Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a sexy paranormal romance novella from KD Grace. LANDSCAPES features both M/F and M/M pairings, as well as a vampire, a succubus, and a landscaper who can’t fathom what’s happening.
Catch an excerpt and a $30 GC giveaway, below.
Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?
Some thoughts from the author:
Involving myself in the Story — Fan-Ficcing on Alonso Darlington
It’s such a pleasure to be at V’s Reads on Day 3 of my Landscapes blog tour and giveaway. Thanks so much for hosting me, Veronica!
Some of your lovely readers may already know that Alonso Darlington is one of those characters that doesn’t go away just because the story’s finished. That’s a part of what I love about him and, considering some of the sexy thoughts, ideas and even novel ideas he and his entourage have inspired, I have the sneaking suspicion he’s been sending his succubus, Talia Zephora, to me at night when I least expect it.
He wasn’t overly happy with me when I shared his private life with the whole world in the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle last year, and he made sure I knew his displeasure. But what Alonso didn’t take into account is that I have a very big mouth and my laptop is always primed and ready. So while he tried to intimidate me by inviting me to his Lakeland home and threatening me, he should have known it wouldn’t work. The first thing I did was write all about my Strange Encounter with Alonso Darlington and post it on my blog in three parts. Here are links to Part 2 and Part 3.
Well, he’s even less happy with me now that I’ve released the story, Landscapes, as a stand-alone novella. I’ve already gotten a couple of less-than-cordial phone calls from him. It’s not that I’m not scared of him – of course I am! I mean he’s a vampire and a powerful one at that. But I can’t NOT tell his story … his stories. They’re just too damn good to keep quiet about. So keep your fingers crossed for me. So far I haven’t developed a taste for blood nor have I burst into flame while walking in sunlight – not that we’ve had that much to walk in here in England so far this summer.
Yes, I know, I need to get a life, right? My point is that Alonso Darlington kept getting into my head long after I’d written THE END at the bottom of Landscapes. I’m not entirely sure if that’s just because he’s a great character, as are all of the other characters in Landscapes, or if there’s way more story than I’m ready to leave behind. I suppose if I’m honest, I also just kind of like having a minor role in the story. Gak! The thought has occurred to me that I’m writing my own fan fiction. Maybe I should seek professional help.
Every writer knows that the more time we spend with our characters in their world, the more the lines blur between what’s real and what’s fiction. Landscapes was my first foray into vampire stories – something I thought I’d never do, something I didn’t think I could do. I hadn’t counted on being both intrigued and intimidated by a character who is as dangerous as Alonso while at the same time incredibly civilized, hopelessly romantic and outrageously sexy. I hadn’t counted on how Alonso would react to my sharing the intimate details of his life, and I found that I really wanted to interact with him, even if he was angry at me.
Those written encounters brought with them a whole new realm of storytelling for me. I found myself fascinated with the role that the writer plays in the story she creates. I couldn’t keep from wondering what would happen if there was a real interface between character and writer. I’ve even done a little experimenting with bringing myself, as K D Grace, into a story with Toys for Boys as well as writing a series of travel stories collectively called Jet-Lagged and Lusting in which the storyteller and the one experiencing the story might or might not be the same person and might or might not be me.
For those of you who have followed my online serial, In The Flesh, which will be coming out this autumn in book format, you know the magical role the scribe plays in shaping a story, even shaping reality, and those of us who do write know that beyond the learned trade we all practice as novelists and storytellers, there’s some serious magic that takes place beneath the surface.
Typically the writer is supposed to keep out of the story she tells – she’s just the scribe taking down the details as they unfold, but I wonder if maybe we’re missing a whole new realm of storytelling by not including ourselves in those stories from time to time. On some unconscious level, we’re there anyway, so what happens when we take the next step and actually take a more interactive role? Speaking from my own experience, feeling Alonso’s displeasure is one thing that happens, but I have a feeling that could be just the beginning.
Wow! great insights on the writing process, KD!
A delicious taste…. (lol, pun intended!!)
Reese wondered if he were dreaming again. If he was, the dream hurt like a sonovabitch. Alonso was there and so was Talia. ‘You have to do something one way or another,’ Talia said, ‘or all that blood will be wasted.’
“Get out.’ Alonso’s voice was a low growl, and Reese vaguely recalled hearing that sound before and being frightened.
‘Someone’s got to be practical,’ she said.
Be practical about what, Reese wondered.
And then he was alone with Alonso, and for some reason he couldn’t remember, he was afraid.
He was in a bed. He didn’t know where. He hurt, and it was hard to breathe.
‘I’m going to help you now, Reese.’ He returned his attention to Alonso who now sat on the edge of the bed. He might have made some feeble attempt to get away, or maybe he imagined it. The man shrugged out of his shirt, then slid onto the bed next to him. Talia’s question came back to him. What was Alonso going to do with all the blood? Reese’s blood? It had to be a dream. Reese watched as, with his fingernail, Alonso made a tiny cut above his left nipple and the blood welled up jewel bright in the muted lighting.
‘At first this will be uncomfortable, but only for a few seconds, and then it’ll be good. You’ll see.’ Alonso placed his hand at the base of Reese’s skull and pulled him close. When he realized what was about to happen, Reese tried to push away, tried to turn his face, but he was too weak. Alonso easily forced his head down so that his mouth settled on the upwelling of blood.
For a horrifying moment, Reese’ stomach rebelled and he battled his own gag reflex, battled to breathe against the tight press of Alonso’s flesh to his face, forcing him to open his mouth in order to inhale. The first taste of blood burned like acid against his tongue, then thickened and warmed as the welling up became a steady flow, the taste of metal and salt giving way to the taste of dark, full-bodied wine and honey with the bite of bitter citrus. Reese’s throat muscles contracted once, then twice then he began to lick and suck at the wound as though he were starving, and Alonso sighed as though he felt the relief of it.
‘There, that’s not so bad is it?’ The cup of his hand at the back of Reese’s head shifted slightly as Alonso moved until he cradled Reese like a nursing child. At some point Reese’s arms went around the man’s thick chest, hands fisted against his back to pull him closer as he suckled. At some point he stopped feeling pain and he felt euphoric. At some point his cock got hard and Alonso chuckled softly at the shifting and squirming of Reese’s hips. ‘It has that effect. My blood does.’
I really enjoyed this paranormal romance novella. While there is both M/F and M/M pairing, it’s clear that the romance is between Alonso and Reese.
Alonso is a vampire. I probably shouldn’t say that straight-out, but I will, because he’s a good vamp. Decent. Taking blood where he needs and leaving his donors euphoric and sexually satisfied. He’s been lonely a long time. Accompanied by his succubus friend, Talia, he encounters Reese while scoping out his decrepit estate in Cumbria, England. Alonso senses attraction, but also intrigue, regarding Reese, a quiet man, and professional landscaper. Talia’s assistance is necessary to make the first connection–Alonso is too hungry to take his pleasure with a human, and Talia’s sexual powers compliment Alonso’s semi-omniscience.
Reese is hired to re-design the gardens at Alonso’s ancestral home, and it is there that he begins to seduce Reese. I liked how Alonso was careful and conscientious. I also liked that Reese made up his own mind. What seemed to be a dream job brought unforeseen–unimaginable, really–consequences. As much as Alonso wanted Reese, he never pushed, only suggested. That said, he suggested a whole lot of fantastic sexytimes.
The resolution comes when Reese realizes who Alonso is, and makes a choice to be with him, which was delicious. It’s not the on,y choice and puts Reese in the power position, and I liked that for a human v. vampire story. I wished we had just a bit more of their love story–and sexytimes-because it seemed that some of the naughty bits may have been dreamscapes–at least on Reese’s end. That was not so awesome, especially for Reese. That said it’s an interesting spin on the vampire romance and I liked the original plot and setting.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $30 GC from Amazon.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
K D has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.