elf: People magazine: Sexy men in love (Mainstream Slash)
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Notturno and its sequel Vigil center around an antique literature appraiser and his vampire lover. The books are hot, well-plotted with terrific characters, and professionally edited & produced. They are, however, solidly in the "gay vampire porn" category, and that's probably not a big draw for everyone. If you like that, these are terrific; if you've been considering dabbling in gay vampire porn, this is a great place to start.

I've loved ZA Maxfield's other ebooks; I was hesitant to try these (this, really; I tried Notturno first and got hooked) because paranormal erotica is outside of my normal reading range. The erotica's fine; I hate reading botched paranormal concepts, and a lot of the genre isn't well-thought-out. These have paranormal/otherwordly politics that unfold slowly because they're running through the filter of the human's perceptions, and he doesn't want to believe any of this is going on at first, and then doesn't want to believe there's any real dangers.

They're both available at Fictionwise from MLR Press:
Notturno has a list price of $6 for 63,382 words, and available as a multiformat book. The description reads:
Antique document expert Adin Tredeger thought finding a pristine five-hundred-year-old homoerotic journal was tough. Wait until he finds out the man who wrote it wants it back. Donte Fedelta isn't above using the vampire playbook to get what he wants, but Adin has a few tricks of his own.
It stands alone as a romance with mystery elements ("mystery" may be the wrong words; Adin is trying to figure out what's going on around him); I read it a while ago and kept it on the ebook shelf as a happy part of my tiny ZA Maxfield collection. The sequel came out later.

Vigil has a list price of $8 for 76,023 words, and is also multiformat at Fictionwise. (I believe both are available at AllRomanceEbooks as well, but since that store only allows one format per purchase, I buy at Fictionwise. Also, FW often has coupons.) Description says:
Donte won't be happy until his fragile human lover is immortal. Adin won't be happy until Donte accepts that immortality isn't for him. After a case of mistaken identity leads Adin to what appears to be the sale of an underage boy named Bran, Adin decides to rescue him and turn him over to the police. Soon it becomes clear that Bran is no ordinary boy. Unless Adin can find out who wants him and why, someone else's plan for Bran will get them both killed. Adin is confident -- but he's not stupid -- and it doesn't take him long to realize that he'll need Donte by his side every step of the way, if only to answer the one question he asks himself more and more: What else is out there?
Here's where the complex politics and maneuvering hinted at in the first book start to appear. In Notturno, Adin was happy to ignore all that (except when it almost got him killed) and just focus on Donte; now, he's starting to realize that he's actually involved in the politics. Vigil also has some flashback/dream sequences, which are well-done, introduced slowly with italics to mark them as different from the regular narrative.

While I enjoyed these, I've liked some of Maxfield's other books more. I don't know if that's because the others are better, or because I'm not that interested in vampires--but I will be buying the next one, Matins, when it comes out later this year. I suppose that's about as positive as a review needs to be.

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