Undead, Book 1
Heat Factor: There is some kinky stuff.
Character Chemistry: “You are so annoying! I am attracted to you and angry about it.”
Plot: Betsy turns 30, gets fired, dies, and then rises as the Vampire Queen. Let’s just say she’s having a rough week.
Overall: Fun and fluffy, with a couple of laugh out loud moments. Perfect escapism.
Betsy’s Not Like Other Girls.
Err. She’s Not Like Other Vampires. Holy water has no effect on her. She can be out in the sun. She doesn’t feel an insatiable need to drink blood. She can take the Lord’s name in vain. She develops a lisp when her fangs descend. (Betsy: “Thon of a bith!” Other vampires: “What’s wrong with your voice?”) Everyone who meets her is amazed and astounded.
Granted, they are generally amazed and astounded because they cannot believe that THIS BITCH is the long foretold Vampire Queen. IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THE UNIVERSE?!?!?!
Betsy is Not Like Other Girls in another way, too – unlike most smut or smut-adjacent heroines, Betsy is pretty unlikable. She’s vain and selfish and judgmental and easily distracted. She does the right thing only after being bribed with a stack of designer shoes. On the other hand, she’s pretty self-aware about being a shallow, dumb, jerk, and it must be said that when it comes to her friends and family, her heart’s in the right place. She just doesn’t care about stupid vampire politics; they are nothing but walking clichés with their tuxedos and their mausoleums, and that is just absurd, so why should she bother with them? Why can’t the different factions of vampires just leave her alone to live her life? Her death. Whatever.
If having a likable heroine is a prerequisite for liking a book, then you should probably skip this one. However, even though she is objectively terrible, Betsy is a great deal of fun to read about.
For example, here she is thinking about meeting other vampires for the first time – vampires, who, by the way, kidnapped her and tried to make her swear fealty to them (it didn’t work, she mainly laughed at them):
The evening had been educational, but ultimately disappointing. I couldn’t believe vampires were so boring and uncool. I had set trends when I was alive…apparently it was up to me to carry the coolness torch when I was dead, too. There was no rest for the fashionable.
Oh Betsy. I loved her, but like I said, your mileage may vary.
A quick note on the romance: This is the first book in a long series (15 books!), so don’t expect a HEA for Betsy and Sinclair (aka Sink-Lair aka Tall, Dark, and Psychotic). In fact, don’t expect much from the romance at all. While Sinclair may be important to the plot, such as it is, the real impetus of this story is Betsy and her journey of self-discovery, as she figures out what this vampire thing is all about.
My final assessment? I had a blast reading this book.
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