Book Review – The Beta’s Vampire by Beth Laycock

Penhul Pack #2
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 252
Characters: Lucian/Benedict
POV: 1st
Genre: Paranormal, Series

Beta of the Penhul pack with a vampire? Over his dead body.

Lucian is bored. After a century of being a vampire, nothing surprises him anymore. Life, such as his can be called one, has become predictable. Humans are predictable. Add in the fact he’d rather not feed from them, and a visit with a witch friend of his clan is a welcome distraction. But when he meets Benedict, it’s anything but predictable, especially when he stumbles across the man transforming into a dog before his eyes. And never in an eternity did he think he would find himself wanting to drink the mutt’s blood.

As beta of the Penhul pack, Benedict knows pack comes first, like having to spend weeks away in the Lake District on pack business. But the last thing Benedict expects to find when he returns is his brother having found his fated mate, or worse, a vampire feeding from his witch. His homecoming definitely won’t go down as his finest moment, and he’s certainly not prepared for his reaction to the bloodsucker.

Can Benedict see past their differences and put aside his prejudices of vampires? Or will his choice of mate cost him his pack?

This MM romance from Beth Laycock features enemies to lovers, fated mates, a vampire with an aversion to feeding on humans, a sexy man that can shift into an adorable dog, and of course a HEA. The Beta’s Vampire is the second book in the Penhul pack series and should be read in order.

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I loved this 2nd book in the series as much as the first. The characters and worldbuilding are fabulous, and I enjoyed the different take on vampires. I liked catching up with characters from the previous book in the series too.

I enjoyed how Lucien defies Benedict’s stereotypical view of vampires, and how he doesn’t like feeding on humans. I enjoyed watching them both being in total denial about their attraction to each other, and that they could be mates. I liked how Benedict’s past still affects him, and how it’s not that easy to put it behind him. The scenes where Lucien and Benedict play while Benedict is in dog form are very sweet.

Emory is wonderful. I like the familiar/witch relationship which is much more than that. He and Benedict are friends and it shows in how they are protective of each other, yet Emory doesn’t take any nonsense either. I hope he gets his own HEA, especially with the hints that it might be on the horizon. I love the name of his shop. It’s perfect. I’m hoping to see more of Quinn too. I l liked him, and Blade.

Charles and Philip are total pieces of work, and I doubt Drake’s holding onto power is going to go smoothly in future books either.

This is very much a story about tradition and power, with factions within the pack not wanting to move on from the old ways, despite it making a lot of sense. Mistrust of other species is a huge thing, and I liked that the author didn’t shy away from that. I’m curious as to Zander’s discovery, and presuming that will come out in a future book as the storyline continues. I also love the family feel of the pack, and enjoyed seeing Addison and Drake again, and how their relationship has grown since the last book.

I liked how the mate bond is written, with the different scents, and how the pack members shift form. The worldbuilding is very well thought out and it felt like I was stepping into another world that could exist alongside ours, especially with humans being unaware of the existence of shifters, witches and vampires.

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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