Because this story is too long for Brief Encounters Reviews where I reviewed parts one, and two of the series, I will be reviewing this installment here and then moving back to BER for number four.
Author: Mimi Riser
Length: 30,000 words (115 pdf pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m fantasy sci-fi paranormal (shifters, vampires)
Buckle up your seatbelts! Mismatched lovers Sylver Starr and Hunter Steele are back in a brand new adventure, and it’s going to be a very bumpy ride...
For starters, Sylver suspects Hunter is cheating on him. Again. Hunter, you see, is a cat-shifter, and we all know how tomcats are, right? They’re not famous for fidelity. Sylver, on the other hand, is a werewolf, faithful to the core. Wolves mate for life, for better or worse. Still, if it ends up the latter, and the worse gets bad enough... Well, hell, he’s a man, too, isn’t he? If Hunter’s doing him wrong, could anyone really blame Sylver for seeking a little extracurricular comfort? Especially since he knows just where to look for it.
Sylver’s not your average werewolf, after all. When he’s not wearing fur, you can usually find him in a dress. He used to be a professional drag queen, the star attraction of Philadelphia’s Red Banana Revue. Since marrying Hunter, however, Sylver has been a secret agent for Earth Guardians, Inc., Hunter being the founder and chief of that covert corps. But Sylver doesn’t much like playing secret agent. The hours suck, and people are always trying to kill him. It’s an excessively nerve-wracking gig. Given the choice, he’d much rather return to his first love—The Stage.
That’s how Sylver ends up in the “City of Brotherly Love”—without Hunter—for a night of gaudy décor and bawdy entertainment at Philly’s très gay answer to the Moulin Rouge. Maybe he’ll find solace by joining in the club’s grand finale cancan. If Hunter doesn’t find him first.
Meanwhile, there’s a megalomaniac vampire plotting to take over the world, a crazy countess with her own hidden agenda, a Plain Jane Cinderella who needs a fairy godmother (or four), and a basset hound-shifter butler who’s just met his predestined life-mate, but isn’t happy about it. Somehow, Sylver and Hunter must sort out their own problems while helping their friends—and saving the world, of course.
Did you ever have one of those nights?...
This book picks up a sometime later and Sylver and Hunter are still at it, fighting that is. When Hunter refuses to go with Sylver to Philadelphia and walks out on them, Sylver decides to go and visit his family alone, assuming Hunter is cheating yet again. However things are not quite as they seem. It seems that Hunter's multi-gazillion dollar empire is under financial attack by an ancient vampire, the original Dracula, who is determined to take over the world, literally. When he finds out that Dracula is after Sylver, Hunter rides to the rescue, sort of. He's finally forced to tell Sylver the truth, that he is broke and the Earth Guardians have been disbanded, which Sylver is fine with since he wanted to quit anyway.
I am pleased to see these stories taking on a slightly more serious feel. Sure, there is still lots of comical banter between Sylver and Hunter, and they both drive each other crazy, usually culminating in crazy hot sex, but the issues are no longer as over the top SyFy like attacking crocodile-human hybrids. The enemies seem to be more serious threats, and a few laser blasters no longer do the trick to save the world.
I thought the fight scenes were very well choreographed, even if Sylver's lack of focus during a battle is less than stellar. I also liked very much that Hunter seems to be a bit more soft and understanding of Sylver's position on some things, and gets it more what a relationship is really like. I nearly fainted along with Sylver when he heard that. :-) It's a complex tale of vampire intrigue, where even once you've vanquished the bad guy, things may not be all sweetness and light. There is also a cute Cinderlla-esque side-story of the sister of Sylver's cousin's wife (does that make sense?) and Sylver's butler.
While I liked the first book okay, it seemed to just a little too "much". I like how the story has settled down and it's still retaining it's quirkiness, but taking on some other challenges in a more serious, if still bigger than life way. I'm looking forward to seeing how things go in the next installment.