My Roommate Is a Vampire
“A wonderful and entertaining paranormal romance that begs for a sequel.”
Cassie Greenberg is a young woman with a problem. About to be evicted from her apartment, she’s looking for somewhere to stay other than a friend’s living room couch. An ad on Craigslist is perfect but the ridiculously low rent is too good to be true.
“‘That’s a great price.’
I stared at Sam. ‘Yeah, if this were 1978. If someone’s asking for two hundred a month today there are probably dead bodies in the basement.’”
Nevertheless, Cassie answers the email and is invited to view the apartment and meet the owner, Frederick J. Fitzwilliam.
Frederick J. Fitzwilliam also has a problem, several of them, in fact, number one being he’s a vampire. A century before, frenemy Reginald talked him into drinking a potion that put Frederick into a one hundred years’ sleep. Having only recently awakened, the vampiric Sleeping Beauty realizes he needs someone to help him adjust to living in the 21st century.
“‘I woke up in my Chicago home one month ago, knowing nothing of the changes of the past one hundred years.’ He smiled again, but there was no humor in it. ‘I am as lost and helpless in the current era as a babe in the woods.’”
Ignoring their obvious immediate attraction to each other (Frederick is tall and handsome, if a little eccentric in the way he dresses but also well-mannered and shy, while Cassie is suspicious of that low rent but intrigued by his manner and how oblivious he is to his good looks), they strike a deal, and Cassie moves in.
Things go well, though there are a few stipulations Cassie finds odd—she mustn’t open a certain locked door in the hallway, and there are no cooking utensils in the kitchen at all. Then, she finds those blood bank packets that suddenly appear in the fridge…
“‘I told Freddie he needed to come clean with you.’ Reggie elbowed Frederick in the ribs good-naturedly. ‘But I gather from the look on your face that he didn’t listen to me.’
“With a wink at me, Reggie bit into one of the bags with what looked, to me, a lot like fangs.”
The truth is out: Frederick is a vampire, albeit one who has left the savage instincts of another century behind. All he wants is to exist unnoticed. He confides his predicament to Cassie who, against her better judgment, agrees to help him acclimate himself to this new century.
And the fun begins.
Of course, they’re drawn to each other, and the more Frederick attempts to shed his other-era manners and mores, the more Cassie falls for him. The feeling is mutual and both admit it, but a problem looms.
Frederick has a betrothed. It seems that while he was in his 100-year slumber, his parents and those of another vampiric family decided he needed a fiancée to anchor him when he awoke. Now that he’s conscious again, they expect a marriage to occur.
Cassie demands reassurance.
“‘Tell me one thing,” I said, holding up a hand. ‘Is it true you told this Esmeralda person you wouldn’t marry her?’”
Frederick’s reply is adamant.
“‘When I left England and settled in New York—and especially when I left where my people settled in New York and came to Chicago—I thought I had left all that nonsense behind me.’ He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. ‘My mother clearly has other ideas.’”
Frederick has written Esmeralda, telling her he loves Cassie and the marriage is off, but neither family listens. They’re coming to Chicago for a showdown.
Frederick has a plan, however.
“‘I Intend to go to the hotel, tell the Jamesons I will not marry Esmeralda, tell my mother she can go to the devil for all I care, and then come right back.’”
The best laid plans of mice and vampires don’t always work out, however. Frederick doesn’t come back. In fact, he’s been spirited away by the vengeful Jamesons, and it’s up to Cassie and the irrepressible Reginald to find and rescue him.
The fish out of water trope has long been a popular writer’s theme to point out the foibles of current society. Having a vampire as the “fish” is a delightful feature of this novel. Frederick may have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing in his own time, but now he’s definitely a baby bat in the woods, a potential danger and naïvely endearing at the same time. As his opposite, Cassie is brash and outspoken, relying on the way movies portray vampires as opposed to reality, i.e., a vampire whose superpower is conjuring up fruit baskets when he gets nervous.
This is a wonderful and entertaining paranormal romance that begs for a sequel, or at least a companion piece, perhaps giving the readers a look into Reginald’s take on contemporary life. Either way, it’s a delightful novel that readers of this genre will enjoy.