Title: Fangs Like Me
Author: Lyssa Dering
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 13
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Romance, NineStar Press, LGBT, paranormal, shifters, vampires, kink, intercultural/interspecies, Alpha, knotting, light D/s, new adult, hurt-comfort, angst
Lane, a newborn vampire, still feels the pain of betrayal. Two years ago, a faithless boyfriend took his life, and now, Lane’s Maker has also left him behind. The pain of separation burns strong when all Lane wants are arms to hold him and enough warm blood to satisfy his voracious appetite. At a shifter party, Lane is drawn to a hunky Alpha werewolf who tries to console him.
Parker is more than a thoughtless hookup. Since his family disowned him for finding boys just as hot as girls, all he wants is someone to love and look after. The sweet little vamp calls to his protective instincts, but he sure is jumpy. Cuddling with boys is new and delicious, but when this boy also wants him as a food source, things get complicated.
Vampires and shifters aren’t supposed to get along, and Parker’s rough dominance triggers bad memories for Lane. But Parker’s wolf wants Lane, and he knows he can give Lane what he needs. Can Lane learn to navigate his past and give the thing growing between them a chance? Or will the very real possibilities of heartache, abandonment, and even death, keep them apart?
Fangs Like Me
Lyssa Dering © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Lane owed his Maker everything, so he had no right to be sad. Except the Maker/progeny Bond that had been a pain in his ass (not literally, unfortunately) since Theo had saved his life ensured that he would be sad, regardless. Theo had gone off to some vampire summit just last night, and he would be gone for a whole year. Lane, “babyvamp” that he was, was not important enough to go to a summit. As everybody in the den kept telling him, he had to learn to survive distance with his Maker eventually. It still hurt like a cracked sternum, though.
Maybe Lane had accepted the invitation to this shifter party as a fuck-you to Theo and his other denmates. Or maybe it had been Heather’s good-natured prodding that had brought him to the alley behind her house in Ferndale. She’d said he shouldn’t be alone right now, which was true. But he wasn’t sure if being in a house full of shifters was going to be all that helpful. He’d been to her house a few times before when other shifters were present. A good few of them hated vampires and had no qualms about giving him dirty looks whenever he showed. “They’re more open-minded than you think,” she’d told him over and over, but those looks said different.
Prime example: the shifter smoking on the back porch.
Brown and orange leaves crunched under Lane’s sneakers as he ascended the wooden stairs, and he shoved his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. He didn’t need the hoodie; he was impervious to the temperamental Michigan weather, after all, but it was best to keep up appearances.
The shifter was tall and fit, dressed in a flannel shirt and gray beanie. Lane had to edge past him to get to the sliding double doors that led into the living room. As he did so, the shifter’s confident gaze landed on him. Behind smoke tendrils, his eyes glowed orange.
Lane’s skin broke out in goose pimples—his vampire instincts telling him there was a threat here.
“Problem?” The shifter exposed his eyeteeth with a crooked grin.
Lane shook his head and hurried inside.
As soon as the soles of his sneakers hit the carpet, pleasant warmth washed over his cold skin, getting rid of those goose pimples. Shifters burned even hotter than humans, and there were a lot of them packed inside the house. A few of them were around the coffee table, playing what appeared to be Euchre, but most of them merely sat around talking.
Lane headed past them, looking for Heather and her head of dirty-blonde waves. He found her in the kitchen. She was spraying whipped cream into glasses filled with coffee-colored liquid.
“Who’s the guy smoking outside?” Lane knew Heather hated being around smokers; like many shifters, she disliked the smell. Lane didn’t mind it, even though he also had enhanced senses. His denmate Erica smoked out of a vintage cigarette holder like Cruella de Vil.
“Parker. He’s new. Want a shot?” Heather dipped a finger into one of the glasses and sucked whipped cream off her glossy nail.
Lane scrunched his nose. “No, thanks.” He preferred hard liquor. He opened one of the cabinets, found some vodka, and took several swallows straight from the bottle before wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
“Trying to get drunk?” asked Heather.
“Yeah. Fuck everything.” He’d have to wake up his heart to get drunk, but pouring the liquor down his throat was the first order of business. He needed to drown the ache in his chest. He needed to forget the hard line of Theo’s shoulders and the way his curls looked after he got out of the shower, dark and shining. How he’d lock eyes with Lane sometimes and—
“You should try talking to some people,” said Heather. “You need to make some friends.”
“You’re my friend, aren’t you?”
She gave Lane a knowing, playful look that probably would have melted some guys.
Lane screwed the cap back on the vodka bottle and headed toward the hallway, where the bathroom was. There were only two ways to get his heart to start beating, and he needed to be alone for one of them. Or with someone else, but that wasn’t happening. Not unless it was Theo, who was 1) not interested, and 2) on the other side of the world.
He was about a foot from the bathroom door when he stopped and gasped. The goose pimples sprouted back up, and his heart kicked into life. Wolf. Threat.
But this was a shifter party. Just because it usually happened much later at night didn’t mean they couldn’t shift now. Lane closed his eyes and took a slow breath. He registered the scent of cigarette smoke as the alcohol swam in his bloodstream, egged on by the heavy, unnatural thud of his vampire heart.
“Parker?” he said softly. The wolf’s orange eyes matched those of the smoker outside. “You scared me.”
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I'm sorry to say that I am feeling quite disappointed and sad from Fangs Like Me. This story had so much potential, it's unfathomable that I didn't fall madly in love with it. The writing was very well done and the premise was exciting but the execution left much to be desired, at least in my opinion. Worse yet is that I went into this book with the intention of reading a paranormal romance and instead felt as if the romance were missing.
Lane is a sad and lonely newly turned Vampire suffering from PTSD manifested after his traumatic murder at the hands of his boyfriend. Desperately missing his maker who has left him behind while he attends a year long summit out of town, Lane goes to a party at his friend Heather's home. There he meets Alpha Wolf Shifter Parker who intrigues as well as frightens him.
What starts as a potential hookup, scares Lane and he flees the party leaving behind a confused and wanting Parker. Parker innocently pursues Lane in hopes that he will be able to chase away whatever fears Lane may have. Unfortunately, Lane is having trouble letting go of his fear of intimacy, claws and fangs. Parker tries his best to convince Lane that he'd never purposely hurt him but Lane can't easily put his trauma from before behind him and trust Parker.
During the beginning of the story all of this angst and drama kept me intrigued and anxiously awaiting the outcome of Parker and Lane's attraction to one another, however, as the story progressed, I started to grow impatient with possible resolutions. I couldn't help but find Parker's character pushy and domineering (repeatedly explained by his Alpha status) and what came of as settling for Lane because it gives him an opportunity to take care of someone. He's looking for an Omega type personality but he doesn't want another wolf or a female. It's as if he thinks well, I need something so I'll take Lane, even if he's way more trouble than he's worth.
As for Lane, he too seems to be settling. He misses Theo so much that he needs someone and something and so Parker will have to do. Of course, he's terrified of Parker hurting him most of the time. Lane is so unhappy throughout most of the story that even during parts in which it would seem he was supposed to be happy, it felt somber. His ties to his maker and his constant need for him completely took away any feelings I had of Parker being what he really wanted or needed.
I just have a very hard time with these two being together and being mated. I have doubts that it could really work or last and I definitely do not feel as if the will be the picture of happiness. As a matter of fact, I don't feel as if the word happy should even be said when talking about this story. It's sad and dark and screams Emo. If it wasn't so well (technically) written it would've most definitely been a DNF!
I'm giving this story 3 Stars for the writing and the premise. I believe the author is very talented and has potential go write great paranormal stories. However, I would like to feel as if the characters are actually in love, after all I'm a fan of paranormal romance, whether YA, NA or Contemporary.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***
Meet the AuthorLyssa Dering is an author of queer erotic romance. She writes about damaged characters in impossible situations who, despite often horrifying struggles, will always get their happy ending.
3/13 - Happily Ever Chapter
3/14 - Queer Sci Fi
3/15 - MM Good Book Reviews
3/16 - Bayou Book Junkie
3/16 - Zipper Rippers
3/17 - Alpha Book Club
3/18 - Love Bytes Reviews