Author: Deborah Riley-Magnus

Series: The Twice-Baked Vampire Series

Publisher: ireadiwrite Publishing

First Line: EIGHT P.M. Gabriel Strickland leaned casually against the lockers at the Chicago Greyhound Bus Station.

From the Publisher: Twice-baked vampire, Gabriel Strickland, learns he has a chance at redemption when he’s whisked from his final demise into a purgatory secretly tucked in West Hollywood. Sixty creatures, including other dead vampires, pixies, a legendary Navaho stick man and bothersome  , struggle together to earn brownie points and wait out possible centuries of this purgatory. Gabriel receives dubious advice from the troll who runs the place, but there are always bugs in the pudding and he faces them all. Enter, the beautiful Dori Gallagher, who not only knocks Gabriel off his feet, but also an evil warlock who has designs on her. When menacing forces gather against Gabriel and everything he’s come to respect, it’s a fiery clash of the supernatural in one heroic effort to save his new reality.

MY REVIEW: So one night I was feeling rather disenchanted with my current read when I decided to take a break and cruise the ‘shelves’ on my kindle.  I came across Cold in California and thought I would check it out and read a few pages. Well, before I knew it I was 25% into the book and HOOKED!  I FLUV when that happens.

Since we tend to review a lot of young adult fiction here, I should mention up-front that this is an adult book. Translation, there is smut in it but it’s neither graphic nor gratuitous, it’s timely and well placed

In a world where supernatural beings live hidden among unwitting humans, we meet Gabriel Strickland, a loner vampire struggling to find meaning in his existence.  When a freak (and kind of funny) accident ends his ‘death’ he finds himself suddenly in a warehouse in West Hollywood…in a purgatory for supernatural creatures.

Yeah I know, you’re shaking your head and thinking WTF!  I thought the same thing…what a weird premise…but it works, it works well.

When Gabriel find himself ‘dead again’ he has to quickly adjust to this new ‘life’, a life where he has a chance at redemption, but will he be able to make up for his past?  When Gabriel meets Dori Gallagher, he believes he’s met the one, but nothing is ever that easy and the adventures begin; love, friendship, danger and loss. Okay, I’m stopping there, I hate spoiler reviews.

He was constantly on the lookout for relationships, even if they lasted mere hours. Gabriel had experienced a lifelong drought, a famine of the soul he never expected to fulfill.

This book is exceptionally well written.  The plot is so unique and full of twists, it keeps you wondering where this story will take you.  Each character is vividly portrayed and comes to life on the page.  From the main protagonists to the supporting supernaturals, I was able to visualize each of them and I cared about what happened to them. I felt their struggles, their fears and I’m not gonna lie I got teary at several parts as I shared their experiences, the good and bad.

I have to note that there is one particularly poignant and amazingly written part towards the end of the book that ran through my head like a montage ala the late Robert Altman.  Eeep I may have just dated myself there lol.  It was a twist that I just didn’t see coming at all and I had chills when I read it.

*sigh* I really loved this book, no lie, it is a strong debut for the Twice Baked Vampires series and it deserves a solid 4.5 hotties!  I look forward to the second book in the series.

NOTE: This book was submitted to The Book Hookup by the author and that did not influence this review in any way.      

If you liked Cold in California, you may like:

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charmaine Harris also known as the True Blood series.

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