Title: Driving Borscht Batty
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages/Word Count: 103 Pages
At a Glance: A cute story of a vampire and a bat (I see what you did there, Charlie ::heh heh::) discovering they are mates, and another adventure rescuing more captive shifters.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Out of the Cage: Sometimes dealing with unexpected events can drive you crazy…but that isn’t always a bad thing.
Borscht Kuznetsov is the master of his vampire coven. He likes his donors silent, his people obedient, and his life orderly. When an alarm on the northern outskirts of his property alert him to intruders, he leads the charge to drive the humans from his land. To his surprise, Borscht discovers they were chasing an Egyptian fruit bat. Confused by his sudden onslaught of protectiveness, he realizes the little creature is a shifter…who refuses to shift.
With his only memories that of his time spent in captivity, Sekani doesn’t know much. He can’t even understand the words of the people around him after he escapes from his prison. Still, one of them smells really good…and the man saved him from the hunters. When the man finally says a few words in halting English, Sekani learns that his world is so much larger than he could ever have imagined.
Can Borscht handle his beloved’s overabundance of excitement, especially when he learns that Sekani has friends that need rescuing?
Review: We first met Borscht Kustenov in The Vampire’s Geek, number twenty-six in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series. Borscht’s younger brother Tullion is the protagonist in that story, but we meet the whole Kustenov clan when Tullion turns to them for help. We know that Borscht is a good guy who is happy that Tullion has found his beloved – despite him being a human male. Not all of the family is so understanding, however.
In this story, Borscht goes out to confront a disturbance on his property, and he discovers men hunting. He finds a small bat is their intended quarry. He’s overwhelmed with wanting to protect the little guy, and as he returns to his home, he realizes that the bat is a shifter and that he is most likely his mate – his beloved. But Borscht doesn’t even know what kind of a bat he’s found, and his little bat won’t shift.
After trying to communicate with him in English rather than Russian, it appears that the bat is finally understanding him, and he shifts. Turns out he’s an Egyptian fruit bat named Sekani, who has basically spent his whole life in a cage and been the subject of the scientist’s experiments that entire time. His only friends are other shifters who were also captives. Even though he’s obviously a mature bat and human male, he has no concept of many things – like eating with utensils, a refrigerator, a bed, many foods, etc. He doesn’t like many clothes, and he is very nervous around people and Borscht’s family at first. Borscht’s brother and sisters are kind to him, offering to teach him about all the things he missed out on, but mostly he just wants to be with Borscht. He doesn’t understand his desire or his reaction to Borscht either, and has to have sex explained to him.
Borscht is so kind to Sekani, and he doesn’t want to push him in any way. He adores his little bat, and he desperately wants to protect him. Sekani is worried about his friends, who were being moved at the same time he escaped, and so Borscht calls in the Stone Ridge team and we get to see Jared (YAY!) and company come to the rescue. We also get cameos by some of the other Stone Ridge pack, including Raul, Lyle (the monitor lizard shifting human), and Dr. Carmichael. There are some really intense moments as the scientists and hunters try to get to Sekani, but you know if Jared’s on the case, they’ll never win.
Borscht and Sekani are cute together, and there is a lovely little surprise with Sekani’s taste in clothing. Borscht also puts up with no crap from his homophobic brother, and determines that he’ll do whatever is best for his mate. All in all an enjoyable, quick, cute and quirky read about our paranormals; and any story that has any Jared in it is full of win for me!
For fans of this series, this is a fun one.
You can buy Driving Borscht Batty here: