I'm a crazy chick who somehow ended up a volunteer reviewer for Miss Portia de Moncur. I read m/m books and review them as honestly and passionately as I can.
So, I’ve been reading anthologies lately and almost all of them have this thing in common. No, not the theme (that is a given) rather the fact that after a while all the stories in the anthology seem the same, no unique ones to make a stand, a very few grab your attention. They are nice, but you forget them after a day or two.
But this one, oh my God, this anthology has made it straight to my favorites shelf, and I’ll be damned if I don’t take it down every so often to re-read it again and again and again. You might notice down below on each review how some of these stories have made quite an impact in me, one perhaps has scarred me for life. I swear I’m still going to re-read that incredibly horrifying story for as long as I live. Hell I’m going to have a great time telling them tales when with friends to scare the heck out of them too.
Because that’s what this anthology is about. An incredible mix of dark fiction and explicit erotica meant to scare the living daylight out of you while simultaneously stoking that forbidden dark fire deep down in your shadiest part of your soul. Bump in the Night is definitely my favorite anthology among them all. Many thanks to the very talented authors who created these stories, they were simply wonderful.
Resurrection Man By Laylah Hunter
Oh my, what a marvelous story, how very creepy and brilliant.
What would you do if you were to lose the love of your life? What if you could bring him back from the cold darkness of Death? What price would you pay?
There is nothing Josef wouldn’t do for Adel. All his artistry, all their money, everything he can he’s ready to give. But when he pulls Adel’s spirit back into the living world he realizes the price he ultimately has to pay is much, much bigger than mere money or knowledge. The hunger for life is so much bigger when you’ve been dead after all…
A brilliant paranormal story and so very unique to what I’ve read so far. Honestly I don’t think I’ve read anything similar and the balance between the creepy and sexy and horny is just plain perfect. It’s like a mix of Frankenstein and Vampires with a slight dose of magic thrown in for good measure. I liked it, no I loved it. Everything about it was way cool, the writing, the idea and the way the story went, the play of emotions. Excellent indeed!
This is definitely a story I’d love to tell when around the fire on dark, stormy nights, or around Halloween. And if you love the style I think this is one of those you should not miss.
Mating Season By Kari Gregg
Horrifying, oh I have no words… This is terror, pure, unadulterated terror. Oh my God!!! Oh my guts are screaming in sympathy with the poor character of this story. Oh I have no words as my skin crawls and goosebumps travel my whole body. Oh my freaking God, this is definitely a story I’ll never, ever, EVER forget.
Ok, here it is. Danny has been humiliated. His girlfriend left him right before their marriage for his boss, and said boss fired him right after. Feeling useless and in a dead end in his life Danny hides in his apartment until his friend Keith drags him out for a game of basketball all the time trying to make him feel better and suggesting him to go hiking the lake and get his shit together.
Danny never goes to the lake once autumn rounds the corner. There are tales of a monster living there and Danny deep down believes them. But his friends insistence make him careless and he eventually makes his mind to go hiking. What follows is a crazy scientist, a slimy monster with enormous tentacles, and a poor guy forced into being a lab-rat, all dancing around a horrifying story that includes forced… things and death and addiction and… I have no words!
This is a horror story people! Horror with capital “H”. There is no other way around it. The things that happen to Danny from the very first night he sets foot on that lake are made from the worst of nightmares. I was literally screaming for half this read. My skin still hasn’t stopped crawling and I’m awed at this author’s creativity and slimy tale. OH MY GOD!!!
So I don’t know; did I like it? I don’t know. Was I fascinated by it? Hell yeah. Did it grip me and held me captive despite the gut wrenching horror I felt the entire time? It sure did. Is this what you want? Only if you don’t faint easily and have a strong, strong stomach. Oh God, I’ll never step foot on a lake, ever, ever again.
Flesh and Song By Ally Blue
La Terre de la Belle Mort, The Land of Beautiful Death. The island found in no map, whispered only in frightening tales, a sinful promise of all your heart’s desires that come with a severe price.
That is what Noah has been looking for, for nearly eight months. The tale wants the island unfound when you so much search for it. Only by sheer luck or mistake one can land there, only when lost one can be found, but then you might never leave it again…
Just as he’s about to give up the search though a mighty storm leads him to this gorgeous island. But Noah doesn’t know what he wants. Now that he’s here what exactly is he looking for? The gorgeous naked man on the beach calls to him, running through the jungle the call becomes near painful. He must go to him, he needs to before he dies. And there, on a beautiful pool under a waterfall his God awaits, his fathomless black eyes beaconing him forward, his wonderful musical voice urging him to this astonishing creature.
Days, weeks, months pass in the haze of dream that takes everything from him besides the longing for his God. No memories, no ambitions, no will for anything else beside the arms wrapped around him and the sex God giving him all he wants, nothing else exists. Finally Noah understands what he’s been searching for. But he forgot that once he got his heart’s desire, it would come with a price…
This is a gorgeous story, heartbreaking and a bit sad in the end, but gorgeous nonetheless. I believe when I think of a Siren, the emotions this story evoked are exactly right. The promises, the longing, the will to do anything, to give anything for the call of the Siren. Homer would have been ecstatic to have read this version of his Sirens’. What a wonderful story this one.
Out from Under By Brien Michaels
How did it come to this? To get trapped between two demons and their century long vendetta? Each more horrible than the other, every path leading to death… or worse.
Three years under the demon’s spell. Three years of nightmares and being a slave to the demon’s twisted wishes, luring men into their deaths. But when Fromunder killed his lover right in front of his eyes Brant felt his world shift and true Hell consume him. The demon had no hold on him now that his lover was dead, or had he? The promise to bring Jason back was too alluring to deny, the price for that burning his soul, yet nothing would deter him from doing whatever in his power to achieve it.
And that’s how it came to this… lying in the middle of a bed between two sworn enemies, waiting for one to die and the other to consume him… After all he suffered, he would never see his lover again. Right?
This was a very nice story, the evil and viciousness of the paranormal world was so strong, the read so raw not shying away from explicit violence, torture, or sexual abuse, but rather basking in it. A story made from the stuff nightmares come from, a story fit for the spirit of Halloween, a story strong enough to make you lose yourself in its dark depths.
Can you tell I loved this one too?
Sleeping With Ghosts By Peter Hansen
Oh, wow! This was quite a cold story. I don’t know what to make of it really.
In this story Yordan is a Bookman, a priest who is sent to turn the last page of men’s life in order to give a chance for a soulless newborn. A weird world with many Churches, Priests, Brotherhoods. Religion and politics that make an appearance and give you a notion of what this world is about without delving much into it. The story is mostly about Yordan taking a life that was uncalled for, simply by blindly following orders. The soul who lost his body now wanders without a new one to take residence. A haunted night, a cold encounter, rippling feeling of dread… Yes, cold is how this story leaves you, cold from inside out. It gave shivers and frankly it made me want more. I was not satisfied with this short, I wan’t more Bookmen, more Ironmen, more of this world.
However this story was quite worth it and so very in the ghostly atmosphere. Lovely indeed. I still want more though. *sigh*
Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint By Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler
Oh this story was quite brilliant as well. See this is another “deal with a Devil” themed one, but it was so very well executed.
The man who makes the deal doesn’t make it for himself, rather for someone else. He makes a deal for a person he once loved as a boy in dark corners, but shunned in broad daylight. He made the deal for a man he held in contempt, humiliated, and crushed his hopes when he most needed him. Tobias makes a deal for David’s life.
What I loved more in this story was the fact that the Devil here is a creature that as horrific and repulsive as he was described to be, I ended up admiring and actually being my favorite character here. Tobias was this self-righteous Christian charitable man who lacked humbleness and was blind by his bigotry. He perverted and twisted his love for David by convincing himself that David “tempted” him and he still stayed strong and moral, while David “chose” to be the immoral person he became. The brilliancy of the writing here was how the Devil made Tobias become David in the end. How he made him feel and understand and comprehend that sometimes in life there is no choice, sometimes you simply have to do everything in your power for the person you love, own it and never once back out from it.
I loved this story, it was deep with meanings while in the same time was full of those dark sinful erotic scenes that come when you strike a deal with a devil…
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