Nights in Pink Satin by Sharon Maria Bidwell
Vincent is a vampire of world renown, even if most people believe his story is a fable, but with age comes boredom. Seeking out new silk to line his coffin for his annual Cotillion. he comes across a bolt of pink fabric. Curiosity leads him to a mistake that is about to change his existence. Martin is a newly turned vampire and a lonely gay man. When he finds an extremely good looking and famous vampire in his humble abode, he’s glad of the company even though he’s afraid. When a simple mistake leads to explosive passion, what’s a vampire to do but look forward to a future of gay nights between sheets of pink satin?
There’s something about a gay vampire with pink glitter in his hair and lining his coffin in pink satin that just epitomizes fabulous. This is a lighter story without much depth that focuses on the emotions of the vampires rather than action. Unfortunately problematic head hopping keeps jarring the narrative and the tension and conflict created is solved off page, thus ending the story abruptly and without a satisfying resolution. However, the edgy darker tone and the pop of colorful personality combine for an entertaining, if forgettable short story.
When Martin returns home with the latest Kylie Minogue CD, he’s surprised to find a legendary vampire in his home. Just as Martin is dealing with his shock and instant attraction to the handsome “older” man, Vincent is equally shocked to find the owner of the pink satin is a man. Although Vincent is thrown off his seduction plan at the change in gender, Martin is equally determined to show the other vampire the delights of sex between two men. When the vampires are stuck in the closet during the daytime, the explosive chemistry ignites both questions and delight.
This is an interesting story where all the action happens within the span of 24 hours. From the time Vincent discovers the pink satin bolt to when both men leave the apartment, only one day has passed. The men are wary of each other as the sexual chemistry between them sparks. Martin is openly gay and lonely even before his transformation to an undead vampire. He is also strong willed and surprisingly dominant in bed, overwhelming Vincent and his protests. Vincent doesn’t protest much beyond refusing to admit he’s attracted, let alone having sex, with another man instead of a woman. Vincent lets the attraction and great sex between the two override his mental protests.
The story has a dark edge with the blood and emotional tone woven into the mental musings of the men. This keeps the characters sharp even as the men lack some depth. The focus on internal musings helps define the characterization but the problematic writing keeps this from succeeding. The narrative frequently shifts point of view, hopping from Martin’s head to Vincent’s head often paragraph to paragraph creating a disjointed and slightly jarring reading experience. Also unfortunate is that the epilogue sweeps all the dramatic tension and progression into a neat bow with a happy ever after ending. This is shifted from a happy for now ending at the end of the story and unfortunately weakens the entire narrative. Vincent’s struggle to accept his sexuality and a relationship with the flamboyant Martin all occurs off page as the reader is simply informed all is happy at the end. This struggle and acceptance would have been very interesting to read and I was disappointed the men and conflict was introduced then dropped off page.
As a shorter beginning to the characters and brief touching on the London setting, this is a fun, sexy story. I’d like to see more of the two in the future as their opposite personalities are sure to cause conflict then heated make up sex. The complex character of Martin is sure to arouse reader empathy even if Vincent is a little too godly for the context. Overall, fans of vampire stories looking for something different and edgy with a splash of cliché gay tropes be sure to check this out. You might find yourself getting some pink satin sheets.
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