Rating: 2 🌈
Must be Clowning Me needs trigger warnings.🚩
Review contains spoilers.
Charity Parkerson’s Once Upon a Bite series are meant, in her words, to “be short, fun paranormal romps to brighten your day.”
I think I’d like to ask the author if she knows what a romp is? If you consult a dictionary it’s often found as something that’s enjoyable and lively, often humorous. Maybe sexual and fast paced.
That does describe her first story, Little Pest.
But after that the series definitely removes itself from the romp category. And while the middle story has some interesting elements and a relationship that evolves from bite /bang into something approaching realness, this finale book is a series of moments where I ask myself should I DNF here.
And it’s a very short story.
This story has a teenage vampire , Aaron (Cosmic Cardio) who hasn’t recovered from the rape he suffered when he was turned . He falls into instant lust/love with a traumatized older psychologist who was bitten and turned by a vampire clown.
Wait it gets worse. And spoiler alert 🚨
The older psychologist, Jake, who’s now a baby vampire himself and dealing with that forced change , is also hiding the major issues. One being that he’s a heavily traumatized man, dealing with years of domestic abuse and violence. Oh yes. And he’s instantly having sex with, yes, the teenage vampire who found him.
The teenage vampire can hear Jake’s thoughts but he doesn’t tell him he’s listening instead he’s just pretending he’s hearing normally. Any flags here?
But wait there’s more! The teenager, Aaron ,who found Jake, the psychiatrist, was on his way to see his new , yep, psychiatrist. Who is Jake. Who starts to counsel him.
Much is made of the fact that now they are vampires, that changes perspectives on many things. Uh maybe not. I stopped throwing flags a while back. My arm got sore.
Then to wrap up, tiny fast forwards in time where everyone is in love, a bad guy has been vanquished, and HEA.
It’s a story where you read and you think it can’t be this bad. It will redeem itself and then it doesn’t.
Nothing narratively flows. That bit with the ex boyfriend is horrifying and should come with ginormous trigger warnings. Especially for anyone who has been a victim of Domestic violence or abuse. Especially the use of a deeply seated phobia against the victim to further increase the physical /emotional traumatic damage his stalker is causing. All of which the reader will experience with the victim on the page through his eyes and emotions.
That’s as far from funny or a romp as anything I can think of.
So no recommendations here, except for the first one in the series, Little Pest. Skip the rest.
Especially the last. It should come with trigger warnings for domestic violence and abuse, as well as rape recovery.
Once Upon A Bite:
✓ Little Pest #1
✓ Cosmic Cardio #2
✓ Must be Clowning Me #3 🚩
Must be Clowning Me (Once Upon a Bite Book 3)
All Jake wants is a fresh start. He REALLY gets his wish. Now he’s trapped for eternity as a night dweller.
Only Jake could get attacked by a vampire clown the moment he moves his therapy practice to New Orleans. Fortunately, the town is rife with supernatural clients to keep his business afloat. But life has always enjoyed a good laugh at Jake’s expense, and he can’t stop thinking about one client in particular. The vampire who found him and saved him.
Having a vampire therapist is a bit of a dream come true for Aaron. He’s been needing one for a while. Aaron has a barrel full of issues to work out, and it’s easier if his therapist knows about the supernatural world. Unfortunately, Aaron never expected his therapist to be so hot, and they have a connection from day one. There’s no way for him to stay on task. Aaron doesn’t know if he’s getting better or if he’s falling in love. Truthfully, he’s also not sure if he cares anymore, as long as he gets to keep seeing Jake.
Must be Clowning Me is the third book in Charity Parkerson’s Once Upon a Bite series. These books are meant to be short, fun paranormal romps to brighten your day.