Title: Blood Embrace
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages/Word Count: 133 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Vampires have become the ultimate erotic figure in paranormal literature, but the creatures in “Blood Embrace” are more than just pretty immortals who suck the blood from their victims or companions. This anthology showcases M/M short stories that have unique ideas in the vampire genre, taking them beyond their traditional settings and extravagance. No angst-ridden “sparklepires” or caped Transylvanians who “never drink… wine” here! These tales show off the new and wonderful things that can be done with this tried and true erotic theme.
Bryan is living a normal, suburban life, worried about his cholesterol and whether eating shredded cardboard cereal for breakfast is worth the trouble. Then came the visions. Horrific, bloody scenes pound his mind, and Bryan’s life begins to crumble around him as he loses his grip on reality. Only when he has sunk nearly as low as a man can go does the demon, Jonathan, appear to him to tell Bryan that he has been the source of his ruined life, all in preparation for this moment. Now he must “Choose”, become Jonathan’s loyal sex slave and blood slut, or be sunk forever into the madness. Then, when the vampires rose to ascendancy, some humans fled into the wild, called Freemen among their communities and “Feral” by the vampires and those who stayed to serve them. Mouse is a feral, and when he breaks into house in the woods, he thinks he’s getting nothing more than food to keep him going. What he finds instead is Orrin, a vampire whose seductive grace and unexpected kindness make Mouse want to be caught.
Mike is a starving artist whose popular fantasy art keeps him alive while he strives for his true goal: placement in a prominent gallery. And when he uses red lamps to create his “Red Filter” series, he knows he’s more inspired than he’s ever been. Unfortunately, he’s also suffering, and as his art comes together, his health falls apart. It’s all the fault of the creature who stalks his dreams and haunts the edges of his vision while he paints, and once Mike realizes it, he finds a way to pull David, a psychic vampire, into his own reality… and under his power. Finally, for years, Hyde has had one unassailable mission: find the demon that lured his twin and fellow Catholic priest, Samuel, away from God. But when the monster is finally within his grasp, even the power of God and His holy symbols may not be enough to save Hyde from the vampire’s wicked words and seductive secrets “Of The Flesh”.
Review: After a long list of contemporary romances with too much angst, I finally got my hands on an anthology of vampire stories called Blood Embrace. This anthology is not filled with your usual vampire stories but tales that are a little edgier and darker. Some of the stories were not what I would normally gravitate towards, so I didn’t get into them that much. While the premises were interesting, the story telling didn’t move me enough to appreciate them. The MCs had more cons than pros and even with evil vamps turned into good vamps, these just didn’t work for me.
The one story that I really enjoyed was Feral by Katya Harris. This story was right up my alley. It had all my favorite elements: a hot alpha vampire with a conscience, a waif who is fragile yet strong at the same time, and incredible sexual chemistry between the two leads that will melt ice. The premise of the story was that in the future, due to global changes, the human population begins to die out and vampires ascend to the top of the food chain. Humans become the vampires’ vassals, or blood donors, and the free humans who don’t want to be subjugated by vampires are ferals. Mouse is a feral, he brakes into a vampire’s house for food. Orin, the vamp, wants Mouse from the get go, and the rest is predictable but enjoyable nonetheless. I wished this story was the whole book because I wanted to know more about this new world, and wanted more of Mouse and Orin. Very cute, sweet and hot!
Of the Flesh by S.L Armstrong and K Piet was another one that I enjoyed. I felt it was a bit rushed, but I did get into it. I thought there was also a lot of material left out that could have made this into a longer story that I would definitely read.
Edgy and entertaining, Blood Embrace is a mixed bag of vampires. If you’re looking for something different, then try it.
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