Cereus: Building by Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga and Sean Michael

Cereus: Building by Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga and Sean Michael
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What happens when a besieged and rather small dragon comes to a vampire and says, “I need your help”? Or when that vampire comes to a werewolf and says, “I have a job for you”? The vampire goes and builds a resort for things that go bump in the night, deep in the Cascade Mountains. Riding the wave of Julia Talbot’s Bloodrose series, the multi-author Cereus: The Building features paranormal romance Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga.

Julia Talbot’s It’s Elemental features construction contractor Chayton, a werewolf who thinks demon decorator Kenny is a little fussy, and a lot hot. They argue about everything from feng shui to sex. Will they be able to resolve their differences?

The Third Course, by BA Tortuga, tells the story of Marco and Stephan, werecats, pridemates, and chefs who meet their match in head-bartender, Faelan, who just happens to be a growly, sexy Top.

Finally, Sean Michael’s Smoke and Gold follows the head dominant of the club, Zee, who’s dealing with trying to get his playrooms just so and trying to figure out maddening dragon, Daniel, at the same time. Who can resist loving a dragon?

While this book is comprised of three separate novellas it’s quite clear the authors collaborated closely on their work. Woven into their individual stories were small snippets and cameo’s of the main characters from the other stories and so while definitely separate stories there was a cohesion and smoothness to the book as a whole that I really loved.

Readers looking for a slightly different, more complicated series of stories featuring a whole bunch of various paranormal characters in an interesting setting should find this book excellent value (three for the price of one!) and an engrossing read, just like I did.

It’s Elemental by Julia Talbot

Werewolf Chayton is approached by his friend and offered the construction job of building a very special resort specially catered to all the various paranormal creatures that could just a very private and luxurious getaway. But the Demon decorator, Kenny, is quite particular about all manner of things and the sparks fly between Kenny and Chayton.

I was a little nervous about this story at first – I often find stories where the conflict and tension mainly revolves around the two main characters butting heads really struggles to balance the sexual chemistry and attraction with the arguments and differences of opinions. I couldn’t have been more wrong in the case of this story. I adored how while Chayton and Kenny were both very strong characters and exceptional at their own work, they were both secure enough in themselves to at least listen – and usually compromise and meet each other part way. I thought the author did an amazing job balancing having some conflict and sparks between Chayton and Kenny and still unfold a believable and sizzling hot sexual chemistry between the two.
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I also really enjoyed the smooth, easy banter between Chayton and Kenny. While it was clear from the start they were two different characters there was a sort of curiosity and open-mindedness between them both that just naturally led (in my opinion) to them wanting to know more, explore deeper, about each other. From there along with the zing of attraction between the two men it was only a short hop into bed and the development of a far deeper and more lasting relationship. I found this entire story fun and engrossing from start to finish and I was hooked from about the second page in. An awesome way to start this book and, I hope, the series.

The Third Course by BA Tortuga

Marco and Stephen are chefs – and both werecats in the same pride. They both find themselves drawn to head bartender Faelan who is a very growly and sexy Top.

I was utterly delighted by how much I enjoyed the banter between Marco and Stephen. All too often I find the troublesome type of behaviour to come across to me as bratty and annoying, but Marco and Stephen so obviously cared deeply for each other and there was always just that hint of laughter and amusement in their banter their actions made me laugh, not roll my eyes. It was also extremely clear to me right from the start that Faelan wasn’t just a good addition to their mix, but much needed to keep both Marco and Stephen from getting out of control and driving everyone else utterly bonkers.

I was really impressed how the author balanced these three characters so well together and how they each had their own very unique and individual aspects. Often in a threesome story one of the characters lags a little behind to my mind – is either overshadows or too close to an “add on” but that totally wasn’t the case here. While Marco and Stephen absolutely had a well defined and solid relationship already in place at the start, I could see how – even as happy as they were – there really seemed to be something lacking in the control department between them. Faelan was perfect for that and he really seemed a perfect fit which I just loved cos it made the whole progression from couple to threesome seem so natural and realistic. The sex was also smoking hot and really explicit – so erotica readers should find this aspect of the story really satisfying as well.

A great story with interesting characters and a wonderful threesome dynamic that I really enjoyed.

Smoke and Gold by Sean Michael

As the head Dominant, Zee is busy and on edge, trying to get all the playrooms ready for their eventual use. But a maddening dragon, Daniel, is just too much for Zee to resist, even with all the work he should be doing.

The chemistry between Zee and Daniel is pretty explosive right from the very first page. I’m usually not a fan of dragon stories so I was hesitant about this one but I was left really impressed and quite eager to read more. Daniel is not what I would think of as a typical dragon-shifter character. While Zee and Daniel are both strong, independent and dominant in their own fashion I really enjoyed how they interacted together. Daniel is not submissive in the style Zee is used to and while Zee is most certainly a strong Dominant, he’s flexible and can adapt in ways I don’t think Daniel had experienced previous to their meeting. So this was clearly a new and intriguing dynamic for both characters and I loved watching it unfurl.

Kinky and hot the sex was explosive between these two men and I feel the story will be very satisfying for readers looking for something along these lines. While nothing in their relationship is outrageously new it still felt fresh, realistic and not cliched to me so I really enjoyed the whole story and was engrossed from start to finish.

I really enjoyed all three of these stories and am looking forward to reading the next installment – Cereus: Opening.

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