Theron feeds on the emotions around him, and loves the little neighborhood in which he’s settled. One human in particular, Alex, has caught his interest and is his favorite person from which to feed. When Alex breaks up with his boyfriend, and the despair overtakes the man, Theron can’t help but intercede.
When Alex learns that Theron is a strige, he’s understandably scared but also curious. To learn that Theron has been basically stalking him is disconcerting to say the least. But there is something intriguing about Theron, and Alex chooses to let him in and get to know him. The two men form a connection and begin dating. And it’s only then that Theron puts together the pieces. Alex is a symbol on, which means he has the capacity and natural talent to be the mate of a strige. But when Theron tells Alex all that entails, Alex balks. A lifetime commitment to a man he’s only known for a few months is a huge decision and Alex asks for time.
But when Theron’s cousin takes the choice out of their hands, the men have to make the choice right away. They have to go before the Midnight Parliament and stand trial. If they are found to not be compatible, death may be in the cards.
Oh world building, how I love thee. Bishop does an outstanding job of taking the notion of mates and turning it on its ear. This story is both familiar in its plot and different in the little twists that the author interjected. And we are given all the information we need to fully jump into the story and accept it easily.
Let me begin with Theron, because he’s a truly interesting character. But let’s be clear, he’s not a vampire. He’s something else, feeding on emotions and living a step beside the world at large. I love the way he was crafted, his little idiosyncrasies adding to his otherworldly nature. Most of his behaviors that would maybe be frowned upon—his spying and his stalking—can be explained away by his “creature of the night” nature. I found him utterly endearing, which was a nice juxtaposition to his somewhat creepy behavior. And his love for Alex is a beautiful thing. I loved his many layers, and I loved getting to know him and watching him grow.
Alex is an awesome character. I loved where Bishop chose to begin his part of the story: with the end of his relationship. It gives us a clear insight to Alex’s character, what he needs and wants, and what he’s not getting. He’s a sweetheart, who is cautious about starting something new, and I pretty much adored everything about him. What I really loved was that each of his motivations and thoughts were so very in keeping with his character. At every turn, I understood exactly where he was coming from because he was so clearly drawn.
I love a good mates story, and though I don’t want to give too much away, the way this whole thing was handled was completely satisfying to me. These guys work together, and it’s easy to see why. They fit, from beginning to end, and I really loved that.
Truth is, this one just worked for me. It’s fairly low on the angst meter, with just enough to keep the story interesting and driving the plot. The supernatural aspects aside, you mostly just have two guys falling in love and learning to accept each other. This story is really well done, and I can definitely recommend it to you.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.