Bring Me to Life

Scarlett Parrish
Bring Me to Life
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Musa Publishing
Release Date
October 2012
LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance

Nathan Stephenson died seventy years ago and he'd like the world – or at least one person – to think he stayed that way.

In 1940s London, Sergeant Nathan Stephenson ignored his rank and the expectation that he'd wait for the war to be over and find a nice girl to settle down with, and took a lover. Not only was Adam Locke unashamed of his homosexuality, he was also proud to be a vampire. Back then, he was certain that his and Nathan's relationship would last forever, refusing to take no for an answer.

One evening, Adam went too far in his attempts to persuade Nathan to become a vampire and left a mutual acquaintance, Will Bosworth, to deal with the aftermath. What Adam doesn't know is that Nathan didn't die – Will brought him back to life, agreeing to keep Nathan's continued existence a secret.

It's now the twenty-first century and Will's back to call in the favour. Nathan's an honourable man and can't say no, but the trouble is, wherever Will goes, Adam Locke can't be far behind...

Book Review by Robyn Elliot (author,reviewer)
Nov 19, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
142 people found the following review helpful
BRING ME TO LIFE traces the story of Nathan Stephenson, erstwhile human, current status vampire. Subliminally, however, this story is about loyalty and betrayal, and the redemptive force of love. It is not a typical vampire story in the sense of, say, a Lestat or, dare I suggest it, a Twilight; rather, we are presented with vampires of complex natures, some of whom are ambivalent about their fates as the Undead. Whilst Nathan is complex, however, he is far from ambivalent. He is resentful, he is angry at the loss of his mortal humanity, and these emotions tussle with the deeper nature of lost love.

The story is set in contemporary times, but the author writes with a fluid duality. We shift between Nathan's past and human life to the now on a regular basis. There is no jarring in this; the author sets the pace well, with no disjointed awkwardness or confusion of setting. We learn quickly of Nathan's human life, the difference of life around him now, and how he must adapt on a practical basis. We also get to share in his emotional, internal life as he tries to find some kind of anchorage in a shifting existence.

There are very interesting vampire anecdotes, not what we might usually see in this genre. The author has thought through the challenges a vampire must face, even within a society where there is overt acceptance. For example, we get to share Nathan's thoughts regarding those things that were taken from him, things as basic as breathing, or sneezing, let alone eating in a public place (as opposed to drinking in private!).

Nathan is presented with a fait accompli in the appearance of Kieran, and he is obliged, upon honour and the calling in of a favour from the past, to assist Will Bosworth in protecting Kieran. From the beginning of the story, I wanted to know who it was that transformed Nathan. This unknown creature's presence permeates the early stages of the story, almost a pall-like, ghostly menace. When he does appear, he is not disappointing. He is more the 'typical' vampire in terms of arrogance and flair, as well as wit. Which is also a common theme throughout the story. The dialogue is witty, sharp, brittle sometimes, with masked hurt.

There are scenes of M/M sex, nothing shockingly explicit in my mind, and the sex is written well, without any inadvertently funny bits. Nathan and his lover are a pair of dirty devils and it is sweet to read about their relationship. The only thing that seemed slightly dissonant in this particular element was that Nathan was the dominant partner. I can't even give a reasonable explanation as to why that jarred with me, although I think it may be because his partner was the one who 'made' him; a king vampire, as it were, who lies down for his lover.

Nathan's story, his quest, is interspersed with the other characters he encounters, and I appreciated Nathan's sense of irony and humour in relation to them, as well as their shared history. The author has interwoven their fates very well, and the overall effect is one of very good writing and characterization.

The only other quibble I have is the occasional dissonance in the dialogue with regard to British-set characters originally from the 1940s speaking Americanisms. But this is just me being a Limey! I would certainly recommend this book to readers; it's funny, sad and tender all at the same time.
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