Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

The day his brother was killed was one of the best days of Sand’s life. Pack is everything for a werewolf. It’s family, it’s stability, it’s people who know you, skin deep, who always have your back, and it’s something Sand has never really had. Being gay is hard enough, but being gay and being a werewolf got him kicked out of the pack. His brother’s death doesn’t magically fix anything, but it’s one less person out there in the world who hates him for who he is.

Andre is an ancient, paranoid (justifiably so), workaholic vampire who, on his day off, can’t help but hope for some tragedy so that he can go back to doing what he does best. While killing is high on the list, he’s best at serving as his sire’s protector, defender, right hand, and annoying advisor. When Andre learned of a werewolf alpha’s plan to attack the vampire’s club, it was clear what had to be done. The alpha had to die.

Killing the dog was perhaps the best thing Andre ever did because it brought him face to face with Sandalio, the alpha’s brother and the man who makes Andre’s undead heart skip a beat. But killing the alpha wasn’t enough, because his followers are determined to continue in their alpha’s footsteps and bring war to the vampires, a war in which Sand will have to make a choice: the man he loves, or the pack that turned its back on him. Really, it’s not much of a choice at all.

Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war.

In this world, the paranormal creatures, such as vampires and werewolves, aren’t out. They hide from the humans, keeping their nature a secret. They have the powers of invisibility, mind reading, teleportation, and mind control, and shifters, as Sand is proud to announce, can have sex in either form. Fortunately, he’s boasting to Andre, a creature just as inhuman as Sand, who finds the idea amusing.

The pair of them get along well enough. Sand is more temperate, less inclined to violence, and he’s the sort who will leave first so that he’s not the one hurt worse. Andre is older, and while he can be calm, he’s more tightly wound. No matter that werewolves and vampires hate one another, he has no desire to give up on Sand. When Sand runs, Andre follows. And if Sand wants to live in another state or another country, that’s fine with Andre. He just wants the apartment or house big enough for both of them.

This novella never really gets into the whys and wherefores of the story. We don’t learn about why vampires and wolves hate each other, not really, and I felt unattached to the story or the characters. It’s an interesting idea, giving vampires and werewolves some new powers, but nothing is really done to incorporate them into the characters or the world; they’re there as a convenience for the plot, which, I admit, was very well thought out.

I found the writing to be a little stiff with a plot that races from one point to the next, feeling more eager to get through the story than to allow the characters to breathe and truly come to life. The characters themselves are formal and stilted, especially in certain dialogue-heavy scenes where it doesn’t feel natural (or human), which might have been meant to add to the strangeness of ancient vampires pretending to be current; you may like it, you may not. For myself, I was left on the fence. I wanted to be invested, but I never really felt invited into the world or into the characters’ lives. It’s a pleasant story; I just wish there had been more to it.

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