Refrain: Neriza, A Vampire Blood Courtesan Romance


PARANORMAL: This audiobook uses the premise that vampires are an accepted part of normal life and that there are courtesans who are willing to supply blood and other services as needed to vampires for a fee. Lyric Rivers is a vampire, who happens to be a rock star, and he can definitely afford the fee. However, his ‘maker’ from decades ago, filled his mind with harmful ideas and practices, and he’s been fighting those urges ever since. Neriza has recently accepted a job as a blood courtesan to pay for her sister’s costly medical care. Her very first client is Lyric Rivers, a man she had a crush on as a teen. Once Lyric meets Neriza, he decides he is unwilling to take the risk of harming her, because she reminds him of the way he used to behave when he was a new, out-of-control vampire. He wants to send her back but can’t.

This is an original story that should delight listeners. Lyric is especially interesting as a protagonist, exhibiting noble behavior and unexpected self-sacrifice. He is well-matched with Neriza, who puts her own life on hold to support her sister. Even though vampire stories are common, this one feels fresh, given that much of it comes from the perspective of a blood courtesan. There is an unexpected twist at the end that leads to a surprising finish.

The quality of the recording is spot-on. John York portrays Lyric Rivers as an Australian, with an accent that sounds authentic. When Gracia Gillund speaks Lyric’s lines, she sounds authentically Australian as well. York is able to portray different characters effectively, with vastly different accents—often within the same paragraph. There are no obvious recording mistakes to be found in the audiobook, and the sound quality is good as well.

Carey Sullivan