Bareback by Amber Green & From Afar by Ava March

Bareback (The Huntsmen, #2)Bareback by Amber Green

Blurb:
Bare is back without brother. Brian is a huntsman, born a twin warrior, but his brother died at birth. All attempts to pair him with other untwinned boys proved ill-fated; he grew up bareback, a solo, a jinx. Determined to make his own way outside his overprotective family, he moves to a town that used to be very comfortable as the belly-button of nowhere, isolated amid the wetlands and cattle country of central Florida. Sexually facile, Brian anticipates no real difficulty finding a feeder to keep him brimming with the sexual and emotional energies a huntsman must feed on to remain human. He finds Joe.

Joe’s a straight-up straight cop standing fast in the moral heart of that once-small town. He’s well-liked and well-respected, tolerant of the weaknesses of other people (except in his own family) and oblivious to the danger at the heart of his police force. When the dark side of the police — a band of vigilantes gone pure outlaw — meets the dark side of the huntsmen — hydes who have lost their humanity and now feed on the terror and pain of their victims — Joe has to decide what price he’ll pay to save the innocent.

Huntsmen, hydes, and humans! In the blood-drenched, condo-cluttered Florida landscape, a hero takes a stand, and a man loves a man.


My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Review:

I chose this one because I like Amber Green and wanted something different. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series but found this easy enough to pick up any important background. The story is decent and the characters well developed for the most part. Yet something feels missing as my attention kept wandering. The characters and the plot itself feel rushed and the ending had me reading twice since it didn’t make much sense. There seems to be a lot of accepted facts made without much logical reasoning or background. I don’t think the issue is because it’s part of a series so much as the characters just make a statement and move on.

Part of this goes into the problems with the plot. Brian is new in town and comes upon a gang murder. He’s then put into the path of local cop Joe. Now Brian is a werewolf type creature that feeds on sexual energy and happens to be gay. Joe is a straight cop with a family of huntsman but he doesn’t know it. Joe and Brian get it on with Joe happily getting into the sex and there is no angst about “oh I’m gay now” he simply is. This is a bit of a stretch since the beginning is all about Joe saying no no no and then suddenly he gives in and starts petting Brian in public. The switch was abrupt and jarring, which contributed to not really connecting with either character.

The murder mystery aspect feels rushed with too many missing pieces. Not to give any spoilers there are a lot of people involved in the gang or covering up for the gang and it involves both the cops and the huntsman groups. There is a scene at the end that tells you little to nothing, yet a lot happens. I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on and how the final resolution came about but then again the murder mystery never really gripped me either. I like the author’s writing and the character of Brian but everyone else felt empty and bland.

Get it HERE!

From AfarFrom Afar by Ava March

Blurb:
Some rules are destined to be broken.

Loneliness. A concept with which Raphael Laurent is very familiar. He’s lived a solitary life for thirty-six years, shunning the excesses of the local vampire clan—until he spots Lord Aleric Vane, the handsome and dissolute third son of a duke. For three years Raphael has watched from a distance, for only when he is near Aleric does the hollow, empty ache in his chest ease.

Cut off from his family for refusing to follow his father’s dictates, Aleric’s nights are filled with vice. But after three years in London, the city has lost all appeal. Desolate and penniless, his future appears bleak. Until a mysterious man drops from the shadows to drive off a trio of murderous thieves.

When Aleric awakens, he finds himself forever changed. The itch for more that drove him to London is gone. In its place is the feeling that he’s known the beautiful Raphael all his life.

But to save Aleric, Raphael had to break the rules, giving him a chance to love the one man he never thought he could have—a chance that could be ripped away by Aleric himself…

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review:

From Afar is a pretty typical Ava March offering. If you’ve read other books by this author you know what you’re going to get – a good historical backdrop against lots of hot sex and gorgeous but brooding characters. Here a vampire is thrown into the mix with the anguished and lonely Raphael. He’s been following Aleric and late one night changes the object of his affection to a vampire rather than let him die.

The strength of the story is really Raphael. He’s a very typical brooding vampire, alone and not fitting with the local decadent clan. He’s desperate to have someone of his own and forms an obsession for a local Lord who’s fallen on hard times. The romance between Aleric and Raphael is hot, heavy, and enticing. The sex is of course dirty, bloody, exciting, and steamy enough to raise your heartbeat. Add in a few velvet frocks and some supernatural strength and the erotica are scenes you’ll read again and again – more than the story itself.

The London background is well crafted as typical of March yet the story ultimately feels somewhat hollow. The vampire clan is intriguing and the lush, evocative descriptions create an eye catching, if dark, atmosphere. Yet these and the various characters introduced are underutilized and actually ignored other than to create brief tension. The main romance has enough tension and conflict within it not to need to the outside stimulus so it’s doubly disappointing that such a great idea is introduced and dropped so quickly.

From Afar is a bit like a small feast. It’s lush, rich, and sensual from the descriptions to the characters. It’s fun to read, incredibly fast at the small novella size and worth the time and money. It’s nothing new from March but it’s what she’s so good at and fans especially will appreciate that.

Get it HERE!

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