- Book Title: The Warm Taste
- Book Series: standalone
- Author: Julia Leijon
- Publisher: NineStar Press (August 15, 2016)
- Book Length: 135 pages
- Genre: Romance, Vampires Romance, Paranormal/Horror Romance
- Reviewed by: Diane
- Rating: 5 Stars and a Recommended Read
A Warm Taste is a delightful, heartwarming and often poignant character study that deep drills into how loneliness and isolation too often build almost insurmountable barriers against connection and discovering meaning and purpose to life, even when it is one that’s only half-lived.
Robin is a vampire, a stalker, and a recluse of the first rank. He survives by being bland and unmemorable, at least until the object of his current obsession refuses to bow to Robin’s mind wipe. After that Robin has choices he never considered, and opportunities he feels he doesn’t deserve.
Martin is, as a character, almost too good to be true—warm, friendly, generous to a fault, and the perfect foil against which Robin must come to terms with all the possibilities Martin offers.
The last thing either man ever expected was to fall in love. The one thing both men needed was to belong. Both feel like imposters, both struggle to find their place.
What elevates this novella above others of its type is the care and attention taken to portray each character with such honesty and clarity that it brings each of them into sharp focus, giving their relationship a stamp of authenticity and true warmth. As is always the case, the path to love rarely runs smoothly, and in the case of Martin and Robin, it does take a village for these men to finally work through their hesitations, their quirks and their histories.
The secondary characters, including the irascible pooch Nora, bring depth and color—and very often a gentle humor—to the narrative.
The scenes of affection are intensely sensual in how they reveal bits of what makes each man tick, to the readers… and to themselves. It’s not always a pleasant experience, particularly for Robin, since it casts into bold relief how isolated and unworthy he believes himself to be. And when Robin finally reveals particulars about his past you can’t help but marvel and despair at what Martin calls being “…dealt a massively shitty hand by the universe.”
The life lessons, the warmth and generosity of the characters, their struggles to overcome their own deep-seated fears were all beautifully wrought and fully imagined. I loved this story. It’s a feel-good, very intimate exploration of what it means to love… not in spite of real and imagined failings… but just because.
This is a recommended read, 5 Stars.
Can a dark creature find a home in the light?
Robin appears to be a quiet, attractive young man, but the exterior hides his true vampire nature: ageless, unchanging, and bloodthirsty. His current obsession is Martin, the personable and generous owner of a coffee shop, The Warm Taste.
All Robin’s careful plans to remain unnoticed are ruined, however, when Martin asks him out on a date. Can Robin really have something so good and sweet as an ordinary relationship, after such a long existence of cold loneliness?