Sucks To Be Me by Kristen Painter. Reviewed by Maria Mitchell courtesy of The Crow and Dagger blog.
This book already has a special history to it. Thirteen authors including Kristen wrote new books about women nearing middle age and all that entails; to try and break the common stereotypical female mold in books.
Belladonna “Donna” Barrone can’t decide if her life just got easier or worse. Her mob husband who she had been working with the FBI (and a super hot agent) to turn state’s evidence against dies accidentally in a car accident. So now she’s forty-nine-years-old and finally free of the mob. Or is she? Then she goes to the cemetery to yell at her husband’s grave only to get attacked. And turned into a vampire. But vampires aren’t real right? However the goons the mafia sends after her are very much real and now her life is hanging in the balance in more ways than one.
I gobbled this book up in one sitting. Something about Painter’s writing made me need to read as fast as possible. The story started out a little familiar from most of what we have seen of mob backstories from movies and books but then the pacing got faster and steady as it went.
Donna Barrone is a kick-ass heroine. Even before being turned she is brave as all get out. The mafia isn’t anything to mess around with and she’s prepared to turn state’s evidence on them. She isn’t willing to take crap from anyone. Including people it’s probably smart to be afraid of, like mafia bosses and vampire sires. But she can also step out of her high heels and great clothes and lounge around in leggings drinking wine and watching The Bachelor.
Another interesting route this book took is that Donna didn’t completely understand she was changed into a vampire and thought the whole attack was a prank essentially. She’s strong and able to defend herself in a big way at an incident directly after but chalks it up to adrenaline. She kind of has to feel her way through all the usual aspects of being a vampire and sometimes fails like killing the first person she fed from, even if he did have it coming. And then there’s the whole puzzle of being able to step into chapels and walking out in daylight still. In her defense, her sire wasn’t all that into training her and now Donna finds herself on vampire trial for the act of taking a human life. Which was another interesting plot point, humans aren’t just for consensual feeding or fodder and the vampire actually value human life.
The romance with hot FBI agent Rico doesn’t really get off the ground but there is a hint of more to come. So it kind of left the reader hanging but I found I was okay with that as long a romance does happen some time in this series, but to be completely fair Donna had a lot going on in this book and the FBI were still working on her case so there’s that whole ethical boundary thing.
I think the only aspect I would have liked to see more explored in future books was Donna’s relationship to her children. They were grown and barely used in this book but seemed to really like Donna and care for her which speaks to the fact she must have been a great mother. I could see them becoming interesting characters especially if they ever find out about Donna’s new powers.
I am very excited to read more in this series.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.