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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[18+ Review] The Nightlife: New York (The Nightlife, #1) by Travis Luedke

Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆
Title: The Nightlife: New York
Series: The Nightlife, #1
Author: Travis Luedke
Pages: 172 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: August 8, 2012
Source: Amazon Freebie

Vampires, strippers, escorts, night clubs, gangs, pimps and corrupt cops, the Nightlife of New York is never boring.

Is she a beautiful blond guardian angel as he imagined, or something else entirely? When Michelle saves Aaron's life she shares the benefits of her blood (after getting him shot accidentally). He awakes a changed man, living in a purgatory of eternal night, never to see the sunrise again.

Michelle drags Aaron through a hardcore learning curve of vampiric slavery. Forced to adapt to servitude, Aaron is subject to her authority of compulsion. She orders him around like a puppet on a string, a dog on a very short leash. First things first, he must learn to feed properly without creating bloodslaves (humans addicted to the powerful drug-like effect of their venomous bite).

And then she puts him to work-a male escort in the sex trade-same as Michelle. Aaron walks a tightrope of strictly controlled feeding regiments and intensely erotic sexual adventures while catering to the neurotic control-freak tendencies of his new master. It's do or die, Michelle vows to eliminate him if he proves too difficult to control. The real kicker-amidst all these shocking and degrading adjustments, Aaron finds he's falling in love.

Can he maintain and keep a sliver of his humanity intact? Innocence is a luxury few can afford in the decadent nightlife of New York. In a world where sex, blood, and power over women is so readily accessible, Aaron struggles against the predatory instincts deeply rooted in his new psyche. He must find his way quickly, practicing rigid self-control, or risk the consequences of Michelle's wrath.


The Nightlife: New York is a fun addition to the vampire erotic genre. Although nothing about the vampires is something we hadn't seen before, I did like the combination of features that the author used. When Aaron gets shot one night, Michelle finds him and brings him back to her apartment. Aaron thinks she's his guardian angel, but really she's a vampire, and the only way to save his life is to turn him. This forges an unbreakable bond between them, one that Aaron doesn't really understand the full extent of until Michelle begins to abuse it.

I hated Michelle! She's arrogant and controlling, but she was a lot of fun to hate! She's lonely so she's happy to have Aaron in her life now, but she does take advantage of the power she has over him. About halfway through the book, I wished that I had vampire speed and strength so that I could whisk him away from her! Aaron believes he loves her, even when he feels betrayed by her. Their relationship was complicated and interesting.

There was also a side plot involving some crooked cops who are after Michelle. I felt like this plot was really unnecessary and took away from pages that could have been spent on Michelle and Aaron's dysfunctional relationship and other more interesting points. I definitely would have liked to see more of the "addiction" that vampires can cause when they drink from a human for too long. This could have brought in some more fun and sexy scenes. Plus I just love seeing vampire mythology at work!

Overall, I did like this book, even the awfulness that is Michelle. Unfortunately, I had to drop a star for that ending. I was highly disturbed and grossed out. That scene was not needed at all. I feel like it was thrown in for shock value. Michelle could have done something else to teach Delia a lesson, anything but what she did. I am curious to see what Las Vegas holds for Aaron and Michelle though.

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