I went through a bodice-ripper phase in my early twenties. Pirates were my favorite. How many stories could an author tell about a young virgin captured at sea or stowed away on a ship, protected by the hulking captain from his brutish, sex-deprived crew in exchange for warming his bed at night? Lots as it turns out. Ultimately the stubborn, infuriating vixen would capture the hero’s heart, so he could not bring himself to take her against her will. Make no mistake, he would have her, but she would be screaming with pleasure when the time came.
I’m not sure when vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures took over the role of pirates in this popular fantasy, but I went through that phase too. Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series had me hooked for months, so I am by no means knocking the PNR genre. However, after a few reviewers got more than they bargained for reading Blood Toy and expecting a bad boy more of this ilk, I thought I would write a post about why Desollador isn’t that kind of vampire.
Desollador is not the love interest of Blood Toy. He is the villain. He is very, very good at being the villain, but as a book boyfriends go, he’s an abusive predator. And, as nearly every reader has pointed out Diane, Blood Toy’s protagonist, never, ever stops fighting him. No matter what he does to her (and he does a lot).
See, I started noticing, while reading all of those paranormal bodice-ripping best-sellers, I thought every book was hot…right up until the vixen tamed the pirate, er, vampire/shifter/demon. Eventually I realized just don’t like the idea of Dracula being tamed.
Spoiler alert: Dracula doesn’t fall in love with Lucy or Mina and find his immortal soul. He brutalizes Lucy—slowly—so we readers can experience the tragedy of her wasting and ultimately her death. Then she becomes a vampire, so we can grieve again, this time over the loss of her innocence. He attacks Mina over and over again—while her husband lies entranced in the bed next to them no less—and nearly kills her as well before good prevails. That is the kind of vampire story I wanted to read.
So that’s the one I wrote. Except I put a modern spin on the old gothic horror novel, and added more than metaphorical sex. I’ve struggled over what genre in which to categorize Blood Toy. Is it urban fantasy, dark erotica? Amazon has it categorized in a sub-genre of ‘horror’ at the moment. I think I’m good with that.