They Called Him Nightmare by Deja Black (review)

Tagline: Two creatures of the night – one dark, one light – cannot forget a burning touch
Alternate tag:  a vampire’s thirst and need to possess encounters a hotly burning dark man with deeper secrets

They Called Him Nightmare Book Cover Image

Title: They Called Him Nightmare
Author: Deja Black
Genre:  Paranormal Gay Erotica
Format:  Short Story (7k words, 26 pages)

Series: Walk on Wild Side

Publisher: Dreamspinner (June 2016)

ISBN: 978-1-63477-502-1

Retail:  $1.99

Also available:  Walk on Wild Side Anthology

Rating:   star  star  star  star  star  (5 stars – I loved it!)

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


Synopsis: Kai Bennu, a man of dark skin and even darker secrets, is taunted as a Nightmare in his small Carolina town.  Golden boy Alex Vasilios is more than intrigued by the Nightmare, yet all of his powerful charm cannot real him in.  A mere touch between the two leaves an immediate burn and a long-term sizzle that does not dissipate. When it is time for men to move on in life, can anything replace and surpass that supernatural boyhood burning and yearning?

Review:  I am not sure how to even begin to review this without revealing the tantalizing details of the story.  Normally, I try not to reveal any more (or at least not too much more) than the publisher’s synopsis unveils.  This short story switches back and forth between the two protagonists, revealing the core hunger and fears of both boys and then men as they each struggle with their own fantastic natures.  The exposition for each character is absolutely compelling, enticing, and enchanting, engaging my rapt attention like no other story has in a long time.

The switch between the point of view that quickly thrusts deep secrets and longings out to the reader obviously worked extremely well for me, binding me in a spell of interest and fascination that usually takes chapters upon chapters to evoke from me as a reader.  While this writing style might not work for some, it took my breath away, reeling me into a supernatural short story incredibly quickly and effectively.

The ultimate physical connection was fine, but the reveal at the end was a perfect payoff for me.


Recommended for fans of: Extremely light and rather dark fantastical creatures; first person point-of-view of quickly and piercingly laying out the longings and fears of supernatural creatures living in a sea of humanity.

Sizzle:
Explicit Heat: fire  fire  fire –  Only two explicit scenes, but they burned very hot for me.
Passion: heart  heart  heart  heart  – For such a short story, it’s hard to imagine more passion that worked for me


Other Comments (spoilers):

The vampire’s narration was the most compelling description of supernatural hunger and lust I have read in quite a while.

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His Very Own Vampire by S. Michael (review)

Tagline:  Lost human heir inherits a vampire protector 

His Very Own Vampire by Sean Michael Book Cover

Title: His Very Own Vampire
Author: Sean Michael
Genre:  Paranomal M/M Roma
Format:  Novella (60 pages)
SitesGoodreads
Publisher: Amber Allure (October 2015)
ISBN: 9781681750996

Other: Out of print (Amber closed)

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

A brief, entertaining novella that has a minimal but interesting story leading to a nice, heated payoff in the end. The set-up, a vampire serving a human house, is different and intriguing, although the story is so short I wanted to know much more about how “short-lived” mortals would keep a long-lived vampire in their service as a bodyguard for generations. The connection with a human heir who did not know his family led to some nice interaction with a drifter who suddenly finds a vampire out to protect him. Finally, the ultimate physical connection was nicely intense for me. Overall, it was short and nothing particularly bewitching, but an enjoyable, heated little diversion in any case.
The ultimate sex scene in this story struck me as bit more like a heterosexual encounter, which I have thought through a bit a blog post.

Rethinking M/M Romance Intimacy that Reads Like Heterosexual Love

While Sean Michael’s His Very Own Vampire is a heated, entertaining, but otherwise rather unremarkable novella, it made me rethink some of my ideas about women writing male/male romances.

One of the critiques of women who write male/male romances concerns the lack of believability regarding the mechanics of man-on-man physical intimacy. In particular, for me sometimes male/male sex in these stories often focuses on anal intercourse, with the culmination of both the relationship and the sexual release only coming from such penetrative encounters. In my personal experience, these encounters seem much closer to the sex I’ve had with women rather than men. Many men aren’t particular fans of anal intercourse, rarely practice it, and in my experience only a handful enjoy bottoming so incredibly much it gives them mind-blowing orgasms. (Many men find plenty of other physical acts with another man to be extraordinarily intimate and wonderfully overwhelming. On the other hand, in male/female encounters I have found vaginal sex much more often leads to the most intimate contact and most intense releases for both parties.)

I don’t mind that many intimate scenes in m/m romance focus on anal sex for the most physically satisfying, emotional-connecting encounters, even if they strike me as a bit more typically heterosexual then gay male love. I’m sure there are male couples who experience this intensity from anal intercourse. Even if I’m right and that such a focus on mind-blowing anal intercourse is rare in real life, if the authors and readers (female or male) enjoy those scenes in a steamy romance, that’s all that really matters. Although it sometimes stretches believability for me just a bit, I still can appreciate that type of consummation when the characters, chemistry, and heat are  enticing and well written.

In Sean Michael’s book, the ultimate physical intimacy included the human male climaxing from the vampire’s hand, mouth, and then finally from being mounted, all in quick succession, and all the while maintaining and not losing a heightened, stiff sense of arousal. I have found this type of reaction very typical in my encounters with women (building repeated orgasms moving from fingers to mouth to intercourse) and unknown in my encounters with men (who have always needed significant recovery time after release to start again, if they recovered again that session at all). So when I read this story, I assumed a woman had written it, as it struck me as it seemed typical to me of male/female love and not at all of male/male intimacy.

But this writer is a man.

I take a couple of lessons from the fact that a male author wrote a m/m sex scene that reminded me personally much more of heterosexual intimacy.

1) Since a vampire was involved, it’s possible the continuous arousal and multiple orgasms of the human man could very well be keying off a mystical connection with his blood mate, even if that wasn’t clear to me in the book. Sometimes suspending a little disbelief, be it for paranormal abilities or just for reasons of author preferences and plot devices, allows the reader to let those “semi-believable” moments enhance the reading experience and can make the story more enjoyable for the reader.

2) Just because something in a male/male romance strikes me as more like male/female sex, doesn’t mean other male couples have not experienced this type of overwhelming release or will interpret the scene in the same way that I do.

As I said, when I’ve previously read m/m intimate scenes that read to me like m/f sex, it usually didn’t bother me or I found it only a bit incongruous with the story. After reading such a scene by a male writer, I’m even more likely to chalk my reaction up to my personal history, and therefore likely to be even more accepting that at least some male couples experience and/or appreciate the greatest intimacy, emotional connection, and physical release from fully penetrative, personal intercourse with another man.

Review:

His Very Own Vampire by Sean Michael Book Cover

Title: His Very Own Vampire
Author: Sean Michael
Genre:  Paranomal M/M Romance
Format:  Novella (60 pages)
SitesGoodreads
Publisher: Amber Allure (October 2015)
ISBN: 9781681750996

Other: Out of print (Amber closed)

3 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Lost human heir inherits a vampire protector 

A brief, entertaining novella that has a minimal but interesting story leading to a nice, heated payoff in the end. The set-up, a vampire serving a human house, is different and intriguing, although the story is so short I wanted to know much more about how “short-lived” mortals would keep a long-lived vampire in their service as a bodyguard for generations. The connection with a human heir who did not know his family led to some nice interaction with a drifter who suddenly finds a vampire out to protect him. Finally, the ultimate physical connection was nicely intense for me. Overall, it was short and nothing particularly bewitching, but an enjoyable little diversion in any case.