Buy Link: Blacque/Bleu
Author: Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Oliver Bleu is a vampire tormented by nightmares and sleepless days. He is haunted by dreams and memories of his near death on the battlefield, which led to him being turned by his then lover and fellow soldier Yves. The insomnia is causing him to weaken and slowly starve due to his inability to properly hunt. Lukas Blacque is a werewolf who owns a shop next door to Bleu’s. Blacque is a loner for a wolf, totally in the closet and never feeling like he can fit in with the rest of the pack.
Both Blacque and Bleu are deeply attracted to one another, but have never acted on their feelings. But Bleu is starving and slowly dying and needs Blacque’s rich blood as much as he wants him in his bed. And Blacque wants to experience sex and intimacy with another man before having to take on his expected role within the pack. He also cares for Bleu and wants to help feed him and give him back his strength. The men decided to share one weekend together before they go their separate ways. Yet each finds that the short time is not nearly enough and they must figure out if they can make things work and be together as they both want.
These guys really steam up the page together. I was totally delighted to find that Blacque is a virgin (you all know how I feel about virgin heroes!) and loved how that added to the dynamic of their sexual relationship. He is also tattooed and quite pierced, the pain being a turn on for him and helping him deal with his lack of physical intimacy. There is some mild dom/sub and pain play in their relationship but nothing really hard core.
I picked up this book after seeing a lot of chat about it at Goodreads, but not having heard of it until just recently. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I have to say I loved it and thought it was wonderfully written. The world building was rich and very well developed. I felt like the lore of vampires and werewolves was explored in a lot of depth, more than you often get from paranormals. This world building extends not just to the main characters, but to the town itself. And I really liked the individual development of each man and the problems that he faced in the story. There was a lot of emotion but not too much overwhelming angst.
Bleu is fighting demons from his past. Not only is he haunted by the dreams, but he is being hunted by Yves who wants him back. Bleu also still mourns the loss of his family from when he was turned. He still tracks his descendants and misses having a family and being part of their lives. The danger builds for him throughout the story and I loved the way his past and present are interwoven so well throughout the book.
Blacque faces more internal demons as he deals with his homosexuality. Although occasional gay sex is accepted among the werewolves, true gay relationships are not as reproduction is so vital to the pack. This is compounded by the fact that his father Dane is the pack alpha. Dane not only wants Blacque to produce children, but also wants him to eventually take over as alpha. Blacque feels that Dane is the perfect alpha and that he can never measure up to the man, adding to his feeling of responsibility. Blacque is at war with himself between his own desires and his obligations to his family and the pack.
I really liked how we can see what a good man Blacque is and how his sense of loyalty is so strong. He loves Bleu, but he can’t allow himself to give up on his responsibilities, even at his own expense. I appreciated how this deep sense of caring for others is what ultimately leads to the resolution of the conflicts and helps to bring the men together. Overall I thought this was a great book and I am so glad I took a chance on a new-to-me author. I really enjoyed it and recommend it highly.