When Elliot Iverson, a municipal employee responsible for paperwork pertaining to New York City’s vampire population, knocks on the door of the Gramercy warren, he wants only to resolve a clerical error. But a sudden snowstorm, a new friendship, and an ill-advised threesome force Elliot to make some big choices about his own life and death.
This story was different than I expected, however I wound up really enjoying the story. I liked the world building. It was fascinating seeing a world where vampires existed openly for so long and have a historical significance for what seems to be most of US history. I would love to see more books in this world and have more in depth look at the history, politics, and rules of this society.
The way the relationship developed between these three will likely make some readers uncomfortable, especially if they have issues with menages in the first place. The way it was written definitely works for these three though and couldn’t really have happened any other way to be believable for these characters. I liked how the emotions arising from the reason Eli is in the warren for an extended period of time are very true and realistic. His fear and reluctance to be around certain people was very well written and I could feel it as I was reading.
Eli is a bit of an enigma for me. At times he came off whiney and petulant. But he also had his whole world changed due to events he didn’t consent to, so he was justified in his emo self. However I would have liked to see more of his positive experiences shown on page instead of just alluded to in between the bad moods. I liked how he became a part of the warren even if he was still unsure of his long term plans. It showed he was at least willing to help everyone regardless of his own feelings.
Matthew was so sweet. I really wanted more of his backstory. He does so much for the warren and seemingly doesn’t get much in return. However that first glance isn’t really accurate. He gets so much from everyone there and from Richard himself. You kind of have to read between the lines to see it though. His relationship with Richard is so loving. You can feel their love in the gentle touches and soft looks they give each other. It makes Eli a bit of an outsider in the menage but it’s also a tiny bit of his own choosing. If he spent more time getting to know Richard the way he had with Matthew, Eli and Richard’s feelings would have grown, It made me sad for Matthew a tiny bit because he seemed to be in the middle of that without wanting to be or knowing how to fix it.
I liked that Richard is described as physically “average”. Not all vampires, or characters in general, are buff mid twenties to early thirties and super hot. Having a character that is liked for more than his physical attributes made me extremely happy. That said, I needed to see more of Richard doing the things that makes Matthew care for him to see the reason behind those feelings. I think Richard helped Matthew at a time when no one else would but that is me reading between the lines and maybe a tiny bit of wishful reading.
The ending is very non traditional. However, it’s written in a way that the reader can interpret what they want out of it. I call it a happy for now because I’m a romantic at heart and want everyone to find that someone(s) to have a life with. So I read a positive ending that is the beginning of a loving relationship between these three. If you read it differently, don’t come bursting my bubble!
When Matthew pulls open the door, a blast of wind and snow swirls in. The snow is piled up on the stoop, and as they watch some of it crumbles onto the carpet of the foyer. The street is drifted with white and all Eli can see is billowing white globes of snow around each of the streetlamps.
“Okay, there’s no way you’re leaving,” Matthew declares, pushing the door shut again and cutting off the frigid stream of air. Eli’s glasses fog up again, but only briefly, and once they’re clear he sees Matthew turn to regard him thoughtfully. “Even if the subway’s still open it’s going to take you forever to get home. Do you want to stay for dinner?”
As he asks, he leans forward and puts his hand over Eli’s where he’s gripping the strap of his bag.
All at once, Eli realizes that he is in a house with Dead people and vampires; that if the trains are down he has effectively no way to get home; and that he’s being propositioned.
“Oh my god,” he says. This is entirely the thing his mom had fretted about, at length, when he announced his intention to move to New York. Because con-artists, homosexuals, anarchists, and vampires. It’s her worst nightmare. Maybe there are drug dealers here too.
Matthew tips his head curiously.
“Oh my god,” Eli says, more frantically. “Oh my god. I can’t get home.”
“Yeah?” Matthew asks, nonplussed.
“Horror stories start like this!”
About The Authors:
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese write the LGBTQ Hollywood romance series Love in Los Angeles (Torquere Press) and the theater-based Love’s Labours series (Dreamspinner Press). Their work has also been published with Cleis Press and Supposed Crimes.
Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University where she studied the role of social media in the Arab Spring.
Racheline’s fiction, non-fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous outlets. She is also a producer and writer on Serial Box Publishing’s Tremontaine (available in print from Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press).
Together, they write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire.