Love Bites Back by Christopher C. Newman
Publisher: Freya’s Bower
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla
I'm Crystal Payne, yeah I know it's not an original name, but yeah, it's better than nothing. What do I do? Well I hunt those things that go bump in the night for profit. Notice I didn't say fun? So when a vampire comes to visit trying to hire me, I'm a little less than enthusiastic, no matter how handsome and debonair he is. Instead, I take a job for the Snowden family. Their daughter Heather has gone missing in a notorious club frequented (and owned) by vampires... The Uptown Club. It's a nasty place, and I know Heather's been missing for three days. That can only mean one thing. She's no longer human but a bloodsucking menace that needs to be put down. Maybe if I'm lucky I can clean the entire place out. If I'm very, very lucky, that is.
Meet Crystal Payne: vampire huntress extraordinaire. While not the world’s most glamorous job, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? And there isn’t enough room in one city for both Crystal and the denizens of the night. Someone has to go. Even if it all had to start with her vampire-turned-boyfriend years before.
Crystal is my kind of woman. She’s very no-nonsense with a kick-vampire sense of humor. And despite the fact that her job sucks – literally – she pushes onward and ensures that it gets done. You won’t find a bloodsucker getting away, not on her watch. I like the fact that she doesn’t enjoy her job. Too many vampire slayers these days get entirely too much joy out of destroying their enemy. But not Crystal. No, she knows it’s a job, and not a fun one either. But, it’s one that needs to be done.
Renaldo is a vampire with a problem. It seems that the other vampires are trying to organize themselves and become more cohesive. And he wants it to stop. So, naturally, he hunts down the best solution he can think of – a vampire hunter by the name of Crystal Payne. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with – vampire and hunter working together. Then, once all the bad guys are dead and they have a little bit of recuperation time, do the sparks ever fly!
Love Bites Back was both a fun and adventurous story of second chances and the power of good over evil. The tenuous at first relationship between Crystal and Renaldo reminds me of every woman who has ever been hurt by someone, and the way Crystal sucks it up and goes with the flow is admirable. Makes her just that much more special in the end. If you enjoy wise-cracking, bad-to-the-bone vampire hunters and the baddies they stalk, then you will certainly enjoy this short, fast-paced story!