Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Four amazing authors have written stories about vampires and each one with a different point of view.
Tickle of Blood: Sue Brown
This was totally different from any vampire books I have read and there were quite a few. The Crenshaw Clan led by Varynth is dying out, humans have finally succeeded in ridding the world of a monster because of all the chemicals in their blood and all the processed food they eat. Unfortunately, that isn’t doing much for humans either. Realizing that death was all he and his clan faced Varynth is prepared to end it all and decides to fly away from the cave they live in. Every time he heads in one direction, he is pulled in another. When he reaches his destination, he discovers a young man who he recognizes as his clan’s savior.
Sedyr has grown up with no affection and no friends, he is not human, and his appearance reveals that to everyone, his own mother didn’t even bless him with a name, she called him Sedyr which is the species he is. Part human and part Merman and now with his mother dead the town has exiled him.
He passes out and finds himself awakening in a bedroom with a man sitting nearby. When Varynth introduces himself Sedyr has no doubt that he is with a vampire, and Varynthimmediately recognizes he is with his mate. All the clan will feed from Sedyr and he will keep them alive but at what price to himself.
A Dark Healing: Eli Easton
Darian is a healer and is albino. He has always been shunned and ignored because he is different even his own parents sold him but that was the best thing to happen to him. He spends his days in the woods picking plants for his remedies and one day he came upon a man with an arrow in his chest he was sure was dead. When the man opened his eyes, Darian was determined to get him back to his hut for treatment despite the man begging to let him die. Darian treats his wounds and learns his name is Locke. Locke is always cold and only feels warm when Darian lays in bed next to him skin to skin. Locke sleeps all day and is awake at night, but Darian just believes his wounds require him to sleep a lot.
For days Darian tries to get Locke to eat or drink with no success, even trying to change his bandage meets with refusal. Darian is finally not alone but Locke keeps informing him that he will have to leave soon leaving Darian heartbroken. After begging Locke to stay Locke finally reveals what he really is and the fear he could hurt Darian. Locke is a vampire who hates what he is and knows he will always be chased and taking Darian with him would put him in danger as well. Locke and Darian are both different and alone but what they both want is someone to love although everything seems to be working against them. Can these two tortured men find what they are looking for.
The Quarry: Jamie Fessenden
Josiah Crayne has just buried another member of his family, leaving just two left of seven, him and his six-year-old sister Mary. The first to die was eight-year-old Edward and since his death all the family members have seen him and died soon after. Josiah knows his time is coming because he saw Edward and now his only concern is Mary. Calling on Reverend Walker for help to figure out what has caused his family to die one by one the Reverend calls on his brother Dr. August Walker.
Josiah is not very fond of the good doctor when he meets him, he is pompous and seems to put on airs. The Boston doctor does not fit in dressed to the nines while Josiah is dressed to muck stalls. August never wanted to return to his hometown where memories of his childhood friend Henry’s death after saving his life haunt him. Now he needs to discover what the apparition of Edward wants and if it is something sinister.
August insists he must sleep in the same room as Josiah to be present when and if Edward appears. While trying to solve the mystery the two men find themselves attracted to each other in a time when a man sleeping with another man is illegal. Do they finally get the answers to Edward’s appearance and do they go against church and state and give into their feelings.
Farkas: Kim Fielding
Lee Harker was born to immigrant parents who struggled his whole life. Lee is now an associate with a prestigious law firm working day, night and weekends hoping for a partnership. One late night at work his boss approaches him with an assignment he knows he can’t turn down. He is picked up by limo and driven to a mansion owned by Laszlo Farkas where he will spend at least three days. He is met at the door by Vincent Farkas, Laszlo’s grandson. His assignment is to transfer all of Laszlo’s possessions to Vincent and then to give Vincent a legal identity since he does not exist except in illegal documents.
Lee must adjust to the strange living arrangements he finds himself in, Vincent only comes when the sun goes down and the mansion is so large, he is constantly getting lost whenever he tries to explore. He is served amazing dinners and wine that is, well it is not your usual wine. When Lee decides to make a map so he can find his way back his exploration leads to some very unexpected occurrences. A trip down steps that lead to another set of steps brings him face to face with the reality of who he is with. Lee is not in danger from Vincent because once they have sex, they are very attached to each other, but Lee still has a lot to learn and decisions to make.
It is not often that I read an anthology where I love every story, but this was the exception. All the stories are M/M and filled with sex, romance and vampires, surprises and secrets.