The Family: Liam is the second novel I’ve read from KV Taylor, though I’ve also read a few of her short stories and a lot of her paranormal and supernatural romances under the pen name Katey Hawthorne. In this new series, the central monsters are vampires, something like a cross between Anne Rice and John Lindqvist.
The main character Liam is a bi-curious college student who thinks he’s straight until he catches the attention of his dorm roommate Gianni. Gianni is everything Liam isn’t, sophisticated, spoiled, and self-assured, while Liam is an emotionally wounded farmer’s kid who sill isn’t sure what he wants to be. But once Gianni has taken an interest in him, his course is set to become a monster as ruthless as Gianni.
I like all the characters, even the bit characters like James, Madison and Aldo. I very much liked the kind of vampires covered in this story, and the romantic scenes were certainly attention grabbing. Liam’s swift change raises him to delirious happiness, but his positive outlook doesn’t last long before he begins to question what he’s becoming. He rejects Gianni rather harshly and returns to his family, and there he learns that he can’t really go home before Gianni arrives to take him back.
There’s some other stuff that happens after this point, but the story seems to walk away from a major plot point and never comes back to it. I can’t say what without spoiling it, but once this seeming threat is introduced, the story wanders off in a different direction, and there’s only a few fleeting references made to it again.
I know this is a first book in a series, but the ending left me feeling like there should have been another hundred pages or so. There’s a couple of introductions of conflicts, but only one of these gets resolved. The other much bigger conflict is left hanging, and I felt like sputtering, “But…but what about Aldo?” And for that matter, I wonder if book two will get back around to Madison. I rather liked her. But even if it doesn’t, I wanted to know more about this other mysterious faction of vampires that are running a cult in the middle of nowhere.
Overall I liked the characters, but I felt like story was all ramp and no jump. I liked the ride, and I’ll be looking for the next book in the series. It is a small kind of complaint, “I wish there was more to it.” But setting that aside, this is a bloody vampire tale with sometimes sympathetic monsters and lots of rough sex between consenting guys. I give Liam 4 stars, and would recommend it to fans of Anne Rice’s work who wish Lestat could have had a hot romantic relationship with a hotter, prettier clone of himself. So, like 200% more hot sex and maybe two-thirds less existential blues and self-pity. And that’s not a bad combination for me.