Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M contemporary paranormal romance from EJ Russell. VAMPIRE WITH BENEFITS is the second book in the Supernatural Selection series that follows supes of all types finding love through a witch-run online matchmaking service. I think reading SINGLE WHITE INCUBUS first would help you enjoy this book better. Both of these books are a spin-off from the Fae Out of Water series, and set in the same world as CUTIE AND THE BEAST, THE DRUID NEXT DOOR, and BAD BOY’S BARD.
About the book:
A match between a vampire and shifter could be deadly—but this broken beaver doesn’t give a dam.
Silent film actor Casimir Moreau had imagined that life as a vampire would be freewheeling and glamorous. Instead, he’s plunged into a restrictive society whose rules he runs afoul of at every turn. To “rehabilitate” him, the vampire council orders him mated to an incubus with impeccable breeding who’ll mold Cas into the upstanding vampire he ought to be. Or else.
As an inactive beaver shifter, construction engineer Rusty Johnson has fought—and overcome—bias and disrespect his entire life. But when his longtime boyfriend leaves him for political reasons, Rusty is ready to call it a day. Next stop? Supernatural Selection and his guaranteed perfect mate, a bear shifter living far away from Rusty’s disapproving clan.
But then a spell snafu at Supernatural Selection robs both men of their intended husbands. Rusty can’t face returning to his clan, and Cas needs somebody on his arm to keep the council happy, so they agree to pretend to be married. Nobody needs to know their relationship is fake—especially since it’s starting to feel suspiciously like the real thing.
At 116, Casimir Moreau is the second-youngest vampire in existence, and he’s continually making mistakes the vampire council is tired of cleaning up. In an effort to “civilize” Cas to vampire ways, he has been…required to wed an incubus of good breeding, Quentin Bertrand-Harrington. This match has been wrought through the complicated spellwork of witches at the Supernatural Selection Agency, and guaranteed to be a perfect match. Not that Cas wants this–at all. He’s not eager to be married to a man he’s never met and has no faith he’d be a good partner. It was the Council that filled out all the paperwork, and Cas is barely able to contain his frustration when he learns his “fated mate” Quentin has been inexplicably married to a bear shifter.
Rusty Johnson is a big broad inactive beaver shifter who owns a successful construction business. He’s heartbroken that his longtime friend, and boyfriend, recently broke everything off to announce an engagement to a female beaver shifter. So, Rusty has signed up with Supernatural Selection to find a true mate who could also serve as a date for his ex’s wedding. He was matched with Ted Farnsworth, an affable bear shifter, but he’s dang mad to learn Ted was somehow married to a bougie incubus.
While Cas and Rusty wait for their intended’s marriage to be annulled, they agree to a temporary marriage to one another. Cas is pleased to learn that Rusty’s inactive shifter blood isn’t toxic to him–which also makes his odor palatable, too. Rusty likes Cas’s forthrightness, and won’t stand-by when he learns that Cas NOT being immediately wed is tantamount to a death sentence.
Through the shenanigans they endure for one another, Rusty and Cas develop a rapport. Instead of Rusty’s shifter blood killing him, Cas is energized in unimaginable ways. Instead of Rusty feeling down about the loss of his first love, he’s intrigued by his handsome vamp husband. There are a couple of subplots involved with power structures straining within the vampire community–and some romps through time with a naked Druid. Cas is definitely in immortal danger, and Rusty comes to his rescue more than once.
This is a charming odd-couple romance, with all sorts of zany characters, and fun adventures. I liked how these guys fit each other so perfectly, both helping the other through the hard parts of their lives. While they originally thought it was imperative to weather a temporary marriage, they soon fall for one another. Should they still honor the original match? Or, did the magic make a last-second switch for all the right reasons? Their choices sway the situation in favor of true love, and it works out to a very happy ending. As this book is connected to the larger Fae Out of Water series, there are some fun callbacks to THE DRUID NEXT-DOOR, with Dr. Bryce MacLeod making some daring appearances.
About the Author:
E.J. Russell writes romance in a rainbow of flavors — from M/F stories grounded in absurd contemporary reality to M/M tales splashed with the supernatural — but you can be sure that while the couple makes their way to HEA, they’ll never stray too far into the dark.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!