Children of the Night
Authors: Christi Snow, Joanna Chambers, Maris Black, and Tinnean
Title: Children of the Night
Rating: Two Petals
On the Publisher's Website:
Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean—It's finally the day of Ioan's eighteenth birthday, and all that he's been waiting for will finally be his—including the love of the man he's secretly been in love with all these years. Everything is perfect. Until the love of his life shows up to his birthday party with a wife.
Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers—There is very little Lucien enjoys more than the hunt of young men: beautiful, innocent, eager to learn all that a mature man like Lucien might be able to teach them...
Smolder by Christi Snow—All Zack wants is to be left alone. When Marissa, his boss, calls with orders that he take care of a new vampire in her area because she can't, he's absolutely certain this assignment is going to go any way but well.
Lilac and Leather by Maris Black—Halloween night, and Matt would prefer to be anywhere but in an over-crowded club, especially when an old lover shows up, and he finally has to admit he's gay. But the night takes a turn for the strange—and hot—when he meets the beautiful, mysterious Nicky...
All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Rainbow Railroad.
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
These four erotic tales of vampires figuring out their lives and loves is particularly positive because all proceeds go to a good cause. Check out the Rainbow Railroad for more information.
Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean: Three Petals
Ioan's got wonderful plans of what to do with the man he loves now that Ioan's of age, but when that man shows up married and uninterested, suddenly Ioan must realize that his true love has been with him all along. Overall I did like this story, particularly Ione's interactions with his twin and the characterizations throughout. Unfortunately, the story felt incomplete, as if it were only a few chapters pulled from a larger work. There were hints of an escalating political situation, and issues they might encounter in the U.S., but the story ended before any of the plot--aside from the romance--was fully realized.
Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers: One Petal
Lucien loves his men young and inexperienced and this time he's picked out the perfect man for his bed, except Marcus turns out to be everything Lucien didn't know he really wanted. This story made me uncomfortable to read. There's a lot that in this story that comes across as just this side of not consensual, including Lucien's rather twisted plans and Marcus' even more twisted reaction. I have to say that I didn't guess the surprise at the end, but at that point I was so eager to be done that it didn't really matter.
Smolder by Christi Snow: Three Petals
Zack is a loner by choice, so when his boss forces him to take care of a baby vampire, Zack can't help being unhappy, that is, until he actually meets the man in question. I thought this was the best story in the anthology. I liked the world building of vampires fitting into modern society and how Nash is able to eventually figure his own life out. This story did suffer from lack of depth, particularly in the characters' backstories which were glossed over. It was hard to believe in the romance when I didn't have an emotional connection to, or any real understanding of, why Zack was initially so reticent. This book is part of a series, so I'm hoping more will be explained in a future story.
Lilac and Leather by Maris Black: One Petal
When Matt is dragged to a club he doesn't expect to out himself or to find a man he could love, but that's what happens and now he has to figure out his new life. I thought this was the weakest story in the anthology. The author appeared to have a number of good ideas for the story, but was never able to flesh them out properly. What was left was a jumble of scenes and emotions that never connected, leaving me as a reader to struggle through. Matt's coming out was painful to read in a bad way and the story never improved from there.
I'm not going to lie, I don't recommend this anthology. Overall the stories were weak, not well plotted, and lacked in depth. However, all proceeds from the anthology go to a good cause, so even if you're not getting good a quality story for your money, it's still worth it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.