REVIEW: THE RECRUIT – ADDISON ALBRIGHT

The Recruit Book Cover The Recruit
Addison Albright
LGBT, Mature, Gay Romance, Novella
JMS Books LLC
June 16, 2018
75

Albert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.

Phillip Brewer has weeks to live -- if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?

When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Albert Manlii has existed for over two thousand years, I say ‘existed’ since he is a vampire and not alive.  Now he is the faction leader responsible for recruiting one or two willing converts. In spite of being immortal vampires can die; some leave the faction in one way or another when immortality becomes more than they can bear.

Albert spots a man he believes is perfect and a man that he is sure is his blood-mate. Of course he would love nothing more than for this man to meet all the requirements to be recruited but even if he is his blood-mate he will not interfere in the procedure that has to be followed. The recruit has to be a certain age, intelligent and capable of fitting in, he has to have no ties, meaning family, spouse or close friends that would miss him or could possibly notice him once he is pronounced dead. Now research has to be done on his candidate, a man who is no doubt dying from cancer and will be given the choice of becoming a vampire or dying.

Phillip Brewer is dying from a very rare form of gall-bladder cancer so deadly that from the diagnosis one month ago he now has a week or two to live. Albert approaches Phillip with the offer of life or death and it doesn’t take Phillip long to agree to life even if that life is as a vampire. The change is very fast and was done in the park where Albert and Phillip were meeting a small exchange of blood very different from what is portrayed in the movies and it is done.

Like Albert, Phillip feels a connection with Albert although he is unaware of the blood-mate bond and he is given a new personality, new eye color using contacts, new hair style, new clothes and a new name. Phillip is dead; long live Neil Franklin from Texas. Even looking in the mirror Neil no longer sees Phillip.

This was such a unique take on vampires, they can be in the sun, they use blood from a blood bank, they only recruit those that are dying and they stay together as a family. Short but wonderful.

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REVIEW: THE HOUSE OF FEAR – KATERINA ROSS

The House of Fear Book Cover The House of Fear
The Sons of Gomorrah, Book 2
Katerina Ross
LGBT, Paranormal, Gay Romance, Novella
Evernight Publishing
November 1, 2017
49

Tristan, a freelance magician, falls for an incubus, a Gomorrah pleasure demon, who works as an escort in a luxurious hotel in Prague. To free him from a contract that binds him, Tristan needs to solve a problem for a very influential man, Ambrosius Schwarzenstein, who is currently looking for a personal assistant with a knowledge of occult practices.

As Tristan plunges into an investigation of a mysterious death, he might find more than he wants to and face his worst fears. Will he set his lover free or bring trouble to them both?

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

**CONTAINS SPOILERS**

Although Tristan has successfully completed his assignment at the hotel he has yet to inform the owner so he can still enjoy spending time with Jarek the incubus that he is beginning to want a future with.

Tristan knows it is time to leave and he is hopeful that Jarek will agree to leave with him but would he want to give up staying on the premises seducing visitors and feeding on their sexual energy? When he finally brings it up to Jarek he is shocked to discover that he has a contract with the owner for a year and a day and both he and the owner are bound by it, the only alternative for Tristan is to approach the owner and ask him to let Jarek out of the contract but once again why would he give up such a popular attraction for his hotel.

When Tristan asks about the contract and offers his expertise as a magician the owner informs him he has no need for magic but he has an offer, if he helps someone else he would in turn be helping him and that is when he sets up an appointment with Ambrosius Schwarzenstein an art and antique dealer.

Schwarzenstein is interested in purchasing a home, a home where the previous owner died and the rumor is that he died from fright. Is there something wrong with the house or was it just something that was directed at the owner. It doesn’t take long for Tristan to discover the problem and he is offered a job with good pay requiring him to work only for Schwarzenstein and to remain at his disposal for one year and a day, it was an offer he accepted and now he had to explain to Jarek that they would remain in Prague if Jarek agreed to stay with him.

Getting Jarek out of his contract was not a simple thing to do even though the owner was willing; a new contract was required, a new contract locking Jarek in for another full year and a day.

I am going to finish this review because I am very anxious to pick up book three and continue to find out what happens between the Tristan and Jarek which will no doubt be just as interesting as the first and second book were. Since book two picks up where book one ends I highly recommend reading this series in order.

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REVIEW: Merciful Bleed – J. HALI STEELE

Merciful Bleed Book Cover Merciful Bleed
Serpentine Vampires, Book 1
J. Hali Steele
Novella, LGBT, Horror, M/M, Vampires
Amazon Digital Services LLC
February 23, 2019
32

Blood and venom—one sustains life, one kills!

Paladin Bodine, called a Bleeder, is serpentine. He’s paid to extinguish unmanageable vampires and even end the lifecycle of those old and tired of existing. He cheats, lies and skulks, whatever it takes for his serpents to deliver. Paladin is damn good at what he does until he meets a vampire who turns his slithering world upside down.

Braid Calderon means to stop the individual hired to end his sire’s life at any cost. He follows the murderous man whose strangeness entices and delights Braid from a distance and he fails to consider his body’s reaction when he meets the killer face to face.

Both cold and distant, one hot coming together changes their lives forever!

A short paranormal MM romance with coarse language, explicit sex, and an HEA. Another character gets to tell his short, hot story soon and both can be read as standalones.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Ulysses Dietz

Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team

I’m glad this is the promised first of a series, because the premise is fascinating – vampires and serpentines, immortal creatures who live in the human world unseen and unimagined.

When vampires go bad – i.e. when they start to kill their source of sustenance, which is us – serpentines are called in to extirpate them. Serpentines, a creation of this author, are also fanged humanoids, but they are linked to venomous serpents and can kill vampires with their venom and their other physical and magical powers. Vampires are more human than serpentines, who feel no emotion, but both can pass in the human world.

The triggering circumstance for this heavily-loaded short story is the death-wish of one of the oldest surviving vampires in the world. This ancient being has long been an ally of the serpentines, but he has had enough of life. Cases like this are handled personally by the chief serpentine, one Paladin Bodine.

To muddy the waters, however, the old vampire’s only creation, Braid Calderon, has decided to gainsay his sire’s wish and to stop Paladin from doing his job.

Within this small package is a swirling stew of imagery, sexual and fantastical. The author, to her credit, does a good job of cramming lots of vivid detail and enough backstory to help her reader grasp the somewhat hallucinatory narrative.

I ended this feeling, as I often do, that short stories are often inadequate to this kind of task. There is simply too much to stuff into this little space. However, I also found the story really interesting and well-crafted. I was fully engaged with the story while it lasted, and truly want to know what happens next.

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Review: Once Upon a Wolf – Rhys Ford

Once Upon a Wolf Book Cover Once Upon a Wolf
The Wayward Wolves Series Book 1
Rhys Ford
M/M Paranormal Shifter Romance
Dreamspinner Press
February 16, 2018
112

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Gibson Keller has lived his life in the past years for his older brother Ellis. Since Ellis returned from fighting for his country he has refused to return to his human form and remains a wolf. Gibson is the only one in the family who doesn’t believe that Ellis should be killed and he is the only one who stands by his brother waiting for him to return from his self-inflicted exile.

Gibson has no time for a relationship and lives in the cabin Ellis built and spends his time running as a wolf or walking as a man but everything changes when his brother decides to chase a man and causes him to fall down the hill and into the freezing water. Zach Thomas is a man who has lived through a trauma of his own when a car accident left him fighting to walk. He has bought a B&B and was enjoying walking his property until he found himself being chased by the biggest wolf he ever saw.

When Zach woke up he was still alive and inside a cabin with a handsome man and the very same wolf that nearly killed him. The shock of falling and reliving his car accident was nothing compared to seeing the wolf partially turn human. Now Zach knows that one of the legends we hear about is true, werewolves exist.

There is an instant attraction between Gibson and Zach but Gibson has no room for anyone but Ellis and Zach has his own problems. This is not a long book and so I will not give anything away but I will say that this was a beautiful story and not the usual shifter book. This is a story of survival and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

1st Place: NOVELLAS AND SHORTS

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Review: General Misconduct – L.A. Witt

General Misconduct Book Cover General Misconduct
Conduct Book 2
L.A. Witt
NA, M/M Romance
March 13, 2017
247

After a Marine roughs him up at a gay bar, Ensign Aiden Lange has some cuts and bruises on his face that are sure to raise questions at work. At the urging of a sympathetic cop, he spends the next day hiking to Okinawa’s Hiji Falls where he’ll claim he hurt himself in a fall. But at the end of the trail, he’s in for a pleasant surprise—a gorgeous young guy in a pair of swimming trunks.

Connor didn’t come up to the falls to find a man, but when the ensign with the bandaged eyebrow finds him, he’s instantly intrigued. A hike turns into dinner, and before either of them know it, they’re inseparable. Connor’s experience with men is limited, but Aiden is gentle and—in spite of their mutual hunger for each other—infinitely patient.

It’s a small world, though, and an even smaller island, and when Connor’s father catches the two of them together, he’s more than just an overprotective dad—he’s one of Aiden’s high-ranking bosses. With a few phone calls, he can derail the Naval Academy grad’s carefully planned career trajectory. The ultimatum is simple—stay away from Connor, or kiss his dreams of advancement goodbye.

Aiden’s not so easily deterred, though, especially when it comes to someone like Connor, so the two continue seeing each other in secret. But there are only so many places to hide on a tiny island, and sooner or later, Aiden’s going to have to choose—Connor or his career.

This 63,000 word novel was previously published.

Reviewed by Gloria Lakritz

Sr. Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild

A second entry into this series was a happy surprise for me. We caught up with two other characters we met in the first book, Connor and Aiden. We learn of how they met and watched them having their own separate problems than Eric and Shane .It was another trip through Okinawa and the Code of the Service. Complications pop up when it turns out that Connor’s father is not only in the Navy, but also Aiden’s commanding officer. It was a shorter sexy, sweet story to compliment the first book and great cause we got to see Eric and Shane.

Again Ms. Witt’s descriptions, humor and writing style make her a keeper in my repertoire of wanting to read and I will keep trolling her Amazon page to find more I might have missed. If you love her check out another I have just read and reviewed IF THE SEAS CATCH FIRE…….Awesome!!!!

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