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Reviewed by Maureen Dangarembizi for Readers' Favorite
Refrain by Susan Griscom is the first book in the Blood Courtesans series. Neriza Swan has always had a mad crush on Lyric Rivers, the lead singer in her favorite rock band. She never believed she’d have any opportunity to meet him again after their one VIP encounter backstage. Her dream shrinks even more when, due to her financial situation, she is forced to sell the only commodities she has left to a vampire sponsor. For the duration of her contract, she has to provide her buyer with blood and sex. As scary as it sounds, it is less frightening than being homeless and being incapable of paying for her sister Nina’s hospital bills. Turns out her buyer is Lyric Rivers. She is over the moon until she learns that he doesn’t want her or her blood. To add a further complication, her parents' deaths may not have been an accident after all.
I really loved Refrain and got sucked into the world Susan Griscom has created. Their world is our world yet more. The vampires are out and they don’t need to hide. In spite of this, they still face problems when it comes to feeding and finding suitable companionship. The vampires in this book had a rare human side that you don’t see in many vampire romances out there. Lyric is now one of my most favorite vampire heroes of all time. I just loved the sizzling attraction between Lyric and Neriza and how they became good friends before hopping into bed together. The Uncle Lars sub-plot also adds a hint of mystery to the story. There are still a lot of single vampires in this series that need mates. Hopefully, that means there are still more stories to be told as the series continues.