Feature book: Bitter Fruits
Nora is an English major at college who enjoys research and her favourite subject is mythology. Her beautiful friend, Scarlet, encourages her to go to a vampire-themed fancy dress party to cut loose for once. She meets a compelling young man called Alec and his frightening brother Caleb.
Alec is beautiful but runs hot and cold with Nora. He’s eager to be alone with her and fools around with her but baulks at full tilt intercourse. His brother Caleb is sexy and compelling and seems not to care that Nora has feelings for Alec; he pursues her even though she declares her interest in Alec. The brothers are hostile to one another; it’s a long-held animosity. They are immortals, of a sort, and cursed.
Alec tries to resist Nora, even though they share a (Nora describes Alec as sweet in comparison to Caleb) lusty chemistry. He doesn’t want to hurt her either fang wise or because of his curse. His interest has proved fatal to at least one other woman in his past. Nora doesn’t understand Alec’s hot/cold attitude to her or his reluctance to have intercourse with her. This raises both embarrassment for throwing herself at him and self-doubt as to her appeal. She also feels compelled to have sex with Caleb when Alec isn’t around, not particularly compelled by Caleb, just an almost impossible-to-resist feeling to climb him and have nasty sex.
The story is written in Nora’s first person point of view. First person narratives often seem more difficult to read and the frequent use of ‘I’ pulled me out of the book; it may resonate more with the Twitter/Facebook generation. It is an intriguing storyline with a vampire twist, using a version of the Cain/Abel vampire origin tale. If you’re into angst there’s plenty in this book, but there’s little hope and the sex is emotionless, the connections feel superficial. The ending doesn’t live up to the rest of the book’s angst (which brother does she chose?). Even though we have immortals that agree to be bound for eternity, it delivers a happily-ever-after that is more sorted-for-now than love-me-forever. The Cain/Abel and Lilith/Adam/Eve origin stories were interesting, but it was difficult to finish and left me feeling depressed and wondering how such a relationship would work given all the angst.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.