This makes my fifth story from Katey Hawthorne's work in two genres, horror and erotica. Having already read several of her erotic stories, I knew what to expect going into
By the River
. Katey's got a talent for making up characters I can believe in, even if they just happen to have mystical powers of some kind. And those characters happen to like sex. A lot. I like that.
The character with powers in this story is Leith Marshal, whose mother was apparently a mermaid or a selkie. The story is told from the perspective of a relatively normal guy, Adam Kavanaugh, making him the perfect person to introduce readers to his new lover. And Leith has a lot of quirks that make him interesting. Adam is just returning to a small town, and he's not sure he's made the right choice, until he meets Leith coming out of the river. And from that moment forward, he's so deeply in love that he can't leave.
I don't want to spoil the story, but I will offer a warning that this is some active
gay erotica, with intimates scenes happening very frequently. This is not in any way a complaint on my part. In fact, one thing I love about Katey's erotica is that I don't mind reading her sex scenes. They pass the "wet test" rather well, and in between the hot sex, she writes these fascinating people who I want to know more about. But if you're squeamish about watching two hot dudes making out, this book is potentially squicky.
The ending here is kind of formulaic, but in a good way. It first made me worry, and then it made me go "Awww
So, I give By the River
4 stars, and I recommend it to fans of paranormal erotica who like their leading men hot and wet.