Every sorority has its secrets. And college freshman Ginger Carmichael couldn't care less. She has more important things on her mind, like maintaining her perfect GPA. No matter how much she can't stand the idea of the cliques and the matching colors, there's something about the girls of Alpha Beta Omega - their beauty, confidence, and unapologetic sexuality - that draws Ginger in. But once initiation begins, Ginger finds that her pledge is more than a bond of sisterhood, it's a lifelong pact to serve six bloodthirsty demons with a lot more than nutritional needs. Despite her fears, Ginger falls hard for the immortal queen of their nest, and as the semester draws to a close, she sees that protecting her family from the secret of her forbidden love is much harder than studying for finals.
I rolled my eyes a LOT in the first 20 pages or so of Better Off Red, just because hey, look, another vampire book. But I have to say, I was really surprised to enjoy the book a whole hell of a lot (no pun intended, of course). In fact, once I was done with it (and its sister, Blacker Than Blue) I went back and read them both all over again.
Better Off Red may have been one of the campiest, sexiest books I've tackled in a while, actually. Without spoiling, the book focuses on a sorority with a secret - it functions to feed the vampiric 'sister-queens' (that phrase was a cause of most of my eye-rolls, I won't lie). The sorority itself functions somewhat normally (bake sales, philanthropic events, etc) but the sisters also serve to feed the sister-queens.
Here's the fun part: feedings turn orgasmic. The very act of puncturing the neck makes the girls...well, come. There are a ton of very fun scenes with this basis and, I must say, some funny ones where they gather to watch movies (Mean Girls) and orgies ensue.
The protagonist of this particular story is Ginger, and her love interest / Queen of the North American vampires, Camila. Ginger is gay and a virgin (well, not for long) and Camila is sex and power personified. Their relationship is sexy and fraught with angst and lovely - and one of the main reasons I loved this book.
More than that, though, the world that Weatherspoon created is actually really well-rounded. There's a vampiric hierarchy and the rules for transfer of power within it make sense. Even the orgies are organized, to an extent - with each sister-queen in charge of two 'feeder' sisters that they care after. The bond created when a sister-queen feeds from one of the sisters is profound and loving, but the darkness within each of the vampires is always bubbling a bit under the surface. There are rules, and when broken, there are punishments.
Without spoiling anything else, I'll say that the book was much better than I thought it would be at first glance, and in fact, it was quite good.
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This book was self-purchased, and was not reviewed for a promise of a positive review.