Relic by Mia Monroe

Relic is a standalone paranormal romance set in New Orleans. Horatio is the leader of the vampires there, and along with dealing with a plague of infected vampires, he also has a cute human in his path he can't stay away from.

From the blurb:

Running from my past led me straight into the arms of my future. That is, if evil doesn’t catch me first.  

New Orleans felt like the right place for me to disappear, but I walked right into trouble. Horatio Bouchard, my mysterious new boss at the vampire themed store Relic, talks in circles and always shows up at odd times, but when I’m forced to find out the truth about what he is, what the city is full of, and that I’m on someone’s list, well, it’s a lot to swallow.

I ran to get away from a violent past, but my new life is looking pretty dangerous too. If I can put my trust in the charming, dangerous man and his strange crew of friends, he promises me I’ll be safe.

At this point, I don’t really have a choice but to go all in, embrace all the city has to offer me, and discover hidden strength I never expected, all why trying to manage my overwhelming attraction to my protector.

A vampire trying to save his city, a clueless mortal who steps right into the middle of chaos, a mysterious and deadly vampire illness spreading through New Orleans, come together in this standalone MM paranormal romance.

Rogue's Review:

This is a standalone paranormal romance, and I totally went in blind. Didn't read the blurb and had no idea what it was about other than it was set in New Orleans. Emory has had a bad experience and has moved to New Orleans to make a fresh start and get away from his ex, who is seriously bad news. Horatio is the de facto leader of the vampires of New Orleans and when he meets Emory, he feels an instant connection to him.

I took a little to get into this story, it's a total standalone and these vampires are different to other in Mia's paranormal world. Horatio is totally unapologetic about killing to protect Emory, and about doing what needs to be done, including wiping Emory's memory about their first meeting. He initially comes across as cold and overbearing but gradually I came to see he'll do anything to protect what's his, and while that's still a little overbearing, it comes from a good place. Emory really blossoms as the story goes on, he's far from a passive participant or even helpless and it turns out everything depends on him.

It's a bit of a slow burn but overall a good story and an interesting take on the vampire myth in New Orleans. There is plenty of scope for other stories in this world and I'd be down if Mia wanted to revisit at some point. There's a certain rainbow-haired psychic I'd love to know more about.

- paranormal
- slow burn
- human/vampire

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's review:

"𝓨𝓸𝓾 𝓪𝓻𝓮...𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰. 𝓜𝔂 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰, 𝓔𝓶𝓸𝓻𝔂."

Since this was kind of a surprise release for Monroe I didn't know what to expect going in. I knew it was a vampire romance, but it didn't appear to be set in her previous worlds. I was right. Vampire rules are bit a different than Monroe's other books. For one, they can disappear into smoke, which is a super cool gift if you ask me. Imagine being at a gathering when you've hit your social limit for the night and just being able to poof the hell out in a cloud of smoke. Gives new meaning to an Irish goodnight dontcha think?

This romance felt like it was a pretty quick read, though I admit I didn't even check the page count. The MC Emory was a likeable human. He'd had a bad go of it and I was crossing my fingers that he was due for some good to happen to him. Horatio didn't immediately come off as likeable, but he's also an unapologetic vampire who runs New Orleans so I didn't expect him to be a kitten. He more than proved himself by the end with the way he treated Emory. Basically whatever Emory could ever want, Horatio would be sure to provide it for him. He wanted his man happy and sated at all times.

There was an actual plotline beside the romance, but I felt like the MCs were the major focus. That does not mean there wasn't plenty of violence to give the lovers of vicious vampire gore something to enjoy! And don't worry. The baddies definitely get what's coming to them. The side characters were interesting. I'd like to learn more about Mattheus and Samson. I also wouldn't say no to Ares getting his own book. I mean the guy has rainbow hair. That was enough to intrigue me alone.

Heather's Review:

This can't be a standalone book... I need more!  While the suspense arc is complete for this story, it's New Orleans, Mia... I'm sure you can come up with some more fantasitical tales that involve a certain psychic or maybe switch it up to FF for a certain grumpy shop manager... plus, Hortatio and Emory would make kick ass side characters...  but on to the meat of the story...

Yes, this vampire is seen with raw meat... and that's just one of the things that Emory has to contend with as he learns more about what is in store for him in his chosen home of New Orleans.  This book has a slow build for both the suspense and the romance, but the world building and backstory weave beautifully into the story and you really don't notice the passage of time.  I will say that the final 20% of the book packs in so many punches... and does resolve everything so there is no cliffhanger and a sweet HEA.

Relic is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription