Dark Needs

Title: Dark Needs
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Paranormal, GBLT (M/M), BDSM
Length: Novel (Trade Paperback)
Rating: ***** +(out of 5)

These two engrossing stories by the writing duo of Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael are now together in one paperback novel, Dark Needs, but each novella is reviewed separately below:

Book Title: The Power of Two
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Paranormal, GBLT (M/M), BDSM
Length: Novella
Rating: *****+ (out of 5)

Dominic and Griffith are both dominant vampire Masters who live and work together, training their two human slaves Jason and Tage. However, Grif was not always a Master. Before he met Dominic he was once a submissive to a Master who cruelly betrayed him, but Grif refuses to speak of the trauma and the still lingering effects it has on his ability to trust completely.

Dominic has wanted his old friend Grif for some time and there is quite a test of wills with teasing undercurrents between the two of them. Lately that hunger is threatening to change their relationship. Dominic has cared for Grif since he rescued him long ago and subsequently took him into his home; he has been the one constant for Grif over the years. This has led to tender feelings which are beginning to blossom between them. But at the same time there is also a power struggle going on because Grif feels that Dominic wants to be the ‘top’ in any evolving new relationship, and he will not allow anyone to control him due to past betrayals at the hands of his old Master.

One aspect of the relationship between Dominic and Grif that is most impactful and very effective is the telepathic communication between them which allows for intimacy without any intrusions. This ability also lends an air of mystery and a different ambiance to the budding romance between them.

The tenor of their relationship changes when Dominic signs a contract with a new sub, Tristan, a vampire who was once a sub to Grif’s old Master. Tristan was one of those that cruelly abused Grif, who is still too traumatized to confide in Dominic about his past with Tristan. As Grif struggles with his desire to submit to Dominic which conflicts with his role as a Master, this dichotomy leads to a situation where Tristan seizes power during Dominic’s absence and beats Grif to within an inch of his life. Dominic returns home in the nick of time. The brutal climax between him and Tristan plays out, crafted in true vampire fashion with lots of blood, and a dénouement that is really clever.

The Power of Two is a very powerful, intense book that is never over the top. The scene where Dominic whips Grif in the dungeon in D/s play, at his request, will resonate with me for a long time. What makes this so poignant are the emotion and tenderness between them when Grif asks Dominic to touch him during the whipping, and Dominic uses the whip like a caress as it kisses Grif’s body in a semblance of lovemaking. Afterwards, Dominic holds Grif in his arms for a long time in order to ground him, and the reader knows that, above all, this is about love. This scene gave me chills. Without a doubt this is one of the best books on vampires that I have read in quite some time. Stories like this are the reason that reading is my drug of choice. Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael have crafted a tale for the ages in the annals of vampire culture. I highly recommend this book as one that anyone would be proud to have on his or her bookshelves.

Because of the subject matter this story is very violent in parts and may not be suitable for everyone.


Title: Dominion
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher: http://phaze.com
Genre: Paranormal, GBLT (M/M), BDSM
Length: Novella
Rating: *****+(out of 5)

In Dominion, the sequel to The Power of Two, Grif is recovering from the physical and emotional scars left by the brutal treatment he endured at the hands of Tristan, but he is still traumatized. To add another complication, he is having nightmares brought on by his treatment at the hands of his former Master, Quinn, who he thinks he saw one evening when he and Dominic are out dancing. He also continues to be conflicted by his need to submit to Dominic as well as to dominate.

Jason and Tage are now sharing the stage with Dominic and Grif as their characters come alive. No longer in the shadows, they interact much more during D/s play and their bond and feelings for each other are heightened.

The love between Dominic and Grif is clearly evident in Dominion. Both vampires are more demonstrative as Dominic tenderly cares for Grif who welcomes his protection. He is the only anchor in Grif’s world where reality is blurred and he can’t differentiate what is real. As his dependence on Dominic increases, their love is sorely tested when Grif’s old Master, Quinn petitions the vampire council to return Grif, his creature, to him as per their laws.

With the re-emergence of Grif’s sire, the stage is set for fireworks. Dominic is summoned to a meeting of the Elders and when he protests in vain against returning Grif to Quinn, his is the only voice of reason. He returns home only to find that Quinn has already taken Grif away by force. When Quinn’s mistreatment of Grif is verified by a member of the Vampire Council, Dominic and Quinn fight to the death – pure vampiric blood lust.

Dominion is much darker than its predecessor, and the intensity is greater with considerable blood play. The BDSM elements are more evident and, at times, almost overwhelming. This sequel far exceeded my expectations. It is even better than The Power of Two as we are allowed to peek into the dark world of vampires which was only hinted at before. I found the writing to be smart and clever, and the story itself to be engrossing. The sex between Dominic and Grif is emotional, moving, sensuous and above all, loving. The end of the book leaves the fates of Justin and Tage up in the air and I would anticipate that their story is next on the horizon. I highly recommend Dominion as a book that anyone would be proud to have as a part of their collection.

Because of the subject matter this story, like its predecessor, is very violent and may not be suitable for everyone.

This book was formerly reviewed for Literary Nymphs Reviews


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.