American Vampire

American Vampire

by Jennifer Armintrout

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Overview



Buried in the Heartland is a town that no one enters or leaves. Graf McDonald somehow becomes its first visitor in more than five years…and he was only looking for a good party. Unfortunately, Penance, Ohio, is not that place. And after having been isolated for so long, they do not like strangers at all.

Jessa's the only one to even remotely trust him, and she's desperate for the kind of protection that only a vampire like Graf can provide. Supplies are low, the locals are ornery for a sacrifice and there's a monster more powerful than Graf lurking in the woods. New men are hard tocome by in this lonesome town, and this handsome stranger might be Jessa's only hope for salvation.

Even if she has to die first…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426887680
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 640 KB

About the Author



Jennifer Armintrout is the bestselling author of the Blood Ties series. She resides in West Michigan with her husband and children.

Read an Excerpt



If there was one power a vampire could really use, Graf McDonald figured it would have to be internal GPS. Steering his car—a black 1974 De Tomaso Pantera L, a total snatch magnet—with one hand, he jabbed at the tiny screen of his TomTom GPS thingie and said words his mother would have made him eat soap for speaking.

His BlackBerry vibrated against the leather of the passenger seat, seconds before Lady Gaga blared from its tiny speaker. He ripped the GPS from its suction cup base and took it in his left hand, steering with his knees while he answered the phone with his right. That was another thing vampires could use. Extra limbs, to be utilized whenever they willed it.

"Sophia," he said into the phone as he pounded on the TomTom screen. "What do you want?"

"Darling!" Sophia called everyone darling. It was her thing. "You're on your way, yes?"

Of all the traits that got Graf all hot and bothered about his sire, the way she would end questions with the answer she wanted to hear was in the top five, at least. He couldn't help but smile to himself at that. "Slight delay. This stupid GPS thing isn't working."

"Oh, no, no!" Sophia clucked her tongue, and even that sound had an Italian accent. "Darling, you're not going to miss my party, no?"

Graf flicked his gaze to the windshield, to the straight road that hadn't changed since the last time he'd bothered to look at it. "Not if I can help it."

"Well, where are you?" she asked earnestly.

"I'll be honest with you, Soph. I have no fucking clue where I am." He braced himself for the reprimand that was sure to come.

"Graf, your language! You sound like a peasant." She sighed. "You have my address, yes?"

"Yes, I have your address. I programmed it into the thing."

Fucking technology. Usually, he loved it. The internet, thank God for that. High-definition television, yes, yes, yes. Little weaselly devices that pretend like they're going to help you and then stab you in the back? Those could suck his big, fat—

"Honestly, I do not know how you have such difficulty with directions. Get on the highway and go toward Washington, D.C. It is not difficult!" Sophia pouted over the line. "Do that!"

"Well, I would, pumpkin butt, but I dropped the damned TomTom in the parking lot at Denny's, and now it's all in Spanish and I can't get back to the map screen." He took a deep breath and propped the phone against his shoulder as he fished for the cigarettes in his jacket on the seat beside him.

"I do not understand you, you men," Sophia said, sure to lean on the word enough to let him know she meant it as an insult. "You know, I only turn women now, yes? Because they are not as…vulgar and stupid. I do not wish to hurt your feelings, sweet Graf, but it is true, it is just my opinion. Now, why do you not find a place to pull over and ask for directions, and then you hurry here. Okay, good boy. Bye-bye!"

As always, she hung up without a chance for rebuttal. He tossed the phone back onto the seat, threw the TomTom on the passenger side floor, and lit a cigarette. When he looked up at the road, the biggest deer he'd ever seen stared back at him.

With a shout, he jerked the wheel and veered onto the shoulder, narrowly missing the animal. Tall grass and a ditch loomed just past the shoulder, aching to chew up his paint job and destroy his aftermarket ground lighting. Unacceptable. He fought to get the car under control on the gravel shoulder, and brought it to a stop in the center of the road.

Very few things got Graf's adrenaline pumping the way a threat to his car did, and he leaned over the steering wheel, his heart—which usually didn't beat—pounding in his chest.

"Christ," he muttered, easing the gearshift back to First. Okay, maybe Sophia was right. It was time to swallow his pride, ask for help, and keep his eyes on the road.

The trouble was, he reflected as he slowly rolled down the road, scanning the fields on either side for more white-tailed devil creatures, there didn't seem to be anyplace to stop; he'd passed plenty of farms, lots of little ranch houses with decks, aboveground pools, and absolutely no shade trees in the lawns, but nothing that would indicate a town was nearby. He'd passed a grain elevator, but it had been abandoned. When he tried to remember the last time he'd seen anything that promised civilization lay ahead, he had to reach at least an hour back. And he was cutting his trip close… If he wandered around all night, he'd have to find a hotel to stay in. And if he didn't find one before sunup…

He swallowed the lump in his throat and forced himself to take things one step at a time, without panicking. He'd been stranded at sunup before. The memory of prickling pain flaring into full-blown, fiery agony spread over his arms in a heated warning. A cold sweat of blood broke out over his forehead, and he wiped it away with a curse, ordering himself to get his fear under control. Yes, being burned by the sun had been excruciatingly painful. Yes, it had taken a long time to heal. But he'd been younger then, with less healing ability. The entire situation could be avoided, if he kept a cool head.

To distract himself, he thought of all the fun he'd have at his intended destination. Sophia's July Fourth parties were legendary. All those years ago, she'd been in England when news of a potential uprising in King George's colonies had caught her attention and Sophia, never wanting to miss out on anything exciting, had hopped a boat and relocated. Thus, she'd been at the very first July Fourth, and the revolution that followed it.

"Darling," she had told him once, "it was either going to be a historic moment, or it was going to be chaos. How could I miss either? All of those bodies lying around, the countryside unprotected as the men went off to war. Delicious."

Graf smiled at the memory. His sire was…well, she was spectacular. The only thing he didn't like about her was that he had to share her with her other fledglings. She turned about three a year and sent them on their way, like she was a friggin' vampire factory, but, somehow, she made them all feel special and loved. Just receiving her blood was an act of love in itself—what more precious gift could you give someone than the gift of eternal life?

From the corner of his eye, he spotted light. Not enough that a human could have seen it; vampire eyesight was beyond excellent. A beam of light swung wildly through the darkness. A flashlight. Inside a structure of some kind. He hit the brakes and pulled over, examining the source of the light. The building was a gas station, all closed up snug for the night, because nothing in these Midwestern middle grounds stayed open later than ten.

A gas station would have a map. And if someone was robbing the place, he could get one for free. And pick up a snack.

He pulled closer, then killed the engine and let the car drift into the gravel lot, not closing the door when he got out. The element of surprise somehow made people taste better, and if they had a gun, he didn't want to get shot. It wouldn't kill him, but it would hurt like hell.

As he approached the building, it became apparent that the place wasn't just closed, it was abandoned. Several of the windows were broken, but no one had bothered to board them up. The price of cigarettes displayed on the faded sign in the one nonshattered window would have made Graf weep with joy had it been current. He pushed open the unlocked door and a bell jingled. So much for surprise.

The shelves were bare, so the place had clearly been looted. Why would someone even bother to break in?

"Hello!" he called cheerfully. "Anybody home?"

Something scurried in the farthest corner of the store, near the empty, glass-fronted coolers.

"Look, I know you're in here. I saw your flashlight." This was, Graf reflected, the kind of thing that would happen at the beginning of a horror movie. Cocky, confident guy walks into a creepy place, thinking he's the toughest thing in there, something horrible jumps out of the shadows.

But he knew he was the most horrible thing there at the moment, so the horror-movie comparison made him grin. "Okay. You want to do this the hard way? We can do it the hard way."

Whoever it was scurried across the floor. But they didn't move away from him. They approached on hands and knees. A hand grasped his ankle, and he kicked to dislodge it.

"Stop! It will hear us!" A feminine voice, consumed with panic. "Get down! It's coming!"

"What's coming?" He crouched, but not out of fear of whatever this woman thought was heading their way. He needed to get a better look at her, to decide if she was crazy or just plain terrified.

Maybe both, if he had to judge by the eyes staring back at him. The whites shone like the moon in the darkness, with huge pupils obscuring nearly all the green around them. Her lips, the same pale of her skin, pursed against the agonizing wait. Fear radiated from her, from the scent of her sweat to the unrelenting grip on his wrist she'd secured when he'd knelt. Suddenly, she released him, turned her face up to the windows just above their heads. She pressed one finger against her lips and moved backward in a slow crouch. Graf followed, though he still had no idea what the hell was going on. A meal was a meal, and this one looked pretty tasty, despite the bone-chilling terror that gripped her.

She pushed open the door to the back room of the store, and they crept inside. She motioned, still silent, to the desk in the corner, a clunky metal contraption that no one had seen fit to take with them when they'd closed down. Climbing beneath it, she motioned for him to follow.

Here was a predicament. She was a hot little piece, and under normal circumstances, he wouldn't have minded squeezing into a tight spot with her. But if there actually was some ominous thing coming for them, being trapped when it got there didn't seem like the best idea. On the other hand, hiding out in the back room would be fine once the sun came up, because it was mercifully windowless.

An inhuman roar shook the walls, and that made Graf's decision for him. He dove beneath the desk, and the girl tried to avoid him with a squeak. "It's here!" she screamed, covering her ears with her hands and squeezing her eyes shut tight. The sound of her rapid breathing and wild heartbeat filled his ears, and his fangs slid down in anticipation.

Then, the groan of rending metal sent daggers of instant "Oh, that can't be good" shooting to his brain. As ridiculously quick as vampire reflexes were, he didn't have time to react before a gas pump shot through the wall like a knife through hot butter, and asbestos tiles rained from the ceiling like snowflakes in hell.

"We should probably get out of here," he said, but it really wasn't up to the human to decide if she wanted to leave or not. He grabbed her by the wrist and pulled. If she wanted to keep her hand, she would follow. She did, but screamed, "Don't go out there!" even as he pulled her through the door.

"There's my car!" he shouted over the sound of the gas station's roof tearing off. Something moved in the darkness, but getting away from it was more important to Graf than getting a good look at it.

The girl hesitated, and he shoved her through the driver's side door and climbed in after her as she scrambled into the passenger seat. "Drive!" she screamed as a chunk of roof fell on the hood of the car.

She didn't have to tell him twice. The engine roared and the transmission protested as he pushed all three hundred and fifty of the horses under the hood to haul ass and get them out of there.

"What was that?" He checked the rearview mirror. The gas station, a crumbled ruin, stood alone at the side of the road, but nothing around it had been disturbed. The power lines stood, the cornfield waved placidly. "Was that a tornado?"

"How did you get here?" The human trembled, gripping the dash with one hand as she sat sideways to face him. Her voice held some of the same panic she'd had in the darkened station, as though whatever the hell had just happened to them hadn't ended yet and that his relief was premature.

Very few things rattled him anymore, but the strangeness of her question did. Not a good feeling. "How else do people get here? I drove."

"No, that's impossible." She sat back, stared blankly out the windshield. "This can't be happening."

Shell-shocked human. Fantastic. He should just pull over and eat her, dump her body in the ditch and keep going, but some instinct that was smarter than him warned that it wouldn't be a good idea. "Well, I hate to tell you, but it is happening, and I'm about two seconds away from kicking you out of this car if you don't stop acting so damn crazy. If you're lucky, I might even hit the brakes first."

"Oh my God, you're really here. From the outside." Her eyes got even wider, if that were possible.

"The outside of what? Ohio? What, are you Amish or something?" He pulled the car to the side of the road. Something about the whole situation was fishy, and he had a personal rule about getting caught up in human problems. And he definitely didn't eat crazy.

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American Vampire 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Wakela_Runen More than 1 year ago
This was definitely a great book. It was a dark, eerie tale that was interlaced with a dark humor. Think of it as Janet Evanovich meets Twilight Zone. I absolutely loved it. First off, you have the hunky egotistical vampire (and no he doesn't sparkle! Huzzah for that!). Mix in a small town that no one can escape from. And top it off with a spunky woman with a hidden past that she can't hide from. Right there, you have the recipe for a great evening. It was a very quick read that was well worth it. So brew yourself a nice cup of tea, grab a nice blanket, and snuggle into your reading chair. You are going to be in for a great treat. You won't want to put this book down.
LuckyD More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and wanted to give it five stars. I thought the characters and the story were great! However the ending left me with some questions. A fun, fast read. And it was definitely entertaining. I read it in a day.
Adesola975 More than 1 year ago
Ok, this is my second ever review. The first review I wrote was about a totally amazing book. THIS book....is the polar opposite. She filled the pages of this book with completely unlikeable characters. There wasnt 1 redeeming quality in ANY of them. The plot was different and could have been a really great story, but she didnt take the time to develop any of the characters or the story. Background in any form just isnt there. Honestly, this is one of the few books I've ever read where I wish I could get not only my money back, but the time I wasted reading it.
bookwormJW More than 1 year ago
A touch of horror and a great romance! I love bad boys and "American Vampire" delivers. This book should be made into a HBO series like "True Blood." I read this book so quickly - I couldn't put it down! I was upset when it ended and hope that Jennifer Armintrout writes some more like this one.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Somewhere in Ohio, Graf McDonald is on his way to a party, but in spite of GPS he is totally lost. Smoking a cigarette, the vampire sees a light and heads to it. When no one responds to his knocks he shouts at whoever is inside. Twentyish Jessa tells him to shut up and drive as It is coming. Graf is confused thinking maybe he entered an isolated Amish community though unsure what caused a part of a roof to fly at his car. He learns he is in Penance, Ohio as the first outsider to enter in five years as It does not allow anyone to enter or exit. Supplies are extremely low and the townsfolk are panicking. Now he cannot leave either. Though neither Graf nor Jessa trust each other, they need each other to survive; and not just from It. This engaging romantic horror fantasy stars a hedonistic vampire and a desperate country girl inside a town with no pity run by a monster. The lead couple is terrific as he cares not one iota about others except as a blood bank or a place to hide from the sun; thus his transformation to caring in love feels off kilter and detracts from his self-indulgence. On the other hand Jennifer Armintrout cleverly reveals clues about It over the course of the story line that has readers wanting to know what it is. Although the romantic subplot feels more like a sub-genre requirement, readers will enjoy the tale of an American Vampire trapped in the Heartland. Harriet Klausner
VMcManus More than 1 year ago
I received a review copy of this book and really enjoyed how different it was from other vampire books I've read. The vampire hero, Graf, is not at all heroic for most of the book, nor does he have Secret Angst; he's on his way to a wild party when he's drawn into a cursed town and can't escape. I loved that he was self-centered and vain; that's how I've always imagined vampires would be. Rather than wanting to help the trapped townspeople, he just wants to leave. After he eats someone. His constant snarkiness was my favorite thing about the novel. The heroine, Jessa, is at the end of her rope when the novel begins, but Graf's arrival, and more especially his annoying personality, help to shake things up. As the story progresses, she and Graf begin to trust each other and to fall in love; I didn't entirely believe in their romance, and wished they'd remained adversarial; I suspect the romance might continue to develop in future stories. Armintrout does some clever things with the cursed town, and the reason it's cursed. That part of the story reminded me of a certain type of horror movie. Overall, an interesting read.
TheNovelNymph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Graf McDonald is a vampire. He is also stuck in a small town with people who haven't been able to leave or have seen anyone new in five years, and they don't like strangers. To make matters worse, there is a monster more powerful than he is somewhere in the woods.When he first arrives in Penance, Ohio he meets Jessa. Graf saves her life and she takes him in before she knows what he is. Though they argue a lot, Jessa is the only one in the town that trusts him.I could not put this book down. It's been a very long time since I've been pulled into a story this much. If I did put the book down it wasn't for long because it was all I could think about. I had to pick it back up and keep reading. I needed to know what was going to happen next.The plot is fast-paced. The Writing is incredible and the characters are very real. Jennifer made being stuck in a small town with a vampire and a monster believable. I will definitely be reading more by her.
wakela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was definitely a great book. It was a dark, eerie tale that was interlaced with a dark humor. Think of it as Janet Evanovich meets Twilight Zone. I absolutely loved it. First off, you have the hunky egotistical vampire (and no he doesn¿t sparkle! Huzzah for that!). Mix in a small town that no one can escape from. And top it off with a spunky woman with a hidden past that she can¿t hide from.Right there, you have the recipe for a great evening. It was a very quick read that was well worth it. So brew yourself a nice cup of tea, grab a nice blanket, and snuggle into your reading chair. You are going to be in for a great treat. You won¿t want to put this book down.In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.
AlishaNeedsToRead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When it comes to scary stuff, there's nothing quite like the unknown, don't you think? I started reading this book without any knowledge of story particulars (plot, characters, genre themes), and am glad I did. While I wasn't scared into going to bed with the lights on, I was certainly deliciously creeped out with some of the more mysterious aspects of this stand-alone novel from Jennifer Armintrout.This book seems to fall into a couple of genres. The book is undoubtedly spooky. Especially in the beginning of the story, there was a feeling of desolation and the sense of an insurmountable threat that was chilling. I also felt like the ultimate focus of the book was about how a community will regress--brutally, fanatically, incomprehensibly--when isolated and abandoned. Hence, Horror. But the book eventually fosters a romantic element that takes up much of the plot; additionally, the narration bounces between the hero and heroine. So, Paranormal Romance¿.or Urban Fantasy with romantic elements.The hero of this story, Graf the vampire, is a bit of a cad. He can be smarmy, snobby and selfish. But I liked his character! And come to think of it, both the "hero" and "heroine" of this book have some questionable morals; they aren't quite the kind of people you'd look up to. There's certainly some great character growth, but the protagonists are no heroes. It's a testament to the author's writing that you root for and care about them despite (or because of) their shortcomings.Some other great elements included the whole "appearances deceive" theme (in which the supposed "good guys" were often just as freaky as the obvious baddies); the subtle, dry humor of the narrative; and the tempered approach to the romance. Regarding the latter, I appreciated that it built slowly and without grand overtures; anything more might have felt incongruous with the ruthlessness of characters' overall situation.If you love urban fantasy (with romantic elements) and want to try something with a little bit of a spookiness factor, this is a good story to crack into.
shelleyraec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Vampire is the first book I have read by Jennifer Armintrout who is known for two successful series (Blood Ties and Lightworld/Darkworld).This stand alone novel fits snugly into the horror genre and can be compared loosely to Stephen King¿s* traditional plot technique of isolating a small town of small minded personalities to be terrorised by a nameless monster. Armintrout adds her own spin by drawing a vampire in to the mix as its saviour.Graf unwittingly finds himself trapped in Penance, Ohio when he saves Jessa from a monster whose rampage has kept the small town residents trapped within its borders for five years. Despite his general disdain for humanity, when Graf finds he can¿t escape, he unwillingly becomes involved in protecting Jessa from not only the demon, but her fellow townspeople.While I like the premise, it is a familiar one from my early obsession with horror novels so I found it a touch predictable however Armintrout does add unique touches that deliver a surprise or two.The pace is good, the author maintains an atmospheric sense of unease and the tension is built to the climax with skill. There is evidence of Armintrouts dry and dark humor that adds an element of fun and her style of writing is very accessible.Both Graf and Jessa are unusual characters, almost anti-heroes, they have a moral vagueness that is unsettling yet a charm that encourages your support of both their escape and romantic relationship. I am impressed with Armintrouts ability to walk this very narrow line.The conclusion is violently satisfying even though there are small questions that remain unanswered. There is the potential for these characters to surface in a future book by Armintrout, though I am not sure where she would take the story.American Vampire is tailor made to appeal to the currently insatiable vampire loving readership who may be looking for something a little left of mainstream in paranormal romance.*not to be confused with Stephen Kings DC Comic book American Vampire, Vol. 1 and not helped by the monster being referred to as ¿It¿
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Armintrout should be a better known author than she is. A few years back she wrote a fabulous vampire series called "Blood Ties". She shocked me by the depravity of some of the characters. Morality wasn't a black and white concept to those vampires, more like shades of grey. I didn't always like the characters or their choices but I was hooked on the storytelling. Her next effort was a fae type of trilogy that was extremely well told and also highly underrated. Of course I had to read her newest effort, "American Vampire", a single title novel. The story is about a vampire named Graf who is minding his own buisiness, headed to a party hosted by his maker, when he finds himself stuck going in circles. Instead of hot women and some hot blood to quinch his thirst, Graf finds a town cut off from the outside world and the monster which inhabits that town. Since the monster has mysteriously shown up in Penance, Ohio no one else has been able to leave the town, nor has anyone outside the town been able to find a way in. So it is strange when Graf shows up. The town is immediately wary of the newcomer. Jessa's been alone since her family has died. Most of the town doesn't look too fondly on Jessa either. When Graf can't find shelter and dawn in fast approaching, the two make a bargain that ensures him Jessa's roof over his head. From this point the plot is pretty simple. Graf and Jessa try to uncover the mystery of the monster and hopefully discover a way to leave town. I liked the plot and I suspected what was behind the mystery but never knew with 100% certaintly until the end. I liked Graf because I didn't think he fell easily into either good guy or bad guy status. Jessa also is unique in that she is a heroine who is pretty but not gorgeous and she has a reputation, even somewhat deservadly, of being the town easy. I was able to root for them and I also thought the monster or "IT" as the town people referred to the monster, was quite entertaining. Some of the story was slow moving and I wasn't thrilled with the novel's resolution. The book ended up being just so so for me and not amoung Armintrout's standouts. Still with this author's track record, I remain eager to see what she creates in the future.
JamesterCK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My opinion: When the book starts, we meet Graf. He's a vampire and he's on his way to another elaborate party thrown by his sire, the vampire that turned him. He is horrible with directions and he ends up wandering into a podunk little town. He spots a ransacked gas station, but seeing a flashlight inside decides that maybe he can get a map...and a little supper. He goes in and runs into a woman named Jessa. She's beyond frightened, claiming there's a monster after her and they need to hide! At first he scoffs at the notion, but then as the gas station falls down around them he realizes that maybe he's not the only monster around. They escape the monster, simply called "It", and Graf knows he needs to find shelter before sunrise. He talks Jessa into letting him stay the night and she makes him stay in the basement. He definitely contemplates eating her numerous times, especially since all she did was annoy him. Apparently, the people in this small down of Penance have been stuck there for 5 years, unable to leave and no people have been able to come in...until Graf. That automatically makes people suspicious, why was he the first person to be able to come into town? Graf tries to escape at one point, thinking that maybe his car is the ticket to getting out, so he insults Jessa and tries to flee. Of course this doesn't work, so he has to come crawling back and beg for her to let him back in because he has nowhere else to go. She takes him into town to see if anyone else will give him a place to stay, but after a mishap with one of the other locals no one volunteers. After this, Graf knows he can't make a snack out of her, since everyone knows he's staying with her and it would make everyone very suspicious. And then after some time, he doesn't want to because he develops feelings for her, whether he likes it or not. And despite her best efforts, she finds herself depending on him and falling for him as well. But she's still stuck on her ex-boyfriend Derek, who left her for another woman; they still get together every once in a while, and she finds it impossible to let him go. Graf wholly intends to return to his old life, even though he is falling in love with Jessa. Will they find a way to get rid of the monster and free the town or will they all be trapped there for eternity? I loved this book! Graf and Jessa were so funny, some of the dialogue actually made me laugh out loud. Graf starts out as being a big insensitive jerk, but as the story progresses it's nice to see another side of him come out. Jessa is basically a big doormat; whatever her ex-boyfriend Derek does to her, she just brushes it off and keeps letting him come back. It's so frustrating, but I know people go through this all of the time. Sometimes, no matter how badly they treat you, it's hard to let go of the good times. I definitely did not expect the monster, it was different than any book I've read before and that was great. Especially since vampires are usually the most feared thing in the book, and here even the vampire was afraid (at times) of It. There were plenty of twists and turns in this book to keep it very interesting, and it all flowed very nicely. I literally could not put it down and read it in one sitting. I absolutely can not wait to read more from this author!!! My rating: 5/5 stars
thewalkinggirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review based on a digital ARC received via NetGalley.A funny, scary, at times tragic urban fantasy.Graf, the (anti) hero is kind of half-heartedly evil (think Spike after he had the chip put in his head). Jessa ... has issues of her own. They meet in a run-down gas station convenience store in very rural Ohio, where she's hiding from a demon. After he accidentally rescues her, he dumps her by the side of the road and tries to get back to civilization -- only to find himself trapped there with her and the few other people who are still alive.Graf and Jessa's relationship starts on a hate-at-first-sight basis, but they find that they have to rely on each other against both the demon and the townspeople, all of whom have been trapped together for five years. Their relationship is interesting to watch -- most of the time, it felt more like I was reading horror/urban fantasy than romance, but there was a subtle build to a trusting relationship as they alternately argued with and protected each other. The tension in the story was maintained throughout and I found myself unwilling to stop reading until the end of the story. Does Mira do series? Because I would really love to see a sequel in which Graf introduces Jessa to Sophia, and I've no doubt that those two could find more trouble along the way.
RuthiesBookReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Armintrout is an author who really knows how to spice up a vampire novel from the old tired same ole - same ole. This one takes place in the middle of nowhere really and Graf, who is the main character seems to have run into some trouble. He's found himself stuck in the town of Penance, where the people who live there have been stuck there for well over 5 years or so. Graf is a vampire, and who unaware crossed whatever it is that's keeping these people hidden. Graf runs into Jessa at the beginning of the story because she's being chased by a monster. Graf has no idea what he has just stepped into. But seeing that Jessa was in trouble, he decides to help her get away from the monster. Now comes the dificult part, trying to introduce Graf to the rest of the people in town and try to explain how and why he is there. Things start to look hopeless as time goes on but there were a lot of twists and turns and really everyone is a suspect. Jessa and Graf have no idea who they can trust. Not only is there a huge monster out there, there is also Graf who is a monster himself. Explain that one! Lots of action, monster on monster, people with guns and really just a good old time there in Penance, okay not really, but it made for a really good story. the characters are believeable and I'm sure a lot of people could identify with them and living with the like in a small town, a small town that is being hidden from the rest of the world. But there seems to be more at stake and it involves certain people in the town and could possibly explain why they are stuck there. I'm not going to divulge a lot of information cause then what would be the point in reading the book if you already know how it ends or what happens. But Jennifer Armintrout created a fascinating world here involving so much supernatural that it will keep you flipping the pages over and over just to know what happens next!
DragonLibrary8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My thoughts:Great read! I love Jennifer Armintrout's books and this one did not disappoint! Certainly a worthy read!!!The characters are fantastic! Graf - - the bad guy/good guy that every story needs. He is just a bit selfish too, which gives him a hard edge.Jessa - - tough girl with an I don't need you/you don't scare me attitude that makes you love her.The townspeople - all sorts of crazy.I was torn between wanting Graf to stay in Penance forever and wanting him and Jessa to escape together. Won't tell you what happens! The monster trapping the town was terrifying and the idea behind how it came to be, more so. The story was thrilling, the plot was twisty and intriguing. It was a whole new idea to the vampire story as a whole. I enjoyed the growth of Graf and Jessa as they learned more about each other and themselves. I would recommend it to others and will be looking for more from Jennifer Armintrout!
BooksforCompany on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ahhh, l love the feeling you get when you finish a book you LOVED! A feeling of satisfaction and over-all happiness.Right from the first page l fell in love with Graf, his such a typical male but you start to see the different personality's in a male which you see when you get to know him. When you first get to know a guy you often feel like they have no feelings with their macho act but then you start to see different sides to them. I felt like this with Graf, l honestly felt like l was getting to know a real person.I have never read a book by Jennifer before but if all her books are written like this with such great characters l am a future reader of her books. Graf is a funny, sarcastic character who made me laugh out loud lots of times, l wonder if he is based on a real person which the author knows? This story is refreshing, even though Graf has the typical Vampire 'traits' like not being able to go out in the sun etc etc he still felt very unique. The story line itself is as unique as Graf, well at least l haven't read a book like this. Never in the book (until the author wanted you to know) did l know the answer to my many questions and Jennifer left just the right amount of time to reveal these questions. The right timing of revealing things for me, as the reader, kept me interested all the way through the book.This book has swearing and quite a 'strong' sex scene in so l would say this is for 15/16 and over. Overall l would be very happy if l spent money on this book, which l think is the ultimate test, when lm not rich!, Jennifer created a great character which lm sure any reader would fall in love with, l know l did (just don't tell my boyfriend ;]) I already miss Graf now this book has finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fantastic read. Loved the romance between the protagonists. Wish there was a sequel. Need more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me several tries to get through this very dull and overly long novel. The characters are crabby, unsympathetic, and unlikeable. The romance feels forced and out of character, especially for Graf. I made myself finish the book only to be rewarded with an underwhelming ending. (Bonnie B.)
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MRPMN More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting twist on a vampire novel; it had some fun quirks and was a pretty quick read. I'd recommend to anyone who likes vampire stories and just wants to read for fun!
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