Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Blurb (from Goodreads):
"HE'S THE GOOD KIND OF VAMPIRE. SORT OF.
Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all.
Jessa's the only one to even remotely trust him, and she's desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there's a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard to come by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa's only hope for salvation.
Even if she has to die first…"
This is the first Jennifer Armintrout book I've read and I think it's a good book to start with. It has romance, adventure, mystery, suspense and, dare I say, a little coming of age theme. I do believe it's the first novel with that combination that I've read.
Graf isn't your typical hero. Yes, he's a vampire and he loves vintage cars and leather, but he's not what I'd call a hero. He's not very mature, on the contrary, he acts like a thirteen year old all the time. He has that "mine is bigger than yours" attitude. But, as the story progresses, you can see him maturing. He stops acting like being a vampire makes him king of the world and starts thinking of others before himself. I do believe he was very unfortunate to end up stuck in Penance, but I also think he deserved it. Even the town's name says it: he had some sins he needed to atone for and grow up at the same time. The Graf at the beginning of the story wouldn't have put himself between the angry townsmen and Jessa and he wouldn't have saved her life.
Jessa is one of those women who don't accept their age and can't let go of the past. On the night 'It' appeared, she lost her family, leaving her all alone in a town that didn't have anything to offer her. Her ex-boyfriend married her best friend, though he couldn't let go of their "high school sweetheart" relationship. I don't think Jessa likes that kind of life, but she clearly isn't making any move to change it. Maybe she's waiting for a sign or maybe she believes everything that happened is her fault. She is a little bitchy at times and that kind of annoyed me at some point. But she too grows up as the story is told and she manages to let go of the past.
The book was funny. I laughed at some parts and the snarky remarks between Jessa and Graf made me smile a lot. Some parts of the book were a bit too much for my tastes, but the book kept me in its grasp from start to finish. I will definitely try other novels by Ms. Armintrout.