As a long-time lover of paranormal romance, I’ve always stood by my quip that sex in this genre is more intense because the bodies are just more durable. What if one of the bodies in question is that of a 62 year old woman? Osteoporosis my friends, it’s a thing! Well, Sands goes there with Mary and she handles the insecurities a woman on in years would have when being pursued by a sexy younger man, beautifully. A year into widow-hood, Mary is getting on with her life. She hasn’t re-entered the dating scene but she’s sassy enough to appreciate a hot, naked man when she runs over him with her RV. Unaware of Dante’s vampire status, and the impending life mate situation of their bond, poor Mary thinks her menopausal hormones are going crazy when she gets that tingling feeling around this mysterious man. Feelings and sensations she hasn’t experienced for some time, if even ever, are awakened when Dante brushes by.
For his part, Dante does and says all the right things. He sees Mary’s beauty from the inside out. The man is hopelessly in love with her and relishes every wrinkle and age mark on Mary. Try as he might to convince her of this, of course Mary is going to have some hang ups. Dante is buff, spry and untouched by age, even though he has many years on Mary. In all honesty, to the outside world, Dante looks like he could be Mary’s grandson, or her grandson’s hot camp counselor! Have no fear, it’s that that sort of taboo book, once Mary goes through her transition, her body transforms back to that of a woman in her prime. Mary had no problem losing her head when Dante touches her pre-transition, but the deal is never sealed. Once she’s comfortable in her new skin, all inhibitions are lost.
All of this age talk made me think of something that honestly, had never really crossed my mind when reading paranormal romance—and shame on me for that miss. So many times we read paranormal books where the 500 year old vampire falls for the 20-something heroine and we never bat an eye. I mean seriously, people balk at a 15 year age difference, what about 480 years? What, other than wicked hot sex, do they really have in common? Are gender roles in sexuality so engrained in our minds that the older man/younger woman scenario isn’t even a blip on our radar anymore? While 62 is still a long way away from 500, there is a maturity level, and life experiences that bridge the cavernous gap that a 20 year old simply wouldn’t have. Mary is a grown ass woman, she’s self sufficient, strong and capable of taking care of herself. When something is amiss, she is mature enough to call it out, immediately. No running, no games, no being coy. She knows her body, and she trusts her mind. That’s a comfortable level of self esteem hard fought and won over the years. Mary is my hero.
I thoroughly enjoyed Runaway Vampire. It was funny in the right spots, the chemistry was exploited just enough to make it steamy and when the sexual tension is finally released, the sheets are left smoking. The bad guys are still on the run and Dante must still work to find his twin so the larger story arc is moving along. There’s a nice mix of old favorites that pop by therefore the core of the cast is still involved. Having said that, we are 23 books into this series and it’s safe to say you could pick this book up and start the series here. I mean, I don’t know why you’d want to miss out on the other books but rest assured, you wouldn’t be lost. The world building is recapped in a way to keep the veteran series reader involved without leaving the newbie behind. The added bonus, for an old lady like me is, age is truly just a number, it’s the sum total of your experiences that make you beautiful.
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Scandal has been blogging and podcasting for years over on Scandalicious Book Reviews - entertainment reviews with a bit of attitude. She loves chatting about all things romance, paranormal and highlanders, never forget the highlanders. Find her at @scandaliciousBR on Twitter.