Title: Only One Coffin
Author: AJ Truman
Genre: MM Vampire-Vampire Romance
HEA or HFN: HEA
I’m stuck sharing a coffin with the world’s perkiest vampire. This vacation is going to suck.
After centuries of eternal existence, and still mourning the loss of my lover to vicious slayers, I needed a few days of peaceful solitude at the Hotel Draugr.
But thanks to a double-booking mishap, I’m forced to share my coffin with Kilroy, a freshly bitten vampire who loves his new afterlife as much as he loves hanging ten. My unexpected roommate is determined to show me how “totally awesome” being a vampire can be.
Doesn’t he know vampires don’t do sunshine of any kind?
Through epic snowball fights and midnight meetups at vampire speakeasies, the ice around my not-technically-beating heart begins to melt. And during days sharing our too-small coffin, one part of me has trouble staying dead.
Maybe this budding relationship has teeth…that is, if we can evade the slayers closing in on the hotel.
Only One Coffin is a grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity, paranormal MM romcom featuring a 300-year age gap, coffin cuddling, and a vampire bro who wears flip flops no matter how cold it is outside.
I put my hand on his and massaged it with my thumb. I was a little blood-drunk and a little bisexual, but something else compelled me, a deep need to let Magnus know how grateful I was to be here with him.
I really enjoyed this one!
It was a light, easy, altogether fun read. It’s extremely tropey, but in a very good way. Right in the title, there’s a big clue: the novel predominately uses an “only one bed” trope, except with vampires (who, in this universe, tend to sleep in coffins). The heroes are both staying at a remote vampires-only resort, and they get double-booked into a room with only one coffin. Unfortunately, the hotel is completely full, so they have no choice but to make the best of the situation and share a room. This is made even more amusing, because grumpy and uptight 300-year-old Magnus could not be more different than his twenty-five-year-old sunshine roommate, Kilroy, the laid-back surfer-boy-turned-vampire who has only been undead for about three months and always manages to see the positive in every situation.
So, already, we’ve got three different tropes at work, right there in the setup of the story. We’ve got the aforementioned “only one bed” trope, a sunshine-grumpy trope, and a substantial age difference between the characters. There’s also a bi-awakening trope at work here, because before he became a vampire, Kilroy was strictly “ladies only” but since having to share a coffin with Magnus, he’s been having lots of new and interesting thoughts about men.
This was a fast read, and it was quite fun from start to finish. However, the author still managed to do a lot of world-building in a relatively small amount of space (the story is about 175 pages long). The vampire lore was fascinating and definitely played strongly into the plot, which was nice to see. I never felt confused about what the “rules” of the world were, as they were clearly explained very early on.
One thing I didn’t expect was that it ended up being a little poignant in places. Don’t let this scare you off—it’s still a fun read from start to finish. It was just a little bit emotional here and there. Magnus has been hurt very badly in the past and we get to see that Kilroy might just be the vampire to help him come to terms with his grief and move beyond it. This was artfully done, in my opinion. There’s just enough real emotional investment for the happy ending to be a payoff, without dragging the story into maudlin territory (which, given the circumstances, totally COULD have happened but didn’t).
The latter half of this book definitely had some very spicy moments.
This was sometimes even a little over the top, considering that the vampires in this universe can easily hang out on the ceiling, levitate, and hang upside-down like bats for prolonged periods of time. The furniture in the room is also bolted into place because the hotel owners are well aware that vampires tend to be both frisky and also super strong.
I’m just throwing those little world-building details out there for you so you can see what kinds of steamy hijinks you might be in for.
But…all that said, this romance was still on the sweeter end of the spectrum. The steaminess wasn’t really the point—it was fun that it was there, don’t get me wrong. But I was definitely sticking around more for the budding romance between the characters.
I didn’t really have anything I didn’t like about this story. Some people might hate on the fact that it was short (and it was), but I personally think it was the perfect length to tell this particular story.
Definitely go read this if you’re looking for a lighthearted and fun MM paranormal romance.
You can read for free on Kindle Unlimited here.