After spending several lifetimes trapped by the lusts of her succubus soul and the will of her vampire maker, Lizzie Adams did all she could to sever ties, moving halfway across the country, abandoning the satisfaction of live feedings and limiting her demon’s sexual indulgences to producing webcam porn.
But when Chicago, like the rest of the country, is overrun by the walking dead, shambling around and attacking the living with no help is coming, Lizzie has to leave her lair and find herself a new blood source since blood banks are unlikely to ever reopen. An unlikely superhero in a fuzzy sweater and a pair of Chucks, Lizzie Adams sets out to barter with survivors - safety and security for some voluntary blood donations.
Angela Kinney, a black policewoman, has been running on adrenaline for days helping protect a small band of survivors from the undead mobs. Although she accidentally shoots Lizzie when she first encounters her, she is more than happy to exchange a little blood for safe place to sleep, warm showers and food to eat, especially when the vampire offering is so undeniably sexy. And when that first donation, on top of roof surrounded by the undead, nearly knocks her socks off, in all the good ways, she is eager to donate more and other things.
Adopting a flock of humans, including a cranky and suspicious priest is a lot more work that Lizzie ever imagined. Living under siege, Lizzie and Angela are soon turning old rivals to allies when a more dangerous threat from Lizzie’s past refuses to be ignored.
Although this book is marketed as mff or menage, the central romance is between Angela and Lizzie, with Lizzie’s sexual relationship with Sean, a incubus vampire, with his own beloved flock, is better described as friends with benefits, who have a complicated demonic connection and compatible goals than as a love match. Past sexual trauma, vampiric power dynamics and sex magic combine for a complicated stew of relationships, loyalties and motivations for sex. Consent and open and honest communication are at the heart of what makes this unconventional romance work.
Every single major story beat in Bite Me hinges on consent or the lack thereof. Only villains think they are owed sex or that they can take what they want from people because they are bigger or stronger. Lizzie, despite her “white vampire privilege” will risk everything to make sure that the choices that were denied to her, aren’t denied to anyone else, especially not Angela and the rest of flock she has adopted. The world will eventually need rebuilding and she is not about to let it sink into something worse than it was.
I loved what Bachar did in this book. From its sarcastic, funny and decidedly off-kilter Lizzie, desperately trying to figure out how to hold everything together, while falling desperately in love at the wrongest moment possible, to solid and unflappable Angie, who refuses to let Lizzie face things alone and who listens and asks questions, especially when they face unexpected complications to their relationships. Their relationship to their old and new friends, who they reach for support and how they find a way to balance their needs, wants and fears. And there are fears and jealousies, but in the end it is about accepting each other and cherishing what they have for however long they have it.
The most upsetting part of loving this books so much is realizing it has been over 3 years since this book came out and Bachar hasn’t written more books in that world yet. I hope she finds her way back to this series because I would love to go back to it.
Content Warnings: gore, kidnapping/abduction, past sexual trauma, past sexual assault, off-page sexual assault