Laura Baumbach’s Enthralled

Enthralled by Laura Baumbach


A suicidal young man, Colin Dobson, seeks death, but finds an unconventional reason to live in the arms of a seductive, dark stranger. Rowland Campbell is an ancient and powerful vampire on the brink of death after a surprise attack by vampire hunters. Dark desires are awakened, as one strives to survive and the other begs for deliverance from the burden of life.




I happened across this particular book and it’s sequel when looking at Baumbach’s backlist. She’s a fabulous author and this one I’d had my eye on for a while and I’m really happy I finally took the plunge and got this and it’s sequel, Breathing. If you haven’t read either this author or this story, please do so!

This is a short story, under 40 pages, but typifies the author’s excellent writing in fully realizing two dynamic characters and an intense and dark relationship amidst a brooding, eloquently described backdrop of the city. From the vivid opening scene describing Colin’s death wish and detailed enough that we’re presented with his clothing down to a golden thread trembling over a socked foot to the a haunting declaration of forgiveness, Enthralled does just that. This story gripes and quickly draws you into the dark world of vampires and death.

Colin is a lovely character with a death wish. His reasons are not fully known yet hinted at when describing his isolated, privileged upbringing, his rare blood disease, and untouched sexual state. His inner darkness is deep but he struggles with the violence required to kill himself, not quite getting it right. He’s stopped from his latest attempt by the rather dramatic arrival of the wounded vampire, who gives him a reason to live. Colin’s emotions and reactions from drugged to vulnerable cast him as an appealing innocent.

Rowland is the perfect foil for Colin’s purity. As the dark and violent bringer of death to survive, Rowland epitomizes the callous stereotype of vampires. Cruel, selfish, and evil he somehow stumbles onto his very own angel and instinctively refuses to let go. His insistence on Colin’s presence in his life – now and forever – creates a love story sure to please the most ardent of romance fans, even if his use of bodily fluids was slightly much for me.

Although these two are given classic roles within the vampire/human theme, Baumbach’s superb writing elevates this story from being a throwaway into something engaging, fascinating and memorable. Tight writing and beautiful prose give this tale and its characters a haunting beauty in combination with a lushly detailed backdrop. I highly recommend this short story to anyone who’s a fan of darker, edgier vampire themes within m/m fiction. You’ll devour it.

Get it HERE!

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7 thoughts on “Laura Baumbach’s Enthralled

    • I was surprised how fantastic this was for such a short story. I went back and read your review for “Breathing” and I can’t wait! A sexy tattoo ..sounds hot.
      Thanks for your great review on it.

  1. It sounds like a lot of content and story for 40 pages! Intriguing. I’m not usually that big a fan of vampire stories (with some rare exceptions) but you might be talking me into it. What’s your favorite of Baumbach’s books? I know that Mexican Heat is up for a Lambda Award this year.

    • I was shocked at how much was packed into such a short story. I think you’ll enjoy the vivid phrasing, if not the vampirism aspects. It’s short and pretty cheap too so if you don’t like it, you’re out only about 30 min and a couple dollars.
      Ooo as for Baumbach, that’s a hard one. I liked Mexican Heat but if I have to choose favorite, it’s probably A Bit of Rough. The Alpha/beta dynamic is twisted just a bit and it’s hot! Added in a fabulous scene with spicy tomato sauce and I can read that book over and over. The first scene, which is a hook up scene, is so classic Baumbach with the rough and dominating aspects yet hot, hot sex. The characters are flawed but likeable.

      • You know, I read that, and the sex in the back alley scene was very hot!
        The book ended up bothering me though for a reason that’s going to sound real persnickety but as I remember (and it’s been a couple of years) the beta guy had two problesm: his neighbor, and this corporate party he was ordered to attend with a date. The neighbor problem got resolved, but the party scene never happened unless the author has added something since I read the book.
        Totally persnickety, right? Sometimes I think I’m too literal a reviewer, insisting on realism and tying up of loose ends …

        • Actually it’s not persnickety, I think it’s really valid. The party scene actually takes place at the start of the sequel “Roughhousing” and since I read them in order back to back, it didn’t bother me. But you’re right to call it out.

          • Isn’t that interesting? I didn’t know that it got taken care of because I didn’t go on to the sequel.
            This must be this oddity in m/m writing that connects back to what you were mentioning in your other review: where plot threads (like a murder investigation) just trail onwards to the next installment.
            Maybe this comes from e-publishing little installments that the author knows will be published all together in a print book eventually, or maybe it comes from writing fan-fiction? I’m not sure.

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