Book Review: Love Song for a Vampire (Dale Bruyer Book 2) by J.L. Aarne

Dale's retired from monster hunting, but it turns out running a bar doesn't have quite the same level of excitement, so, when he gets an email about vampires in New Orleans, he decides to go check it out with Coyote. But what he thought was a simple case of vampires selling their blood turns out to be much more complicated and dangerous, and Dale soon finds himself choosing sides and helping a notorious monster he didn't even think existed.

Book Review: Love Song for a Vampire (Dale Bruyer Book 2) by J.L. Aarne | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal/urban fantasy, lgbtqia, m/m, vampires
Title: Love Song for a Vampire
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 386
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


I ended up enjoying this book even more than the first!

For one thing, it was funny. Possibly funnier than the first, but I admittedly don’t remember exactly how funny the first one was. It also got pretty intense and dark right near the end.  Then it wrapped up with mostly good feelings again. So I wouldn’t say it was too dark overall, and I like when books can balance both humor and intensity.

For another thing, the story was more focused, interesting, and entertaining, and I’m not just saying that because it involved vampires. However, I do like vampires, so that was a plus. And it was fun seeing this author’s version of Dracula and the Dracula story.

The characters were more likeable too. Dale was significantly less of a misanthrope, James seemed less unnecessarily mysterious, and Coyote was less of a troll (not literally, I mean the kind of person who likes to screw with other people) and more lovably playful. All the main characters in this series are imperfect but mostly lovable (well, if you ignore some of the things they’ve done in the past, especially James). Seeing the dynamic between Dale and Coyote as friends was nice too. And I gotta say, I think Coyote and Daphne may be an even cuter couple than Dale and James, haha. Poor Coyote doesn’t understand the nuances of modern human dating, but he tries.

There were a couple things I didn’t like though, the main one being the head hopping, again. It’s something that’s especially frustrating to me in these books because, aside from that, the writing is really good and does draw me in. I guess I’ve decided that it’s worth it to just deal with the head hopping since it doesn’t happen too often, and I like the characters too much to stop reading now.

I also didn’t care much for any of the POVs other than Dale’s, but other people might enjoy them. I did at least understand why the author gave us Abraham’s POV.

The other thing I didn’t like was that they cured James’s mental illness with magic, at least temporarily. In real life though, there is no insta-cure, so I don’t like seeing this in books because it can lead to harmful misunderstandings. I don’t actually know what illness it is that he had, but before they fixed it, it had seemed realistic in the sense that, even though he knew he was being irrational and that he was going to face serious consequences if he didn’t get back to his job, he just couldn’t get past it, he couldn’t will it away and force himself to get over it no matter how much he wanted to.

So overall, I had a problem with the head hopping and the mental illness cure, but I really liked the characters and the story.


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  1. sjhigbee

    A great review, Kristen – but the head-hopping would really annoy me. There are very few authors that can genuinely get away with it, I think.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, head-hopping is one of my biggest reading pet peeves. But sometimes I’m willing to deal with it if it’s not done too often and/or the book is good enough.

  2. Greg

    I like it when a dark book can have humor too, balances it out! Coyote sounds interesting. And multi POV’s can work or really not work, definitely. It’s great if they do, but yeah not always.

    I agree with you on magically healing real life problems, like mental illness. Not a fan really. But nice that it explores that you can’t just “will” yourself over something- even if you know it’s irrational, you can’t just make it go away. Sounds like a pretty good read overall!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Humor and darkness are always an odd combo, but they work really well when done right. Coyote is so much fun lol. And he’s some sort of old god, so he really just doesn’t understand the human dating thing.

      Well see, that’s why I was so disappointed. It portrayed that whole “can’t will it away” aspect of mental illness really well… until they cured it with magic -_- But yes, other than those couple issues, I did enjoy the book!

  3. Kazza

    I really like this author and I am hoping I Hear They Burn For Murder has a sequel soon. I’ve wanted to read this series but felt like it was YA so I haven’t picked it up..

    NB: I didn’t read your review just in case I do get to read the series 🙂

  4. Karen

    I’m glad you enjoyed this overall despite those few issues you had. I’m impressed with how many books you find that also have humor. That’s my favorite thing and I have such a hard time finding books like that. (Which is why I have a list of the books you rec)

    For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      I never realized I found a lot of books with humor. But I read a lot of urban fantasy, and I guess that is a genre that often has humor. Maybe you should try reading one of the books I said was funny so that you’ll know if we even have the same sense of humor. Your list might be all for nothing if we don’t, haha.

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    It’s always annoying when a good book has features you don’t like, like a magical cure for a mental illness that is plain old unrealistic. The story itself sounds pretty good, though. And the fact you actually enjoyed this more than the first is good. I find it really depends on the thing which bothers me in a book.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, it’s kind of even more frustrating when it’s a good book since it could’ve been GREAT, you know? But yeah, whether I can still enjoy a book depends on the thing and how good the rest of the book is.

  6. Lola

    That’s nice it balances the humor and intensity well. And that sounds nice how the characters are more likeable in this book than in the first. Too bad about the head hopping, but that’s a good thing if you still keep reading even with that issue. I can enjoy multiple point of views, but the other point of views do have to add something. I usually can still enjoy a book even I some things in the writing bother me, but it also depends on what exactly it is and if the rest of the book is good enough to compensate for that.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do like when books can balance humor and intensity. Sometimes it’s worth it to put up with something that bothers you when the book is good enough! But yeah, it does depend.