Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Blood from a Stoner by L.A. Witt Audiobook Review

Greg Dawson’s not sure which he regrets more—becoming a vampire or becoming a software engineer. Immortality? Not all it’s cracked up to be. The job? Way more headache than it’s worth, especially on those increasingly frequent nights when he’s overworked and hangry. With a deadline looming and his hunger growing, he’s nearing the end of his tether. Then relief comes from an unexpected source—Zane Webber, the hot programmer Greg’s been fantasizing about for two years.

Disregarding company policy, Zane lets him feed, but kind of forgets to mention he’s got some weed in his system. The next thing Greg knows, he’s high as a kite… and he likes it. He wants more. Except how much of that high is secondhand weed, and how much is the electric and undeniable chemistry between him and Zane?

That chemistry draws them back to each other again and again, and suddenly their downtime is full of sex, smoke, feeding… and emotions. The only problem is that Zane’s a mortal. If they’re in this for the long haul, then Greg has to either turn Zane or accept a future of watching him wither and die. Greg doesn’t want to lose Zane, but he also can’t stomach condemning him to this “life.”

And if they can’t find some middle ground, they’ll have no choice but to let their love go up in smoke.

Audiobook Details
Length: 2 hrs, 52 mins
Narrator: Nick J. Russo

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Although I bought the ebook when it was released, I hadn’t taken the time to read it yet, so I was quite pleased to see that Blood from a Stoner had been released on audio. As someone who follows L.A. Witt on Facebook, I recalled that a typo in another manuscript led to the title and the subsequent plot bunny that could not be silenced until the author wrote the story – or at least drafted it out. Having giggled at the post and subsequent comments, I was expecting Blood from a Stoner to have more a comedic bent to it. While it certainly had moments that made me laugh out loud, true to Witt’s writing, the story hit me in the feels.

In Blood from a Stoner, vampires live, work, pay taxes, and get shafted by their insurance providers just like humans do. Unfortunately for Greg, he works for an employer that hasn’t figured out how to provide the creature comforts that would help improve their vampire employees’ productivity on the night shift. Because of this and the fact that Greg is working overtime on a project with a rapidly approaching deadline, he’s a bit hangry and Hangry Greg is like an overtired child – stuff just pops out of his mouth before his brain has a chance to filter it first. When Zane, the programmer he’s been crushing on for two years, offers to let Greg feed from him so he’ll be able to concentrate, Greg discovers that his attraction and hunger easily override his common sense because it’s an offer he cannot turn down, even though he knows he should as they could both lose their jobs. When Greg returns to his desk, he soon learns that not only is Zane a stoner, but he’s got a contact high from Zane’s blood and he really missed that feeling – except for the paranoia, he could’ve done without that. Despite his initial outrage over the contact high, Greg is more than happy to repeat the experience when he runs into Zane at a gay club that caters to vampires. But a one-off isn’t enough for either man and Greg soon finds himself addicted to the man – not his spiked blood – and it’s pretty obvious that the feeling is mutual. Yet when reality sets in and Greg has to think about Zane’s mortality, Greg believes he’s better off breaking up with Zane now in order to insulate himself from that future pain. He soon learns that a heart that no longer beats, can still break and forever is a very long time.

Nick J. Russo may not be a stoned vampire in real life, but he sure can play one on audio. But seriously, he did a great job of making Greg and Zane seem so real. As the story is told from Greg’s point of view, we actually spend a good amount of time in his head as he’s a thinker. Between Russo’s performance and Witt’s writing, I had no issues with knowing when Greg was thinking versus talking – something that I can have a hard time determining when listening to an audiobook. I have to say that one of the things I found interesting about Blood from a Stoner was that Witt avoided the usual “vampire biting during sex to heighten the orgasm” scenes. I mean, it’s pretty obvious through the story and Russo’s narration that Zane enjoys it when Greg bites and feeds from him after sex, but Zane’s the one who does any biting during sex. This made for an interesting switch and subtly pointed to the fact that their sexual attraction was irrespective of any sexual pleasure that paranormal romances often attribute to a vampire bite. And while I’m all for the “pleasure in the bite” theme, I found it to be a refreshing change of pace that made me enjoy the audiobook even more – which is probably why I listened to it twice today. Oh well, there are far worse (and only a few better) ways to spend my Sunday than with a vampire, his soon-to-be boyfriend, and some weed… no, not for me, for the characters, you goofball. Blood from a Stoner is definitely an audiobook I’ll be listening to again.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

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Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane's books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review's Narrator of the Year – 2015. When he's not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.

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Angela reviewed her personal audiobook copy of Blood from a Stoner by L.A. Witt, narrated by Nick J. Russo for this post.

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