Author: Ellen Mint
Series/Number: Holidays of Love #5
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Themes: Exile, Vampires, Tropical Island, Toxic Relationship, Gaslighting, Grumpy/Sunshine Romance, MM Romance,
What could be more pathetic than a vampire trapped on a tropical island? Jareth Hale despises everything about his exile to Samaná from the tourists’ necks slathered in sunscreen to the blaring sun overhead. He’ll do anything to return to his vampire castle in the forest until he falls onto Laiken, a sun-kissed beach himbo.
Laiken is sweeter than spun sugar and hotter than Adonis in a Jacuzzi. He’s perfect…except for one tiny thing. He is a vampire hunter—possibly. Jareth isn’t certain. Despite his vampire leader and ex telling him to stay away, Jareth believes flushing out this nest of hunters will earn him back his castle. And, if it keeps him in the orbit of the adorable, golden-skinned Laiken, then all the better.
Unbeknownst to him, Laiken is hiding a secret that will change everything in Jareth’s undeath. All Jareth thought he wanted and deserved was solitude, but Laiken’s opening his eyes to a whole new world. Can an old vampire open his heart and coffin in time to catch this impossible love?
Thank you to Gay Romance Reviews and Ellen Mint for a review copy of this book
Fangscreen caught my attention because it was about vampires and this one didn’t disappoint. For starters I loved how the vampire tropes were being presented in a little bit of a campy way. It plays with the tropes of vampires in a way that felt fresh and not just rehashing the same things over and over. This might be because Jareth is exiled to a tropical island as a result of losing a bet, but either way I loved it.
I really liked Jareth as a character. He is moody and sad, pining over the vampire that turned him who treats him badly, and doesn’t have much of a life. He’s not the charming vampire that a lot of books would make you expect. He’s a bit awkward and doesn’t want to talk to any of the sunscreen covered tourists. I also really liked the discussion of toxic relationships. Vampire books often has these relationships that have a lot of power dynamics, and toxic dynamics. Jareth’s relationship with his sire is toxic and complicated and he’s struggling with it, whether he realizes it’s toxic or not.
I also loved Laiken. It was very much a grumpy/sunshine situation, that I really adore. Laiken is sweet and bubbly and curious. I love that he and Jareth created this friendship about shared interests and experiences, and it eventually developed over time. I think that this book was so lovely in talking about self-acceptance, moving on, leaving toxic relationships, and making your own way in the world.
I really enjoyed this book and I think if you like a campy vampire romance this is definitely the book for you.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars