July 21st, 2011

andrew potter

Moon Pack: Volume One (Volume 1) by Amber Kell

Attracting Anthony by Amber Kell

All right, first of all, this is a new author and a new publisher for me, so my feelings on this short story have to take it in account: I believe this is quite an "experiment" for the publisher, like for me it was to buy these book. Of the author, I have the idea that she probably comes from a paranormal romance reader and so has pretty clear in mind the romance rule of the Alpha male paired with an apparently weaker mate.

Anthony is a young witch that is mourning his lost lover; after three years his best friend pushes him in the dating pool and the very first night he is spotted by Silver Moon (mmm, don't know if I like very much the name for this hero, it sounds a bit too much gentle to me). Silver is a strong Alpha werewolf who happens to be the owner of a nightclub for paranormal people. He is not searching a mate since he knows that, when his mate will be around, he will smell him. And when he catches the scent of Anthony, there is no doubt for him that he has found his mate. Anthony has casted a spell on himself to dull his looks, he said to not overshadow his friend, who is also searching for a mate, but I believe the real reason is that he didn't want to be at the center of attention. But the spell did nothing for Silver, since he is not interested in how Anthony looks, but only in his wonderful scent.

Anthony at first plays the role of the blushing virgin (even if he is not virgin at all) and then that of a teaser, but for it's only a game, since it's obvious that he likes Silver and he likes also that Silver is a man of power; Anthony is drawn to Silver both for sex but also for his need to be dominated. And he likes to top from the bottom, and Silver is alpha enough to let him play.

There is a lot of "baby, I'm your man and you know it" philosophy in this short story; for sure it's a litght and funny romp, without much aspiration to be more. There are some point that I would like to see developed, as for example Anthony's family and their pursuing of finding the right mate for their son... what will they think of Silver? But this is a short story and a first in a series, so maybe I will discover something more in the following books.

Amazon Kindle: Attracting Anthony (Moon Pack)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (January 28, 2011)

Baiting Ben (Moon Pack 2) by Amber Kell

Baiting Ben is another short story in the Moon Pack series with potential. Amber Kell is playing with the stereotype of the paranormal genre, in particular the shapeshifter subgenre, re-adapting all of them in a gay point of view. This time is the turn of the menages between two strong alpha males who compete for the attention of a cute pretty thing. And since this is a gay romance, the cute pretty thing is an half human half werewolf redhead twink. Ben was part of an Alaskan pack, and he always thought that his mate would have been Dillon; but when his 25 birthday comes and goes without Dillon claiming him, Ben decides to leave the pack and find his mate in the big bad world. The quest is not so long, and the first time he enters the Moon pack nightclub, Thomas smells him and claims him as his mate.

Thomas is big and bad, but he is not an Alpha male; he has not the attitude of one, and it's quite clear that the one in command in their relationship will be Ben, the classic top from the bottom. The first days are perfect but then Dillon arrives pretending that Ben is his true mate... apparently Ben is part of a tri-mate bond, and Dillon and Thomas have to learn to deal with it: Ben can't choose between them, he is the pivot, and even if Thomas and Dillon don't feel attraction one for the other, they can't deny that both of them are handsome men, and it would be not an hard task to share Ben. And when Ben decides to play director for his personal porn movie, Thomas and Dillon play the role of the main characters for their little man.

This shapeshifter series by Amber Kell is not bad. Sometime play according the rule, the romance rule, allows you to write something nice and enjoyable, even if maybe not so original (but sometime when you try to be a forced original, you risk to be ridiculous or annoying); there is only one little thing that I found distracting, something I have found also in the previous book in the same series, there are here and there little typos, something a mistake in the name of the characters... nothing important, and probably with a second editing all of them would have been detected.

Amazon Kindle: Baiting Ben (Moon Pack)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (February 25, 2011)

Courting Calvin (Moon Pack 3) by Amber Kell

Amber Kell continues in her paranormal series this time exploring another classical hero of the genre, the vampire lover.

Calvin is a young carpenter who is working for Anthony, the architecture who is building a paranormal posh hotel. Anthony's consultant for all it's vampire is Alesandro, a fashionable and very handsome vampire, who since the first moment is attracted by Calvin. But Calvin has two reasons to avoid Alesandro's attention, one he doesn't see what a gorgeous vampire like Alesandro could see in a simple man like Calvin, and two, he has an hidden plan to kidnap Anthony. Calvin's sister was taken in captivity by a stranger and the price for her freedom is Anthony.

In comparison to the other two books in the series, Courting Calvin is a little less sexy and a bit more simple. I think it's almost a passing book, a little step more in the series; Calvin and Alesandro are side characters in the series, friends of friends, and so it's their story, almost a side story in the main series.

As always I think it has potential, but in this case the potential is more linked to the whole series than in this single story that nevertheless it's necessary you read if you want to follow the series. And finally I have a little doubt: in book two the author says that Anthony's grandfather is Zeus; in this book Anthony's grandfather is Odin... they are two different grandfathers, one by his mother side and one by his father side, or the author gets a bit confused? Probably I have to read the following books in the series to have an answer.

Amazon Kindle: Courting Calvin (Moon Pack)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (March 26, 2011)

Amazon: Moon Pack: Volume One (Volume 1)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461184185
ISBN-13: 978-1461184188

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

North Storm by Willa Okati

Willa Okati writes both contemporary than fantasy novels, but in one case or the other, she has always that dreaming feeling in all her stories.

North Storm is a pure fantasy novel, set in that undefined fantasy time that could be a medieval or pre Industrial Revolution era, when machines were not yet part of our life, and people lived of their own hand work. North, a country boy, is sent by his village to the big citta to learn two different jobs: deep-water treasure diver and Man Hand (i.e. high paid prostitute). To teach him both jobs North hires Storm, the best diver of all, but a retired Man Hand; despite being retired, Storm is still young and handsome, and it’s not hard job for North to learn from him the art of pleasuring a man.

As often in these fantasy worlds by Willa Okati, homosexuality is not an issue, but as it should be, simply the way you are; moreover, men who choose to pleasure other men are not looked upon, but on the contrary, they can be also well-respected members of the good society. The problem is exactly here: North is a country boy and he chose Storm as teacher, that, even if is good and handsome, is nevertheless a simple boy from the low level of society; bad people think that North should aspire to much more, even against North’s own desires.

Sex in this world is something good and not a dirty and hidden thing; as such, it can be done in the open, and people like Storm can even walk outside naked as it was the most normal thing. It’s refreshing and liberating. Same as it’s North’s approach to life: even if he is young and inexperienced, he has an open attitude to new things, without losing the proud of his own native customs; plus North has a witty and bratty behaviour that well match Storm, who needs an injection of novelty, he was starting to lay down on his own skills (both as diver than sex worker).


Amazon Kindle: North Storm
Publisher: Changeling Press, LLC (February 12, 2010)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle