Boys of the Bite edited by Cecelia Tan

Boys of the Bite Anthology edited by Cecelia Tan
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Vampire
Length: Short Story (190 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Magnolia

Vampires are ever young, ever beautiful, and ruled by the cravings of the flesh. In Boys of the Bite, the gay male side of the vampire’s legend is explored in every erotic possibility. From historical settings where vampires move through high society to modern vamps you find at the all-night laundromat, these lusty men know how to hunt, whether for love or just a midnight snack.

Mixing stories by gay male authors like R. R. Angell and Bob Panadero with some of Ravenous Romance’s stars of m/m romance like Keta Diablo and Ryan Field, Boys of the Bite gives every reader plenty to get his or her blood pumping.

Wanting Needing Having by R.R. Angell-This story wasn’t my favorite of this anthology. The lead character tells this story in first person. He works in a clinic for vampires, which is the backdrop for the story as he tells of the vamps he meets there and at the clubs and the one person he can’t get out of his head. This probably would’ve been a good story had it not been so cheesy. The references to a bus called the Red Line, the clinic located on Howl Avenue, etc. was just too much to take the story seriously, and it’s not intended to be funny either.

I’m really surprised this story was place first in the anthology because generally a book like this isn’t just judged by its cover, which is pretty hot, it’s also judged by the first story. Am I going to continue reading this book based on this story? If I wasn’t reviewing it, I would have scrolled through and picked another story to read.

To Be Beloved by Pepper Espinoza-Told from the journal of William May, this is a hypnotic, well told, erotic, mesmerizing tale of seduction. While at his aunt’s home, Will meets the beautiful Miss Florence Harker whom he has a flirtatious, platonic relationship with because he knows he’s too old and poor. However, it is Miss Harker’s cousin, Taylor, who draws Will’s attention. There’s just something kind of spooky about the man and Will isn’t sure what it is. As the relationship develops, the author draws the reader into Will’s mind, his doubts, concerns and ultimately, his submission. A fabulous story that should have been the first in this anthology.

Lost In Translation by TammyJo Eckhart-The title says it all for this story, as I was totally lost during the first couple of pages. Cornelius is an ancient who keeps books and records in a cave. Jack is a surfer dude who has a degree and wants a job with Cornelius. I didn’t like Cornelius. He was overbearing, and self-centered, with a really over-inflated sense of self-importance. I loved Jack with his surfer dude speak and attitude. He made me laugh. Pairing the two together was like inviting a beggar to a tea party, totally out of place, but for the most part, it worked and the story had a conclusion that I liked in spite of myself!

The Love Of A Faithful Servant by Teresa Noelle Roberts-When a man lays on his deathbed, it’s only natural for him to think of his life and all the wrongs he’s done. Somewhere between life and death, Viscount Carrington is doing just that, as friends come and go, though he really can’t distinguish their words, he catches snippets of conversations. When his valet is finally allowed to see him alone, death is gone forever and Anthony becomes undead. This is a really well written story and I liked it very much. Unconditional love transcends rumors, time and death, and isn’t that the kind of love we’re all looking for?

The Cold Color of the Heart by Eric Del Carlo & Amber Jayne Dodd-Gabe and Svar are best friends, with girlfriends, but they’re also lovers. This is an intriguing, wonderfully told story that I truly enjoyed and found the sex scene just smoking hot. Maybe it was the men, maybe it was the camera, maybe it was the voyeurism—or the combination. Whatever it was, it worked. Sometimes a co-authored piece doesn’t always flow seamlessly because of the authors’ different tastes and styles, but Eric and Amber write as one and this is a great story!

The Sin Eater’s Prince by Keta Diablo-Owen, a sin eater, is saved from death by Andras, a vampire. Little does Owen know their connection goes much deeper than he could imagine. This story is about two people who are from very different worlds, yet they love one another. As much as Owen would like to be with Andras permanently he has made an oath to his father, but so has Andras. Keta Diablo tells a wonderful little story that is really more of an encounter that could actually go on to tell a much deeper tale of love and I hope this does turn into a novel, or at least few more shorts that continues this love story.

The Conservative Dark by Conner McKay-This story of a nerd and troubled vampire was kind of plain and didn’t really offer anything exciting or new, but it had its moments of cute and sweet. I really laughed when Dylan was talking to his BFF, a lesbian named Sonja, and told her how he wanted to have sex with Mike until they “drive up the price of lube in a total bastardization of the supply-and-demand principle.” Yeah, I remember when I was that young, too! Overall, not a bad story, entertaining with a nice ending.

The Last Brother by Ken Panadero-I loved this story! A Vampire Monk from the Order of St. Leodegarius is the storyteller in this tale of blood, death, war, life and love. Told with humor, frankness, and passion without the too-sweet romance that often accompanies m/m stories when written by females, Ken Panadero has written a story the way I like them. The maleness of the style and language gives this tale a masculine edge that really appealed to me. From the descriptions of killing an animal and drinking its blood, to the humor of (yes, humor) telling how a cannon ball takes off a man’s head, to the edgy sexual scenarios, I was quite enthralled to the last word.

The Devil’s Half Acre by Ryan Field-From the title I expected this to be a gothic horror story of some sort, but it’s simply the name of the old haunted house Gio buys when he winds up in New Hope, PA quite by accident. The house is supposedly haunted, but Gio buys it anyway. Being a vampire, he needs his privacy. I really got the feeling this story was more for the sake of sex between Gio and Colin than for any story line purposes, but if you like hot male on male sex, this is for you.

VAMMP: Conquering Dissension by Bryl R. Tyne-This is a totally different story than I expected, and one that I really enjoyed. The classic story of wanting someone you can’t have, or someone who doesn’t want you, or someone who does but won’t because duty and honor come first—such a way to go. I loved the tension between Darrel and Alan, and I loved the fact that they’re both not-so-good-guys. They’re military with a special mission, and the fact that they want to screw each other senseless isn’t exactly in the ops, but makes for a really good story. Bryl Tyne did an excellent job bringing this story around from a rough jeep ride to the country to a rough ride in the sack conclusion. What a way to end this anthology and I hope this author writes more stories along this line.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Magnolia. What a wonderful job you did in writing up this lengthy review so concisely.

    It is so appreciated. And thank you for your kind word about The Sin Eater’s Prince.

    The full-length novel is already in progress, and I’m bolstered by your encouragement.

    Thanks so much,
    Keta Diablo
    http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for the review.

    I was very, very concerned when my story was wanted, in fact, I had to be encouraged to submit stories for this and the sister anthology.

    Why? This is the first of a pair of stories in a novel told through interconnected duos of stories. It is hinges on Sumerian mythology and set alone, I’m not sure how much a reader can understand.

    Also I never wrote this story as a romance, it is merely one more cog in the overall plot of that book. Each couple — vampire and servant — with skills that the world is going to need in the future.

    Hopefully the entire book will find a good publisher in 2010.

    Thanks again for reading and giving such detailed commentary.

    TammyJo Eckhart

  3. Thank you so much. Excellent review, and I’m not saying that only because you liked my story. Of course that does tend to bias me a little :-), but the review is well written, fair, and really nicely done.

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