Title: Trill to Me Sweetly
Author: Charlie Richards
Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter
Publisher: Extasy Books
Amazon: Buy Link Trill to Me Sweetly (A Paranormal’s Love)
Publisher Buy Link: Trill to Me Sweetly
Length: 118 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by ZenHarley
Review Summary: Big blue guy with wings meets his fated mate. One of them may end up pregnant. Don’t ask.
Into the paranormal world: A man’s idea of good and bad can be put to the test at the most unexpected moments.
Maelgwn, leader of a clutch of gargoyles in Durango, Colorado, only planned to be in Stone Ridge a few days to help a fellow gargoyle’s mate through laying their first egg. His plan to leave changes when he scents his mate in the hospital. He discovers his mate is Bobby Truman, a human who has no idea the paranormal world exists, even though a number of his friends are shifters. Maelgwn begins the arduous process of watching and waiting, searching for that perfect opportunity to make contact with his mate.
Bobby Truman is tired of his boyfriend, Seth’s, abusive friends, especially when Seth doesn’t do anything about their antics. The broken nose, compliments of Seth’s buddy Grant, is the final straw. When he’s attacked by muggers and rescued by a mysterious stranger in the dark, Bobby hopes it’s the opportunity he needs to make a clean break from Seth. Even if it doesn’t work out with Maelgwn, maybe Bobby can keep his new love interest’s attention long enough to prove to Seth they are really done.
Bobby thinks it’s odd that Maelgwn won’t come into the light, always meeting him after dark, but he’s nowhere near prepared for the truth when it finally comes out.
Can Maelgwn convince Bobby that the things that go bump in the night aren’t always bad and to take his place at Maelgwn’s side in a paranormal world? Even when that means uprooting his life and moving?
First, a caveat: The publisher refers to this as Book 1 of the “A Paranormal’s Love” series, but it’s actually a spinoff of the 14-book “Wolves of Stone Ridge” series. It not only features the same characters, but picks up where book 14 left off. Fans of “Wolves of Stone Ridge” may be very happy, but for those unfamiliar, it’s frustrating to feel dumped into the middle of a continuing story when you thought you were starting a new series. While not entirely unreadable as a stand-alone, there were many places where prior knowledge of characters and backstory would have helped considerably.
I was originally drawn to this book because I’m one of those oddballs who think gargoyles are so much cooler than vampires and weres. The author adds a few new quirks to her gargoyles, making them one gender only (male), with the ability to impregnate other males, including humans. Apparently the previous book went into much more detail about the exact nature of these pregnancies, including, unfortunately, delivery. (Two words: Egg. Colon.) For those gargoyles wishing to prevent that from happening (and, honestly, who wouldn’t?) it appears that a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon a day is an excellent birth control method. Alrighty then.
Aside from the fact that one of the two main characters was a gargoyle, I’m afraid I found the rest of the story to be lacking. Since it’s a fated mates romance, there was no tension in regard to their attraction, or whether Maegwn was making a huge mistake by outing himself as a paranormal to Bobby. Bobby, on the other hand, was so clueless in the beginning as to Maelgwn’s paranormal aspects that he had to be either blind or an idiot. In this scene (their first “date”) Maelgwn is hiding in the rafters above Bobby’s head:
“The way the shadows and firelight moved around him, Maelgwn’s fingers, which he’d rested on his knees, looked almost dark blue with very pointed black nails. Bobby dismissed it, deciding Maelgyn must be African American.”
Dude, he’s blue. You’re on a date and he’s hiding in the rafters. Do we have to spell it out for you?
Maelgwn had the typical big Alpha he-man (he-Gargoyle?) thing going on, but he seemed legitimately fond of Bobby and was an overall enjoyable character. I liked that he was part of a group of friends, and he didn’t push Bobby too hard in the beginning of their relationship. Later on in the book, when he was called away from Bobby for some important clutch leader business, he whined a bit to himself but didn’t let Bobby’s presence distract him from seeing to the safety of his people.
Bobby, on the other hand, just sort of follows wide-eyed in Maelgwn’s wake. He’s extremely attracted to Maelgwn sexually, and they do indeed have lots of sex. (Thankfully, Maelgwn eats cinnamon toast every morning to prevent that whole pregnancy/egg situation, even though Bobby’s willing to go for it someday.) The sex scenes, however, were pretty much ruined by some incredibly poor word choices on the author’s part. Maybe I”m in the minority, but having a guy’s pre-ejaculate “ooze” — not just once, but every single freakin’ time — made me want to call a urologist. The other show-stopper was “stalk.” For heaven’s sake, give your heroes a nice cock, a dick, even a plain old penis, but a stalk? Ouch. The stalk showed up almost as frequently as the ooze (sometimes in the same sentence) and it pretty much killed off any possibility of happy sexy times.
There were lots of niggly editing issues — mis-spellings, incorrect words (bare for bear, “in lew of”) — which should have been caught before publication. At the page level, the writing was a bit choppy and rough around the edges — surprisingly so for someone who lists 46 titles with this publisher alone.
Recommended for fans of this author, especially fans of the “Wolves of Stone Ridge” series. For the rest of us, not so much.