Centuries Ago and Very Fast, by Rebecca Ore, brings the plight of the immortal in love with a short-lived human into the light of day by removing the common vampiric explanation and instead making the longevity of her main character, time-traveling, once-caveman Vel, as much a mystery to him as everyone else. Vel’s romance with queer British policeman Thomas is believably hot, complicated, solid and imperfect. Unfortunately Thomas’ choice to leave Vel over his self-destructive behavior, though understandable, too-conveniently avoids the question of how Vel’s youth survives a romance with an aging partner. It is Vel’s relationship with the generations of his mortal family that is Ore’s most original and charming departure. Her focus on exposition through sex scenes plus Vel’s time-jumping abilities leads to some disconcerting skipping over with only the briefest exposition, but Vel’s emotional development provides a strong enough continuity to carry the reader through.