Oil and Water

Fiction - New Adult
432 Pages
Reviewed on 06/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A graduate of Rider University, Lara Ann Dominick now makes her home in the Tampa area. Her love of the Gulf Coast and its beauty inspired much of the imagery found in her writing. Lara is a fitness enthusiast whose love of running can be found in her work and on social media.

She is proud to present her inaugural novel, Oil and Water. She has spent most of her life enjoying supernatural and paranormal literature and is pleased to showcase her own take on the myths and legends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jose Cornelio for Readers' Favorite

In Oil and Water, Lara Ann Dominick presents a female protagonist that is as real as she is fun to follow. Elsie Taylor lives a normal life, but she’s always had fantasies of embracing danger and doing something out of the ordinary. At twenty-eight, she is still engrossed in vampire stories. This ache for danger seems to recede when she meets and falls in love with Cy, but it is not long before she finds herself involved with two powerful vampires, Opal and her maker, Amber. Amber and Opal haven’t communicated for a very long time, but Amber is coming back to her life and she has a plan that will cement a connection between Elsie and Opal, and her plan is fraught with more danger than Elsie has ever fantasized about while reading her vampire stories.

For someone who’s loved vampire stories since the days of Vampire Diaries and Twilight, I found this novel exceptional. I had the same satisfaction I get when I read Christopher Pike. The characters are gorgeous and the idea of danger is written about in an exciting manner. The writing is strong and the author uses it to lure the reader into the psyche of the protagonist, and as they turn from page to page, the surprises just keep piling up. Lara Ann Dominick’s gift for plot comes out strongly in Oil and Water, a title that makes for a great canvas that readers will enjoy. I particularly loved the first-person narrative voice and how the author uses it to get to the depths of the characters. This novel has great prose, wonderful characters, and a fascinating plot.

Romuald Dzemo

Oil and Water by Lara Ann Dominick is a wonderful story that is brilliantly written. The story introduces readers to a smart and sassy character, Elsie Taylor. She is short, athletic, and curvy, a character who, while being well connected to life, feels fascinated by the fantasy world she reads about in books, and her love for vampires is exemplified in the kinds of books she reads. She craves an adventure that will take her from her immediate world as she knows it. Then along comes Cy, the new boy in town, who quickly sweeps her off her feet as she falls head-over-heels for him. But when Opal, the strongest vampire alive, comes into the picture, everything changes. Opal’s maker, Amber, is coming for her after many years, and the plan she puts in place will connect the ruthless Opal with Elsie in unfathomable ways. The stage is set for a life-and-death game, and the consequences will amaze readers.

Oil and Water is not your usual vampire story. I enjoyed the way the author gives depth to the story, creating characters that readers will love. The opening pages got me, and just like the protagonist, I found myself engrossed in the story. The game of power is well-written, as is the role that Opal plays in the self-discovery process of the protagonist. While it has a great appeal to fans of the supernatural, this novel is an equally great story for readers who enjoy adventure. Lara Ann Dominick’s prose is as strong and beautiful as the story she tells and I enjoyed the way her characters are interconnected, and the stakes she weaves for them. It is fast-paced and packed with steamy action.

K.C. Finn

Oil and Water is a work of fiction in the new adult paranormal romance and interpersonal relationships sub-genres and was penned by author Lara Ann Dominick. Written for adult readers only, the work contains graphic scenes of violence, the use of explicit language, graphic depiction of sex scenes including scenes of sexual violence. Our twin protagonists are Elsie Taylor, a young woman with a passion for vampire novels who wants more out of her drab life, and Opal, an actual vampire who craves isolation and ultimate fear from her victims. But Opal’s ancient sire Amber is about to stir up trouble for both of these women, with plenty of heartaches and struggle along the way.

Fans of complex new adult paranormal romances will really enjoy the many characters and twisting plots that surround the romances and intrigues within this tale. Author Lara Ann Dominick has crafted a fully-realized tale that goes beyond the basic tropes of the genre, delivering dark surprises and sudden twists of the plot that are both satisfying and unexpected. The character work is stellar and holds the novel together at its core, presenting us with relatable heroines who have their own strengths but are flawed and hard-done-by in the tale so that we can root for them to rise up and own their power. What results is a lavish and graphic dark adventure for a bold readership, and overall I’d certainly recommend Oil and Water to fans of vampire paranormal romance and those who want genuine horror overtones in their fantasy fiction.

K.J. Simmill

In Lara Ann Dominick's Oil and Water, Elsie wanted everything to be a little more. More exciting, more dangerous, more passionate. She wanted a life straight out of those paranormal romance novels she loved to read. But Sam, her on-again-off-again boyfriend was a long shot from the excitement she craved. When her path crossed with Cy's she found herself captivated, wrapped up in a romance she could never have imagined. It was everything her books had promised and so much more. The problem was she soon discovered that the fiction was a little too close to reality and the danger far more than she had expected. Cy's ex-girlfriend, Amber, is intent on destroying him, and anyone who gets in the path of her revenge, and her scheme is deeper, more twisted than anyone could imagine.

Lara Ann Dominick's Oil and Water is a great addition to the paranormal romance genre. Danger, betrayal, and excitement are a constant companion in a world where the supernatural live within the shadows under the rule of their council, answering to them for any missteps that could threaten their existence. I enjoyed getting to know Elsie and her friends and understanding their group dynamic. The interactions are smooth, real, and everything you would expect. Humour, tension, heartbreak, and secrets weave their way through the group, threatening to destroy them in the wake of Elsie's new relationship and her past mistakes. The growth of her character as she emerged from a relationship where they had both settled to one which took her breath away was great to watch.

But this tale is not all romance. There is a dark side to the vampire world which Cy is part of, and his ex-girlfriend Amber has her own schemes. Alongside Opal, the cruel, heartless killer out for power and herself, she is everything Elsie is not, and wants to claim unfathomable power. Written in a shifting first-person perspective from Elsie to Opal, you are given unique insights into the characters' mindsets and are able to see their complete contrast. The two are like oil and water, and yet in order to save themselves, they must come together and find a balance or risk being destroyed. Gripping, entertaining, and moving, this paranormal romance has more than one surprise in store.

Tammy Ruggles

Oil and Water by Lara Ann Dominick is a vampire lover's delight. It's about an intelligent, modern woman named Elsie who loves the supernatural novel and its tropes, but her fantasy life becomes reality in an unexpected, entertaining way. Set in the club/dating scene, the world of vampires comes to life for Elsie when she meets Cy, a super interesting character, but this isn't your average vampire romance story. There are adversaries and vampire secrets that Elsie has to deal with, and they have to deal with her. The characters of Opal and Amber are self-contained and are essential to the story. This isn't a Twilight rehash, although some readers may be tempted to compare the two. Dominick's vampire work stands on its own, and you will find yourself breezing through this addictive story with the desire to see how it all plays out.

The characters have clearly defined agendas and merge at crossroads in a compelling way. Elsie yearns for something new and different in her life, and she gets her wish and then some. Besides an entertaining story, Dominick delivers some depth to the characters and vampire themes, combining classic, familiar ideas with fresh, new ones. What Dominick does is put a new twist on the vampire story. Let's face it. Vampire stories are a dime a dozen, so it takes a special story to break the mold. The secret to Dominick's story lies in the characters. Characters can drive a story toward a satisfying conclusion, which is true of this novel, but this work may not be for those who don't care for alternating POVs. In this book, it adds dimension. Oil and Water by Lara Ann Dominick isn't the average vampire tale, so if you're looking for something different in a vampire novel with surprises thrown into a mix of mature sexual situations, strong language, and necessary violence, this is it.