Review: ‘Because the Night’ by Kirsten Strassel

Because the Night

Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll.

Immortal Dilemma is the hottest band in the Las Vegas vampire rock scene. They draw insatiable fans from around the globe, thanks to a supernatural attraction called Bloodlust. Tristan craved such an opportunity to fill his empty mortal life, and now he has eternity to earn his place along the legends of rock n roll debauchery.

Callie always feared that Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, but she never thought they’d lead him to immortality. To reconnect with him, she must weave her way through a world not only she had no idea existed, but does not welcome her.

Blade turned down a spot in Immortal Dilemma after learning what he must sacrifice for that lifestyle. He finds Callie a refreshing change from the girls in the vampire rock scene. When Callie drags Blade back into the world of Immortal Dilemma, his resistance drives her into the waiting arms of Tristan, who shows her the true meaning of Bloodlust.

But the very things that Callie fights so hard to save are the very things that fight to destroy her.

I’m going to start off this review by saying that I almost never like the bad boy in a book. When presented with a choice between two love interests in a triangle, I almost always choose the guy who I’d actually like to know in real life: the reliable, dependable, safer option. Because the Night was definitely not written for someone with my tastes, as far as men go.

The reason I want to state this up front is that I think if I’d been the target reader, this would have rated much more highly for me. If you love bad boys, the things that were a negative for me might be a positive for you. 😉

At times (especially early on, before we saw his gentler side) I wanted to set fire to Tristan. He was all arogant vampire rock star, and totally insufferable. I simply couldn’t understand why Callie was drawn back to him, time and again. I get nostalgia for an old relationship, and I even get her desire to “save” him from his drug-addled lifestyle. But after he attacks her — in a scene that has rape metaphor written all over it — and tells her that she would have enjoyed it if she’d just relaxed…well, I nearly threw my Kindle across the room.

That being said, the fact that Strassel’s book made me feel so strongly, and yet kept me reading, is a testament to her pacing and the story. And once Callie got past Tristan’s arrogant exterior and he started acting a bit more, well, human, he wasn’t too bad. He really cared for her, and struggled with the darker side of his nature, the vampire side. I was definitely Team Blade all the way, though. He had moments where he was furious with Callie and was a little cruel, but I totally got where he was coming from. She was awful to him, without even thinking about it at times; such was the power of her obsession with Tristan.

My favourite character in the story was Lennon, Callie’s work colleague and, later, her best friend. The bubbly bartender, girlfriend to a vampire, and part-time makeup artist was a point of sanity in Callie’s life. She’s the sort of person I’d love to hang out with.

There’s definitely sizzle in this book, although the sex scenes don’t go into huge amounts of detail, which keeps it from being outright erotica. I never thought I’d think all that blood was hot, but it kind of was. There’s also implied (although not observed) drug use, which didn’t bother me but some readers may find it offensive.

Despite how much I loathed Tristan at times, Because the Night would have been a four-star read for me, except that there was also a smattering of grammatical errors that drew me out of the story every time I noticed one. (I’m a trainspotter when it comes to that sort of thing; it’s an occupational hazard.) So I’m giving it 3.5 stars.*

* I note on Goodreads that there’s a newer edition of this book than the one I bought a while back, so these errors may have been tidied up.

Three-and-a-half stars

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