Title: Close Quarter
Author: Anna Zabo
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: paranormal romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: Super fast Insta!Love and too much sex for me, but otherwise pretty enjoyable paranormal romance.
On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.
Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.
Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?
I really, really wanted to give this book a higher grade. You cannot imagine how much, for the simple reason that it features a secondary character from the part of the world I came from who is not a member of the criminal underworld, who is sympathetic and likeable and I do not get nearly enough of these characters for my liking. It also features several small but, very knowledgeable nods to Pagan Slavic mythology, the most amusing (if a tad overboard) being the reveal of the secondary name of one of the main characters at the end of the book.
I also really liked both guys. I loved the chemistry between Silas and Rhys. I also really loved how despite being thrown in the world which is completely new and unknown to him Rhys managed to hold his own quite often and would not back down even when Silas may have wanted him to do that.
The paranormal element was both familiar in some ways and there were some interesting twists to the familiar ideas. For example it is not the first book that treats vampires as complete monsters instead of romantic heroes (which I certainly do not mind with the good execution), but I have not seen that done in that many mm books either.
But I just got eventually tired of all the sex. I do understand that they just met, that they are in a confined space and they really did not have that much to do except either fight bad guys or to have sex; nevertheless at some point it became too much and because I was reading for review, I could not skip the sex scenes. I however wanted to. I did not feel that it added much to the story – I understood their connection with the few ones.
I also was not happy with them proclaiming that they love each other after two days of knowing each other. Do not get me wrong, this was not the worst variety of Insta!Love I have ever seen, but it did not work that well for me either. I understood the fast connection because of paranormal element they shared (no, not the mate bond :-)), and I understood the attraction based on the extreme circumstances they were thrown into. Had the author stopped there, I would have been fine, but the love forever after two days? It was just too much and too fast for me.