Title: Fangs Like Me
Author: Lyssa Dering
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 120 Pages
At a Glance: A short work with amazing depth—not your standard Paranormal Romance.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: Lane, a newborn vampire, still feels the pain of betrayal. Two years ago, a faithless boyfriend took his life, and now, Lane’s Maker has also left him behind. The pain of separation burns strong when all Lane wants are arms to hold him and enough warm blood to satisfy his voracious appetite. At a shifter party, Lane is drawn to a hunky Alpha werewolf who tries to console him.
Parker is more than a thoughtless hookup. Since his family disowned him for finding boys just as hot as girls, all he wants is someone to love and look after. The sweet little vamp calls to his protective instincts, but he sure is jumpy. Cuddling with boys is new and delicious, but when this boy also wants him as a food source, things get complicated.
Vampires and shifters aren’t supposed to get along, and Parker’s rough dominance triggers bad memories for Lane. But Parker’s wolf wants Lane, and he knows he can give Lane what he needs. Can Lane learn to navigate his past and give the thing growing between them a chance? Or will the very real possibilities of heartache, abandonment, and even death, keep them apart?
Review: For a short work, this story had an incredible scope. Our protagonist, Lane, is a baby vamp, freshly killed and turned two years ago. He’s trained and protected by his vampire family, who become a bit nervous when he starts hanging out with shifters at parties. Still dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder from being killed by a past boyfriend, Lane is struggling with any type of violence, abandonment, bloodlust, and all kinds of domination, and shifters have been known to be a rowdy bunch. Lane’s maker leaves for a conference across seas, and it’s sort of a perfect storm when Lane stumbles upon Parker, a wolf shifter, and the two hit it off.
Parker is dealing with his own issues. Though packs are supposed to be tight-knit, Parker was ostracized for being bisexual, something that shouldn’t have make his family turn away from him, but did. When he meets Lane, it’s almost the last thing he needed. On top of that, he can’t help but be slightly forceful and growly around him, now that he and his wolf know who he wants as his mate.
Though there was romance, I wouldn’t call this story a Romance. There’s a hefty amount of vampire and shifter history that goes into this piece, and it seems as if paranormal culture has been experiencing some troubles in their world and could do with an update. The majority of Lane’s issues have less to do with Parker and more to do with Lane’s unresolved posttraumatic stress and the fact that he doesn’t feel loved or cared for by his maker, which is another symptom of those larger vampire cultural issues.
I hadn’t paid much attention to how long (or short) this work was when I picked it up, so I was incredibly jarred when the end snuck up on me, and with the blurb asking, “Can Lane learn to navigate his past and give the thing growing between them a chance?” I guess I was expecting some sort of romantic resolution. Instead, I got an incredibly touching and poignant scene, which made me reevaluate the burning question and what this story was truly about. That isn’t bad, necessarily, but more of a friendly heads up for those of you who may have been interested in an easy Paranormal Romance, which this isn’t.
There’s a lot to unpack in this novella, and at the very least it was unique and gave me pause. I say it’s perfect for anyone who loves something other than your typical shifter story, such as myself. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
You can buy Fangs Like Me here: