Cora is a nurse with an undeniable attraction for Zeke, a handsome orderly. Despite her repeated attempts to ignore and avoid him, she’s inexplicably drawn into his orbit time and again. At the holiday party, she and Zeke come face to face, along with Zeke’s boyfriend, Merrick. Merrick isn’t enthused about Cora, sensing there’s an attraction he doesn’t want Zeke to pursue, but that’s all moot when the gas main explodes below them and Cora wakes up chained to the wall in a desolate cabin.
Zeke and Merrick eventually turn up to explain to Cora that she’s being chained for her own good. She’d been nearly killed by the explosion, but Zeke infected her with a vampire virus that healed her mortal wounds. The catch is, if Cora will remain bound and not take any blood from either Zeke or Merrick, her fever will abate and she’ll go back to being human in about a week.
Unfortunately, at first Cora doesn’t believe Zeke or Merrick, whose cold eyes stun her into submission. She breaks free and must be collected before she can do harm. That does convince her of her otherworldly status, however, and she’s not that upset over it. Her human life was sterile and empty, and being a vampire, witnessing the passion between Zeke and Merrick, makes her crave both of them. She wants to join them, though she’s afraid that Merrick will never accept her.
This is a really compelling, sensual read. Cora narrates the whole novella, and she’s clearly a vivid thinker. Plus, once she’s infected, her viewpoint becomes distorted and hazy, with a sing-song quality that lulled me along. I dug it. There’s a little bit of sex, in the middle and the end, with M/M, M/F and MMF arrangements. Cora’s a big player, though, in her own transformation and with saving the relationship between Zeke and Merrick—and also their fledgling triad. I loved her strength. I loved how she made it work for all three of them. Merrick’s guilt over being a vampire is sincere, and he becomes a far more sympathetic character when viewed in this light. By the end, it’s an emotional rollercoaster, with Cora saving Merrick saving Zeke and then happy ménage sexytimes. Yum.
This book is part of the 2016 Holiday Charity Bundle from Riptide, with 20% of proceeds going toward The Trevor Project. Having read all three books in that package, I HIGHLY recommend it.