Author: AJ Rose
Publisher: Voodoo Lilly Press
Length: 110,000 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary BDSM Mystery Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sexy to Story
Keywords/Tags: Series, Sequel, Cops, Psychologists, PTSD, Serial Killer, Family, Child Abduction & Abuse, Obsession, Paparazzi!, HEA
Rating: Loved It!
Reviewed by Sadonna
This is a sequel to Power Exchange and as such contains quite a few spoilers for that book. It is NOT recommended to read these books out of sequence.
Everywhere Detective Gavin DeGrassi looks he’s reminded of his attack by the Breath Play Killer. It’s in the house he lives in with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. It’s in the sympathetic yet pitying looks he receives from his fellow detectives when he returns to the force after a year-long hiatus. It’s in the suffocating coddling of his entire family, and the relentless reporter demanding an exclusive of his ordeal.
Most of all, it’s in his lack of submission to Ben, who isn’t convinced Gavin’s recovered enough to trust the power exchange between them.
The miraculous recovery of two teen boys from a twisted kidnapper gives him heart, and Gavin’s determined to prove he can handle anything despite increasing strain between him and Ben, painful nightmares, and panic when anyone touches him.
But his next case is too close for comfort: a friend and colleague found raped and murdered in a fate chillingly similar to what could have been his own, and this killer isn’t stopping with one cop. As the body count rises and taunting souvenirs are being hand-delivered to Gavin, he faces a frustrating lack of leads, a crushing need to prove himself, and a sinking suspicion the imprisoned kidnapper’s reach is further than originally thought. A miasma of uncertainty and fear threaten to suffocate him when he asks a question with which he’s overwhelmingly familiar: what happens when a victim is pushed too far?
Safeword begins about a year after the events of Power Exchange. Gavin and Ben are still together and Gavin has just returned to work after a year’s disability leave. He’s been through intensive therapy with Ben’s partner Laura and he and Ben are also seeing her as a couple. Things seem to be going OK with his return to work and his partner, Myah, who is now engaged to his brother Cole. While Gavin is still dealing with some residual anxiety, he is able to work effectively even when his first case back turns out to be the murder of a fellow police officer. And it’s not just any officer, but a colleague of Gavin and Myah’s who broke a big case involving two abducted teens and the man who was holding them hostage – one for a number of years. This case may or may not be related to his murder.
As Gavin and Myah are investigating the case, there doesn’t seem to be any real motive or potential suspects but Gavin can’t help feeling there is some connection between the murder and the victim’s last big case. While there are no real leads in the case, another cop is murdered and there are some potentially disturbing similarities between the murders and some coincidences that can’t be ignored. This of course brings more stress to Myah and particularly Gavin who is still dealing with his own recovery and anxiety. The other annoying issue is the reappearance of Gavin’s former partner Trent, who it turns out is still with Gavin’s ex-wife. Trent has done nothing but bad-mouth Gavin since he was run out of their precinct after being caught in bed with Victoria, Gavin’s ex. He’s a complete pain in the ass, but it turns out that he has a really disgusting skeleton in his closet that he doesn’t want public, so he tows the line – at least being civil. And only for a little while.
Things have not gotten back to normal between Ben and Gavin in their sex life and while they haven’t given up getting back to their Dom/Sub relationship, things are moving much more slowly than Gavin would like. However, Ben is unwilling to risk Gavin’s psyche any more than it already has been compromised. They are continuing to work on their relationship and Gavin’s limits, but he has to push Ben to get any forward movement. This is further complicated by a third cop murder and the murderer’s fixation on Gavin. Regardless of what precautions Gavin and Ben and the force take to protect him, there continue to be breaches in Gavin’s security. Needless to say, Gavin once again being in the crosshairs of a killer takes a toll on him and Ben.
If you read my review of the previous book, Power Exchange, you know that I was somewhat disappointed in the mystery and particularly with the resolution of the case and the identification of the murderer. No such complaints with this book. The murder mystery is really well done with some surprising twists and turns and some good police work by Gavin and Myah along with another nail biter of a climax. There are plenty of villains to hate in this one and some pretty good payback as well, which really did give me some perverse satisfaction unlike the end of the first book 😉
The other central story of this book is the ongoing love story of Gavin and Ben. I though the first book was incredible in describing the progression of their relationship. It was incredibly intimate and intense and hot and so well written. This part of the story in this book does not have that same level of intensity, but it is still really well written and very intimate. Ben and Gavin are still trying to find their way back to themselves and each other in the aftermath of their ordeal in Power Exchange. They are working through all of the issues together and they are incredibly committed to making things better and getting back to where they were before. There are some really hard moments for them in this story but the one fundamental factor that prevails over everything else is their love for each other and what they are willing to do to fight for that love.
I really loved this book – so much so that I went back and reread Power Exchange again because I couldn’t get enough of Gavin and Ben. I don’t know if A.J. Rose is planning to write more about these two, but I’d definitely read it!
Posted by Sadonna in 101-125k, 6 LOVE IT!, Authors P-R, BDSM / Kink, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Mystery, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: AJ Rose, Child Abuse, Cops, Family, HEA, Kidnapping/Abduction, Paparazzi!, Power Exchange, Psychologist, PTSD, Sequel, Serial Killer, Series, Voodoo Lily Press
Author: Annmarie McKenna
Length: 30,500 words, 113 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance Mystery
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: Cops, Injury, Assassination Attempts, Memory Loss, Recovery, Insta-love, Kittens!, HFN
Rating: So So
Reviewed by Sadonna
There’s more than one way to guard a body.
In the year since his car flew off a cliff, Detective Brennan McGuire has struggled to relearn the simplest tasks—like speaking without a stutter—and even more with trying to fill the gaping holes in his memory.
But when his daily visit to a local coffee shop turns into a melee of flying bullets, Brennan’s instincts take control.
So much for Keegan Monroe’s first day off after a long undercover assignment. One minute he’s relaxing over coffee, the next his cheek is kissing concrete. Question is, is the gorgeous man on top of him his savior, or the one who took a potshot at his head?
As Keegan shepherds the too-quiet, too-skinny Brennan through the investigation, attraction flares into nights of white-hot passion. But with each scorching encounter, more and more of Brennan’s memories shake loose…and it becomes clear someone doesn’t want him putting those pieces together.
With Keegan’s oath to protect and serve putting him squarely in the crosshairs of a murderer, now the question is, who is protecting whom?
The blurb for this story pretty much tells it all and gives away the twist to the plot. Brennan has suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident that he can’t remember. He was a police officer before the injury, but now he can barely order a drink and pay for it at the local coffee shop. While on his daily therapy exercise, he spies a shooter and lunges at the hot guy he thinks is about to get shot and in doing so, becomes a suspect. Somehow the police take forever to figure out that something is wrong with him (duh). Once they realize that he was an officer and that he is still recovering from the accident, they STILL think he might be involved.
Keegan begins to doubt that Brennan is involved and has him review mugshots in an attempt to identify the shooter. Keegan is convinced that this somehow has to do with the case he has just completed. As the investigation continues and he witnesses Brennan’s flashes of memory, he begins to suspect that something else is going on. During the second day of the investigation we meet Brennan’s aunt – who is a hoot – maybe my second favorite character in this story 🙂
Brennan and Keegan are definitely attracted and even though he kind of feels like maybe he’s taking advantage, Keegan just can’t seem to keep his hands off. Amazingly during sex, Brennan doesn’t even stutter and seems sure of himself and what he wants. Brennan’s old instincts seem to be surfacing more and more as the case continues which is a good thing for both of them. Keegan liked the Brennan he sees and wants to help him remember what happened and not just because he’s trying to figure out what’s going on with the assassination attempts.
I really wanted to like this book so much more! The blurb was intriguing and I liked both MCs – especially Brennan. The problem for me was the rushed, compressed time frame of this story – it’s literally two and a half days and the MCs are saying “I love you.” Also, I knew from the blurb and the story pretty much what was going to be the outcome and who the bad guy was. I hate when that happens! This would have been a much better story if it had been about three times the word count and we got a fully fleshed out relationship built between the MCs. Instead they spend one day together and they are “in love.” Not saying it can’t happen, but it’s just not that satisfying. I’ve read other books by this author and really liked them and there is nothing inherently wrong with this one. I just needed more relationship development to feel like I got the whole story.
Posted by Sadonna in 16-40k, 3 So So, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Mystery, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: Amnesia, Animals, Annmarie McKenna, Cops, HFN, Insta-Love, Physical Injury/Trauma, Samhain Publishing
Title: The Man I Know
Author: Dale Chase
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Historical Western Erotica
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, Old West, On the Lam, Secrets & Lies, Closeted, Cops/Deputy, Established Relationship, Train Robbery, Multiple Partners, Cowboys
Rating: So So
Gene Hardy’s lover, deputy Bud Silvey, is a good man. An honest man. A man of the law. Or is he?
When a detective rides into town claiming that Bud is in fact the wanted outlaw Trace Warren, Gene begins to look at his lover in a new light and question the man he thought he knew. Because for an outlaw, where better to hide than behind a badge?
What secrets is Bud keeping? Is he the courageous deputy he claims to be, or a train robber on the run? And is his love for Gene real… or just another lie?
I was surprised that when I got into this story there was maybe a little less sex than I expected and a lot more plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of sex! And Gene has sex with a few different guys. But sex is also used as a tool in the book, yet still as the main attraction that I expected from an erotica short. I enjoy that because erotica is all about the sex, but having a coherent plot to string it all together and to manipulate the sex into certain scenes and setting with an actual reason for it spices up the story a bit. It makes it sexier, I think, because your brain is involved a little with the action as well 😉
Gene is a rancher in this Old West type setting, which is reminiscent of sometime in the 19th century, though not explicit. He’s been seeing the Deputy in the town for going on two years now. Bud is a good guy, sexy, and known around town as an honest man with a good heart and a strong body always around to help the town and it’s people. Gene and Bud first meet when Bud moves to town and quickly grow to be good friends. What Gene first started to feel as only lustful attraction to his friend grew during their first year as friends to be more of a general interest and like in Bud. Yet, it isn’t until a year into their friendship that they both finally admit that they’ve been keeping secret their feelings for one another and turn their friendship into something more.
But they’re both men in a small town and while some might look the other way at a little play, it’s still expected that two men not take up together permanently. So they, like the several other men in the town that they know like to play around with each other, go about seeing each other and living separate. They allow themselves to see other people, like when Bud is out of town on his Deputy business. That’s how Gene gets to know John Bullard. It starts with looks and a subtle cruising and ends with them going at each other several times while Bud is out of town. But John seems overly interested in his relationship with Bud, and it isn’t until Gene fucks the information out of him that he learns that John is a lawman himself, on the search for an elusive outlaw named Trace Warren. John seems certain that he’s found his man — Bud Silvey. And no matter how much Gene wants to deny it, certain things add up. He even looks like him. And if it is him, does Gene care? And will he help him out if he finds out that Bud has lied about his past?
I’d definitely recommend this short story if you’re looking for an erotica story with cowboys (of the old type!). The sex is really hot and I enjoyed the little mystery and plotting that Gene goes through. Having Gene have real feelings for Bud made this more interesting to me, even though I wouldn’t quite consider it a romance, there is a love story in there between the two. It’s really hard for me to give erotica stories higher than a So So rating because the only real thing for me to judge on is the sex. It’s a different rating system than romance stories, but I sometimes have a hard time judging them differently. Still, I enjoyed this one and I liked the little bit of plot there that moved the story along. It’s worth a Pretty Good rating and worth a read if you’re looking for something hot with lots of sex 🙂
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, Authors A-C, Erotica, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Historical, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often, up to 15k, Western Tags: Closeted, Cops, Cowboys, Dale Chase, Existing Relationship, Multiple/Other Partners, Old West, On the Lam, Secrets & Lies, Short Story, Wilde City Press, Wilde City Press Erotica Week
Title: Trucker Fucker
Author: Barry Lowe
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Charlie Harding Presents, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, Voyeurism, Public Sex, Anonymous Sex, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Truckers, Artist (Tag), Cops, Blackmail, Straight Men/Bi-Curious, Twinks, Gangbang, Multiple Partners, May/December, Bears, Bikers, Daddies, Obese, Cum Slut
Rating: So So
Jez Hereford is the biggest bull mother trucker that hauls ass up and down the east coast until the cops book him for drug possession—he keeps to schedule with the help of speed. The bleeding liberal judge gives him a choice: his license for six months or play mentor to a street feral who confesses a passion for trucks. But Jez is about to learn it’s not trucks the feral craves, but what the big rig drivers have between their legs.
Atom’s predilection for what big burly men have between their legs threatens Jez’s peace of mind until Atom uses his sexual prowess on highway cops. But what will he do when he’s threatened by a mob of horny bikers?
I have to admit, I have a bit of an addiction to Barry Lowe erotica stories. I suppose… it’s my secret guilty pleasure. Barry Lowe writes the dirtiest, the raunchiest, the sometimes nastiest erotica and very often his stories seem to have a cheating kink. This one doesn’t, thankfully, because I swear I’m masochistic about those. I want to read them even though they tend to bother me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me!
But I recently noticed that the place Barry Lowe used to publish, loveyoudivine alterotica, has seemed to shut it’s doors. Normally I hear about these kinds of things (love the gossip!) but I’ve been out of the loop lately. So I have no idea why they’ve disappeared, but all of Barry’s stories with them (which have to be over 100) have disappeared as well, even from Amazon (except in print format, if you really want them). So I was really happy to see that Barry was now publishing with Wilde City Press. And I knew that I had to read this new short story, especially with a name like Trucker Fucker. That promises to be dirty!
Read the blurb. This author and this story is less about if you want to read what it’s about and more about if you like the style of writing or not. So, read the blurb. It’s pretty obvious that the story is full of sex and raunchiness and that the writing displays this, although thankfully Barry tends to keep the numerous euphemisms to a bare minimum (no 100 slightly different repeats of fuck rod). Nevertheless, there is a bare-bones plot here. Jez is a trucker that is caught with speed (something all the truckers do to stay awake on long hauls) and the judge offers him a deal instead of jail time — for six months, Jez has to chaperone and mentor a young guy named Atom who got caught tagging his art all over town and whom the judge says showed an interest in trucking. To his mistake, Atom actually replied to his question of what he was interested in, Truckerrs. Jez finds that out when not an hour into their first drive Atom is trying to suck his cock. He makes no mistake about it and loves being called a slut. But no matter how many times he sneaks away and comes back from other trucks at their stops smelling of cum and looked pleasantly mussed, Jez holds out. He’s straight, he reminds himself.
it isn’t until they spend more time together that Jez starts to care about Atom, looking out for him when he’s being hounded by groups of men looking for action. And no matter how much he tries, no matter how many guys are chasing Atom down like sex zombies, no matter how underhanded they are in trying to get Atom to themselves, Jez can’t help but be aroused watching Atom love it all and want some of Atom himself.
If you made it through that, then you might actually like this story! Or you’re repulsed 😉 Either way, this story is FULL of sex, one on one, blowjobs, gangbangs, spit-roasting, blackmail by cops for a gangbang in the station… you’ll be entertained, for sure.
This is the reason that I like reading Barry’s stories. I go into them almost laughing at how ridiculous Barry has made this story and then I start to get pulled into it and by the time I’m finished I actually found it pretty hot. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
But, this is for pretty hardcore erotica readers! I had to add some pretty interesting tags for this one, LOL.
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, Authors J-L, Contemporary, Erotica, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Sex Freq 5 - Over and Over Again!, up to 15k Tags: Anonymous Sex, Artists, Barry Lowe, Bears, Bi-curious, Bikers, Blackmail, Charlie Harding Presents, Cops, Cum Slut, Daddies, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Gangbang, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, May/December, Multiple/Other Partners, Public Sex, Short Story, Straight Men, Trucker Fucker, Truckers, Twinks, Voyeurism, Wilde City Press, Wilde City Press Erotica Week
Title: The Leather Bar Mural
Author: Ewan Creed
Publisher: Wilde City
Length: 12k words
Genre: m/m Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 5 – Over and Over
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Charlie Harding Presents, Wilde City Press Erotica Week, a bit of BDSM, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, Voyeurism, Public Sex, Kink, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, 1970s, Recent Historical, Magical Realism, Paranormal Twist, Anonymous Sex, Erotic Art, Cops, Sailors, Multiple Partners
Rating: So So
In 1975 both gay and sexual liberation were in full swing. Alex loved the sexually charged atmosphere of the leather bar where decadence was in full swing. Anything might happen there and something usually did. One night something happened which he hadn’t quite bargained for and Alex was transported beyond the walls of the bar and into a dark carnal wonderland of sexual abandon. In this shadowed world the men of his fantasies prowled the shifting maze of alleyways seeking sexual gratification in whatever form it appeared. Follow Alex on his journey into the mural and into a world of perpetual desire and fulfillment, a world that can trap a man for all eternity as surely as a spider’s web can trap its prey.
Alex feels the sexual liberation in the air and he’s always been happy with casual hookups. Why conform to heterosexual sexual dynamics like monogamy when he’s so happy having sex with who he pleases and then moving on? That is, until he meets Bill. They have a wonderful time together and to Alex’s surprise, outside of bed as well as in it. Then, after two weeks, Alex finds himself back in the same place, single and alone, but with his perspective completely changed about relationships.
So in a move to cheer himself up and step back into his old life of sexual debauchery and freedom, he heads to his favorite leather bar. While there, he considers the mural in the bar in a way he hasn’t before. The sexy sailor, leatherman and farm boy seem almost real…
This rather surreal story didn’t give me any clues as to it’s final destination. In retrospect, the first part of the story is a setup for what will come later, but as I read it I assumed that this would be a regular gay romp, albeit full of leather, darkroom orgies and well-maintained mustaches. That’s what it seemed like at first, until Alex starts to talk about Bill and work through his own issues with sexual liberation and his — perhaps shamefully buried — desire for companionship and monogamy. The failure of that ideal, when it seemed so impossible in the first place, makes Alex want to feel utterly fulfilled with casual sex, especially in the face of Bill’s post-Alex activities. It seemed to me anyway, that in such a moment of seeming isolation among the crowd, Alex finds his own fantasy in the mural. And his investigation of that shows him pleasure in what he could never feel in the real world.
Okay, seriously though, all analysis aside, this is a pretty hot story as long as you’re into some real raunch and dirty sex and multiple, multiple partners. This is pure erotica, which makes the setting all the more appropriate because besides the magical realism/fantasy aspect of the story, the best place for pure, dirty, animalistic, sex is this time period and setting (though it’s not ever specifically mentioned, the feeling of the story made me imagine the 70s Chelsea Piers in NYC, or somewhere else known for large congregations of public gay sex). Also, though he has a few encounters himself, I found it interesting that Alex has a pretty large voyeuristic streak. Most of the sex in the story doesn’t involve him, except as an active observer.
I like to read an erotica story like this every now and again. Quite a lot of the gay erotica you’ll find online seems to feel that the raunchier the better, but I appreciated that while this story didn’t skimp on the dirty sex it did provide an interesting plot. But yes, the plot does follow the sex, not the other way around 😉
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, Authors A-C, Erotica, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Sex Freq 5 - Over and Over Again!, up to 15k Tags: 1970s, a bit of BDSM, Anonymous Sex, Charlie Harding Presents, Cops, Dirty/Pig/Raunch, Erotic Art, Ewan Creed, Kink, m/m/m scenes, m/m/m+, magical realism, Multiple/Other Partners, Paranormal Twist, Public Sex, Recent Historical, Sailors, Short Story, Voyeurism, Wilde City Press
Title: Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Author: Ari McKay
Length: 123,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Co-Authored, Vampires, Shifters, On the Lam, Past Trauma/Abuse, Cops (FBI), Friends to Lovers, Best Friends, NYC, Paris, Artists (Photographer), Grief, Second Chances, Sexy to the 999s, Machiavellian Bad Guy, Villain, Mythology
Rating: Really Liked It
Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.
Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.
These two authors have been one of my favorite writing teams for a while now, and I knew that I wanted to review this book before I’d even heard of it or read the blurb. So when I finally did read the blurb I was even more exited, especially for such a long book. And finishing it took me a couple of days, mostly just because I wanted to enjoy it, so I spent my time reading it totally for pleasure and enjoying every twist and turn.
Evan St. John and Will Trask have a tumultuous past. Roommates their Freshman year of college at Columbia, they soon grow to be friends. Evan is openly gay and an art photography student, always carrying around his camera, while Will is a manly jock through and through. For reasons that Evan never understands, Will sticks by him and the bullying he was experiencing dwindles when people start to realize that Will will aways have his back. As they grow closer Evan starts to understand Will better, including Will’s White Knight Complex, his need to protect and care for those he loves, to an almost fanatical, save-the-day to-the-rescue level.
Their dynamic changes when Evan’s sister is dying of cancer and their relationship grows during the emotional period — Evan is distraught and barely keeping himself afloat while trying to understand and come to terms with her turn for the worse. And Will picks up the slack, in more ways than expected. But the grief sends Evan running to Paris and three years go by, where Evan becomes a famous fashion photographer taken on by The House of Nadasdy, run by famous and infamous Elizabeth Nadasdy, and Will becomes an agent with the FBI.
We’re first introduced to Evan in Like the Night as he escapes Paris during the day to fly to New York City and seek help from Will. He’s a newly made vampire under the gruesome and tyrannical rule of Elizabeth Nadasdy, a modern day remnant of her famous human days as Elizabeth of Bathory. Above all (except herself), she loves beauty and hoards a collection of “children” all turned by her for their extraordinary beauty, which she believes deserves to be preserved for eternity. Evan was a prize for her, and his rejection of her extraordinary “gift” is tantamount to the ultimate betrayal, something she relishes punishing him for. But Elizabeth doesn’t expect the trouble it will take to find and deal with Evan. With him, someone whose beauty hides his intelligence and cunning, are a group of allies who seek one common goal: the eradication of Elizabeth Nadasdy. And of course Evan has Will, his White Knight, ready to stand in front of any threat to his best friend.
I really just loved this book. I took a while to read it because it is long, but it is also totally packed with plot and, just about everything under the sun, making the book seem even longer than it is. There’s an economy to the writing which gives you SO much story for just the first book of a series that it gave me the time and the opportunity to really sink into the story. What came through in this story most strongly for me was the pervasive mood of fear and impending doom. This is all because of the fact that Elizabeth is built up to such supervillain status that she’s made to be almost omniscient, with unlimited power. Add to this a connection between vampires and their sire, or maker, and the fact that Elizabeth could peek in on Evan at any moment and even make him do things or spy on his relationship with Will, or their planned resistance of her make the story suffused with tension.
I found the villainous characters in this novel to be quite interesting. We have Elizabeth who is the typical diabolical character. She relishes in the pain of others and not only causes death and despair because it gets her something (money, fame, power, etc.) but also because she enjoys the suffering of others. She firmly believes that she’s more worthy than anyone else to have the status that she does because of her beauty and the vision she has for the future. But, sometimes diabolical is boring. No matter how outrageously cruel Elizabeth can be, she’s still a character that doesn’t take too much effort to understand. My favorite villainous character is her daughter Anna, who I suspect will become a crucial and central character to the future books. Anna is raised in the shadow of her diabolical mother. She’s always second best, but raised to revel in the same cruelties as her mother. She’s made a vampire both because of her beauty which is similar to her mother’s, but also as a gift from her. But hundreds of years of oppression make Anna rather different from her mother. Though I suspect that they both have similar depth of cruel possibility inherently in them, Anna’s choices are governed by her hate of her mother and her acceptance that her only meaning to her mother is what she can do for her. That makes her cruel, but much more interesting than her mother. And of course, it’s going to be great when the two really turn on one another 😉
Anyway, I’m super excited for the second book. I hope it isn’t too far away. But honestly, I can’t really be sad because this is the first book in a while (that is the first book of a series) that actually gives us enough story to satisfy us for the first installment. 123k words is pretty long, yes, but it allows the book to give full and adequate world-building while also giving us a real story that will be carried on in the second part. We have a full and self-standing plot with only a few loose ends to pick up in the next book. If this is the case for the next books as well, then I can only imagine where this story will go before it ends!
Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Tuesday, July 16. I will choose the winner using Random.org and email the winner who will then have 48 hours from the time of the drawing to reply to my email. I will then forward the winner’s information to the author so the winner can receive their book.
Please enter the email you’d wish me to contact you at in the comment form, or if you prefer, leave it in the message.
Thank you and good luck!
Posted by Cole in 101-125k, 5 Really Like It, Authors M-O, Contemporary, Giveaways, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Ari McKay, Artists, Best Friends, Blood Bathory, Co-Authored, Cops, Friends to Lovers, Grief, Machiavellian Bad Guy, Mythology, NYC, On the Lam, Paris, Past Abuse, Past Trauma, Second Chances, Series, Sexy to the 999's, Shifters, Torquere, Vampire, Villain