Sweet Oblivion 2: Snare by Jordan Castillo Price – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Sweet Oblivion 2: Snare
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre: Vampire/horror
URL: Changeling Press
Price: US $4.49
Other Information/warnings: Blood play, explicit m/m, violence
Summary [from the publisher]:

With summer ending and temperatures dipping low at night, Michael’s eager to get his leather jacket back, and although Wild Bill could easily vamp any sales clerk into giving Michael some new duds, it wouldn’t be quite the same as the jacket he left at his parents’ house. Not unless the malls have begun selling clothing with Rohypnol and ketamine sewn into the seams.

The return of the jacket comes with a price: a new cell phone from Michael’s parents. Surprisingly, Wild Bill encourages Michael to keep the phone. After all, Michael wouldn’t want to be the only twenty-one-year-old in the world without one. Seems innocent enough… right?

But you never know where an innocent gift will lead. Michael worries the phone may be some shiny bait, meant to lure him closer to his family, and then, college. Everyone seems so intent on getting Michael to enroll, but he’s busy looking to catch a vampire…

My review: You know how I’m always bitching about authors telling not showing? Never a problem with a Jordan Castillo Price story. Every aspiring author should be made to read and analyse one of her books, to see erotica and description, sex and grunge, done so damn perfectly it makes me want to hire ninja assassins out of pure jealousy. Seriously – this girl can write, and if you can’t tell the difference between something like Snare and something like this, then it’s a waste of time me trying to explain. Ms Price hits the sweet spot so effortlessly, every single time.

Just when I thought she’d taken a turn into pure smut with this new series, she surprised me by taking the plot down an unexpected path – offering a tantalising and unsuspected possible future for our two lovers – and by showing the depth of tenderness and affection between the two, by pulling back from the kinky threesome of the last instalment, letting us see Michael and Wild Bill in quieter, gentler moments. There’s genuine sweetness, even while the sex and sexual desire between them is genuinely hot. Masterly stuff.

She re-introduces us to Michael’s creepy family, and Dr Jim, whose real motivations remain unclear even by the end of this, though his unlikeability is firmly established. And we see yet again that Wild Bill might be a vampire, a grub, addicted to whiskey and fucking, but at heart he’s one of nature’s gentlemen – and with his head a lot more firmly screwed on than his increasingly weird boyfriend. Michael gets stranger and more vampiric with every story, and with this author, we have no idea where this will go. That’s the nice thing about Ms Price – she knows how to surprise, to shock, to make you chew your nails and really hope she won’t go where you think she will.

This is not the story to begin with, if you’re intrigued by this review. You need to go back to the start and read every fascinating, grimy offering. If you like vampire stories, if you like really, really good erotica, if you like good, complex and always surprising characters, or you just want to revel in damn fine writing, then you won’t be sorry you did.