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Gothika: Volume Three
Beasts lurk in the shadows of wild and forgotten places and in the hearts and souls of men. They are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, but are they feral and savage, or just misunderstood? Creatures of myth and legend stalk these tales of dark desire and animal passions. Three men come face-to-face with such creatures and find they are much more than they seem. While there is danger, there might be unexpected benefits as well, if they can accept the impossible and dare to venture into the primordial regions where nature and the beasts still reign. Three acclaimed authors of gay romance explore the boundaries between man and beast and the place where their worlds overlap.
Isolation by Jamie Fessenden
When Sean’s marriage breaks up, he returns to his hometown, hoping to find the childhood friend who meant everything to him in his teens. He finds Jack living in a cabin, surrounded by the forest he always loved, and the two begin to tentatively repair their damaged relationship. But a large animal has been seen prowling around the edge of town, and soon Sean comes face-to-face with the beast. Jack insists the creature isn’t dangerous—it’s been coming around the cabin for years. It isn’t long, however, before Sean discovers a far more disturbing connection between his friend and the beast.
Transformation by Kim Fielding
After being caught in bed with another male student in 1886, Orris Spencer is declared an abomination by his wealthy father. Orris is promptly banished from their Fifth Avenue mansion and sent across the continent to Oregon. Now Orris must try to find a place for himself on his brother’s farm and figure out how to deal with life as a pioneer. When he’s called on to help protect the livestock from a predator, he’s not at all certain he’s up to the task. Then he meets Henry Bonn, a strange and intriguing man who lives in a cabin in the hills. Orris’s attraction to Henry may not be an abomination—but it may prove a greater danger than banishment.
The Black Dog by Eli Easton
Constable Hayden MacLairty is used to life being dull around the tiny hamlet of Laide on the north Scottish coast. They get occasional tourists, “monster hunters” interested in the local legend of the Black Dog, but Hayden thinks that’s only a myth. A rash of sheep killings, a murdered hiker, huge footprints, and sightings of the Black Dog force Hayden to rethink the matter. With the help of Simon Corto, a writer from New York doing research for a book about the Black Dog, Hayden tries to figure out why the enormous hound is reappearing. Hayden finds himself strongly attracted to another person for the first time in his life. But between the danger stalking the hills, Simon’s inevitable return to New York, and Hayden’s mother’s illness, true love may be more of a phantom than the Black Dog.
Claw is a collection of three stories that feasure shifters. I enjoy Shifter stories when they come from a specific author, the reason I decided to pick this book up is because I enjoy the work of the three authors that participated here. I’m glad I went with it because it was enjoyable and fun to read.
Isolation by Jamie Fessenden – 3 Stars
I mostly enjoyed this one. This short story is about two childhood friends that find each other again. I liked Jack a lot, but Sean.. Well, sometimes I wanted to gently slap him. REACT, MAN!! REACT!!!. It all was well for me until the ending hit. I don’t do well with open endings because the possibilities overwhelm me. This wasn’t the exception.
Transformation by Kim Fielding – 4 Stars
I really enjoyed this short shifters romance. This is a historical romance set in the 1800’s. Orris ends up living in his brother’s farm after being disowned by his dad for being gay. While living there he meets Henry. Their story is intense, I guess. I say intense in the sense that they sort of fall for each other in a kind of an imprint way. I enjoyed a lot how Kim brought Samuel’s (Orris’ brother) and Orris’ relationship on page. It was refreshing to read about two brothers that were so acceptant (or as acceptant as they could be) of each other. While I enjoyed the story as it was I would have liked to see more on page time of our MC’s together. I craaaved that! Haha
There is a magical element besides the shifting, that of Orris’ being the seventh son of a seventh son, which according to mythology (and depending on the country, sometimes) the seventh son is supposed to be a magical being with healing powers, or a werewolf.
Black Dog by Eli Easton – 4 Stars
I think this was my favorite of the three short stories. The Black Dog plays with a Scottish Folk tale. I love folk tales, so this one was very appealing to me.
The Scottish setting was amazing, and I enjoyed a lot all the languane nuances, the subtleties that were include in it to make it sound more accurate.
I also found the MC’s to be very, very likable. Simon is an American writer that is visiting Scotland to find out more about the Black Dog myth, and that’s how he meets Hayden. Their story goes more or less slow. I loved the flirting but I also enjoyed the fact that this wasn’t a man immediately jumps on man’s bones type of story.
There is, though, a sort of insta-love element involved, but it’s the kind of insta-love that works well in a short story. Lovely short. Now I want to visit Scotland more than I already did! Hahaha