Fri
Oct 30 2015 5:45pm

Male on Male Vampires? Yes, Please: Paranormal Best Bets for October 2015

Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley

October is the most wonderful time of the year. October brings the official beginning of what I’ve dubbed, The Eating Season (Halloween-Valentine’s Day), chunky sweaters, boots, crunchy leaves and the original scream queen movies on every channel. I tend to amp up my sales pitch to non-paranormal readers during October with my rally cry of “more durable bodies equals hotter sex” mantra.  Let’s take a look at what October had to offer.

Ghosts & Reincarnation Series by Kristen Ashley

I realize this post is supposed to be about new offerings in the paranormal world but I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to my annual October tradition. Being a book reviewer, I don’t often have time to do re-reads of my favorites but every October I take time out for a little quality time with Kristen Ashley. I simply adore this series and if you haven’t read it, you are missing out. Penmort Castle, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Fairytale Come Alive and Lucky Stars are what I like to call paranormal light. It’s a nice way to segue into paranormal if you’re a little skeptical of the genre. We don’t get shifters, vamps or blue aliens that time travel in this series but we do get some rather unhappy ghosts trying to right the wrongs they encountered in life. As any fan of Kristen Ashley knows, her alpha men are stubborn and all encompassing, her heroines are strong, full of style, and sass and the kids, lordy be the kids. Kristen Ashley has a way of writing children and teens that will sucker punch you in the heart. She writes them with such genuine honesty and clear insight, you’ll feel their pain and joy as your own. While I feel you should read all five in order, the good news is these books can be read as stand alones. Now, if I have to pick just one, I’d recommend Fairytale Come Alive, it is quite possibly my favorite of all of Ashley’s books.

An important FYI: Three books in my Ghosts and Reincarnation Series take place in my favorite National Trust properties. Penmort Castle is based on Dunster Castle. Sommersgate House takes place in a property based on Tyntesfield. And Lacybourne Manor in one based on Clevedon Court. If you ever have the opportunity, my strong recommendation is to see these beautiful properties and hopefully, one day, you can read these books that fictionally take place in them. To learn more about The National Trust, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Alasdair (Masters Among Monsters #1) by Ella Frank

A DANGEROUS ALLURE

Bestowed with eternal life by the Ancient Vasilios, Alasdair Kyriakous is one of the most feared and ruthless vampires in existence. His name carries weight across all of the seven continents.

But he is a mystery to his kind, an anomaly among the self-indulgent. While he enjoys the pleasures of the flesh, he is exceptionally particular in his choice of partners and prides himself on his ironclad self-control.

Yet with one look his control will become a thing of the past, and Alasdair will discover that eternal life doesn’t always last forever…

A DEADLY ATTRACTION

Thrust into a world he could never have imagined, Leo Chapel awakens in his worst nightmare. Taken hostage by the dangerously mesmerizing vampire, Alasdair, Leo must rely on his intelligence to escape before he reveals a secret he isn’t even aware he’s hiding.

A FORBIDDEN DESIRE

Unaware that they’ve been brought together by an outside force and are little more than pawns to a higher power, Alasdair and Leo spend time trying to uncover the other’s secrets, the attraction between them growing stronger all the while.

But enemies are watching and preparing to act against them. When decisions that will alter lives and destinies have to be made—can a dead, grey heart learn to beat again?

Ella Frank never ceases to amaze me and I’m beginning to think the woman can write no wrong. When I first discovered Ms. Frank it was in the form of erotic romance, later on she dipped her toe in fantasy and most recently M/M so it’s only logical for her to turn to vampires with very fluid sexuality. In the first book of this series, Frank does an excellent job building a world based on present day scenarios filtered with a healthy dose of Greek mythology. Our human, Leo is caught in the web of our ancient vampire Alasdair’s sexual appeal. Alasdair is a force to be reckoned with and Leo is the only human that has ever gotten under his skin. Alasdair is the first sire of an original vampire, Vasilios, meaning they are forever linked by blood and sexual desire. No one can quite figure out the mystery that is Leo, not even Leo but the chemistry and bond between these three men is absolutely explosive.

Frank goes to great lengths to create a unique world with an interesting take on the origin of vampires. This beginning is the key to the mystery surrounding Leo’s existence. The secondary characters are given ample growth to entice you into wanting more of their stories. No one is safe and death could be hiding in the farthest corners of anyone’s mind at any moment. The layers of stories that compile this tale will take you on a journey you will not want to see come to an end.

Stroke of Midnight (Midnight Breed #13.5) by Lara Adrian

Born to a noble Breed lineage steeped in exotic ritual and familial duty, vampire warrior Jehan walked away from the luxurious trappings of his upbringing in Morocco to join the Order’s command center in Rome.

But when a generations-old obligation calls Jehan home, the reluctant desert prince finds himself thrust into an unwanted handfasting with Seraphina, an unwilling beauty who’s as determined as he is to resist the antiquated pact between their families.

Yet as intent as they are to prove their incompatibility, neither can deny the attraction that ignites between them. And as Jehan and Seraphina fight to resist the calling of their blood, a deadly enemy seeks to end their uneasy truce before it even begins…

I have been a fan of Adrian’s Midnight Breed series from the very beginning. Yes, a series over thirteen books deep can get a little long in the tooth – see what I did there? Vampires, long teeth? However, this addition to the Midnight Breed series brings it all back to the love I started out with. The sexual tension between Jehan and Seraphina is palpable, even when they are trying to fight it. Locations, Morocco and Rome are so beautifully described, they are practically secondary characters in the tale.

Stroke of Midnight is an excellent addition to Adrian’s series as well as a lovely spin in the 1001 Dark Nights venture. Her unique world building is just as strong as ever.

Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1) by Suzanne Wright

Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack #1) by Suzanne Wright

Ally Marshall isn’t just a wolf shifter—she’s a Seer.

But a girl doesn’t exactly need special powers to know that Derren Hudson despises her entire kind. Disdain practically rolls off the Beta of the Mercury Pack . . . disdain mixed with a healthy dose of desire. And no matter how much the ruggedly handsome male appeals to her, this is one call of the wild she’s determined to ignore.

After one betrayal too many, Derren doesn’t have much use for Seers — except for Ally.

Forced into acting as her protector, he finds himself intensely and passionately drawn to the woman who incites his primal instinct to claim.

And when enemies target the pack, Ally’s gift may be just what the Mercury Pack needs.

Can he put his distrust aside, or will he force himself to turn his back on the one woman who makes his inner beast howl?

I discovered Suzanne Wright’s affinity for wolf shifters back with her Phoenix Pack series. Now, I’m not going to say one series is better than the other, especially since we are just one book into The Mercury Pack but good gravy, this book is awesome! Wright is known for writing heroines that are simply full of sass and strength and she goes above and beyond with Ally. She needs protection in a new pack because the shifter she’s been with for a while finally found his true mate…said true mate is not happy with Ally hanging around.  Off Ally goes to the Mercury pack and Derren, the pack’s beta. If you are new to paranormal, you should know in pack terms beta does not mean weak or passive or perhaps not as aggressive in the bedroom or in the pursuit of your woman, a pack beta is simply the second in command of the pack. These were shifters, Derren especially, is very much an alpha in all of the relationship goals you could imagine. There’s animosity for Ally to overcome of course, the Mercury pack is not a fan of seers, which Ally is but she’s tough enough to handle it.

Here’s where I tell you a little about myself. Werewolves are my favorite shifters to read. They are so passionate, all consuming and well, animalistic in their being, it just hits all of the right notes. Sorry vampire and demon lovers, I’ll take a were shifter any day! Wright kicks this series off with an excellent support cast, which can only insure more exhilarating books to come.

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Learn more about the books mentioned in this post:

Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley  
Alasdair by Ella Frank  

Stroke of Midnight by Lara Adrian

 

Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Scandal has been blogging and podcasting for years over on Scandalicious Book Reviews - entertainment reviews with a bit of attitude. She loves chatting about all things romance, paranormal and highlanders, never forget the highlanders. Find her at @scandaliciousBR on Twitter.

 

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1 comment
allyson55
1. allyson55
I'm two thirds of the way through Alasdair and it is a very interesting and different world. I do like the Midnight Breed novels so I'll have to put Stroke of Midnight on my reading list.
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