Book Review – The Vampire’s Familiar by TJ Nichols

Familiar Mates #2
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 195
Characters: Kirk/Sage
POV: 3rd
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Series.
Familiar Mates #2

He came looking for revenge, will he walk away from love?

Twenty years after fleeing Madison Gully as a scared sixteen-year-old who witnessed the murder of his sister, Kirk Gracewell returns as a powerful energy vampire. He wants to find the cougar shifter who killed her and make them pay.

Every ten years, the Madison cougars get together. It’s a time of celebration and meeting new partners but also listening to the seer announce who’ll get the greatest honor—becoming a familiar to a witch.

When the seer gives Sage the task of watching the vampire that’s suddenly arrived, Sage feels slighted, it’s a job for a much younger cougar. But he comes to enjoy the games of cat mouse he plays with Kirk, until he learns why the vampire is in Madison Gully. Now Sage will have to choose: protect his family or help Kirk find the killer.

But the killer will stop at nothing to prove to the seer the honor is his, claim a witch and bury the past.

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I enjoyed this 2nd book in the Familiar Mates series as much as book 1. The world building is fabulous, and I loved the references to the first book in the series, and that one of the characters showed up. Although it does take place in the same world, this one explored shifters in more detail, including seers, and the flip side of a familiar using a witch.

I liked the concept behind energy vampires, how dark magic could warp who someone was supposed to be, and the different take on who vampires really were. I thought the idea of Kirk being able to recognise someone by the way they smelt, and not the way you’d think was very original and rather cool. The shifter mythos was interesting too. I also liked the family feel of this story, with Sage’s brothers supporting his choices, and how they helped out towards the end. I loved his mother, and Violet is an interesting character.

I loved Sage and Kirk’s growing friendship and relationship, and the unique way their familiar bond worked, especially with Kirk’s magic. I liked that their attraction wasn’t just witch and familiar but much deeper. Their personalities played off each other well, as they found their place with each other. Poor Kirk, not being able to touch because he’d feed. I loved the way Sage’s energy presents to Kirk while in human form. I thought that was very clever.

The show down with the bad guy was exciting, and I sat up very late reading as I had to find out what happens. The ending was very satisfying, although I’d love to see these characters again. I’m already hanging out for the next one in the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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