Quod Tam Sitio by AM Riley
George is an Anglican priest who loves music and the church. His life is very fulfilling; now if only he could find someone to share it with. However, options are limited for a gay priest, as he can’t exactly go trolling through the clubs.
Fate steps in when the lovely Dominick is drawn to the church by the lovely sound of the gay men’s choir singing. George is their director and he is delighted to find out that the beautiful Dominick has a stunning voice. George immediately falls for the young man, but Dominick has a secret that may destroy them both.
I’m going to guess that this is one of the first books the author wrote as it has some significant problems but does show where Riley’s interests lie. There are vampires, clergy, and some BDSM overtones. Unfortunately the plot has some rather big holes and the characterization is choppy, making this book not on par with later efforts. This is a decent enough offering but no where near the brilliance of later books so it may be of more interest for those fans of the author, whereas there are better stories for readers. The story is enjoyable and easy to read with classic elements I’ve come to associate with Riley, but not a novella I’d read again.
George is a gay priest and in charge of the men’s choir at his church. He is helplessly drawn to the tortured soul of a mysterious man who sits across the park from the church but never comes closer. When George finally gets up the nerve to talk to the man, he embarks on a journey filled with supernatural and religious elements, stretching his belief. Dominick must rely on George’s help to get out from the maniacal ownership of another vampire, but nothing is that easy.
The characters are mostly well developed but rather choppy. The main character of George is a gay priest, who has no issues with his sexuality nor does his church. George is a hopeless romantic with a healthy sex drive and is attracted to Dominick sexually first. However, George falls in love almost immediately which throws causes a few stumbles in his characterization. For his part, Dominick waffles between a tortured vampire who was a monk before falling prey to a vampire. Now he struggles with his Master’s cruelty and can’t help his attraction to George. The story tries to throw tension between Dominick and George as they go through a push and pull relationship. They come together in fits of passion but then one or the other has a problem and they run off to think about it. There’s no real question either man will leave, instead it just prolongs the happy ending with bits of ill timed angst.
Furthermore the secondary characters are contradictory. There is George’s friend and fellow priest, Patricia, who alternates between supporting George and reminding him that Dominick is an evil demon that should be killed. Her characterization is flawed in that the story can’t decide if she’s good, bad, or something in between. She’s mostly helpful to George, which makes the bouts of anger confusing. Similarly Dominick’s sister, Poinsettia, is introduced early and mentioned in scenes but mostly forgotten with no explanation of how she came to be insane or with Dominick. Dominick’s new vampire child, Lawrence, exists mostly to help Dominick out of tight spots and provide more artificial tension between George and Dominick. Additionally, the Master character is pretty typical evil vampire, torturing his minions with violence and sex. There is not much to him and he exists to simply torture Dominick whenever he feels he may have a future with George.
The plot is standard with some pretty big plot holes and revolves around George and Dominick struggling to stay together against all odds and problems. The final resolution to the problem of Dominick being a vampire is very loose and not actually well executed. The book ends without explicitly stating what happens. The strength of the book comes in the few scenes that are well written and engaging, showing the connection between the men and their beliefs. Dominick doesn’t experience too much angst for his past and rather practically accepts his choices, which is a nice change from a vampire that hates himself all the time. The sex is tinged with BDSM and I had a bit of a hard time reconciling the soft spoken, mild mannered Anglican priest with a closet domination streak. No doubt this exists, just was hard to really see that sometimes.
Overall this is an ok to decent offering but definitely has more problems than later books. I’d recommend sticking to other books by this author unless you’re a particular fan who wants to read everything. Then you can pick this up with only a few qualms.
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