Lisa's Reviews > Souls Deep

Souls Deep by M.L. Rhodes
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Aug 21, 2010

liked it

This was my first M.L. Rhodes story. Of kind, it's an enjoyable, light read, rather like munching through a packet of M&Ms as a bedtime snack. And I'd actually give this 3.5 stars if I could.

This is a gay-for-you tale set in the globally-warmed near-future, in Delta Sector (formerly Colorado). Griffin is a human with empathic abilities who has been running from his family for four years--they're out to terminate him. During one confrontation, Jarrah, a vampire, miraculously appears and saves Griffin's life. Jarrah heals Griffin of a gunshot wound. Griffin--not gay--finds himself attracted. This leads to predictable results.

Both charas are carrying baggage, and we learn the dimensions of it in a tell-not-show way. Both must overcome their baggage to find their souls-deep bond. Both charas are 'type-ish': Griffin is caring, persistent, curious, and he's not good with 'no;' Jarrah is distant, cold, emotionally wounded, mistrusting. Jarrah's basically the one who has to change to make this work.

Predictability has its advantages (and if I'm reading romance for the romance, I really want the HEA closure ... that predictability is necessary). It can be fulfilling when I find my expectations satisfied at the end, even if I figured them out at the beginning. It can be relaxing to let go niggling over why either would be attracted to the other in the first place and just run with it. In these ways, Souls Deep works perfectly.

The sex is nice - explicit and caring. There's one straight-forward spanking scene of the naughty-boy variety and the promise of another off-camera. Dialogue is good, writing style is more than competent and in keeping with the genre. Scene POV alternates between Griffin and Jarrah in third-person style.

I never know why these "books" are so short, and that's so often a disappointment, because I do look to sink my teeth into these things. When I discover they are this short, I figure I'm looking at a bare bones boy-meets-boy, boy-falls-in-love-with-boy, boy-loses-boy, boy-gets-boy-back structure, with a fringe of plot. This is true here, which motivates my 'of kind' qualification. But short makes it a start-to-finish bedtime read, which has its advantages.

I have no idea why the setting and time period had to be futuristic; this is immaterial to the story. I just think if you're going to world-build beyond the known present, there should be plot and context justification for it, and a dwindling supply of electricity to explain Griffin's family's position in a future shaped by global warming just felt contrived.

Read it? Sure! You'll discover a nice, little romance-driven story; a satisfying candy snack. Just don't go in with the expectation of a full-course meal.
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