I'm a writer. I write m/m erotica. Kind of dark stuff, even though in real life I like rainbows and puppies and kittens. Not all at once though. That would be overwhelming.
OMG, you guys. Remember when vampires were actually scary? And not pretty? Remember when they were properly creepy dead things? T. Baggins does!
Okay, so Ban is not ugly. Except when he's being tortured by his maker, Sebastian, who is ugly, because of a whole fire issue several centuries ago. But Ban is scary. Not as scary as Sebastian though, who made me read this book with the lights on. Sebastian is proper horror grotesque.
Sebastian is in town to try and buy a manor house, and Ban acts as his agent, since Sebastian is currently doing that whole gross animated-corpse thing while he heals from his burns. It's through this that Ban meets Nicholas, a man who, thanks to a nasty accident considers himself only half a man. I have to admit, at this point I figured Ban's smoking-hot-but-evil-sexiness would cure all Nicholas's injuries, but...gasp...it didn't! Certainly Nicholas isn't as incapacitated as even he thinks, but there is no magic fix.
And I should probably point out here that the torture scenes in this, and the death scenes, are...um...very detailed. Which I didn't mind, but that goes back to my love of horror. YMMV.
The historical setting was great, in all its smelly glory. I do love it when historical settings aren't made sterile. Guess what? In the past, people used chamberpots, and dogs pissed on the floor, and life was kind of filthy, by many of our modern standards. And that's all here!
Okay, so I liked the horror and the filth. What I also liked was the love story. Or love stories, since Ban's dead lover Serafino plays such an integral part, not only in influencing Ban's behaviour, but...well, you'll have to read it to find out.
I took a star off for the ending. While I liked how Ban gets his ultimate revenge on Sebastian by siring a bunch of mongrel vamps, I wasn't that keen on it being with Martha, who the whole way through the book had been portrayed as asexual. But I did enjoy the resolution of the love story, and the last lines were wonderful.
If you're sick of shiny, sterile, straight-out-of-a-fashion-magazine vampires, then this may just be the book for you.
But, talking of perfect half-clothed models, what's with this cover? It didn't say historical setting to me (in a thumbnail, that jacket really doesn't stand out), which meant I was pleasantly surprised. Anyone who doesn't like historical settings might be less impressed, though.