Blood Thinners (Love Me Dead #1) – Heather Novak

4.5 ⭐️ – Blood Thinners was an excellent surprise. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover but a good/fun/pretty cover will make me want to read. And this one is perfect for the story.

Mina Summers is a SHAP (Supernatural-Human Accountability Partnership) agent, who just came back to work after a four-month break due to an accident. She was denied the promotion she was hoping for by none other than her father but at least it means she gets to work one more case with her best friend and partner Jake Robinson. After what seems to be an invasion of strange-acting vampires, they infiltrate Thinner, a company selling apparently miraculous weight-loss shakes.

The plot kept me on my toes all book long, not so much for the ending itself but for the way to get there and the characters’ motivations. It starts deceptively light and entertaining, and as the story unfolds, it gets more complex, with an underlying message about the lengths we’ll go to in order to conform to the image society makes us think we should aspire to. It goes even deeper with Thinner as its diet appears to cure incurable diseases and who wouldn’t be willing to give it a try?

My favourite part, however, is that I loved all the characters. Mina is at once badass and bitter and determined and a marshmallow. Jake is the best friend anyone should have and I love his family, especially his stepmother Magnolia. Then there’s Sebastian, Mina’s roommate and the hilarious ghost of a duke, and his best friend Reggie, also a ghost. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the surprisingly caring demon helping Mina’s elderly neighbours.

I, of course, kept the best for the end. Like Mina, I’m a sucker for a good villain (her words). In this case, that would be Lucinda Nicks, CEO of Thinner. And Carma, her daughter and VP of Thinner, who steals Mina’s breath at first sight. In my head, she’s a femme fatale, which is funny because this book doesn’t feel very noir (on the contrary, it feels very technicolour) but it has the right pace and dynamics, if not the atmosphere. And is it weird that I felt incredibly happy I have the same car as Carma, albeit in a much more conservative colour? Carma is irresistible and I could totally relate to Mina not being able to keep her mind on the mission.

I ended this book feeling the way I do when I come out of – or used to come out of, in pre-pandemic times – a movie theatre after watching an adrenaline-filled picture, or a really entertaining one. Mentally satisfied and bursting with energy. I’ll be looking forward to more sapphic stories by Heather Novak.

5-stars

Blood Thinners @ IndieBound / Bookshop.org / amazon

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