Anyone who reads a lot of gay male stories will be aware of just how many vampire stories there are out there. I enjoy vampire stories just as much asAnyone who reads a lot of gay male stories will be aware of just how many vampire stories there are out there. I enjoy vampire stories just as much as the next person, but I will admit to feeling at times that the market is simply oversaturated with stories that use the same old, typical vampire lore with recycled storylines. Every now and then, you inevitably stumble upon a book with a unique approach that is both fresh and a joy to read. For me, The Vampire Fred: Wicked Game fits into this category. My first indication that this wouldn’t be your typical gay male vampire story? Hi name is Fred. How many stories have you read where the vampires have exotic, sexually-charged names? This guy is simply…Fred. But that is the only simple thing about him.
The story starts out with a lengthy introduction to our new pal Fred, and how he came to be in his current situation. He’s been a vampire for barely a month, he is working a warm-body job in data entry at night to make enough money to purchase blood at the slaughterhouse, and he’s got a freeloader Daniel that he can’t seem to get rid of and is getting on his last nerve. The fact that Daniel is his sire and his only connection to and teacher about the world of vampires complicates things quite a bit. Fred recognizes that he needs Daniel, and is quite a bit conflicted over his feelings for Daniel but more than anything else he yearns for more information about the world he is now a part of. He’s most definitely going to get it, in a big way, but not quite in the way he might have expected.
I truly enjoyed the unique aspects that Demont adds to this story in regards to the vampires and their world. Some of them are simple, such as the vampires having silver blood, and others are much more complex, with different types of vampires and an established hierarchy of power and control as well as weaknesses to each strain. The aspect I found the most shocking, and actually the most intriguing, is that the vampires don’t get off from having sex and indeed penetration itself is something that feels kind of odd and normally doesn’t lead to any kind of sexual release. What really provides the pleasure is feeding from one another, and it plays an integral part of sex, to enhance the sensations that as a human would come simply from the act of sex itself. Vampire stories almost always pair feeding and sex together, but to have sex not be particularly pleasurable is unexpected. All of these lend a fresh and distinctive quality to the story that make the reading that much more enjoyable.
Most definitely my favorite aspect of this story, the one that really makes the story work for me, is Fred. The characterization and voice that Demont has provided for the main character is wonderful. It’s witty and sarcastic and being that the story is told from Fred’s point of view, it makes the reading fun and I found myself smiling quite a bit at this dry, slightly pessimistic and naïve character.
On the flip side, Daniel is more evasive and seeks pleasure in life while avoiding getting sucked into the vampire world. He made Fred a vampire without any consent, and as such is responsible for his fledgling, and although he knows that Fred desires more information he only lets little bits through. He is a good antithesis for Fred, and the two different characters work well together. It is necessary to suspend disbelief slightly that Fred in particular moves from annoyance to admiration and love quite so quickly, but it was an aspect that didn’t hinder my enjoyment too much.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, yet unfortunately during the second half I have to admit to becoming lost quickly. Without giving away too much information, Fred begins to connect with his predecessors as in this world vampires are connected to the ones they are reincarnations of. Fred begins to have dreams that connect him to those that came before him, and this is where I honestly became seriously confused. The story jumps into these dreams quickly and there isn’t enough explanation for the reader to be able to clearly understand what is going on. Even after having finished the book, I still feel slightly lost and am unclear on what was really happening. I still enjoyed the story, and was able to keep a grasp, although slight at times, on the story, and upon reaching the end wanted more, however I do wish that there had been more explanation of what Fred was experiencing. I know in theory what was happening, but the details had my brain turning this way and that trying to make sense of it all, not the kind of reaction a book should elicit. I’m not sure if it would all be clearer upon a second reading, but I am glad that there was enough other stuff in the book so that my last reaction was not one of confusion. In the end, Fred himself was the one that saved this story for me as I just adored his reactions and internal voice and biting sarcasm. If Fred had been a weaker character, I am sure that I wouldn’t have been as forgiving with the confusion I experienced or have enjoyed the story as much as I did.
My only other minor complaint is that there are several errors that should have been caught during the editing/proofreading process but in the end they didn’t detract too much from my reading. I am saddened to say that I have simply gotten used to finding errors in ebooks, and although they often may be things that general readers don’t notice, I do notice them and it is something I have come to expect from certain publishers (but that’s a topic for another time).
There is no question that this is a great beginning to a series about the characters and their place in the world and I am anxious for the next tale about Fred and Daniel and what they will face....more
It is 1815 in London, and Aristid St. Gemain is restless, looking for a way to satisfy his urges. To Aristid, mortals are next to the lowest in the foIt is 1815 in London, and Aristid St. Gemain is restless, looking for a way to satisfy his urges. To Aristid, mortals are next to the lowest in the food chain, they are simply toys to play with and discard when he becomes bored. A toy that used to appease him for a few years, now only satisfies him for a few weeks and he is constantly looking for a replacement. For a time, he is content with the company of twins Ethan and Nathan, sons of the Baron of Westwood. When a young vampire, Delano, arrives he is strangely drawn to the man. When the presence of Delano causes Aristid to almost lose control of himself, the vampire knows that something needs to change.
His Sire’s Heart is an interesting story about betrayal and love. As much as he wants to deny it, Aristid still has a connection to his sire Eldric who left him three hundred years previous. He longs to find the acceptance and love he once received from his sire but being unable to find it has caused Aristid to become disheartened. There is an intriguing social structure at work in this story, especially within the group of vampires. It was a bit difficult to follow at points as the story jumped around unexpectedly, but overall it was a good story and a refreshingly atypical vampire tale....more
The Power of Two is a fabulous story from every angle. From the very beginning, the interplay between Dominic and Grif is intensely erotic and electriThe Power of Two is a fabulous story from every angle. From the very beginning, the interplay between Dominic and Grif is intensely erotic and electrifying. There is an obvious mutual attraction and devotion in their friendship. Although there is a lot of passionate sex, it never overpowers the story. It serves to reinforce the bonds between Master and submissive, as well as between Dominic and Grif.
The difficulties begin when Dominic accepts a new slave for training. Tristan is part of Grif’s past, and his appearance forces Grif to deal with his underlying emotional pain, as well as intense jealousy. Grif so deeply treasures his friendship with Dominic that he hides his feelings and the details of his past, convinced that knowledge of these would cause him to lose Dominic forever.
As a fan of both vampire and BDSM stories, I was definitely not disappointed, as both aspects serve to enhance the passion driving the story. Both Dominic and Grif are talented Masters, which adds to the depth of their connection as they explore Grif’s submission. I was especially struck by the gentleness and tenderness that both Masters display in their interactions with their subs. They play in an environment of absolute trust which creates a supporting emotional safe haven. The fact that the main characters are vampires never overwhelms the story. The intimacy of Dominic and Grif’s bond is heightened as the vampires feed from both the subs and one another.
I was captured by the range of characters and the attention to detail to ensure that none are one-dimensional. Even with Tristan, we are given some hints to his past which don’t excuse his actions in any way but help make his manipulations and cruelty more believable.
If you enjoy this story as I did, I highly recommend reading Dominion which continues the story of Dominic and Grif. The secondary characters Jason, Dominic’s sub, and Tage, Grif’s sub in particular play a more central role in that story, displaying just how deep the connection between Master and submissive can become. Overall, The Power of Two is an exceptional tale of friendship, devotion, and most importantly love that is not to be missed....more
“Welcome to hell, girls.” Sataire speaks this line to the men standing at his doorstep, welcoming him and Volmere to the Hollywood Hills neighborhood.“Welcome to hell, girls.” Sataire speaks this line to the men standing at his doorstep, welcoming him and Volmere to the Hollywood Hills neighborhood. The “gay welcome wagon” includes Henry, Patrick, and Clay and, to Sataire’s dismay, none of them are scared away by the naked form that greets them.
Sataire and Volmere have chosen to live alone, away from the vampire clan. The dark and brooding vampires are tattooed, twisted and quite a bit morose. Since 1710, Sataire has lived as a vampire and the longer he is alive, the more pain he requires for sexual release. Volmere is happy to oblige his friend, but Sataire is still unfulfilled. When he sees Clay Young, and recognizes the actor from the soap opera he watches in his coffin, things get all twisted and out of control. Clay is immune to Sataire’s mental orders and his presence the paranormal sanguimones to grow thick. In the span of one night, Sataire’s life changes forever in ways he never would have imagined.
Tall, Dark, Tattooed and Twisted is an interesting paranormal story filled with erotic sex and lots of different creatures. I struggled a bit with this story, especially at the beginning, as it was unclear what direction the story was trying to take. So much is thrown at the reader at once that I had a bit of trouble keeping up. There isn’t a lot of character development, and I wish that this was a much longer story. There are so many elements here that are very intriguing and there is only a quick mention of them. The story has so much potential and I wonder what more time and length could have led to.
That being said, I still enjoyed the story, especially after Sataire follows Clay to his home. These two are powerful together, and the dynamic between them is unexpected but appealing. Some of my favorite aspects, ones that I wanted more detail about, are the sanguimones and the NCCSC, the National Command Center for Supernatural Control. That idea had me smiling from the very first mention. I literally laughed out loud at the zombies that wouldn’t die. I have never seen an author treat zombies quite like this and that above all else is a reason to read this story!
Overall this is a story with an interesting premise and a wealth of different creatures. I enjoyed many aspects of the story and am curious to see what this author could do with a longer format....more
In the world of Secrets and Lies, mankind comes in many forms. In particular, there are two vampire breeds, the Daywalkers and the Nightfeeders. The DIn the world of Secrets and Lies, mankind comes in many forms. In particular, there are two vampire breeds, the Daywalkers and the Nightfeeders. The Daywalkers are able to easily blend into human cities, but the Nightfeeders, created through the transmission of blood between a Daywalker and a human, are archetypal vampires with an extreme allergy to sun and need for immense amounts of blood to survive. Over time, the Nightfeeders resisted being bound to the rules of their kind, while the Daywalkers were quietly exterminated until it was thought that none existed. However there are two Daywalkers still living. Teague Johnson and his brother Cadge live in hiding, unable to claim their birthright out of fear of succumbing to the same fate as their parents.
The club Oasis is frequented by humans and creatures alike, including Nightfeeders. One in particular is Victor Manning, a member of the council which rules the immortal beings, who likes to feed off human visitors to the club. Teague, as the club owner, is forced to clean up the messes that Victor creates but when a recent feeding put a human on his deathbed, Teague made a snap decision that has deadly consequences. When his friend Redmond Taylor comes to investigate a rash of recent killings, Teague knows that trouble is brewing. The stakes are even higher when the trouble ensnares Kyle Drake.
Teague is drawn to Kyle, and has broken his own rules with a weekly rendezvous. Out of necessity, he has refused to allow himself to become attached to a human, someone to whom he could not expose his true self. They have intense, mind-blowing sex, but there is no kissing and no intimacy of any kind allowed. Kyle enjoys every moment of their sexual encounters, but he craves more. He has fallen in love with Teague and knows that he cannot accept anything less from the other man. Although it breaks his heart, he walks away from Teague. His absence forces Teague to confront his own feelings and decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect Kyle.
Secrets and Lies is an intriguing tale with a unique spin on vampire lore. The hierarchy among the creatures and the inter-species relations are well developed and provide an interesting backdrop for the story. The interactions between Teague and Kyle are passionate and intense with extremely erotic, and frequent, sex. They are clearly made for each other but getting Teague to admit it is a challenge. Kyle admirably is willing to surrender amazing sex when what he really wants, and deserves, is a deep emotional connection.
The secondary characters of Red and Cadge are just as powerful. These men have a history, and a burgeoning relationship. Cadge is dealing with twisted emotions due to the loss of his lover five years previous and guilt at his inability to exact vengeance for the death of his parents. Red seems to be the one person who can reach Cadge, and what the future holds for these two will undoubtedly be electrifying.
I was immediately immersed in this world and the characters and definitely recommend this story. Thankfully there is a sequel already in the works, and I anxiously await the continuation of the story of these enthralling characters!...more
In return for help rescuing his brother Teague, Cadge Johnson made a deal with his old friend and former lover, Red Taylor. Red has wanted to3.5 stars
In return for help rescuing his brother Teague, Cadge Johnson made a deal with his old friend and former lover, Red Taylor. Red has wanted to see Cadge claim his birthright ~ a seat on the Council Of Immortal Beings ~ for many years and he finally found a way to make it happen. After the death of his family, and the majority of the Daywalkers, Cadge has no desire to enter the world of politics for which he was groomed since childhood.
Upon arriving at the Council’s door, Cadge is met with suspicion, threats, disbelief, manipulation and animosity. His only ally is Red, but the more time they spend with one another, the more difficult it becomes for Cadge to deny his feelings for the Nightwalker.
As a result of helping Cadge and Teague to remain under the Council’s radar, Red is paying the ultimate price. His life is being stripped away and he will not longer be a regulator for the council. But that means nothing to Red as long as Cadge is safe. When Cadge and Red are framed for murder, they must face the truth of their feelings for one another in order to survive.
The Hard Truth is another wonderful story set in the world created in the first book of the series, Secrets and Lies. Red and Cadge were possibly my favorite part of the first book and I was very excited at the chance to revisit these characters. There is much more development of them here as they are the main focus of the story and it results in engaging characters and an attention grabbing story. There is a lot of fast paced action and shifts within the story that keep it moving quickly and I was sad to reach the end.
This story very much picks up where Secrets and Lies left off and for that reason I do not recommend starting with this story. You really need to read Secrets and Lies first to understand the situation with Teague that led Red and Cadge to where they are now, as well as the history of why Cadge and Teague were in hiding. These books fit very well together and The Hard Truth is a seamless continuation of a series that I definitely recommend....more
When a young girl shows up at her courtyard gate, Léonor Griffin is quite annoyed. At six-thirty in the evening, most might not consider it t3.5 stars
When a young girl shows up at her courtyard gate, Léonor Griffin is quite annoyed. At six-thirty in the evening, most might not consider it to be an ungodly hour when they would prefer to be sleeping. But as a vampiress, Léonor has a very different idea of what hours are respectable for being awake. At her gate is Clancy Rosabel, a student at the local university. Her sorority president sent her to steal flowers from Lea's garden, but instead of sneaking in and taking the flowers Clancy decides to try simply asking for them. Lea is quite intrigued by the young woman standing before her and their introduction marks the beginning of a relationship that will find the two women entrenched in each other's lives.
The Garden House is an alluring tale of two women from very different backgrounds who find a common ground, a love they both share. It is the last thing either one of them expects, and this story charts the origin and evolution of their relationship. Léonor is seductive from the moment we meet her and pairing her with a woman who is a virgin in all respects is quite interesting. The interactions between both women are quite scintillating, and adding in the fact that Lea is a vampiress makes it even more interesting.
This story is set in the Garden District of New Orleans and the location very much plays a part in the story that is quite intriguing. The area has a deep history, one that Lea has been quite affected by, and it adds a depth and realism to the story. There is quite a bit of detail within the story about the area and the people that live there which I found wonderful to read.
The lore surrounding vampires in this story is different than what you find in a lot of stories, and here it actually plays a much smaller role. Lea is a vampire and so of course it is an aspect of her relationship with Clancy, but it is not the focus of every interaction they have. It is just one more piece of the puzzle, something I found quite refreshing. I actually felt that there was a lot more ground that could be covered, areas that I can only guess the authors didn't go into in order to keep the story length down. There is a bond among vampire families, one that is played out between Lea and her brother Caspaar, which could have been more developed especially as it concerns Clancy.
In the end, this story is about the love between two women and everything else is extra. It is a tale filled with wonderful detail and two strong women who find one another in the most unexpected of ways that is a very satisfying read....more
When the brass bell over the door of Yesterday’s Memories rings, in walks what Jamie thinks is a typical customer, except for the sunglasses he wearsWhen the brass bell over the door of Yesterday’s Memories rings, in walks what Jamie thinks is a typical customer, except for the sunglasses he wears even though the sun has set. He quickly learns that there is nothing typical about this man. He is looking for the Black Pearl Vision, a necklace which gifts the wearer with glimpses of the life, and weaknesses, of any nearby vampire. Unfortunately for Jamie, Haridan is not the only one looking to acquire the necklace. When a group of vampires destroy his shop, Haridan keeps Jamie safe and vows to continue protecting him by taking Jamie to his home in Rome, where he will return to necklace to his grandfather Diocourides, head of the Romanorum.
While in the shop, Jamie touches the necklace and is immediately overwhelmed with images and scenes from Haridan’s past. In a brief amount of time, Jamie learns more about Haridan than he knows about anyone else in his life. The depth of emotion that comes with the images convinces Jamie that he can trust Haridan implicitly.
In Rome, Jamie is introduced to the politics of this vampire world. He eschews the traditions and befriends freelance donors. When Jamie goes for days without seeing Haridan, he doubts that the vampire’s feelings could possibly match his own. He struggles with his place in the new world and his emotional connection to Haridan.
Sight Unseen is another fascinating story set within the world of the Romanorum. Black & Carmichael have created a detailed world and social structure which connects all the stories. The interactions between the vampires and the role that mortals play are intriguing and fascinating. The action starts out quickly and drives through to the end of the story, never letting up. The characters of Jamie and Haridan are endearing and their interactions are emotional and engrossing.
The most unexpected character in the story is the wraith Timothy, who Jamie is able to see and communicate with. The ghost provides a running commentary of events that is quite humorous. At the same time, it is fiercely apparent how much he cares for Jamie, and wants to help keep him safe. As a secondary character, he makes a big impression.
Sight Unseen is an excellent story and a wonderful addition to the Romanorum and Brotherhood stories. It will easily be enjoyed by both fans of the stories as well as anyone who has not yet been introduced to this detailed and captivating world!...more