Come Back to Me by Lisa Marie Davis
Mikel Maxwell gets the two biggest shocks of his life at once: he’s attacked by an inhuman monster, and he’s saved… by his dead lover. Nineteen months ago, Mikel was told Slate died during his final mission for a mysterious government group. While not dead yet, Slate will be soon—he’s been exposed to a terrible virus, and as much as he wants to live to be with Mikel, there’s no guarantee the cure is any better.
This is another twist on the vampire legend with a highly emotional and dramatic relationship between the lead characters. Unfortunately, the emotion fell flat and the story didn’t achieve the tension it was reaching for. Adding in the technical mistakes and although this is a decent story, I didn’t connect to the characters and the obvious emotional ploy. Those readers who enjoy more angst in their men will perhaps like this take but overall I’ve read better from this author.
The premise is that Mikel’s dead lover comes back but he can only stay a few days before the virus in his blood will turn him into a deadly monster vampire. While the lovers reconnect, the race is on for the cure that will save Slate from the monster within and allow the couple to have a happy ending. There is not much action that actually happens and the actual process of finding a cure is all off page. The story is mostly composed of emotional scenes between the two lovers as they struggle with grief and loss while savoring the time they have together.
Although I’m a fan of angst driven stories, this particular offering is clunky and obvious without the subtle passion and fervor that elicits a true connection to the story. The characters are decent but two dimensional at best as Mikel’s entire characterization hinges on his undying love for Slate and willingness never to move on without him. Slate declares his love for Mikel numerous times and supposedly has Mikel’s best interests in mind but does deceive the love of his life frequently. Also for all the tension and dramatic angst, the characters are all incredibly accepting and demonstrate little range of emotion. Mikel gets angry that Slate has been hiding away from him for almost two years but gets over his anger almost immediately. The same is done for almost every possible problem and situation, up to and including the outrageous explanation of the vampire virus that no one questions.
This left the main thrust of the story focusing on the incredible and overwhelming love of Mikel and Slate and how they will survive if the cure doesn’t materialize. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say there is a happy ending and the storyline felt so obvious and contrived there was no chance of any other possibility. This left the overwrought emotion flat and punctuated by exaggerated prose. The reader is told enthusiastically and frequently how much these two men love each other and can’t live without each other, how their very lives are meaningless without the other. All of this does give the impression Mikel and Slate are deeply in love but once again the story tells each time instead of showing the deep connection, stirring sentiment, or overwhelming passion. The only actual action besides the brief sex scenes are exaggerated yelling or crying fits while the same refrain of “I can’t live without him” runs through their mind. Not to mention Slate is infected with some weird, horrific virus and has unprotected sex with Mikel. Perhaps it’s me but I found that odd.
There are a few secondary characters that add nothing to the story unfortunately. Mikel’s best friend Mallory is a non-entity and seems only in scenes to take up space, most of their interaction takes place off page as the story glosses over any focus except on Mikel’s zealous emotions. The additional character of Drake is also unnecessary as Mikel gets over his long standing dislike of the man instantly. Although Drake is essential in allowing Mikel and Slate time together, his actions add little depth or context to the story.
Overall this is a decent story for those that want a quick, angst filled read. The emotion is rather thin and obvious without a great connection and depth, but this might appeal to some fans. It’s not a horrible story but it didn’t execute a suspenseful and poignant relationship. The writing lacks the subtly, nuance, and texture that are the hallmarks of great impassioned stories. There is some potential for sure and hopefully future works will focus more on showing the depth of the relationship than just telling readers. There are also numerous minor mistakes that show a lack of close editing such as misspelled words, words and phrases meant to be deleted, punctuation mistakes, and so on. Although this lack of close editing from the author/editor seems to be a trend of eBooks it’s not one that should be overlooked and hopefully will get better in future offerings from the author.
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