regina- she's so nasty and unpleasant to Regina and Dmitri that I wanted to call her a bitch and throw her off a bridge somewhere- especially when she told Regina that her fantasy didn't count just because Regina wouldn't share the details of her experience and didn't do it with the man that Ava set her up with. She goes from "Pushy friend" to "Sour old bitch" so quickly that she crosses the line as a blur- the reader starts wondering what is wrong with her. She redeems herself somewhat towards the end, but you really begin to wonder how good a friend she really is/was. And how anyone else can put up with her.

This book has plenty of hot sex, and you'll enjoy it more if you don't mind a bit of BDSM in your fantasies, as this romance/book trends heavily in that direction. But although this book isn't the first in the Others series, it's the first chronologically, and the next book involves the mostly unlikeable Ava- after all Regina's other friends are already married to a variety of Otherworldly creatures- and all of those were written under the aegis of another publishing house and can't be found any more, or so I hear. In any case, this is a mostly enjoyable book and I do recommend it, but because of the strong BDSM elements, not highly- unless you like that sort of thing or it doesn't bother you.

No comments: