Warning: Cliffhanger (One book cut in two syndrome)
Newly vamped Sarah Dearly wants her normal life back, but fate is fighting against her. She tries to get a regular job and gets staked in the interview, only to be rescued by a masked vampire who calls himself the Red Devil. Then a wallflower-turned-witch curses her, making her a bloodthirsty, sun-allergic nightwalker–the worst vampire there is. As if all that weren’t enough, she can’t get married because her 600-year-old boyfriend, Thierry, is in a centuries-long marriage of convenience he can’t escape.
As Sarah’s nightwalker tendencies make her more dangerous, even to those she loves, she’ll have to counteract that curse, unmask the increasingly intriguing Red Devil, and get a commitment from her man. But if that’s what it takes to secure her happiness, Sarah is ready…even if it means embracing her inner vamp to do it.
He sighed. “You are absolutely no fun today. Did somebody take her depressing pill this morning?”
“Do I really sound that bad?”
After a brief break from Sarah’s sordid love tale, we’re back and ready for even more ridiculous scenarios! If there is one thing I’ve come to expect from this series, it is that Rowen will throw everyone into weird, dangerous things and all of them will just shrug it off, try and fix it, and joke the entire way through. There is no doubt that that happens here, as well. Only, the threat is very real to Sarah and those around her.
Sarah and Thierry’s relationship is just so weird. Literally no one around them understand they like one another. Us readers are constantly treated to conversations on this topic. And Sarah just kinds of shrugs them off going “it should be self evident!” It isn’t. I have no idea why they like each other except that they’re determined to do so. It is all coming to a head though, as Thierry is asking his wife of several hundred years for an annulment. The wife won’t sign, because this is “just a phase”. The dynamics of this are just a delight.
This worldbuilding is continuing to break my brain, though. How do the humans not know the paranormal exists? They’re absolutely everywhere, and they aren’t secretive about it. They basically advertise what they are. “Humans are dumb because they don’t want to see” only gets you so far. Glaringly obvious, in your face attacks and other witchy nonsense is far, far past that point. Plus, now we’re having to contend with witches all over the place, and they’re all super powerful. Yet they don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves – every single one of them we meet are selfish. And creepy abusive.
She looked up at me. “Actually this is my fiancé. When he’s been bad I use a transformation spell to turn him into an animal as punishment. He’s been a rat, a weasel, a ferret–” she frowned “–are ferrets and weasels the same thing? Anyhow, he’s been a snake, a small, hairy pig, and now a dog.”
This paragraph exemplifies everything I hate about the characters in this series and the way the author treats the genders. That is abhorrent. Mad with your fiance for any little thing? Well, gotta turn them into the animal they clearly are! One, that is dispicable, you shouldn’t treat someone you’re supposed to love like they’re a goddamn child if they go against what you think they should be doing. Two, if you’re so pissed off at them you’re willing to subvert their humanity and turn them into an animal, break up with them, they must have done something heinous to have deserved all that. Three, men are not animals, and if you have enough of a problem with them that you think this, seek help. That is very unhealthy.
What does everyone do in response to this comment? Did you guess that they would say something about how awful that is, and make a note of it to pass on to someone with authority to punish these actions? Well, you would be wrong. I don’t think the witches even have a central group who could punish other, bad witches. Really though, everyone just kinds of laughs at it like “yeah, you do you”. Yuck.
I’m actually pretty angry in general at this series, how it treats a whole host of issues, such as gender and relationships. Also friendships, and how they’re essentially enemies who are constantly making fun of the other, yet are friends. Stakes & Stilettos also introduces the “Sarah was a cheerleader, and was a horrible person, but that is okay because she is better now!” trope, that resulted in someone hating their life so much they’re willing to murder others over it. It just really turns me off from truly enjoying this series.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Immortality Bites series page!