Review: One Bite With A Stranger

Posted: 16/03/2015 in book reviews, books
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One Bite With A Stranger
One Bite With A Stranger by Christine Warren

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Good things about this book:
well the one good thing about this book that I DON’T have that much of a problem with but still have a minor problem with:
It’s taken note of the fact that when she’s wet from anticipation he has more lube and that when she’s fully aroused the sex feels SO MUCH BETTER. Even if all the sex is is just a finger in her vagina. Technically that’s two things. But I’m counting it as one because it falls together.

Everything after this is going to be spoilers.
Content warnings: sexual assault, non consent/dubious consent (it’s very murky line), invading another person’s mind (or multiple people’s minds) without consent, coercion, slut & kink shaming, too many gorram white people (seriously black vampires are a very sexy idea as are other races I’ve read a few books with vampires as races other than white that are hot as hell), paedophilia insinuations, infidelity, and sex. So NSFW content (no photos but words yes).

Few photos to express my initial feelings:

The last one will definitely get explained later on.

So, last chance. Spoilers ahoy!

Things I didn’t like:
-too many white people
-lack of informed consent
-coercively getting someone into a relationship because you’re “mates”
-jumping inside of people’s minds to figure out what their fantasies are and how to push them in directions you want them to go
-withholding shit from your “lover”
-forcing someone into doing something they really don’t want to do(especially as friends)

There’s plenty more but those are my big hitters.

First I’m going to address that last photo. Yeah one of her best friends, Ava? That so defines her and how their relationship looks. Like it’s stated explicitly by Regina that she DOESN’T want to participate in the “fantasy fix” thing that her and her friends started. And Ava is the one who absolutely INSISTS that she HAS to. And that there’s no way she’s getting out of it now that they’re single. They talk about it when they’ve been drinking wine and aren’t fully sober. They make these plans that can potentially fuck their friends up while not sober. That is very not cool to me. And then gets mad at her because she dared slip out of meeting this fantasy fix dude Ava was gonna set her up with. When Regina has been saying from the start basically that she DOESN’T WANT to do this. Yes, worked out great in the end. However, not very good friends to do that.

Next, after Regina’s turned into a vampire and her engagement to her friends announced Regina and Dmitri take a shower (this is after all her friends have barged in on them after sex and feeding to “save her from the vampire”) and he gets in with her (which admittedly can be sexy/hot and/or comforting. But here it’s painful for me) and soaps up her hair for her (which again can be sexy and hot and/or comforting) and then goes from that to cupping her breasts and then from that to fingering her. It’s never stated that he washes the shampoo off first. It is literally stated in the order I just put it in.

All the conflicts (Dmitri being a vampire and figuring out how to tell Regina, Regina deciding if she’s truly going to date him and be his like he says she is, and who is randomly turning people into fledgling vampires to attack people in the city) are resolved by page 288. The end of chapter 22. Everything except her friends bursting in while they’re naked in bed is basically fluff and her announcing the engagement. It’s eye rollingly numb. And the aforementioned shower scene is in this fluff.

Another thing that bothers me are some of the names he calls her in Russian. One of them translates to ducky or duck. One translates to sweet/honey/dear/dona/dear heart/old girl. One translates to kitten/kitty/kit. And the last he calls her is Hebrew and means Queen or ruler. The one that translates to sweet/honey though he tells her that it translates to sweet little girl (also he says the Hebrew one translates to that too though I’ve yet to find the word in Russian so I’m a little iffy on that). The fact though is that he tells her he’s 804 years old. And he’s calling her a sweet little girl. That has some seriously paedophile overtones to it to me. I just…eeeewwwww. I know daddy/mommy and little girl/boy are things with kink and great that’s their things but they NEGOTIATE it which makes it a whole lot LESS creepy to me (I mean it still kind of is creepy to me but I understand it and know it’s consensual so I’m 100% ok with it long as I’m not involved in it). But that’s the thing. It’s NOT negotiated in this. She never actively consents to being called that. He never asks her if she’s ok with it. He just comes flying out the bat with all of them. I have a serious problem with that.

Also on the topic of consent. Dmitri determines that she will be his lover before they ever speak (thanks to the creepy mind reading thing). He determines what kind of sex they will have because he reads her mind and her mind says “oh yes, this is what I want to do” even though she tells him to stop verbally. He pauses. Doesn’t actually stop or untie her but he does pause and then eventually continues after a minor bout of talking. He drinks her blood twice without asking her if she’s ok with it AND puts a veil into her memory so that she won’t remember it. He never asks her if she wants to use condoms. He doesn’t ask her if he should wear gloves/dental dam to finger her/go down on her. He doesn’t wash his hands prior to fingering her. I have a lot of serious problems with those. Especially the protection thing. He asks her to be his lover before/after they have sex when she’s very clearly NOT thinking clearly.

And then there’s the issue of Regina herself and her inner monologue. She apparently grew up in Connecticut (I think) in a very conservative (or was it religious) area (either way doesn’t matter since it’s a trope of either super religious or super conservative for this) and every time she enjoys sex she thinks about everything she’s been taught about how wrong sex is and then slut shames herself for enjoying it. And when the kink comes out she kink shames herself about how wrong it is and how she shouldn’t enjoy it even though she does. And I get it. Really I do. I was raised in a more liberal type family but because society’s pressures and shit I use to slut shame myself (and other girls) constantly. And once I found out I liked kink I shamed myself on that too. So I get it. We can identify with this. But at the same time, I’m so tired of seeing this over. and over. and over. and over again. Unless we’re in puritanical times or medieval times I don’t like seeing this. Or the person is raised in or brought into a type of place like that. But modern-ish New York? It’s out of place and out of date.

And then we get to the sexual assault. *sighs heavily* So, Regina dates this douchewad (whose name I don’t care to remember) and breaks up with him after she finds him fucking his secretary (who also turns out to be the “bad guy” who turns him into a vampire) on his desk when they’re suppose to go out (they meaning Regina and douchewad) for lunch. Well after Regina meets Dmitri (which is something like 6 months after the breakup) douchewad calls her to talk. And practically tries to rape her (both in sucking her blood and sexual assault) in the back alley of a restaurant/club that he pulls her into (like out from the back doors and into the alley). Douchewad gets knocked around by Dmitri and runs off like the scared coward he is and then later tries to kill Regina in the epic battle showdown (though on the good note she actually kills him instead).

I just….There’s so much to dislike about this book that I’m missing things and I don’t even give a fuck right now because it’s so bad that I don’t ever want to pick it up again.

Buy it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|ibooks

View all my reviews

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