Title: Soul to Keep (Vampire Sorority Sisters #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Rebekah Weatherspoon (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 15, 2016 – 264 pgs
With every commitment comes sacrifice …
College junior Jill Babineux knows where her priorities lie. Between a full course load, her blood pledge to feed a certain vampire, and all the community service hours she’s got to log with her sisters in Alpha Beta Omega Sorority, the last thing on her mind is finding love, especially with an immortal.
Which works out just fine for Miyoko “Tokyo” Hayashi who’s been so busy enjoying her wild days and even kinkier nights, she’s never had a reason to speak to the tiny know-it-all. But after a random run-in and a few carefully plotted encounters, Miyoko learns that there’s more to the sorority’s least favorite member.
Miyoko never thought she’d actually start to like the girl, let alone love her, but when true evil comes for Jill, Miyoko finds herself willing to do anything to protect her. Anything.
hadn’t read any previous books in this series but I don’t think it detracted from my enjoyment of this one. I really enjoyed the whole premise of vampires running a sorority in a University, enjoying a symbiotic relationship with the girls who choose topledge. The vampires get the blood they need and it keeps them from having to take it by force. The girls get serious sexual satisfaction whenever they give blood and enjoy the protection of the vampires.
Jill lives in the house and Ginger is her vampire. They get on OK but Ginger’s attention is almost always elsewhere. Jill feels like an outsider and considers herself a technical virgin as she hasn’t had a relationship – plenty sex but not an emotional relationship. She decides to carry out a sex survey as part of her coursework and with the help of Tokyo, one of the vampires begins to feel she has a purpose. She persuades Tokyo tobecome her pretend girlfriend so that she can experience a relationship. This causes some problems with Ginger though, as Jill is bound to her. The relationship doesn’t stay pretend for long though. As well as some absolutely filthy sexual encounters they become close and begin to fall in love. The growing love story is very sweet and I was impressed at the writing and level of storytelling in the novel. Both characters changed for the better when they were with each other. Finding out about their back-stories was really interesting too. Tokyo’s story was especially poignant.
There was also another story woven through, about the girls being in serious danger from a demon who was out to possess those who were bound to the vampires. Tokyo was heavily involved in this and the culmination of this story was really great.
A really good read .
It kills me to rate this book this low. I don’t particularly like vampires, and tend to stay away from them in my fiction. This book, however, totally drew me in, engaging me in the story and making me care about the characters. I love Jill. I love Tokyo. They’re awesome. The vampire aspect of the book was done in a way that, while it was a focus of the story, didn’t overwhelm me with how wonderful and sexy a group of beings are that ultimately see humans as cattle (i.e. a food source). This book totally had me within its grasp, like a potential groupie listening to the first set of their new favorite band. Jill is the type of character I like, because yes, people don’t like her. She’s brusque, she isn’t social, she doesn’t tend to like the superficial type of things that a group of girls in a sorority bond over. She’s serious, especially about her schoolwork. She doesn’t trust easily, doesn’t forgive or forget easily, and won’t play the game just to get people tolike her. But if you can get beyond those shields, if you can see her passion and intelligence and caring, then she’s a wonderful person.
Tokyo is much the same. The other vampires in the house don’t like her. She tends to not take things seriously, tends to dismiss Ginger’s concerns. And that’s understandable to me. Here you have someone who has been alive for a bit more than 150 years, and more than half of that was as a human. And then she’s put under the authority of someone less than 1/5th as old as she is, who has only been a vampire for three years. That’s like letting the boy king rule. Yes, Ginger has the power, but she’s so very young and everything matters to her. So I understand Tokyo blowing her off at times. That makes Tokyo an outsider of sorts. Add in Moreland and her tastes, and the fact that it seems like every other vampire there is paired off, and Tokyo becomes more and more of a misfit. I love stories where two misfits seem to fit together. And the story of these two falling for each other was sweet and romantic.
I will say that I’m of two minds about the first two books in this series. I really, really want to read them, but at the same time, Ginger was kind of a dick in this book so now I’m not sure if I do want to read them. I totally agreed with Jill about how Ginger treated her, and I understood all her reasons not to switch her blood bond to Tokyo. I cheered for Jill at the end, when she refused to rebond to Ginger. But this brings me to the reason I rated the book so low. I hated the ending. It’s hard to discuss the things that happened at the end without giving a big spoiler, so this will necessarily be vague and kind of unfocused. The ending feels like a cheat. There isn’t any real explanation for why things happened the way they happened. But it breaks the rules. And if you break the rules, you should have a really good explanation for how and why those rules were broken. Instead we’re left with a lame explanation of “I got another chance (but we don’t know why) and I can’t actually say what happened (because we really aren’t supposed to know what happened so it’s physically impossible for the words to come out of her mouth).” It seemed to me that this was really the only way for the story to end, because Weatherspoon kind of wrote herself into a trap with no way out. And maybe that ending was her intention all along. But it feels too pat and convenient for me. I still have really mixed feelings about it.
Rebekah was raised in Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California with an individual who is much more tech savvy than she ever will be.
Her interests include Wonder Woman collectibles, cookies, James Taylor, quality hip-hop, football, American muscle cars, large breed dogs, and the ocean. When she’s not working, writing, reading, or sleeping, she is watching Ken Burns documentaries and cartoons or taking dance classes. If given the chance, she will cheat at UNO.