Author: Sarah Madison
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Paranormal M/M, Fantasy
Length: novella/68 PDF pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: This short story will warm your heart as you fall in love with Rodney.
Rodney isn’t like other gargoyles. No doubt it’s because of his fascination with humans and their culture. For decades he’s been content to observe from the shadows, but then a lonely human wanders onto Rodney’s rooftop one night and turns his world upside down. David Marshall is everything Rodney has wanted in all his years of solitude. Rodney manages to keep his crush and his identity a secret until David needs a gargoyle’s protection more than late-night conversations with a reclusive friend. Will David be able to see past the monstrous exterior to the true person within? Time is running out, and Rodney must try to grab onto life—and love—before it’s too late.
Rodney stood on his concrete base every day until sunset ever since he had been shipped in a packing crate from England in the 1920’s to form part of the rain spout system at the Freemont building. There weren’t many of his kind left; the older buildings were being torn down and the newer ones weren’t commissioning gargoyles. As far as he could remember he was 150 years old. Recently the base on which he stood every day had been disintegrating fast and the crack in the concrete was getting bigger. Maybe one day his pedestal would go tumbling 30 storeys to the street, which would not be a good thing since it would take Rodney along for the ride.
One evening when the sun went down and Rodney came alive he was all set to fly but it was too early, so he hid in the dark in his usual spot behind the air conditioner on the roof. After midnight a man came up to the roof and it was obvious that he was angry about something. He had a bottle of whiskey in his hand and started drinking from it. When it appeared that he was going to smash the bottle Rodney suggested that it would be a pity to waste good liquor – of course he didn’t expect the man to hear him since no one ever had before. The man was startled when he heard Rodney’s voice and tried to see who was talking to him, but Rodney hid further in the darkness so that the man (David was his name) would be able to hear but not see him. David was angry because his father had issued an ultimatum – either toe the family line and get married to a woman or he was out on his ear. Unfortunately David had no skills but Rodney told him that at 35 it was time he flew the nest rather than freeload off his family.
Several weeks later David showed up on the roof again and invited Rodney to go out with him for a beer, but of course a gargoyle could not be seen by humans so Rodney responded by saying “call me when you make your first million” which David took to be a rejection because he wasn’t rich. He said “guess you’ll have to take a raincheck on that, huh” and started to leave. Realizing that David had misunderstood his comment Rodney hastened to make amends by explaining that he couldn’t be seen because he was “different.” A few nights later David brought dinner for Rodney and left it on a packing crate – a beer, a sandwich, chips,and a pickle, in lieu of going out for a beer.
Rodney’s main entertainment was looking through the skylight of David’s apartment at night and creating fantasies of them sitting opposite each other in his apartment reading the books in his huge collection, as well as playing chess, watching television or sharing meals, the sort of things that a couple would do. He would stay on his perch until almost daylight when he hurried back to his pedestal. No one knew what happened to a gargoyle who was not back in his spot before dawn, but he had heard that the gargoyle would turn to dust.
One night as Rodney was checking on David who was out for the evening he saw him being mugged and Rodney rushed to his rescue and flew him home. Would David be horrified to see what his friend looked like? Was a romance between a gargoyle and a human possible?
This was a delightful fantasy with a perfect ending. Rodney’s character was well developed and in David’s eyes he could do no wrong. Both MCs were three dimensional and the story provided the right level of heartbreak and angst which morphed into a very happy ending. There’s also lots of humour in the dialogue between David and Rodney. 🙂 Although there wasn’t much sex, when it happened it was just right. I would have loved for this story to be longer so that Rodney’s background and his possible future with David could be more fully explored but Sarah Madison made the most of the minimal word count. As with the previous book I reviewed by this author, her prose and dialogue were much better than average and she did a great job on the world building.
If you’re looking for an unusual paranormal story with two well matched protagonists I would recommend that you read Raincheck.