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Primal Red (Bellingham Mysteries, #1)
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Primal Red (Bellingham Mysteries #1)

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  429 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Peter Fontaine is a reporter writing for a free weekly newspaper in the quirky little town of Bellingham. Nick Olson is a reclusive painter with questionable past and a studio in the Vitamilk Building. Peter has a knack for choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case that place is the Vitamilk Building and the time is the moment that Shelley Vine, loc ...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 108 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Loose Id.
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Rating details
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Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt-fiction
Reporter Peter Fontaine dreams of Pulitzers and reclusive painter Nick Olson's hot body. When a murder brings Nick's past into question, Peter has to choose: betray Nick or follow his heart?

I found the story a little choppy to start with, but it smoothed out after a while as the story gained momentum and rhythm. It was a quick read that I almost wish was longer. I think, because it was short, I was left wanting to know more and to get a little more depth from the two main characters. Peter was c
Karen Wellsbury
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Practically perfect.

A good solid who dunnit, with clues and it's believable and I didn't guess who did dun it either. Maybe because I was tying to fathom out, like Peter, his relationship with Nick and how the Russians fit into everything.

Peter is terrific, drifting off into fantasy land occasionally, he has a bit of internal dialogue going on (not enough to be irritating though), usually about Nick, and Nick - is an enigma at this juncture.

I really liked the burgeoning relationship between Pet
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Peter Fontaine is a newspaper reporter for the local free weekly The Hampster. He dreams of making a big splash in the journalistic world and thus finds himself hiding behind a dumpster outside a Russian teashop at 4am waiting for something sinister to happen. Peter finally gives up and wanders to the building of artists next door with the vague idea of seeing his artist roommate. Unfortunately for Peter, he stumbles across a dying woman and a mixture of artists all somehow involved the woman’s ...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
Peter, you're one of my new favorites!

First word that comes to my mind: comfortable. I like when I feel I am slipping into the mind of a character and I feel at ease there. It has happened to me a few blessed times with first-person narrators, like Adrien (English) or Vic (Psycops), but I think it's a first for me to experience this kind of involvement with a third-person narration. It was as if the barrier of the page didn't exist and I could get behind it and stand close to Peter, the main cha
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Before this series I knew Nicole Kimberling first and foremost as the editor at Blind Eye Books (awesome little Indie press by the way!) - and, yeah sure, she's written a nice story for the incredible Irregulars anthology, but she still wasn't represented as an author in my mind.

Boy, has that changed. This little gem of North-Pacific based mystery really grabbed me by the metaphorical lapel, drew me in, and didn't let go. And the reason for that wasn't even the mystery itself. It was nice enoug
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, reviews
Primal Red is a really fun m/m mystery romance, and #1 in the Bellingham Mysteries series.

Kimberling is a good writer, and I've really enjoyed her novellas in the anthologies Hell Cop 1 & 2, and The Irregulars. Her characters were always interesting and compelling, and she has a sly humor that is fun to read. It was neat to see that she has this ongoing mystery series as well.

Set in Bellingham, WA (north of Seattle, near the border with Canada), Primal Red begins with our main character of
Kaje Harper
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, mystery
A well-written mystery with the beginnings of a romance in it. The MC, investigative reported Peter, is appealing and his job gives him some excuse for poking his nose in where he really shouldn't. The book has light moments and the plot hangs together well.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, own

This was such a quick, short fun filled mystery. Peter is just one of those absolutely quirky likeable characters that is pure entertainment.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Last May I took part on "The Monet Murders" launch party over Facebook and Nicole Kimberling was one of the authors participating in it. I was the lucky reader that won her Bellinghan Mysteries, I hadn't read anything by her and this one has been a nice surprise.
I liked it a lot, is a fun and fast read. I like Peter character, he is nosy but in a good way, he doesn't irks me like other nosy characters do. And he is straightforward, and I find that refreshing. The mystery is also good, and despi
Not a bad start for a series, the mystery was interesting and the MCs kept my interest.
Peter with his non existent self preservation and curiosity, and Nick with his grumpy exterior that hides a gentle soul and that only shows his shy smile to Peter.
Maybe the "big bad" wasn't so hard to find, and maybe the book was too short and needed more explanations and feelings, but still it made me want to read the sequels.
Elisa Rolle
Peter is an aggressive reporter... well, not exactly... he is a wanna-to-be aggressive reporter and in the meanwhile he is also a wanna-to-be porn screenwriter, means that he is really good in imagining himself involved in torrid relationship with men that he barely knows and that probably don't even remember his name.

And so Peter is outside a building after finishing his sleuthing "nightly" work to uncover the secret of an illegal russian brothel (sound pretty daring, isn't it?), fantasizing a
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm, romance
This just didn't do it for me. The story felt very flat. Not enough mystery. Not enough romance. Not enough character development. Not enough excitement. Just not enough. It didn't help that I disliked Peter and didn't know anything about Nick (view spoiler) ...more
LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
5 Stars - KAPOW!

Nicole has this easy, clever wit in her storytelling – not in your face laugh a minute humour that leaves you feeling exhausted. I know some of her cleverness is probably wasted on me – but I see the catch phrase or punch line, even if I don’t fully understand the lead up. That counts for something, right? And in a way that only underlines her savvy skills!!

I am loving this series.....

Read Barb's full review at Live Your Life, Buy The Book
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished “Primal Red” and really enjoyed it. Good solid, believable characters neither of whom is too perfect or too imperfect. Great premise, and the conclusion worked for me. I love mysteries and romance, this read was a great mix of both. I don't post spoilers or plot summaries so you'll just have to dive in and read it! I used to live in Bellingham I was worried that little details would bother me but no, Kimberling did a great job all around! Bought the second one immediately....also ...more
2.5 stars.

This novella was hard for me to rate. It wasn't terrible, but I wasn't impressed with it. I never found myself engaging with the characters or caring about the story line. The murder investigation was a bit dry, and the romance contained no spark. Actually, pretty much every aspect of the book was underdeveloped. The story needed to be expanded, with more twists and turns, and every character needed to be fleshed out more. I don't think I'll continue with the series.
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good m/m romantic suspense about an investigative reporter for a free weekly paper who hears screaming, then sees a woman die in the arms of an artist that he'd very much like to date...
Apr 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
J'aime bien lire de la daube!
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a mystery-lite and, for what it is, it's an easy, entertaining read. The star of the story is Peter. I loved his fantasy articles and quirky humor.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, my-mm-reviews
Fun easy read

This is a good easy-to-read mystery, shorter than I expected. The primary MC (Peter) is an investigative journalist for the local weekly circulation paper in a relatively small arty town. I liked Peter and was particularly amused when he went off on creative side bits, mentally writing up newspaper stories for things he sees. Usually I give more points to a romance mystery that I liked...but this one seemed to lack somewhat on the romance side. The whole thing is from the journalist
Ulysses Dietz
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Less fantastic than her "Sea Full of Stars" series, Nicole Kimberling's "Bellingham Mysteries" series offers a smartly written, likable group of novellas set in a charming small city in the Pacific Northwest. The chief charm in book one, "Primal Red," is its introduction of Peter,a wry, ambitious young journalist; and Nick, an unexpectedly shy ex-soldier artist with a notorious past. They both soon realize that stumbling across each other in the midst of a bloody murder is perhaps not the best w ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Reading LBGTQ fiction I'm at least past most of the discriminating comments on queers but you know how to throw readers off even in this "safer" genre? (stopped reading at begining of chapter 3)

With ignorant stuff like this:

"He opened his glove compartment and found a slightly smashed Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk.


Yeah, Robert had been a vegan, hadn't he? No wonder it hadn't worked out."

As a vegan myself, it's hard enough to read through books that feature large amounts of food decri
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly light, quick to read cosy mystery. 3.5*
Peter is the meddling reporter, the rest of the cast is a commune of artists and there is a potential Russian gangster thrown in.
The small number of potential murderers in the commune, as well as artistic differences, still manage to lead Peter a bit of a dance. The mysterious Russians seem like a big red herring.
Nick is one of the artists and by turns seems innocent and guilty. Though that doesn't stop Peter getting in his pants!
Because of its cos
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was in turns interesting and unusual. It was a bit of a jumpy story, what with being so short and having so much ground to cover. The couple in it rather fall in together; I mean, it is done naturally, Asking out on a date, having a cute moment, working up to intimacy. Normal relationship things, but somehow in the context of the overarching story it feels so much heavier which feels too soon. Then there is the mystery, which was definitely intriguing and kept me going far more than the rel ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
1st read 6/22/12
2nd read 4/5/14

I love murder mysteries with a side of m/m smexiness. And this short story dished out both brilliantly. I was captivated by the murder plot and loved the two MCs slow-building romance. I couldn't put this book down once I started it. The final reveal did not disappoint as well. Yes, this story could have been made longer with more plot details and more dating time between the MCs but I loved the short length and it definitely left me wanting more. I can't wait to d
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed this story! The narrator's voice was wonderfully done, a touch of sardonic wit with just enough seriousness for the situation. The mystery remained a mystery until near the end. Mostly, I think because the reader didn't have all the information to make their own conclusions (though one bit of detail will point out the guilty party if read closely enough).

Now, onto Baby, It's Cold Outside
LD  Durham
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I didn't have any issues with the writing as some reviewers had. I found it an entertaining and interesting read. The protagonist was funny and the mystery engaging. I would have preferred more romance/relationship building, but perhaps it'll come with the next book. My only real issue was that this novella is priced like a novel. It was a good story, but not so great to warrant the elevated price tag of a bigger book. But if this is the start of a grand series, I'm willing to reach a little dee ...more
Deanna Against Censorship
There was a lot of potential in this story. I liked Peter and his attitude. Nick intrigued me but was still somewhat of a mystery. I wanted more heat in this story, not just between the 2 MCs but between them and the other characters also. The mystery part of the plot needs more crafting. This book was like a latter but not final draft. It still needed some development. Still a fun read with 2 MCs I wanted to like.
Jillian MacLeod
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great protagonist, flawed and human but interesting rather than irritating. Love the supporting characters, and the local color reminds me of everything I love (and maybe occasionally of things I don't love quite so much) about this place.

Nicole Kimberling is one of my auto-buy authors. This was a re-read to refresh my memory for the two latest volumes in this series, which I hadn't realized were out.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I bought but put off reading this because of the rating and some of the reviews. Silly me. It was a great quick read. Witty, fun characters, mystery, and a hot romance. What's not to love? I'm starting the next one tonight because I can't wait to get back to these eccentric artists and my favorite the nosey reporter, Peter. RECOMMEND!
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