Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride
Lukas Blacque is a deeply closeted werewolf, and more than almost anything in life, he desires his neighbor, Oliver Bleu. Oliver is a vampire who is slowly dying from insomnia. More than anything, he needs Lukas Blacque and the rich blood that flows through his veins.
On the day that Blacque makes an important commitment to his family and pack, he succumbs to temptation and spends a passionate weekend with the alluring vampire. At sunset on Friday, it’s all about urgent lust and the drive to lose his virginity. When the sun rises on Monday, lust has shifted to love and devotion. Will he be able to walk away? Will Bleu let him go?
In Blacque’s world, vampires and werewolves make uneasy bedfellows, and a gay werewolf is an impossibility. In Bleu’s world, all living creatures are little more than vessels for food and sex. But in the mysterious and magical town of Arcada, rules are broken and the unexpected is always waiting right around the corner. Can Blacque and Bleu survive long enough for Arcada’s magic to work for them?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Blacque/Bleu is a cute play on words with Oliver Bleu as a near century old vampire and Lukas Blacque as a closeted werewolf mechanic. The sexual chemistry is hot and the sex scenes are just plain fun to read. There is some tension since Lukas is closeted and Oliver has an obsessive maker wanting to put Oliver on his crazy shelf, but these issues are mostly handled in the blink of an eye. That’s the only downfall to the story, since the driving tension is so weakly resolved. Otherwise the characters are entertaining and well crafted, if a bit cutesy.
The story is character driven as Lukas and Oliver dance around each other than finally get together. There’s a good supporting cast with the manipulative alpha and Lukas’ father Dane, Lukas’ sister, and eventually Oliver’s family that play into the mix. These appearances are almost always associated with manipulation and a way to advance the tension between Lukas and Oliver but they work well in those respects. The secondary cast feels fully formed and important. They could easily exist on their own and not simply as extensions of the main characters.
Oliver and Lukas are well matched and nicely complex. Oliver has some guilt and angst over his death and the family he left behind while Lukas is pretty angst filled over being a gay werewolf. He gives in extremely easy to the obvious manipulations of his father Dane, which definitely weakens Lukas as a character. This capitulation supposedly sets up the main tension in that Lukas and Oliver can’t be together with Lukas the heir to the alpha. Yet that entire issue just disappears later on. Lukas says they can’t be together for numerous reasons, which all make sense. Later in the story none of those reasons have actually changed or disappeared yet Lukas just ignores them and the happy couple is together again. This definitely makes the ending weaker than it would otherwise be since it’s more of a hand waving; don’t look at the problems anymore than resolving any issues.
I did like that the characters felt genuine without a lot of over the top actions, even considering their supernatural abilities. I especially liked the twist with Oliver’s vampirism and scarring. It’s not the first time I’ve encountered this concept but it’s not the usual vampire clichés so I definitely appreciated the creativity. The town backdrop is also quite entertaining and wonderful. The latent magic in the idea and the various fascinating residents make for a really great touch to the story. It’s one that offers so many possibilities and also makes you want to read more about the town. This would be the perfect backdrop for a series.
The chemistry between Lukas and Oliver is pretty hot and their sex has a very mild D/s component to it. This is extremely mild though so don’t let it turn you away if D/s isn’t your thing. Instead their interaction feels natural and honest and the slight D/s plays into that. Their sex scenes are great though and very steamy with just the right amount of spice, teasing, and satisfaction. The writing is pretty engaging and the 200 pages kind of flew by without noticing. This isn’t a story I’d necessarily read again but I liked reading the story and enjoy the characters a lot.
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