*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
I struggled with how to rate and review this book because it had potential, a good story, and decent characters… but it was so hard to get into because I spent so much time being confused, rereading paragraphs, just trying to figure things out. So I’m just going to make some lists.
Things I Disliked:
– My main issue was how confusing the writing was. It kept jumping or describing things in a way that threw me off, and sometimes I just felt like I was missing something. Other times, someone would say something or Nate would think something, THEN he’d explain. Like, the first thing would confuse me because it had no context yet or was missing a step in between from the last thing that happened. I needed the context first. I also needed more dialogue tags.
– All the deep conversations about Ben’s control were lost on me. I didn’t understand what Nate was trying to get Ben to do or feel in regards to that, I didn’t understand why his control was a bad thing, and it seemed odd that they literally just met and slept together and then Nate was suddenly an expert on the psychology of Ben.
– The blurb tells you almost the entire plot and is a little misleading since it makes it sound like there will be menage romance, but there’s not (just one menage sex scene).
– The first 18% was basically just sex, and it fell flat because I didn’t know the characters yet. Also, I enjoy sex scenes as much as the next person, but I wanted to get to some actual plot already.
– I don’t know what the setting was supposed to be. The future? An alternate version of our world? They seemed to have some pretty high-tech stuff, and people all knew about the supernatural, but I don’t recall it being explained (though it’s possible I just missed something).
– This is nitpicky, but I hate to think someone would see it and think it was accurate. You can’t get tested for STDs the day after you have sex and expect an accurate result. Unless this was a highly advanced test (which maybe it was since I don’t know the setting), there’s a length of time you need to wait.
– At one point, Nate described his brother as an “obsessive compulsive weirdo.” I don’t know if the brother actually has OCD (he seemed to me like he might be neurodivergent), and I get that it’s a realistic thing a person might say, but that comment sounded offensive to anyone who does have OCD and maybe anyone who’s neurodivergent.
– It was never explained why Ben in particular couldn’t compel Nate. That was very deus ex machina, unless it’s explained in later books.
Things I Liked:
– Vampires! (No sexy biting though.)
– Nate’s abilities were interesting and unique, something I’d never read about before. That was my favorite thing about the book. *SPOILER* He could command plants and was kind of part plant himself. There was one part where his mind went full plant even and he forgot he was human, so that was really unique to read about. *END SPOILER*
– The book got more gripping in the second half when the villainous necromancer really came into the story and more stuff started happening.
– As I said, the plot seemed pretty good, and the characters weren’t bad.
So overall, the writing in this book was confusing for me, but I did still enjoy it somewhat, and maybe the confusion was entirely a “me” issue. At least I got to read about some interesting supernatural abilities, and maybe other people will enjoy this more.
Anyone who likes vampires, M/M romance, lots of sex, and unique supernatural abilities.
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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 a vindictive necromancer makes Ben his target of revenge, Nate discovers that making people feel good doesn’t compare to making Ben feel. As Nate’s normal world crumbles around him, and he desperately searches for a way to save Ben, Nate is unable to escape becoming the necromancer’s latest victim.
But Nate’s death is only the beginning. Coming back to life in the bathroom of Gunn, a Department Seven officer who hates the vampire family that Ben and Hunter belong to, Nate doesn’t know who to trust or even what he is. As the necromancer’s trap pulls tighter around himself and Ben, Nate is forced to let go of normal 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. But when the necromancer succeeds in capturing Ben, Nate alone can come to his rescue.
Thorns and Fangs contains adult content suitable for mature readers only.