Amber Allure, $7.00, ISBN 978-1-60272-038-1
Fantasy Erotica, 2007
This review originally appeared on The Naughty Bits, which is sadly no longer around. It’s now here with Teddypig’s permission. Note that the publishers mentioned in this review had long closed their doors.
I was talking with someone the other day about a gay vampire romance series I am reading over at Loose Id and the fact I could not quite put my finger on it but even after three books into the series it was simply missing something. The person I was talking to was also reading the series and stated, “It needed more emotion.“
I stopped, I thought about it and damn she was right, the whole three books came across written in a muted tone of emotional distance. Sure the sex was there and the usual violence inherent in a vampire romance, gay or straight. It was all there but the emotion, the thing that draws me into liking any morally ambiguous bad boy character like a vampire and wanting to find out more about them and eventually see them get the guy, it was simply missing.
Jamie Craig has none of those problems here in Master of Obsidian. The vampire Gideon is a gentlemen with an admittedly disturbing past but he stays civil and honorable and has a trusting human assistant named Jesse Madding who is his best friend and right hand man. The relationship is very professional and courteous… that is until a drug called Obsidian starts showing up that by simply touching it drives vampires to unleash their hidden inner desires.
“You gave me the door knob, knowing it was tainted,” Gideon said. Whether he was deliberately ignoring Jesse’s meaning, he had no idea. He simply wished he could see what Gideon was doing. “You did it deliberately to see what would happen.”
There wasn’t time for a response. The crack of leather split the air. Jesse trapped the howl in his throat, and his lungs seized, the sudden contact freezing the air in his chest. He was more shocked than hurt, but the shock enveloped him completely. His cock jerked, a single thread of pleasure winding its way down his spine and to his groin.
“I’m sorry,” Jesse gasped, when he could speak. “It won’t happen again.”
Gideon chuckled. “You’re lying. You’ve got balls, I’ll give you that. But if you thought it would get you what you wanted, you’d do it again.” The whip cracked again. Slivers of heat sliced down Jesse’s back. “Admit it.”
Gideon is suddenly dominating Jesse in the most forcefully HOT, sexy as hell, BDSM sex scenes I have read in a long while. This is not your mother’s Anne Rice purple poofy pompous emo gay vampire romance. Gideon is of course ashamed of himself when he wakes up the next morning after having been pile driving and sucking his assistant into complete submission throughout the night. Jesse on the other hand loved every nasty, bad boy, fuck me harder, minute of it. In fact he wants more, a lot more and he is gonna make damn sure he gets it and Gideon as his Master to boot while riding this jagged edge of disaster.
“The difference is knowing when to stop and then caring enough to actually do it.” When Gideon snaked his tongue around the shell of Jesse’s ear, a shiver ran down Jess’ spine. “Even when I know how badly you want it.”
Jesse clutched Gideon’s shirt with one hand, his other hand sneaking between their bodies to cup Gideon’s erection. “I’m glad one of us knows when to stop,” he murmured. “Because sometimes I do want it.”
Gideon snorted. “I’m beginning to wonder if your definition of sometimes is the same as Webster’s.”
It was passages like this that caught my attention and made me enjoy the interplay between the two men. I liked the idea of love and fear being combined to create this hot passionate relationship between a vampire and a human. Gideon’s control is a battle fought minute by minute.
The crime they investigate reflects the relationship they begin, the deaths caused by the Obsidian drug, a drug that allows vampires to let go and do whatever they have carefully inhibited themselves from doing.
This idea was then reflected in the sudden feelings that spring up between Gideon and Jesse. The idea that Gideon would/could eventually let go and harm or kill Jesse and that Jesse finds that ultimate power over his life by Gideon sexually HAWT.
This dark almost self destructive dance of danger is also reflected in the BDSM dynamics they then explore. Mirrors within mirrors.
Go now, pick this book up over at Amber Heat or Amber Allure or Amber “whatever the hell they are gonna create next week”. I just do not get those sections they have. Get over it guys, pick one name, promote it, and stick with it… OK? I swear these publishers can act like elementary school kids when it comes to selling gay romance sometimes. What is wrong with simply calling the whole frigging website one professional name (Amber Press perhaps?), like your well known competitor Samhain does and quit acting like mixing the genres will give the rest of the books cooties or something. How silly can you get? It just makes finding these great books confusing and the last thing we need is another difficult website to wade through like Torquere Press.
Grade A Jamie Craig!