Genre: Romance, Paranormal
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
About The Book
Is it better to risk it all… or never know what could have been?
After surviving an abusive childhood, Vulcan remade himself upon arriving in Los Angeles, California. He became a blacksmith for the paranormal community and strives to earn the respect of the vampire covens and werewolf packs that call LA home. He also prevents the pain of loss by keeping everyone at arm’s length.
But he never planned on meeting a former Roman soldier by the name of Marcus Cassius Vespillo. Something sparks between them and turns into a friendship he never considered possible. He can’t deny his intense attraction to the intelligent, courteous, ancient vampire. And it scares him.
Though Vulcan is wary of seeking more with Cassius, an attack leaves him at death’s door and forces him to reexamine his priorities. But Cassius has his own secret, one that promises tragedy and loss. And if that wasn’t enough, a slayer arrives in the States, one with a bloody connection to Cassius… and Vulcan himself.
Note to Readers: Second edition with revised and updated text.
Eye of the Beholder is an interesting and exciting read, and you get two protagonists you can feel for. The title doesn’t do anything for me, but the story more than makes up for that.
Vulcan is in mourning for Dain, his mentor and father substitute, who was killed by a vampire slayer for being a traitor to the human race. A traitor for taking on work for paranormals. Those slayers are uptight, self-righteous bigots who think the world will come to an end without their help. They are completely ignoring the fact that vampires and werewolves have moved on from their roots and are now ‘good’ citizens in the main, and are willing to take out any paranormal who reverts to ‘type.’
Back to Vulcan. He comes into contact with Cassius, a very old vampire in terms of when he was turned. Vulcan is drawn to him from the start, and the feeling is mutual – a wooing vampire and a resistant human who is afraid to commit. Add to this slayers, ghouls having family problems and you get a very troubled love story, but one you will enjoy.
There are some areas of concern for me which did not take away from my enjoyment:
The human world is ignorant of the paranormal world. And yet, a lot of humans seem to be in the know, ranging from employees, those in thrall to vampires, those given contract work and also the slayers. Add to this the humans going missing or turning up dead after to being feasted on by ghouls and such like, and it’s a wonder that paranormals are still hidden.
Vulcan seems to be a bit cranky and easily irritated. and seeming how his is constantly in contact with dangerous beings you’d think he would have more control of himself and his mouth. He refers to humans as vanilla or feedbags, werewolves as furries, and vampires, well let’s not go there.
I think it has nothing to do with how he really feels about others. He is trying to protect himself from being hurt by belittling everyone in his head. It probably all goes back to his upbringing – his father called him an unloved worthless rat and beat him. He tries to keep everyone at arms length. Still, his mouth could do with a bar of soap stuck in it.
But there’s also a lot to admire about him. He is skilled at his metalwork and sword making, and he is trustworthy and honourable. He’s one complicated troubled guy, so I’m taking that bar of soap back.
Vulcan does get rather knocked about on his journey into accepting love but, as they say, if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. This is lovingly dealt with when the slayer finally captures Vulcan and Cassius. This definitely swung it for me, and it was well worth waiting for.
Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on.