Chords by Taylor Roxton (review)

Tagline: Singing wolf shifter trapped by a new school, family concerns, and a mysterious upperclassman…

Chords Book Cover Image

TitleChords
Genre:  Paranormal M/M Romance
Format:  Short Story (11k words, 33 pages)

Series: Walk on Wild Side

Sites:  PublisherGoodreads
Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-500-7

Retail:  $1.99

Also available:  Walk on Wild Side Anthology

Rating:  star star  star  – I liked it.

 

Dreamspinner’s 2016 Daily Dose anthology includes 30 romantic male/male shifter stories released one a day during the month of June.

Synopsis: Werewolf shifter follows in his family’s footsteps by pursuing his natural, wolf-howling singing ability. He breaks with tradition by leaving home and attending Julliard, where he can receive the premier training as a vocal prodigy. At his first audition, he meets upperclassman with a voice to die for and, intriguingly, no scent. This senior singer with the violet eyes causes such a reaction in the wolf, the new student flubs his audition.  Dragged to a party at the compelling purple-eyed senior’s house, he needs to leave before he shifts into a werewolf.

Review: Similar to the Alpaca installment in this series, there was an introductory story with very interesting and compelling ideas that resolved into a brief heated encounter.  The long introduction may be of particular interest to those who enjoy music and college themed stories, which accounts for part of my enjoyment. Perhaps the biggest difference in my positive reaction to this read (compared to the somewhat similar Alpaca story) might relate as much to my interests as it does to the strength of the writing.  I certainly found this story to be a worthwhile read, but it also features a paranormal creature type I find fascinating but lacking in the literature, so I might appreciate it as much for the unique setting and characters as the story (and little bit of heat).

There was quite a bit of slow build up to a brief but heated payoff, the story not overly compelling but the setting and the characters were definitely intriguing to me.

Recommended for fans of (spoilers): giving in to one’s lust despite warnings; demons; the potential heat of an incubus.

Sizzle:
Explicit Heat: fire fire  – Just one brief explicit encounter, but it was nicely steamy
Passion: heart heart – what chemistry is present is based as much on character description and drive then connection between the two – but it worked for me
Genre:  Adult Romance


Other Comments (spoilers):
I’m a huge fan of incubi, and even a quick, brief story with a significant focus on this erotic demon made the read very enjoyable for me.

Hellmaw: Of the Essence by G. Harbowy (review)

Hellmaw: Of the Essence Book Cover

Title: Hellmaw: Of the Essence
Author: Gabrielle Harbowy
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Format:  Novel (179 pages)
Sites: PublisherGoodreads | Amazon
Series: Hellmaw #7
Publisher: Ed Greenwood Group (April 2016)
ISBN: 9781772700305

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  A threatened daemon treads a treacherous path of blackmail and murder 

Another departure from my usual male-male romance reviews, this novel is an interesting,  intriguing and LGBT-friendly urban fantasy story, so it may be of interest to paranormal LGBT romance fans.

In the dangerous and sometimes bloodthirsty world of intrigue for those daemons exiled on Earth, the artist Quills attempts to stand apart. The story of her attempt to remain safe in a swirling sea of danger is inventive and compelling. The novel was a wonderful weave of political intrigue, cloak-and-dagger scheming, and the strength of individual conviction, yielding a highly personal tale of struggle within a broader, brutal setting.

The protagonist had a nice mix of daemonic hunger, the detachment of an exiled expatriate, and a clarity of personal will that made Quills a compelling character. Her story is a rewarding journey to the Hellmaw, and I’m looking forward to see other stories in this potentially horrific yet strangely enticing setting.

The story does lead to a couple of  intimate encounters (very appropriate to the plot), including some LGBT-friendly passion.  The writing draws the reader nicely into the intimacy with some nice bits of sizzle before a satisfying “fade to black.”  (The daemons at the center of this setting seem to be able to shift all parts of their forms, which leads to gender-fluidity and hints at varied and interesting intimate if not always romantic couplings.)