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Review: Sundowners – R.L. Merrill

Sundowners - R.L. Merrill

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

From the author of the supernatural suspense series Gifted (Healer, Connection) comes a new queer paranormal romance series.

Praise for Connection: “The romance element is complemented nicely by the relentless action and adventure throughout, creating an emotionally intense and page-turning narrative…A fast-paced and fun fusion of supernatural romance and mainstream thriller.” ~Kirkus

Vampire Creed Lowell drifts from town to town working with the elderly as a night nurse and looking to avenge his harrowing past. His youth and vitality make him a favorite of his patients and his gifts bring them peace. At long last he’s arrived in the place where he hopes to find the truth about those who betrayed him…but first he finds an unexpected love with a man who might understand him—or end him.

Grad student Roman San Angelo is struggling to handle his courses, teaching schedule, and research for his dissertation on an obscure cult. He spends every spare moment with his beloved yet demanding grandmother Frances who’s recently moved to an assisted living facility—and he’s fascinated by her night nurse, who is able to bring out the inner light which had faded during her battle with dementia. Something about Creed doesn’t add up, however, Roman finds himself fighting an undeniable attraction. His concerns multiply when Roman discovers a connection between Creed and a bizarre series of vampire-wannabe assaults in the area. A moment of weakness leads to a night of passion between them, and the promise of something more, and yet Roman can’t shake his concern that Creed is not what he seems.

Creed knows better than to bring a mortal into his world, even one who could help him find the link between the pack of violent vampires preying on the people of Santa Cruz and Creed’s past. When he discovers Creed’s secret, Roman is ready to step outside his comfort zone and accept everything a life with a vampire entails, and when Creed disappears, Roman will go to the ends of the earth to find the man who brought the light back to his grandmother and the warmth back to his own heart.

*This book contains violence and sexual content. It is meant for audiences 18+

The Review

Creed Lowell has a new job in Santa Cruz at Puesta Del Sol, an assisted living home for aging seniors. This is what he loves the most. He gets to provide peace and relief from agitation and pain to those who are close to the end of life. He loves bringing that last little spark into their lives, and in turn they give something back to him.

Creed has been around for decades, and is now seeking out the truth. He has a secret, and has always believed in The Way: “Give unto them what they require. Take only what you need to survive.” But Creed is in search of those who do not hold to The Way.  There are those that use their gifts to control, hurt, terrorize and take lives.

Roman San Angelo was a troubled teen. After his parents’ death, he went to live with his “Lola” (Grandmother), Frances Josephine San Angelo. She was a force to be reckoned with. She made sure Roman got a good education and plenty of love and understanding.

Now at twenty-five, he has come home after doing some research in Spain. He’s in the PH. D. Program and needs to finish his dissertation. He always tried to keep in touch with his Lola, but the connection wasn’t very good in Spain. She knew he was coming home, but his homecoming was not what he expected.  He’s angry and guilty when he finds his Lola has been placed in an assisted living home.

Lola’s nephew Reynaldo Cabral and niece Vanessa Cabral are both on the police force. They felt it was no longer safe for Lola to be alone, and they had to do the next best thing.  

At least Roman can easily visit his Lola at Puesta Del Sol. She’s also in good company with her sisters Stella and Phyllis.

On a visit with Lola, Roman meets Creed, the night nurse. As hard as Creed tries, he can’t resist the handsome young student. As they start to see more of each other and strange attacks start happening, they find they have something in common.  The La Mente (The Order of the Mind) and The Gateway of the Sun will bring them both into danger.  Creed can only protect his secret for so long. If it’s revealed, who will believe him, and what will happen to him and to those he cares for?

Merrill has created a fantastic tale in Sundowners – faced paced, filled with suspense, action, danger, and terror, heart-rending and very steamy.

I was really taken with Creed, a beautiful character, and I had a difficult time with him being called a vampire. He’s more of a life saver who brings comfort to those at their time of need.  It would be a beautiful thing, as age starts to take its toll, to have someone like Creed around to bring that moment of peace when the end is near.

Roman is a lost soul without his Lola. He has lots of anger, a quick temper and his feelings run deep. I also felt bad for Roman when he was teased by Reynaldo and Vanessa. But he proves that he’s needed. Creed is a good match for him and he does so much for Roman.  

There are other characters that make this book interesting and will leave readers wanting more.  Reynaldo, Cross, and Mark – maybe at least two will have a connection. Rhonda’s story arc is sweet and she is a wonderful companion for Creed.  Then there are the mischievous ladies: Lola Frances, Stella De Leon & Phyllis Jackson, and a wonderful man named Robert Fletcher – he’s a sweetheart.

I highly recommend Sundowners – I was very entertained and immersed from the start and had a hard time putting it down. I’m excited to hear there’s a sequel in the works – there so much more to learn about these characters and this world.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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