26 Jan '13

A Nix MM Review – Bring Me To Life by Scarlett Parrish (4.5 Stars)

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Nathan Stephenson died seventy years ago and he’d like the world – or at least one person – to think he stayed that way.

 

In 1940s London, Sergeant Nathan Stephenson ignored his rank and the expectation that he’d wait for the war to be over and find a nice girl to settle down with, and took a lover. Not only was Adam Locke unashamed of his homosexuality, he was also proud to be a vampire. Back then, he was certain that his and Nathan’s relationship would last forever, refusing to take no for an answer.

 

One evening, Adam went too far in his attempts to persuade Nathan to become a vampire and left a mutual acquaintance, Will Bosworth, to deal with the aftermath. What Adam doesn’t know is that Nathan didn’t die – Will brought him back to life, agreeing to keep Nathan’s continued existence a secret.

 

It’s now the twenty-first century and Will’s back to call in the favour. Nathan’s an honourable man and can’t say no, but the trouble is, wherever Will goes, Adam Locke can’t be far behind…

Could you carry on in a relationship with a person that took something from you for their own selfish gains? Nathan couldn’t, which is why he would prefer that Adam Locke doesn’t know that he is alive, that he thinks that his attempt to turn him into a vampire against his will failed in a very permanent way.  Now Adam could be back and the questions remain. Can you love someone even though the trust between you has been ripped away?
Nathan alone wasn’t my favourite character. An ex-officer, he lived alone in a tower block with his human best-friend close by to service his blood needs. In this time, vampires are known about and I liked the way that his friend treated him as a person, albeit a person with particular eating habits that made her rather tired and anaemic JNathan was far too eaten up with his own angst and I struggled with him. Of course then Adam turns up and I got HOOKED!
Adam was awesome. A cocky, swaggering, no-fear Vampire in the flash-back scenes, when he reappears he is a little broken. Flashes of the old Adam appear, but there is a vulnerability there which you don’t get from the previous scenes. Here is my conflict; I loved Adam but I hated what Adam had done. Was he redeemable? He managed to redeem himself a little in my eyes but I still couldn’t forget what he had done…he was most irritating!
What I liked the most was the interactions between Adam and Nathan. It wasn’t nice, it wasn’t pleasant but damn it was hot. There was too much baggage, too much anger and guilt from both sides for it to work long-term but in the short term it was damn smexy. I like that Scarlett Parrish doesn’t romanticise MM sex too much; in some MM I have read recently, the sex is so romanticised that it feels like it shouldn’t be a scene between two men. These are men who act and feel like men and it makes any tenderness they show each other that much sweeter when it isn’t over-egged.
There was a humour underpinning this story that gave it more depth and took it from good to great. I did wonder how much of the humour was a Brit only enjoyment, but then I realised I actually didn’t care because, with the amount of stuff I have to look up in US books, it was nice to be in the know for once!

“It’s bad enough being gay and not knowing where a random homophobe will pop up. Being a vampire, as well? I’m sure I saw a headline in the Daily Mail the other day, blaming the undead for rising house prices”  

I have read many many Scarlett Parrish books and there are a few things that you need to know about her writing.
  1. She doesn’t write Happy Ever Afters. Her stories end at a point where the stories could go either way, where the main conflicts of this particular plot have been resolved but the characters need to decide whether or not they want to be together. This drives some Romance readers batty and ,if a HEA is you want from a book, she will not be the writer for you. Personally, I fricking love that I have the choice. In some romances I feel that the road has been too hard, that the relationship will never be OK because the baggage they have is too much. In Scarlett’s books, I can enjoy the story and then make a choice about where I want them to go in my head.
  2. She writes in first person POV and most of the characters in charge of the plot are snarky. I love this!

Overall, another winner from Scarlett. It’s hot and dirty with enough emotional conflicting characters to keep me guessing what was going to happen all the way to the end.

 

Nix

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