Title: Lean on Me (Bloodrose Series)
Author: Julia Talbot
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Genre: M/M Paranormal, Shifter, BDSM.
Length: 40 pages, 10,300 words
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: An enjoyable glimpse into a new relationship between a frustrated, powerful psychic and a thoughtful controlling werewolf.
Blurb: Aiden has a special, and sometimes downright annoying talent. He doesn’t mind being psychic, but it is a pain in the butt when it starts to affect his sex life. He thinks he might have found the answer in a club called the Bloodrose, a place where guys like him can find some companionship.
Werewolf and control freak Jared thinks that Aiden might be the most interesting customer who has ever come into the club. He also thinks he’s got the perfect solution to Aiden’s little problem. Can he make Aiden believe that it’s okay to let go when someone is there to catch you?
I enjoyed this brief, but engaging introduction to Julia Talbot’s work, a prolific writer and new to me. The story is perhaps a little underwritten as I felt a bit out of it to start with, arriving late into the party as it were, but I soon caught up.
Lean on Me is a self contained story, mostly set around Bloodrose , ”a club that pairs up supernatural characters for the optimum sexual experience”. There are earlier stories featuring Jonny the vampire who owns the club and other recurring characters.
Aiden’s intriguing and dangerous talent is getting in the way of him having sex. We slowly learn more about Aiden’s power and the problems it causes him. People have difficulties with touching him and fear what he can do. He has the ability to lean—passively experience other peoples thoughts and feelings. Moreover he can also push and actively influence them. His emotions can flare out, uncontrollably and influence peoples actions. Hence an amusing introductory episode when a whole room watching a scene have the dubious pleasure of synchronized and spontaneous orgasm.
Jonny, as matchmaker extraordinaire, suggests partnering Aiden with his employee Jared, a werewolf, who has great focus and pays close attention to detail—an ideal control freak. Intuitive and thoughtful, Jared describes Aiden as a generator, fueled by the energy from ” stuff “around him. When Jared invites Aiden to lean and see what he is thinking; after the layers of interest, and intense attraction, he finds the essential Jared. He burns so brightly that he almost blinds Aiden’s psychic eye. This strength is what will keep Aiden concentrated and safe during the stress of sex.
Primarily, the story has an intimate focus on the new and growing relationship between Aiden and Jared. This relationship is growing emotionally beyond the boundaries of Bloodrose. Later, the wider and dangerous issues of Aiden’s power is reemphasized in some tension introducing action scenes.
Lean on Me is a slight, but fun story. I will be exploring more of the Bloodrose world, Jonny seems a particularly interesting character and the main focus of the story I intend to read next, ”Belling the Cat”.
Lean on Me is rated as Jalapeno by Torquere Press, this is defined as, “Woo! Hot stuff. Our Jalapeno stories contain explicit loves scenes, and lots of them. There may also be situations such as bondage, toys, and multiple partners. These stories have a real kick.” However I would put this story is on the milder side of this.