Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reasons for Inclusion: Protagonist is bi/pan and ends up in a M/M relationship with a trans man.
Publisher’s Summary: When Casimir reaches Brightgate, he isn’t sure what to expect from the City of Monsters, though he’s a monster himself. He definitely doesn’t anticipate being attacked mere moments after arriving—or that he’d be rescued by Mikki, the city’s rough-edged guardian angel.
He gets another unpleasant surprise in the form of ex-lover Jared, who instead of talking responds with violence, dead-set on exacting vengeance for the events that drove them apart. Given the way his visit is going, about the only thing Casimir is sure of is that the City of Monsters could very well be where he dies.
My favorite stories are those that are diverse both in human terms, and in fantastic creatures.
Bloodguilty opens with vampire Casimir arriving at Brightgate, a city populated by all sorts of demons, spirits, and the occasional floating ball of flesh. He finds himself on the wrong side of one of those last. Luckily, Mikki is there to rescue him. But that’s not the end of his troubles in this city.
Casimir was a wonderful, intriguing character. He’s a vampire, he drinks blood, he carries a gun, but he’s truly a good person. He’s meticulously careful with the people he feeds off of, making sure they get pleasure in the deal and aren’t hurt by his actions. And if they want to stop in the middle, he listens.
The sex scenes were hot, and that’s coming from a person who doesn’t normally like sex scenes.
The background characters were interesting and served to make the world feel real. The centaur innkeeper, the fox, the ice maiden, all of them were fun. (The fox especially- “I would get my ball back and get to cause trouble? Yes! Yes! That would be fun!”) Brightgate was exactly the sort of fascinating place you’d want from a city full of spooky monsters.
I did not expect to like this as much as I did. Vampires and urban fantasy are not my thing at all, but this story hit the right notes.
(ARC received from Netgalley)