Close Quarter

Title: Close Quarter
Author: Anna Zabo
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: (Second Edition)
Genre: paranormal romance
Length: Novel
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?

Close Quarter Series


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.



  • Sirius,
    Many thanks for your review. Generally, paranormal romance is something I do not like. I thought I might give this book a chance but the too-quick love is also not something I enjoy. I will wait for a better book to come along.

    • Dear Shlomo, thanks so much for commenting. If I were to take a guess I would also venture that this book and you ( whoever you are) are not a good fit. Now maybe you can answer my question? Did our esteemed boss put you up to this in order to torture me further without giving out any clues as to your cloaked identity?

      • Sirius, I must admit to confusion. I can promise that your boss did not ask me to comment on your fine review! G-d forbid I should ever seek to cause you discomfort. I follow Chazal and do not do to others what I do not want done to me. Why Wave compares me to Batman, I do not know. I have no cloaked identity that I am aware of. I am called Shlomo and Shlomo I am! I could ask my rav to testify to my name, but he does not know I visit this site.

        • I love it, I absolutely love it. You are called Shlomo and Shlomo you are, huh? I am now thinking of the Russian kids song which is kind of rhymes with it.

          Rabbi’s verification is priceless too.

          • I am a little lost now. I do not know how to convince you of what I am not sure you are trying to find out. I am Shlomo. I was named Shlomo at my Bris. I am Bar Mitzvah: Shlomo. I am called to the Toireh, again Shlomo. I receive text messages, “Hello, Shlomo, how are you doing?” I don’t know why my rav calling me Shlomo is priceless. Maybe I should not try to understand. You know the old saying, “Oifen balken ken kain korn nit geroten.” You can’t grow corn on the ceiling. But I did enjoy your review.

            • My poor brain must solve this puzzle. Maybe Shlomo is your second name? Is it Thursday yet?

              And thank you for liking my review 🙂

  • I want a fence-sitting icon, as that’s where I am again! 😀 I had not had any real interest in this story, and the mention of Insta!Love in the review summary convinced me I was right. Then I read the whole review “Pagan Slavic mythology” leaped out at me, too. And suddenly I’m finding myself tempted… 😆

    • Jess, I forgot do you hate any variety of Insta!Love or there are cases when some varieties worked for you? If you just hate it period, then the book is probably not for you. And you are not going to learn about Slavic mythology from the book, besides some definitions, like the word for vampire in Russian for example and some other small things. It is more that people who already know it will be pleased to see that it is used correctly IMO.

      • I almost never like it, but it can sometimes work for me. I think of it as being a question of the author’s skill in making me believe, and it takes a VERY skilled author to make me believe it. So it’s not impossible, just unlikely. 😀

        As for the Slavic mythology, I was a Slavic Studies major for a year or so as an undergrad, so while I’d hardly call myself an expert, I do know some. 🙂

  • Pagan Slavic mythology

    I’m sold, even with Insta!Love. And I can always skip some sex. I wish there were more books with the likes of Perun or Radegast.

    • Funny you should mention Perun ;). But yeah I agree of course, just remember that this is not the book about Pagan Slavic mythology, just gives some small nods to it. You know, couple of names, couple of definitions used correctly, etc. It just tickled me :).

      As to sex – maybe you will find it just the right dose 🙂


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