Desires Unleashed is not an erotic romance, so if you bought this book hoping to find hot sex, well, maybe that is the reason why they are disappointed. There is sex but it’s part of the story, more or less a way to “build” the net of connections that link all the characters. And you need that net since, second main point, this book has not a clear principal couple; if you go for the old rules that the one opening and closing the story is the main character, then here you don’t have it, since Warren and Matthew, the Supernatural Unit Investigation Team duo open it and Annette and Natasha, the two friends and roommates, and main female characters, close the whole. Who are the main focus of the reader? No one, or maybe, according to your cup of tea, you can pick. And finally we arrive to the third and last main point, this is not a heterosexual, or bisexual, or gay paranormal romance, it’s all of them and also a mix of them.
Warren (shapeshifter/gay) and Matthew (human/bisexual or maybe gay, he didn’t give me the vibes of straight) are professional partners, and there is sizzle between them, but Warren is in an on/off relationship with Darian (shapeshifter/gay); Darian (vampire/bisexual) and Xavier (vampire/bisexual) are long-time friends, professional partners and lovers, but both of them start a relationship with Natasha (human/straight). So maybe this is the issue? That no one of the male characters have a “straight” persona? I don’t want to think that this is the reason for the negative reviews but maybe it could be. And in a way this can also be the reason for a gay romance reader to give a negative thumb, since actually Warren/Darian or Warren/Matthew have not so many chances to interact on a love or sex level, and so maybe the gay romance reader feels as they didn’t have enough of what they like.
I think the strong point of the novel is also is weakest one: it does not take sides. This is not a straight, gay or bisexual novel, since that is not the whole point; plus, probably since this is only book 1 in a long series (at least 5 books in total), most of the stories are still “open” in the end. I think you should read this novel as both an introduction than a test drive: you will meet the characters and you will have the chance to decide if you like them. From my side, I don’t really see where all the venom can arrive, on the contrary, I found it quite interesting since in its ambiguity it was original… to give you an example, at first I was really thinking for Darian to be the villain of the novel.
Amazon: Desires Unleashed: Knights of the Darkness Chronicles (Volume 1)
Amazon Kindle: Desires Unleashed: Knights of the Darkness Chronicles (Volume 1)
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 22, 2010)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott