I should begin this review by acknowledging that my view on Sean Michael’s current story, Reclaiming, may not be widely shared. However, when I read a novel of any kind, I am looking for a structured story. Depending on the type of genre, that story may have little to no sex, while other times intimate scenes can run rampant throughout the book. The only thing I expect is that sex scenes in some way further the plot. When I discover that a story is predominately a series of sexual encounters held together by little to no storyline I tend to call this type of novel erotica. Reclaiming, in my view, is just that. Author Sean Michael, well known for BDSM novels, certainly brings that theme home in this latest release. If you are in anyway squeamish about things such as fisting, the use of sounds, or the entire master/slave trope, then beware for this story has it all. Frankly, as erotica goes, this is quite good. Unfortunately, the story that is occasionally interwoven between the sex scenes is rather weak.
From the very beginning of the novel we are made aware that there is a strong vampire turning humans and then allowing them effectively to starve. By creating them, Stephen becomes their master and his hold on them is complete. Yet, unlike most vampires who nurture and guide their young changeling, this guy seems to be creating and discarding his young vampires left and right. One such young man, Aaron, had run away from his own master, Beau, to whom he was both slave and human blood donor. He left when Beau asked if he could turn him, thereby keeping Aaron at his side for the rest of their days. After reconsidering, Aaron goes to their favorite club to ask Beau’s forgiveness and runs afoul of Stephen. After torturing him, draining him, and turning him, Stephen leaves him for dead. But Aaron is strong and finds his way back to his original master, Beau, who takes him in and rebuilds him into a strong and loving slave once more. Now Beau’s only interest is to exact revenge on Stephen for what was done to Aaron, but he must call on stronger forces than just himself in order to confront and destroy his nemesis.
Reclaiming had immense possibility. Had the author taken the time to evolve the story, given more insight into Stephen’s reasoning for creating an army of weak and bloodthirsty vampires, and told us more of the backstory as to why exactly Aaron ran from Beau when he suggested turning him, this review would be very different. However, one cannot escape a weak storyline. You either have a fully developed plot to hang onto and become involved with as you read or you don’t.
As erotica, if you like BDSM, this was very well done. It’s certainly had a little bit of everything in it. The scenes were most definitely sexy and pushed the limits of a master/slave relationship. But unless I failed to recognize it, I’m fairly certain this was meant to be a paranormal m/m BDSM novel and unfortunately it fell incredibly short of that goal. Was it paranormal and BDSM in nature? Most definitely it was. However, there was so very little story to hang my interest upon that even the continual glut of sex simply became boring.
I have read some very good novels by author Sean Michael. Despite the fact that this story fell short, this author certainly has produced exciting stories with BDSM themes. I look forward to enjoying more of those kinds of novels.