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Book Review

Book Cover

Love Bites


Author: Ry Herman
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
377 pages
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 52940 630 6
Publication Date: 09 July 2020

Chloe suffers from mental health problems that all but confine her to the house. Angela is a vampire who has recently escaped an abusive relationship. When they meet, one night, at a club, there is certainly chemistry between them, but can love grow and survive in such infertile ground...?

Love Bites (377 pages) is a romantic fantasy novel, written by Ry Herman.

In a lot of ways, the fact that Angela is a vampire plays second fiddle to the damage she carries, having escaped her relationship with Tess, another vampire and the one that turned Angela. She is young, smart and trying to finish her PhD thesis in astrophysics. This gives her the perfect excuse for being out most of the night, as she is legitimately trying to determine if the gap in space dust means she has discovered another new planet. Little do her friend know that she also uses the time to hang out in nightclubs to pick up and bite unsuspecting women.

Herman keeps much of the regular vampire mythos, though the idea of being bitten once will turn you is debunked, it requires many bites. I particularly liked the comic sequences where Angela, a relatively new vampire, with a background in science, runs experiments to try and work out why she cannot see her reflection in a mirror.

Chloe is also messed up, she buries herself in her work reading unsolicited book submissions, mostly trash. Her world revolves around her cat, who engages in strange and unusual behaviour like balancing on door lintels just so that it can dive bomb human heads. Her Aunt, who comes for a day, but stays for much longer, may or may not be a real witch, or she might just be an over talkative batty old lady. Her most recent addition to the household, for financial reasons, is Ari, who, likewise may or may not be an angel who has decided to start his own religion.

The narrative is, in the main, told from the perspective of the two main protagonists, as Herman explores both the rush of their new relationship, but also the barriers that two damaged people may encounter, trying to trust again. The story also jumps between the present – well, the last few months of the dying 20th Century – and the characters pasts to slowly reveal exactly what happened to them.

Personally, I think it is immaterial that the author is designated as genderqueer, Angela and Chloe’s sexuality takes second place to a story of two damaged individuals trying to finds a path to happiness with each other.

Although the review makes the story sound heavy and dour, it is anything but. Herman infuses the whole novel with a delicate humorous touch.


Charles Packer

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