Payback - Jordan Castillo Price The 5 stars is for the series in its entirety (there's 10 books). The first book is a rocky ride and the shortest in the series; it serves more as a prequel and introduction to Bill and Michael. Not one of my favorites in the series (though I do love each and every book). I would have stopped at this one except I was intrigued by the reviews for the continuing books and decided to stick it out. I'm so glad I gave it a shot! This series is definitely in my top 5 of all time. Each book gets even better and better; I was definitely hooked and found myself purchasing the entire series in just 2 days.
The relationship between Wild Bill and Michael is not your typical feel-good romance. They are each plagued with their own dark pasts, guilt, self-doubts, and regrets. Although Wild Bill is a vampire, his genuine remorse for his transgressions as a predator presents him in a more human light than Michael. Throughout the series, as Wild Bill starts gaining a stronger appreciation of humanity, Michael is slowly losing his. He and Wild Bill are both each other's pillars in an otherwise lonely world that has been nothing but harsh to them.
I loved the alternating POVs in each book; I enjoyed reading from Wild Bill's POV especially, as he is just so attractive (think James Dean!)and complex of a character, and it was enjoyable to be able to perceive his absolute and unwavering love for Michael.
One thing that I love about this series is that each book has a pervading sense of bleakness and loneliness at the idea of Michael and Wild Bill traversing the country in their Red Van. Their relationship defies all odds and expectations (after all, a long time relationship between a remorseful vampire and a self proclaimed vampire killer seems hopeless and doomed), yet their strong connection to each other enables them to stay together despite the obstacles.
There is just something about these two that is so addicting to read about and so easy to get lost into. Don't be deterred by the first book, I consider it as merely a prequel; once you finish the 2nd book, you will find yourself voraciously thirsting for more and more of Wild Bill and Michael. Enjoy.

5/21/13- reread...for like the umpteenth time!