|Available for purchase February 2011|
Welcome to Penance, Ohio - hell on earth! Graf's a vampire, and he loves it. He's free to indulge his every dark, dangerous and debauched whim. Until a road trip takes him somewhere he never expected. Now he's trapped in Penance, a town that no-one has been able to leave for five years. And he's stuck protecting Jessa who's beautiful, tempting...and very, very human! The townsfolk know she's tied to their troubles and don't look kindly on strangers, meaning Graf and Jessa have only each other to rely on. Which is making it harder for Graf to control his desire to devour her...But if he can keep his bloodlust in check, their bond could be the key to uncovering the secrets that lurk within Penance and delivering the town from it's curse.
My opinion: When the book starts, we meet Graf. He's a vampire and he's on his way to another elaborate party thrown by his sire, the vampire that turned him. He is horrible with directions and he ends up wandering into a podunk little town. He spots a ransacked gas station, but seeing a flashlight inside decides that maybe he can get a map...and a little supper. He goes in and runs into a woman named Jessa. She's beyond frightened, claiming there's a monster after her and they need to hide! At first he scoffs at the notion, but then as the gas station falls down around them he realizes that maybe he's not the only monster around. They escape the monster, simply called "It", and Graf knows he needs to find shelter before sunrise. He talks Jessa into letting him stay the night and she makes him stay in the basement. He definitely contemplates eating her numerous times, especially since all she did was annoy him. Apparently, the people in this small down of Penance have been stuck there for 5 years, unable to leave and no people have been able to come in...until Graf. That automatically makes people suspicious, why was he the first person to be able to come into town? Graf tries to escape at one point, thinking that maybe his car is the ticket to getting out, so he insults Jessa and tries to flee. Of course this doesn't work, so he has to come crawling back and beg for her to let him back in because he has nowhere else to go. She takes him into town to see if anyone else will give him a place to stay, but after a mishap with one of the other locals no one volunteers. After this, Graf knows he can't make a snack out of her, since everyone knows he's staying with her and it would make everyone very suspicious. And then after some time, he doesn't want to because he develops feelings for her, whether he likes it or not. And despite her best efforts, she finds herself depending on him and falling for him as well. But she's still stuck on her ex-boyfriend Derek, who left her for another woman; they still get together every once in a while, and she finds it impossible to let him go. Graf wholly intends to return to his old life, even though he is falling in love with Jessa. Will they find a way to get rid of the monster and free the town or will they all be trapped there for eternity?
I loved this book! Graf and Jessa were so funny, some of the dialogue actually made me laugh out loud. Graf starts out as being a big insensitive jerk, but as the story progresses it's nice to see another side of him come out. Jessa is basically a big doormat; whatever her ex-boyfriend Derek does to her, she just brushes it off and keeps letting him come back. It's so frustrating, but I know people go through this all of the time. Sometimes, no matter how badly they treat you, it's hard to let go of the good times. I definitely did not expect the monster, it was different than any book I've read before and that was great. Especially since vampires are usually the most feared thing in the book, and here even the vampire was afraid (at times) of It. There were plenty of twists and turns in this book to keep it very interesting, and it all flowed very nicely. I literally could not put it down and read it in one sitting. I absolutely can not wait to read more from this author!!!
My rating: 5/5 stars