Thorn and Fangs #1
Publisher: NineStar Press
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Nate is caught between two dangerously hot vampires who can compel people to do whatever they want and a ruthless necromancer who wants Nate for all the wrong reasons—and that’s only the start of his problems.
Escort Nate prides himself on two things: his ability to please his clients and his normality – living in the monster capital of the world, ordinary is rare. Hunter, a darkly charming vampire with more charisma than is good for him, decides Nate is just what he needs. Nate’s sympathetic nature and skill in the bedroom are put to the ultimate test. But Hunter wants Nate for someone else – his brother, Ben. Nate is immediately attracted by the control with which Ben holds his sensitive nature in force. Too afraid of becoming a monster to allow himself to feel, Ben struggles to resist Nate’s generosity of emotion. As Nate’s normal world crumbles around him, and he desperately searches for a way to save Ben, Nate is becoming the necromancer’s latest victim.
Nate is forced to let go of and embrace powers he doesn’t fully understand. In defiance of Ben’s vampire sire and hunted by Department Seven, Nate and Ben finally learn to trust and rely on each other.
I loved the world building in this story, and had to smile at the sneaky New Zealand reference. The world, its inhabitants, and magic are very well thought out, and feels very real although it is set in a world that isn’t quite ours as people are aware of the existence of supernaturals. I loved the sign that reads: in case of vampires, break glass—and instead of the usual fire extinguisher with similar signs there is garlic, a flask, and a sharpened wooden stake.
The descriptions of the settings were very visual. The story does start with a lot of sex, but that makes sense considering Nate’s occupation. I appreciated that the author took the time to show him in his day to day life before throwing him into the world of vampires and necromancers.
Nate and Ben are both interesting characters, and this story is a slightly different take on vampires. I liked that Ben is geeky, rather naïve, and inexperienced. He makes lists, and is so matter of fact, that I loved him as a character almost immediately. Nate’s power is very different, and I loved that, while trying to work out what exactly they are. I thought the author did a great job in hinting but keeping the reader guessing. It’s not just the main characters who pulled me into the story. I particularly liked Aki, Nate’s friend, and their friendship. I enjoy reading about friendships as well as romantic relationships. I hope he finds someone as the series progresses. Gunn is an interesting character too, and I want to see what happens with him, and with Department Seven in future books.
As the tension built in the story, I was on the edge of my seat turning pages to find out what happens next. Nate’s realisation of his part in things is very visual and emotive.
I’d recommend Thorns and Fangs to readers who enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal stories with something a little bit difference, great world building, and appealing, interesting characters. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series, as this is up there as one of my favourite books so far this year. 5 out of 5 stars.