Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price

No Series

Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous, especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee, gracing the pages of the local style section…. Didn’t happen. Not even once.

Jonathan Varga is an enigma. True, he’s quiet, generous, and scrupulously polite. But he has zero social life, refuses to be interviewed or photographed, and insists he can only consume feline blood.

Why supermarket blood won't suffice, Mark hasn’t asked. He’s rarely at a loss for words—he can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick as you can say “Miss Thang.” But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.

So he endures the perpetual grind of their routine: Jonathan hiding in his studio, swiping black paint onto black canvases. Mark hurling insults while he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes. Each of them avoiding the other in a careful choreography…until a blurb in Art in America unleashes a chain of harrowing events.

As secrets from Jonathan’s past are brought to light, it becomes clear that all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.

“Now I knew how women felt when they thought they were going to get a diamond ring and ended up with an onion ring.”

I’m already a fan of Jordan Castillo Price because of her PsyCop and Mnevermind series. This book is not like either of those. The PsyCop series is heavy on the steam and numerous sex scenes - in some books overdone - and the Mnevermind is about a sweet bonding with an unusual pair. For Hemovore the storyline is also unique in that this is a strange sort of vampire tale - the virus, which is highly contagious, has a dangerous stigma attached to it and no one's happy to have it. There’s even support groups for those who dare to be in any kind of relationship with the infected, which provides a fun support group for the storyline two when the main characters get in a spot of trouble.

The storyline is good with twists, turns, stumbles and tension. There's a great group of supporting players in the form of "helpers" who go from being amusing to just keeping the story unique. Really liked it and the characters - Price's easy-flowing writing style and humor help of course.

Told through the point of view of an assistant, who is constantly wiping things down with antiseptic wipes and sprays, their world is shattered when they have to go on the run from an enemy and clear their names. Mark has a great sense of humor and, with a few extra pounds and pushing 40, he's a delightful main character. Jonathan isn’t exactly exciting, and while their relationship is sweet it does miss intensity at some points.

This one focuses on sweetness instead of steam, but still, great build-up for a new relationship.