The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

If you’ve been on Twitter at all, you’ve likely heard of Oil & Water by Lara Dominick. The word of mouth has been insane, so when Lara asked me to review her book, I was a little wary. Books that get a lot of positive hype make me nervous, because I rarely like the book (or movie or video game…name a medium) as much others did.

So when I first heard of Oil & Water by Lara Dominick, I had 2 thoughts:

  1. This book is going to be like every other book that I’ve read in its genre. Books never live up to their hype, so I will probably be a little “blah” about this book.
  2. I’m pretty sure this book is a romance, so I’m dreading reading this book.

I can tell you right now, I was 100% WRONG on both those counts!

I tend not to believe hype when it comes to super popular books, because they somehow never seem to live up to my expectations. Now that I’ve read the book, I can give you 2 thoughts:

  1. This book completely lives up to the hype, and it is unlike every other book in its genre.
  2. This book is NOT a romance in the general sense of the word.

Romance books aren’t in my preferred genre for a multitude of reasons, but the main one is that they all tend to have at least one graphic sex scene in them, and that’s just not my idea of a good book. I respect those that enjoy those books, and would never attempt to judge someone for his or her tastes in reading material.

But romance books aren’t my thing. Trust me when I say, this book is so amazing in so many respects, so the romance aspect is almost a non-entity. It didn’t mean as much to the story-line as I thought, and the one sex scene was done so tastefully, and it WASN’T explicit, that I didn’t mind its being in the story.

Betrayal High Synopsis

The story in this book is told from two perspectives: Elsie and Opal.

Elsie is a human. She loves romance books, and is waiting for the day when someone will come into her life and make her feel like the girls in her favorite books. She wants that epic romance, that epic love, and that epic soulmate. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Sam, is a great guy, but she can’t describe him as epic, and she’s not even sure if she is in love with him anymore.

So when Elsie meets Cyrus, her world is turned upside down. Cyrus is everything she realizes she’s looking for, so she breaks up with Sam for the last time and lets herself fall for Cyrus.

Opal is a vampire. She was turned 10 years ago in the woods on an island, and she has no memory of her time as a human. All Opal knows is that she killed the man who brought her to the woods, and is now one of the strongest vampires on the Vampire Council. When she is kidnapped by a man named Cy, she has to figure out what she really wants from her new vampire life, and if she really wants to spend it under the thumb of her sire, Amber.

Both characters are so well-written, and so perfectly described, that I would be friends with either of them, no questions asked. I enjoyed reading about them, and I enjoyed living in their world for a little while. This book definitely has some twists and turns that make the book SO exciting, and I ranted to Lara several times on Twitter while reading this book. She laughed at me.


Just for once, i wanted to feel like the story could be my story. If such stories could really happen, that is. I wasn’t naïve or crazy; I knew reality from fantasy. But it didn’t keep me from taking pleasure in the mythology and folklore around immortal beings- gods, deities, vampires. Vampires, most of all. Go ahead, laugh at me. I have been fascinated by the undead since I was old enough to understand what a vampire was. From the moment I saw Dracula as a child (when I walked in on my parents watching it when I was definitely too young for that movie), I was captivated. When I was younger, I used to be terrified of the idea of vampires, convinced that they lived in my creepy crawl space that we never used. As I got older, I began to read young adult vampire novels- the ones that now covered my bookshelf. They spoke of vampires with souls, who try to be good who are appealing, friendly, and, in many cases hot as hell. I watched movies and TV shows devoted to the heartthrobs without heartbeats religiously. I had yet to find anything to make me doubt the existence of creatures outside the realm of what most consider normal or natural. Having always believed in a higher power the idea of superior supernatural or preternatural beings was nothing strange to me. I harbored no uncertainty that there existed things I could not see or understand. Nearly every religion in the world, my own included, speaks of evil creatures that live solely for the destruction of humankind, and of protectors of the human race. Even humans could be considered our own enemies- I don’t know if there even exists another species that destroys each other and themselves with such enthusiasm. But I hoped that someday I would happen upon something that would help me feel less…Commonplace.

I follow Lara on Twitter, and I can tell you this: The person behind the story is just as amazing as the story itself. Her reasons for becoming an author is such a cute story, and I loved hearing about it! When the pandemic hit, Lara was left with a bunch of spare time, like many of us were. She was trying to decide what to do with her time, when her husband suggested she write that story she was always talking about. She wrote Oil & Water in about 4 months, and published on Amazon. The rest is history. She marketed on Twitter, using an approach that I use myself: Market yourself first, then market your book.

Lara spent her time making friends with people, talking with them, and letting them get to know her as a person. When they found her as awesome as I did, she would approach a blogger and ask them to read her book. Since the book is amazing, the word of mouth marketing has been incredible, and Lara is now working on a sequel.

I know Lara is going to read this review, so if I got any of these facts wrong, please correct me!


My Favorite Things About This Book

  • The description of Cyrus’ eyes. The blue-green color sounds amazing!
  • Elsie’s human-ness. She wants so badly to be “epic,” but she isn’t afraid to confront her human side, and live her life.
  • Opal. I love vampires, and while Opal isn’t the best person, she doesn’t shy from her mistakes either. She has the courage to be herself, regardless of what others think.

All in all, this book is amazing, it completely lives up to the hype, and you should drop everything and read it right now. I managed to read it in just a couple days, despite the many interruptions I handle on a daily basis. Oil & Water is an easy read, without a lot of “fancy” language that you might find in other vampire books (looking at you, Anne Rice). I cannot say enough good things about this book, or about the author. I have found that I enjoy a book more if I know the author and consider the author a friend. I am proud to be able to call Lara a friend, and hope that you will take time to get to know her, and read her book.

Have you read this book? Do you agree with my assessment? Let me know in the comments below! Share this review with your friends so they can join in the discussion! You can also find Lara on Twitter @LaraAnnDominick, so be sure to follow her!

Be sure to check out some of my other reviews too! Just click on the “Book Reviews” category to the right.

Until Next Time, Bookworms!

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