Title : Blood Moon
Series : Insolita Luna, Book #1
Author : M.J. O’Shea
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal, YA
Length : 160 pages (e-book)
Published : October 31, 2013
Rating : ★★★
Zack met his best friend, Noah, at Harper Lake when they were five years old. Summer after summer, his feelings grew, but he assumed Noah didn’t feel the same. But one night when they were seventeen, Zack kissed Noah… and Noah kissed him back. Zack was sure he did. But the next morning, Noah put an end to their friendship and walked away, leaving Zack with a broken heart.
A year has passed, and Zack goes back to the lake—where every leaf, rock, and turn in the road remind him of the biggest mistake he ever made. He hates thinking about what he lost, and more than anything he wants his best friend back. He figures it’ll be the longest summer ever. But then Noah shows up out of the blue, apologetic and more gorgeous than ever. Noah is sweet and attentive, and Zack can almost believe nothing had ever gone wrong. But there’s something different about his old friend, something not quite right. Zack doesn’t want to ruin the fragile new bond between them, but he has to know… What secret is Noah hiding?
I enjoy paranormal stories and I was intrigued by this offering from Harmony Ink, the young adult branch of Dreamspinner Press. Zack and Noah have known each other since they were five years old. Every summer they would spend all of their time together at the lake, where Zack’s family has a lake house and Noah’s family has a permanent residence. As the years pass, Zack’s feeling for Noah grows. When they are eighteen, in a moment of comforting Noah, Zach kisses him. The best part is that Noah returns the kiss and Zack is happier than he has ever been – until the next day. Noah tells Zack that he thinks they should not see each other anymore and gives no explanation. Zack is heartbroken and never truly gets over Noah. Every summer, Zack reluctantly returns with his family to the lake cabin, reliving his memories of Noah and the heartbreak of when they last spoke.
This summer, Zack is twenty one and starting college in the fall. He and Noah had planned on attending college together and this brings more painful memories for him. One night while walking to the dock where he and Noah used to sit together, Zack sees someone there. It is Noah. He cannot believe he is really here or why. When Noah explains he had never wanted to break off their friendship, that it was his parents’ idea, Zack easily forgives him. Then, as they are getting reacquainted, Noah has to share something rather important with Zack. He comes from a family of vampire hunters and through a tragic event he was turned into a vampire the same night his parents were killed. This is the explanation for why he had to break up with Zack. Being a vampire hunter would have put Zack in danger. Zack only has a moment of disbelief and tells Noah that it does not matter; he knows Noah would never hurt him.
The take on vampire lore is modern and geared toward being able to blend in with society. The story progresses with the relationship picking back up where they left off three years earlier and moving forward rapidly. There is conflict with Noah’s hunter grandfather and a revelation involving his mother. We are introduced to other paranormal characters along the way and are shown they are just like everyone else – with a few exceptions. The story moves very quickly and the conflicts are resolved rather easily. I can see where the vampire (paranormal) character can be seen as a metaphor for tolerance of those that are different; that people should be viewed on an individual basis. I liked that and would have been happy to see it further developed.
The romance between Zack and Noah is sweet and passionate but I think I would have enjoyed the story more if there had been more background information (Noah’s vampire hunting family) and the conflict or repercussions of decisions made were a bit more detailed to give it more depth.
Rated 3 stars by Deb