Book Title: How to Bite Your Neighbor & Win A Wager
Author: D.N. Bryn
Release Date: October 6, 2022
Genres: Paranormal, MM Romance, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
My rating: 5/5 Stars
I am so thrilled to help reveal the cover of D.N. Bryn’s upcoming release, How to Bite Your Neighbor & Win a Wager. It will be available on October 6th, so make sure to preorder now!
“I WANT YOU TO BITE ME.”
Vincent Barnes has suffered four years as a vampire, and they’ve been the most miserable years of his pathetic life. Too poor for black market blood, he feeds from sleeping humans to survive. He tries to never intrude on the same prey twice, but after a single delicious taste of a long-lost childhood neighbor, he can’t help returning for seconds.
Wesley Garcia has been waking up with fang marks. Lucky for him, he needs a vampire—to use as bait. He’s certain Vitalis-Barron Pharmaceutical killed his mother, but to gain access to their covert research labs, he has to bring them a bloodsucker for their experiments.
Step one, a dramatic offer: Stay, and you can bite me.
Vincent leaps at the chance to gobble Wesley up.
Wes’s plan is perfect. He’ll befriend the vampire, then trick him into coming to the lab. No fighting, no fuss. But Vincent is more than Wesley has bargained for: sweet and shy, with intoxicating fangs that awaken new desires in Wes. As the two bond, Vincent believes he might have finally found someone worth putting his trust in… and Wes fears neither of them will survive the betrayal he has planned.
How to Bite Your Neighbor and Win and Wager is a slow-burn paranormal mm romance full of laughter, angst, and thirsty pining. It is perfect for fans of fangs and scientific interpretations of vampirism, with a medium spice level that heats up further in the free bonus content. Content includes bite kink, bleeding (non-kinky), medical experimentation (not experienced by the point of view characters), one particular lesbian BFF who should be reported to HR, and the use of “bodice-ripping” as a verb.
How to Bite Your Neighbor & Win a Wager is the queer vampire book I, and several others, have been anxiously waiting for. I was so thankful to receive an advanced reader’s copy of this book, and I devoured it in one to two sittings. As soon as I opened it, I had so much trouble putting it down, even when I had things I definitely should have been doing instead!
Following Wes and Vincent’s POVs, this book expertly combats issues of consent and mental illness. In the beginning, Vincent feeds on humans in their sleep because he’s unable to afford blood bags and has no home, other than a crypt in the cemetery. Because of this, he ends up returning to Wes’s home several times and feeding on him. At first, I was a little nervous about this plot point because it could have been handled poorly, but I was so impressed with the discussions between the two leads surrounding consent and how they worked through it. I didn’t have any issues with how it played out.
The portrayal of mental illness and depression was also so good. It showed the many layers of depression, as well as how difficult it is to grieve a loved one. This is the second book by D.N. Bryn that I’ve read, and both have handled mental illness and depression with such care, and did a great job of depicting it authentically.
Many will not be surprised that one of my favorite parts of this book was the friends-to-lovers trope. The friendship between Wes and Vincent was so sweet and wholesome. Even though Westley’s intentions in the beginning weren’t in Vincent’s favor, he soon came to realize that he could never harm Vincent, and would instead do anything to protect him. I adored their video game playing sessions and how they opened up to each other.
The slow burn of their feelings of friendship to their attraction, and eventually love was just *chef’s kiss.* If a slow burn romance is done right, it will leave me thinking about it for several days, and even weeks after reading, and this one absolutely did. The chemistry between the two leads was obvious from the start, so getting to watch it build and grow into something more was so much fun. Each of them rounded the other out, and their personalities really complimented each other. They were able to give each other something no one ever had before. In the beginning, they broke my heart, but through the course of the novel, their endearing and tender moments pieced it back together again, until it was practically bursting at the end.
While I loved both MCs, Vincent particularly stood out to me. His character is a metaphor for anyone who’s ever felt different, for anyone who doesn’t fit into the mold society has deemed ‘normal’. Some of the situations he had to put himself through just to make ends meet was so heartbreaking, but unfortunately, is not unrealistic, even without the vampire part. There’s a lot that can be construed from his vampirism, and it will definitely open up some really important conversations.
Additionally, though, I just enjoyed Vincent’s personality. He was shy and a bit awkward, with a desperate yearning to connect with someone. He hadn’t felt loved or cared for in a long time, so when Wes offered him even a sliver of that, he was practically in tears over the kind offer. The description of the book describes Vincent as “sweet and shy” and that’s definitely accurate. He is the epitome of a cinnamon roll character, and I loved him so much.
Another thing I enjoyed about How to Bite Your Neighbor & Win a Wager is the fact that there are no sex scenes on page. I have no issues with reading steamy books, but sometimes I would really like to read a romance that showcases burning chemistry between the leads, but no actual explicitness. It’s a lot harder to find than you would think, so I was so excited about how the romance was handled here. There were definitely some tension-heavy make-out scenes (and a couple of biting scenes), but that’s as far as it went, and I really appreciated that.
Seriously, I cannot praise this book enough. I flew through it, chapter after chapter, until I was at the end. Not only was the romance simply incredible, but there was also a lot of mystery surrounding Westley’s mom’s circumstance and the Vitalis-Barron Pharmaceutical company that kept me on the edge of my seat until I had some answers.
If you don’t have How to Bite Your Neighbor & Win a Wager on your TBR yet, I highly recommend it! It’s the perfect book for spooky season and will not disappoint! I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to read this book, and I already can’t wait to reread it.
Thank you so much to D.N. Bryn for providing me a digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Preorder it at: Amazon
Check out my last Blog Post: Shameless Puckboy (Cover Reveal)