American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Good time guy, Graf has a problem asking for directions. When he finally realises he's lost and does exactly that, he gets stuck in a town called Penance, where no-one can enter or leave and whose existence the world in general is unaware of.
The citizens of Penance are plagued by a savage beast which is killing them off one by one. Graf must throw himself on the not-so-tender mercy of Jessa, who seems to hate him on sight, well none of the other towns people are queuing up to provide a roof over his vampiric head, but Graf has no intention of sticking around humans, he has a party to attend.
Jessa is fed up of being stuck in Penance for the past five years, the monster has killed her only family and she's an outcast among the towns people. Graf is annoying but has a veritable wealth of stuff that she can trade for food and other essentials.
Graf is irreverent, selfish and contemptuous of humans. In the beginning he's not the slightest bit concerned about what Jessa has been through, but as he comes to know her, he sees through her prickly exterior to a woman with nothing left to lose. Jessa is no innocent but losing her parents has changed her world view and it takes her some time to warm to Graf, but when they are targeted by the beast and the towns people they reluctantly have to rely on each other.
The story has strong element of horror which lends to the tension threading through the story. The romance between Jessa and Graf is slow and subtly developed to a trusting relationship. There are some genuine funny moments which seem more so because of the tension build. I had no sympathy for the towns people who used their situation as a personal power play and the monster was very B movie. American Vampire is an easy read, fun and snarky.
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