Liquid Silver Books, $1.99, ISBN 978-1-62210-233-4
Fantasy Romance, 2015 (Reissue)
Melis’s Gambit is a very short story, and it also has a pretty interesting premise. Sometimes, these two concepts can co-exist in the same universe. At other times, such as when ut comes to this story, the short part means that the interesting part is shortchanged and never truly delivered.
Melis, our heroine, is a witch in this alternate version of the old days when the Church encourages people to mob and kill woo-woo folks. She barely escapes a mob with her life, only to fall in with Gerald, a gifted magic-user, who needs help in protecting his son from his wife and her vampire lover. Oh. and he also wants a new wife, and since Melis is gifted, she’d do.
But the story ends so quickly after the sex scene, I feel like I’ve been left high and dry. Firstly, Melis is not an active participant in the final confrontation with the wife who must be gotten rid of so that she can be the only special one ever, so, outside of the sex scene, Melis is basically a bystander looking at things after she’s rescued by Gerald. Gerald’s feelings for Melis are quite ambiguous at the end of the day. Which comes first, the desire to marry a witch for her power, or this so-called love thing? And given that some members of his family can be quite a disagreeable lot who has no issues seeing harm befall Melis, why on earth would any woman want to marry such a man without a more concrete confirmation of his feelings for her? Then again, I suppose one can say that it’s not like Melis has many options in life now that she’s on the run, but this doesn’t make the romance seem any more credible.
So, while this story is a quick and painless read, and the world seems interesting, the story never really takes off when it comes to its quick close. This is an underdeveloped quickie; I didn’t feel anything at all, so wait, is that it?