All In Fear (Ana’s Review)


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Title: All In Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales
Author: Steve Berman, K.J. Charles, Avon Gale, Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, J.A, Rock
Publisher: Open Ink Press
Release Date: December 1st 2016
Genre(s): Horror
Page Count: 245
Reviewed by: Ana
Heat Level:  1 flames out of 5
Rating:  4 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Horror wears many faces and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.

Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous…and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer’s life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he’s found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.

When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the world—to other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.

How could he have possibly been so stupid?

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]

ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.

Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.

Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.

Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.

Company by Roan Parrish

Nick is growing up as a lonely kid, and when a friend is needed in his life, Michel, a character of his favorite comic book, jumps into scene. But when Nick’s attention is caught by someone else, jealousy makes Michel act in a unsual way.

This was really good story, I loved the characters so much. Nick was a lovely guy, it was so easy to care for him and wish him love and happiness. When the opportunity of love becomes real, there are some really sweet moments, that I wished would be longer, but they took only a few scenes on the story. Michel was also a great character, it was so nice trying to guess his motives, he remains as a mystery the whole time, is very manipulative and he had some sinister tranquility that was even scarier than any other conduct he might have. I liked this story very much.

 

 

Love Me True by Kris Ripper

Palmer’s life is perfect. He’s only problem is he hates his job, but after welcome Jon in his life, even his work wouldn’t let him enjoy the future he is building with his new man. Everything seems perfect, until he realize it isn’t.

I really oved the BDSM moments in this story, my only issue is they were too few. I loved Jon and Palmer’s relationship, it almost felt like it wouldn’t be a scary element on it, everything was so perfect and beautiful. I think the scary part of this story is how real it was, how everything could change so fast. It was very nice. I liked the reactions the characters had to the events, it had some interesting and very intriguing moments.

 

 

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles

Johanna is trying to save her beloved Arabella from a madhouse. But she wasn’t expecting her try would lead her to the middle of a disappearances mystery. She will need all the help she can get to solve the crimes.

I loved this so much, I really misjudge it from the beginning, I wasn’t thrill it was a historical, and I didn’t like there was a madhouse involved, but pushing some of my issues aside, this was so great. I loved it. It had great characters, a hint of a romance, and a lot of mystery. It was really unexpected the way everything went, I just couldn’t get enough of this, It had some very exciting moments. I’m also very amazed by how some characters that were only a little moments on scene were so totally captivating. I finished this story wanting to know more of the characters, they were great.

 

 

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman

Steve is living the life his dad wants him to. With so few choices he decides to join Zeta Fi and even though things aren’t easy for him there, but the mystery behind the flask promise to make things different.

One of the greatest things about this story was the fear Steve felt when he was able to compare himself to the other guys, it was great to see that. It has some nice characters, I liked  Carl the best, he was really sweet. It had also some really awful character, the conduct they had was terrible, I think it was easy to dislike them. This story is most center in the mystery part, it’s not so much scary, but it was nice.

 

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale

Staff Sergeant Jason Essex has been assign with a mission of guard an entity held in a enclosure without engaging. He will remain in isolation during the time of his mission.

The description of the story might look relatively innocuous, but don’t be fool by it, this was absolutely terrifying. I don’t recall reading something as scary as this ever. Is so out of my comfort zone, if I would know where this was going, I probably wouldn’t read it, but I glad I did, because is a great story. Is the first time I read something from the author, but I will be looking for more, because I’m not easily scared but, once again, this was terrifying. One of the things a loved the most about it was the way the story was told. As the description say, Jason is isolated during the mission, which make great to see how the author manage to tell a story with, mostly one character on scene. This was simply Amazing.

 

 

Beauties by J.A. Rock

Carnificiality is introducing Beauties: Artificial intelligent being created with the purpose of provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. But Ira, seemed to be too violent to be sold. Lester has work with AI before, but never with an adult one. When the opportunity comes, he convince them to give Ira to him. But when everything seemed to be working as planned, Lester start suspecting Ira is hiding secrets from him.

This was so great, such different characters and yet, both so beautiful. I loved them both, Lester for the loneliness that never left him and Ira for the mystery around him. I loved their interactions. It was really unexpected, the story had me guessing all the time, and even though is a little slow pace, It was so much interesting. I really loved it.

 

 

As a general thought on the whole anthology, I really liked how different the stories were from each other, there are so many genres making a great book, I think there is something for every reader and the scary elements also have a nice range, from a little bit scary or only center in mystery to some terrifying ones, really amazing. Don’t expect romance here, if there is some, is not the main element if the story, don’t be expecting either happy endings, because you might not find them. But what you will find are some really amazing mysteries and expect to be scared.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales provided by Open Ink Press in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I love to read M/M books. I’m still doing a lot of catching up with some series and getting to know some authors. I love to read stories with dark themes, a lot of angst and complex characters. I’ve always been interested on how mental illness is portray in books, so I would probably read any book with that subject. Here are some of my favorite books