A Vampire Chew Toy ~ Holly Day
A Vampire Chew Toy was written to celebrate National M&M Day held on 13 October.
In this story, the M&Ms were a subtle but powerful symbol of safety and hope.
I think this has to be my favourite Holly Day book so far! I was also so so so happy that it was also one of her longest, so I could stay in this world, with these characters. A Vampire Chew Toy has Holly Day's signature compelling story and beautiful characters, but it was also much more.
Devin Jace lives in a huge mansion together with six other people, five of them turn furry, and one needs to drink blood to survive. Sometimes, he suspects it's all a dream. Four years ago, he had no idea supernatural beings existed. It wasn’t until he was snatched off the street and forced to live as a blood slave he realized vampires are real and don’t sparkle.
Three years ago, Mars O’Ceallaigh was part of the team who saved a badly scarred and severely traumatized Devin. As the only vampire on the team, he got to work undercover. To keep up the facade, he tasted Devin's blood. Not a day has gone by since without him thinking about it, both the taste of the blood and Devin. But he wants Devin to be happy, and since he knows vampires are his worst nightmare, he does his best to keep out of his way.
When the team learns Devin's captor has escaped prison, Mars is convinced he will come for Devin. Devin might fear Mars, but there is someone he fears more, so when Mars swears to keep him safe, Devin trusts him. Mars more than enjoys being by Devin's side at all times, but will spending every minute of every day with him be enough to keep him safe?
A Vampire Chew Toy has a powerful found family element, and even though the team has no idea how to help Devin initially, they are always there, giving him what he and they think he needs. When Devin starts to heal and comes out of his shell, they fully welcome him and integrate them into their family. It's a beautiful process to watch.
Devin has been mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually tormented by vampires. When he is rescued, he goes entirely within himself. Too scared to leave the house, he mainly stays in his room and doesn't interact with the team. He is strong, though; when he heals enough, he starts to come out of his shell. Watching his first playful interactions with Murrie made me smile, and his confidence grew from there.
When danger threatens Devin, the team closes ranks, and he finds comfort and safety with the team as a whole, specifically with Mars, a vampire, the species responsible for Devin's torment. But in Devin's darkest moments, these bonds keep him sane and give him hope. Devin's emotional bonds, not just with Mars but with the whole team, make this book special.
"Mars wrapped his arms around him. "You'll be fine."
"I won't be fine ever again."
"You Will. You might not be as you were before, but you will be fine."
Holly Day has created a gorgeous group of shifters with very different personalities and communication styles, but they have kindness and empathy in common. Although this was Devin and Mars's story, it was very much an ensemble cast, with each character adding to the overall beautiful vibe of the story.
A Vampire Chew Toy was written to celebrate National M&M Day held on 13 October. In this story, the M&Ms were a subtle but powerful symbol of safety and hope.
Although I'm a massive fan of Holly's books, A Vampire Chew Toy is unique. All I can say is if you enjoy paranormal stories, then make sure you grab a copy. This is one of my top reads this year and one I'll return to many times.
*If you are sensitive to themes of trauma and abuse, please read the content warnings.