A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A charming little story of one man’s crazy first meeting with the in-laws…who just happen to be vampires.
Blurb: When two souls are entwined, true love doesn’t end…even after death.
When Bartholomew sees his dead lover at a café, he thinks he’s imagining things. Bart follows Cullen only to learn there’s a lot more going on in the world than he ever knew. Suddenly assigned the task of collecting his lover’s soul, Bart goes through many trials in order to reclaim a man he’d thought he’d lost forever. However, nothing prepares him for discovering the truth about Cullen’s past.
Now he must figure out what to do with a man who kept his real self hidden from Bart, while handing over all of his love.
Review: I have this policy concerning books. I never read the reviews about them. (I know, the irony that I review books is not lost on me either!) I have this policy because I fully believe that what I see in a novel, how I feel about it, will not be what you see or feel. So imagine my surprise when after reading the blurb for this story I went right to the reviews looking for it. Heavens no–I didn’t read them. Instead I wanted to see how this book had been rated. Why? Because it was a paranormal and it has been my experience that, unfortunately, if you’ve read one paranormal you have read them all–they are frighteningly similar.
All similar until, that is, this little sip of a story, Protecting His Soul by Amber Kell. Bart’s loving partner, Cullen is lost in a freak construction site accident. Yet Bart swears that he has seen glimpses of someone who resembles his dead lover. One day, while minding his own business at a coffee shop, his dead lover walks right past him. Determined to follow this doppelganger, he hightails it out of the shop and chases him straight to his front door, which is left open, rather conveniently.
What follows next is a decidedly unusual and oft times humorous spin on the classic scenario, first time meeting of the in-laws. During their exchange it is revealed that Cullen is a vampire–big news to Bart…in addition, when Cullen died his soul was taken…and had to be caught again by a soul catcher. Unfortunately the soul catcher is not having much success due to the fact that Cullen gave someone–entrusted someone with the keeping of his soul—enter Bart.
The book sobers up a bit when Bart discovers that in order to restore his lover’s soul he will have to undergo three trials–all of which could lead to his death. Needless to say I cannot go into those in any detail for doing so with such a short book would basically be giving the entire thing away!! Suffice it to say there is a HEA at the end.
I started chuckling about 10 pages into this book and never stopped. Bart is snarky, witty, and cleverly written! In the span of just a few days, he grapples with finding out his lover is not dead but instead what is tantamount to a soulless zombie and, er, well a vampire…so yeah…kind of dead after all. He meets the strangest assortment of relatives from the bloodthirsty (no pun intended) mother, Gloria…
“What do we do now?” I was definitely on board with being part of the solution. I had a feeling problems tended to disappear with this family…
“I had planned to kill you,” Gloria said with a pout.
“Why couldn’t I have a normal boyfriend whose parents only objected to their son being gay? No, I had to go the extra mile and pick the wrong…species.”
And there was the creepy father, Citren along with the delightfully wacky, slightly pervy brother, Aiden.
“I didn’t know any other vampire families, but I was willing to bet these people were weird even by living dead standards.”
Yes, the book conveniently glossed over the three trials and gave very short shrift to the parents suddenly “accepting” that for the first time ever in vampire history a human was not only partnered to a vamp but his soul keeper as well. It was all done to quickly and too neatly–hence the 4 stars rather than 5. But, there is no denying that Amber Kell writes wonderful humor and really like-able characters…and a fun little tale to boot. So despite the lack of development to the story–it is a novella after all–and despite the fleeting nature of the trials and the hurried acceptance of Cullen bring gay, this little book really packs a giggle or two. And, after all, dear reader, couldn’t we all use a little laugh now and again? I think so…