Title: We Are Family (Cambion: Dark Around the Edges #3)
Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: 19k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty (It always is with these two!)
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Serial, Short Story, Demons, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Secrets and Lies, Kids, Family, Gay Dads
Rating: Really Liked It
This review contains spoilers for the first two parts of the serial — “Heaven’s On Fire” and “Black Magic Woman”
Devon Harper is a cambion, the offspring of an incubus and one of his female followers. Discovered by those who could’ve helped him too late to be saved from his nature, he barely survived a brutal childhood before getting a handle on his powers of seduction. Lust, sex, desire: these are second nature to cambion, and are their road to both riches and ruin. Devon has the power to bring people to their knees with a glance, to drive them so crazy with pleasure that they forget their names, and occasionally forget to breathe as well. He could use his birthright to force the world to worship him, but Devon is trying to fight against the pull, to do what he can to track down people with the power to summon a demon and stop them before more cambion can be made.
But Devon doesn’t realize that the path he and his friends are following is only one strand of a web laid in place by a demon who’s not content to wait on the whims of humanity to get out of Hell. Devon is this demon’s key to staying above ground permanently, and when he finally catches up with the cambion, he’s not taking no for an answer.
Episode 3: We Are Family
Still coping with the aftermath of the deal with Lynlis, Devon decides there’s no place like home and convinces Rio to stop by Devon’s fathers’ lakeside home on their way to pick up Porter Grey’s trail. Along the way, Rio opens up about his past in a way Devon has never known. Then at the lake house, more secrets of Rio’s mysterious origin are revealed, along with a frightening connection between Devon’s family and Porter Grey himself!
Owing to staying sick for about a month between March and April, it’s taken me quite a while to get back into the swing of reviews and get caught up on some of them, especially the two serials from Storm Moon Press, which before getting sick I was thoroughly enjoying. I suppose it isn’t so bad being able to read more than one of them in a row, especially with the Cari Z’s Cambion serial.
We ended the second story in the Cambion serial (“Black Magic Woman”) with the pair gearing up to flee Las Vegas. The City of Sin turned out to have more of a bite than these two were expecting and gave both of them a reminder that though they have some pretty powerful weapons on their sides, they aren’t infallible. In the process of seeking a witch to divine the location of their quarry, Porter Grey, Devon lost his sense of touch for three days. What seemed like one of the better sense to gamble (rather than say, his sight) turns out to be almost impossible to deal with and Devon is relegated to letting Rio take care of him.
The pair flee Vegas to find Porter Grey, who according to the information of the witch Lynlis is in Seattle. But Devon is not up for any kind of mission, so they instead decide to stop in Oregon to visit Devon’s dads. Ren and Emile are an enigma with many of their own secrets to keep. They’re foster parents to cambions, teaching them to control their powers. But going home only highlights the growing feelings between Rio and Devon and puts Rio and his secrets in even more of a precarious position.
I think that what I liked so much about this third installment into the Cambion world is that it takes what we saw in the second and continues to develop it. Of course, some pretty big secrets come out, including the one Rio’s been trying to hide, but while it was nice to find out what he really is, I liked seeing the developing intimacy between him and Devon even more. Devon’s vulnerability stemming from losing his sense of touch brings that connection to the forefront; for the first time, Devon has to overlook his pride and accept help and seeing Devon in such a state shows Rio just how much he cares for the cambion.
Cari mentioned after my review of the second story that soon after this third one we’d get back to more of the action. It makes sense if you’re considering it by the story. Now that they’ve gone home and their relationship is on much firmer ground than the casual sexual and professional relationship they had in the first story, it makes sense that the last half of this season will return the focus to their hunt of the demon summoner, Porter Grey.
I’m looking forward to story #4 (not long of a wait!) and in particular hopefully finding out more about Ren and Emile or seeing if they play any further part in the story. I also can’t wait to see when Devon finds out what Ren is and by proxy what his dads are 🙂
If you haven’t started this serial then this is a good time to get in on the action, with half of it now over (at least, these first 6 installments). If you buy the season as a bundle you get some free goodies along with it, the first of which was just sent out — free story “The South Beach Job”, which takes us back several years to Rio and Devon’s earlier professional relationship when their sexual one is just starting. It’s a good story that shows them before they change by their association with the other. Plus, it’s always fun watching Devon in slut mode 😉
Posted by Cole in 16-40k, 5 Really Like It, Authors V-Z, Contemporary, Fantasy, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: Angels, Cambion, Cari Z, Demons, Family, Gay Parents, Kids, Magic, Nephilim, Secrets & Lies, Serial, Short Story, Storm Moon Press, Urban Fantasy
Title: Loving Him
Author: Diana DeRicci
Length: 51k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Mild & Sexy
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: GFY-OFY, First Times, Closeted, Gay Parents, Broken Engagement, On Vacation, Cheating Ex, HEA
Rating: So So
Reviewed by Sadonna
Can a jilted groom still find love on his honeymoon without the bride? Hunter is on a solo-man honeymoon. Sam is on a belated graduation trip to paradise. Deciding getting drunk together beats doing it while across the bar from each other, Sam offers a brotherly shoulder of understanding when he learns just why Hunter is in paradise alone.
I don’t know what is going on, but this is the third book I’ve read in the last month about a guy jilted either at the altar or just before a wedding who decides to go on the honeymoon solo and lo and behold, he finds a man. I’m not sure if it is just suffering by comparison, but unfortunately I found this to be the weakest of the three.
Sam is on a delayed trip that is a graduation present from his dads. He spied Hunter getting drunk every night at the island hotel bar. Since he doesn’t have anything better to do and he likes the look of Hunter, he introduces himself and they become drinking buddies. Hunter is obviously upset about something and it takes him a while to confess that his fiancé called off the wedding and he’s there on his honeymoon alone carrying around the engagement ring. He is angry and hurt and thinks that he is broken and incapable perhaps of loving and being loved. Sam is gay and very up front about it and Hunter doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. However, when they are really drunk, they have some physical contact that Sam thinks may not have been very wise.
As Sam and Hunter continue to spend time together since they are both solo travelers, some tourists think they are together. Sam keeps thinking that it’s his wishful thinking and not the mixed signals he’s getting from Hunter that make others infer that they are a couple. As they get closer, Hunter confesses the things that went wrong with his relationship and Sam thinks that Hunter was maybe not so interested in his partner, but refuses to go further than that and speculate as to why. We also learn that Hunter comes from a pretty screwed up family and was raised by his rather distant and bitter father.
This is the eighth book I’ve read by this author and I still have a lot more to read on my TBR pile. I really enjoyed her Beach Duo series and a number of her other standalone titles. This one just didn’t work for me for some reason. I just didn’t connect with Hunter on an emotional level. I liked Sam quite a lot and his dads and brothers, but Hunter just didn’t resonate with me. While I felt for him, I found myself questioning the authenticity of his words and actions which in the end, lessened my enjoyment of the story.
Posted by Sadonna in 3 So So, 41-75k, Authors D-F, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: Broken Engagement, Cheating Ex, Closeted, Diana DeRicci, First Times, Gay Parents, GFY/OFY, HEA, MLR Press, On Vacation