Around the museum, the streets were filled with the din of the city. Cars honked noisily, drunken revellers heckled and laughed. Somewhere in the darkness, the wail of a police siren called out.
Inside the museum it was quiet. Moonlight streamed in through a skylight, bathing the Grecian exhibit in a pearlescent glow. At the exhibit’s centre was the sculpture of a young man, who was garbed in warrior gear. As the moon’s luminescent beams danced across his muscular body, the statue began to change. The milky marble evaporated, replaced with the hue of tanned skin. The sculpture moved.
He was a statue no longer; he was a man once again.
The warrior sucked in a breath, filling his lungs for the first time in centuries. He blinked his eyes, and surveyed his surroundings.
The last thing he remembered was fighting the gorgon that had been plaguing his village. He was about to cut the monster’s head off, and then… nothing.
That’s when he realised how terrible his situation was. Those lucky enough to awaken from a gorgon’s curse did not live for long. Inside his chest, his heart was still set in stone. The enigmatic energies that had revived him, would not sustain him for long. If he wished to restart his unbeating heart, he would have to find and kill the gorgon responsible for cursing him.
But first he needed to find himself an ally; someone to help him manoeuvre through the strange modern world…
Photo Description: A virile, young Greek warrior kneels before a white marble column. He wears brown pteruges around his waist, bracers on his forearms and greaves on his lower legs. One arm is crossed over his body to grip the handle of his still-sheathed sword. His stare is intense and piercing, even as a host of green snakes slither down the column above his head.
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love is an Open Road" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
This story may contain sexually explicit content and is intended for adult readers. It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The M/M Romance Group strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings.
Always an avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, oftentimes literally. A firm believer in every song tells a story and every story has a song, I sing under my breath, tap my toes and swing my hips, much to the delight of my co-workers and friends. I freely admit that becoming a romance author is the best mid-life crisis a girl could ever have.
Since I wrote this book with fellow author Alexis Woods, I won't be reviewing it. I'm very excited Metamorphic Heart is out for everyone to read. Co-authoring was quite a learning experience, and I plan on doing it again in the future.
Two authors, two different styles of writing, but Alexis and I found through writing Heart, that our styles complimented each other's. Our characters, though also different in personality, blended well too.
I created Kase, and Alexis, Aleksandr, but we both wrote each of them, learning as we wrote together, how the other person saw the character in their head. Aleksandr is definitely an Alpha male. Kase, despite his more mellow personality, and his eagerness to stick his head in a book and read, is no pushover. They are a good team as you'll find out when you read the story :)
Before I provide links to the story, I'd like to thank Dayton for his awesome prompt. The idea it sparked took off the moment I saw it. We hope you enjoy it :)
You can read Heart here, in the M/M Romance group at this link:
I absolutely loved this story based on Greek mythology but set in present day New York. The warrior Alexsandr is new to the modern world and Kase is his guide and host. The two men feel an attraction to each other but both are scared of getting hurt by risking a relationship. There is lots of action and adventure, humor, friendship, and sex. From Alexsandr's perspective you get to see things as perhaps a child would. This was written by two authors, and it is integrated well, except for a minor stylistic difference here or there. This takes place in New York City, but it often had a more suburban feel. For instance, Kase drives them home from the museum located in midtown Manhattan. I find that unlikely. The numerous sex scenes felt like filler to me. They do not move the plot forward, and you could take any sex scene from any author from any story, and they would be interchangeable. I just skim them and move on to the more interesting parts. On the whole though, I thoroughly enjoyed this.
I couldn't get into the romance in this one. Alek was too handsy too soon, despite not liking being flirted with relentlessly he has no problem doing the same to Kase, despite Kase repeatedly telling him to back off. But for arbitrary plot reasons, they had to fall in love in two weeks, so forced romance it is! Blarg. And it took up way too much time. Too many scenes dedicated to the bedroom, because as we all know, orgasms = true love. 🙄 I ended up skimming/skipping the romance stuff pretty heavily in the second half, and they story was able to hold my attention better.
I was more interested in the main plot of how and why Alek got returned to life in modern day NYC (have these authors ever been to NYC?) and how he was going to be able to remain here. I mean, the food alone would look, smell and taste completely different from what he's used to. And yet there's no comment on the plethora of produce at the grocery market. (He was impressed by the meat section though.) It wasn't that hard too figure out the riddle, though, despite Kase and Alek being a little too dense to do so (thankfully, they have smart friends) and the showdown went about as expected, though there was one nice twist I didn't see coming.
There are also some non-sensical things going on.
All in all, it's an interesting concept for a story that could have used some heavy trimming in the excess of unnecessary details and more focus on how Alek was adjusting to modern day life and coping with the reality of never seeing his friends and family ever again. These were just briefly touched on a couple of times, and it was wasted opportunity.
KC Faelan and I are pleased to present to you Metamorphic Heart. What started as a first attempt at coauthoring took a giant leap when we realized that our story would not be some 30k, or even 50k, novella. No, we surpassed 100k and kept right on going.
These characters called to us, they are us. Aleksandr, well... that's me. He was mine: his mannerisms, his speech, his ability to adjust and dominate. Kase was KC's. She molded him into the perfect counterpart to Aleksandr, contemporary, but with an eye to the past.
And all of it revolved around a poem I wrote in the early musings of the story. We morphed the storyline to it, enhancing it, each adding another piece to the puzzle.
There are multiple threads you can peek at: First there was the original photo prompt and Dear Author letter. You can find the original poem here and a slew of pictures that we used to enhance it. Dear Author:Metamorphic Heart
Wonderful! This is a heartwarming, sexy and lively story. Not only the romance but watching the chosen family develop touched me deeply. Highly recommended from beginning to end. It looks like I've found new authors to follow. :-)
So, Metamorphic Heart... I think, as I’m responsible for writing the prompt, it was expected of me to write a gushy bias review. I could have... I could have gushed all over the place, but I didn’t. I didn’t think it would be fair of me to -just- gush, considering all of the obvious effort that went into this writing this story. I wanted my review to be genuine, unbiased and subjective. I wanted to sit and think about what I wanted to say, and really put effort into writing it. I felt I owed it to the ladies who wrote this story.
Metamorphic Heart is the story of Kase and Alek, who find their way into each other’s lives through the divine intervention of the gods. The beginning of the story sees centuries old Aleksandr revived from stone, inside a New York museum. He entangles himself in trouble immediately, mistaking a modern fight scene between actors for a legitimate battle. Kase is one of the performers acting in the battle, and instead of being cross at the mysterious stranger for ruining the play, he actually finds the armour clad man alluring. When Alek senses that not all is right between the combatants he wanders off. Kase gives chase and catches up to Alek at the foot of Hermes’ statue. The events that follow (I don’t want to give away spoilers) lead to Kase taking pity on Alek and then taking him home. After a few dealings, in which Kase initiates Alek into the 21st century, Medon appears casting a cold shadow over the couple’s comical antics. The gorgon Medon, who is responsible for turning Alek to stone, hints about a curse that has befallen Alek before slithering away. It is down to Alek and Kase to decipher the meaning of the gorgon’s curse in order to free Alek from its deadly clutch. Along the way, they enlist the help of Arrian, an elderly neighbour and Helene, Kase’s zany best friend. Unwittingly the party of human’s also receive some aid from Olympus, when the gods and demigods interfere with their plight. It all escalates to a rooftop battle between men and monster. The heroes fight desperately to safeguard each other and the love that has blossomed between them, while the forces of evil want nothing more than to see both men come undone.
Right, first things first! I’ll admit, there were times when I thought the pace of story dipped a little, but I put that down to a personal preference in reading. I’m a bit vanilla. I’m not keen on reading about the heat between the sheet-s of paper, and there was a lot of ‘sexy times’ content in the story. However, I’m sure to those who enjoy a steamier read this book would be perfect. Aside from that tiny, miniscule, negligible thing, I’d put my hand and my heart and happily say this was the best story I read in 2015. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh my days! Aleksandr is just so loveable. He’s cheeky, playful, and full of integrity. Add to that the fact he’s a passionately, protective warrior and... just... Oh my days! I thought it was amazing how his character evolved. Early on in the story, when the reader was seeing things from Alek’s vantage point, everything was described literally. For example, shining face discs were glasses, and the room with small sun was the kitchen and light bulb. Nonetheless, as the story progressed so did Alek’s vocabulary, and it was done so gradually that I wasn’t jarred when I discovered Alek using the word glasses instead of shining discs. (And just for giggles ‘so-da’.) Kase was cute in his own right too. He was patient, generous and empathic. We got to see him transcend from a wounded, love-shy geek to a confident no holds barred combatant, both in battle and in the bedroom. The sub-characters all bought something to the story. My particular favourites were the gods and demigods, who intermingled with the humans in the nightclub where Kase worked. The Mykonos. I think I could have quite happily sat and read about the adventures that went on under that roof for days, especially when Medon got into the mix. You could literally feel the age old resentment between him and Hermes.
All in all, I think this story was fantastic. I can’t thank Faelan and Woods’ enough for taking the time to produce this piece of work. I’m so glad they ended up with the prompt, because what they did with it was simply stunning.
Plot *** The Plot is in my opinion the biggest weakness of the book. Although it has a really interesting premise, the story drags quite a bit with too much detailed descriptions of rather boring every day actions and extensive thoughts and too little actual progress ... and with too much detailed descriptions when actual progress happens. The book is very long and for that amount of words there is simply not enough action. It could have used some serious condensing. Now and then I had to force myself to read on. Also there is an annoying plot device, the poem.
So for the story there are only 2,5 Stars rounded up to 3 – because of a really cute and cool premise.
Characters **** I like both main characters as well as the minor ones. Kase is ok, loveable and real. Alek is just great! His exploration of the WC is hilarious as well as some of his other confrontations with the modern world. This struggle with his new environment is described adorably. The love between Kase and Alek develops in a nice pace, although I have some problems with Kase near the end. Everything he thinks about Alek, every way he sees him and everything he feels just shouts, he loves him. And yet the authors insist he is insecure, unsure if he can love again. That dragged a little too long for my liking. The villain was rather cliché, a little evil overlord like. That's not a big minus though. His character is just not very remarkable.
Therefore 4 Stars for the characters.
Writing Style ***** Nothing to complain here. I liked the style very much and noticed only few mistakes. For a free book of this lenght impressive. Otherwise I would not have made it through so much textual space full of descriptions and not enough action. ;)
5 Stars for that.
Summary That makes 3,5 in the end rounded up to 4. A little note to my first point, the plot: I refer to the urban fantasy part of the plot. The romance part also drags a little but not so extremely. Readers who don't care too much for the action and have their attention firmly on the romance probably don't have the same problem while reading.
I AM DONE!! I finally finished this book. It was one long, long, loooong book. Far too long for the concept and plot. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is because I loved the concept. The execution needs a lot of editing. If the book was about 20% of the size that it actually is it would be much better. I liked the way the author kept writing Aleksandr's perspective in his actual words/thoughts and not adapt a outsider view as needed to make the writing easier. Small things as keeping saying so-da was a great plus for me. Considering there were two authors, they should have worked harder on staying away from cheesy clichés that bring the story quality down to bad soap-opera drama level.