WhatWhat: Steve is a gambler from a family of gamblers, and Daniel needs him to pull off his latest scheme (it involves beating the table at Baccarat). But Steve is a Langley and Daniel is a Sinclair, and they aren’t supposed to work together or fuck or fall in love.
It’s a hard way to make an easy living. (loc 154)
“We shouldn’t,” he said.
“You’re right,” I replied. (loc 169)
Verdict: I have a thing for professional gamblers, and the fictional ones are a lot less trouble than the real ones. When I say things like “this was achingly romantic” my fellow reviewers laugh and throw things, but it was, damn it. It’s more a short m/m romance than a piece of erotica, but it’s well-written and was immensely enjoyable.
WhatWhat: Dogfuck Rapeworld meets Romeo and Juliet. Billionaire omega werewolf Everett Grenwald must accept a suitor and mate for life in order to please his father, but the suitor his father has selected (Kristoff Zambardo) is repulsive, and besides, Everett has never gotten over his boyhood crush on lowborn alpha Trent Varen–who just happens to be Zambardo’s bodyguard.
If that all sounds a lot like a Harlequin romance, just remember there’s shapeshifting and knotting in this, which rarely show up in category romances.
“I’ve been looking forward to our union,” he shouts, trying to sound seductive over the sound of the engine. I give him a forced smile, and whirls around dramatically in a lame attempt to look cool. (loc 97)
I see his head snap back and bang hard against the wall and he crumples to a heap, unconscious. “And fuck you too,” I say, then I lift up my hind leg and piss on him. (loc 1190)
Verdict: This really, really did remind me of romance novels, and I unexpectedly found myself getting caught up in Trent and Everett’s relationship. The knotting was less obtrusive in this one, somehow. Possibly I’m developing immunity.
Also, Canis Blackfang is still the best possible pseudonym for Omegaverse stuff.
WhatWhat: In a world where hamburgers have been made illegal, Emmy agrees to take part in a heist, and finds herself falling for one of the gang: the oddly attractive Hambandit. But crossing the McDonnell mob is dangerous business…
“And that’s why I need your help,” said the Hambandit.
Captain Criminal, the famed sandwich pirate, stepped forward. “You have my sword.”
Two of the soft drinks from the Merry Meal Gang bowed. “And our straws,” they said in unison.
“And our potatoes, golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside,” said a cardboard box full of french fries. (loc 81)
The big guy. Rumour was that he’d been in the burger-running game from the beginning, even before hamburgers became illegal. He was known by many names. The Man in the Big Red Shoes. The Dancing Clown. Ron. He used to be all right–an upstanding citizen, more or less. He even ran a house for sick kids, for Christ’s sake. Nobody knows what happened to turn him so rotten. (loc 137)
“Oh God. Robble robble. Robble robble!” he shouted. She pulled back before he could come. (loc 261)
“Easy, girl,” said the Colonel. “Now that’s better. Good girl, Wendy.” (loc 330)
Incidentally, that last quote (the one with Wendy) isn’t from a sex scene, but it was horrifying and hilarious in context.
Verdict: I made my husband do a junk food run before I read this, which is just as well, as I may never be able to eat a burger again.
This was BRILLIANT, and everyone should go read it right now. But it was disturbing as hell; I may be in therapy forever trying to come to terms with what happened to Grimmis, damn it.
There’s not actually a lot of sex in this, but that’s kind of a good thing, as the sex scene involves an unexpected and unsettling transformation (Emmy changes when she gets excited; I’m not spoiling things by saying more than that).
Is it just me, or is Canada seriously punching about its weight in the weird short erotica category? Leonard Delaney is a twisted, strange national treasure. He’s written the weirdest heist story ever, with kind of a mob-and-bootleggers flavour to it.