Review: Blood in the Water by Kate Hawthorne & E.M. Denning

Disclaimer: I received an electronic ARC of this book from the authors.

This reaction didn’t happen when I read the previous co-written books by these authors, but it turns out when you combine Hawthorne’s steamy angst with Denning’s sweet feels and add a healthy dose of supernatural…you get tears. Like, all the tears. They’re good tears, though, because Adrian and Chad are pure magic together. The connection between them is real and obvious, but the limitations of their circumstances mean they have to cram an entire lifetime into three nights.

This book is the first merman romance I’ve read, so I’m hesitant to critique much on that front other than thoroughly enjoying pretty much everything about Adrian. However, I do know my vampires. Hawthorne and Denning do an excellent job of picking which bits of vampire lore work best for the story and character they’ve created while remaining true to the heart of what readers expect from the trope. I especially love that Chad exists solidly within his human lifetime, putting him on equal footing with Adrian and still experiencing issues that haunted him before his “death.” The authors do something that I love even more here: They don’t shy away from the realities of Chad’s depression but do not glamorize the concept of a vampire who is done with “living” until someone comes along to save them.

Adrian absolutely does not save Chad. However, his brief presence does enough to upend Chad’s stagnant existence and give him something new to focus on. The sexy bits between these men are incredibly hot, but it’s the emotions they evoke in each other that will stay with me the longest. Chad is a precious disaster immortal, and Adrian is an optimistic bit of sunshine who indulges his ridiculous vampire’s biteyness. I certainly won’t spoil how they manage their happily ever after, but I promise that the ending makes up for the tears along the way.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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