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Through the Dark by Mychael Black

Through the Dark

by Mychael Black

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At the end of the 16th century the worldly power of the Church was still a force to reckon with and the people in Europe were suspicious and fearful of witchcraft. Not the ideal time to be a werewolf.

Jeremy Waters and his family know this from personal experience. When Jeremy's cousin Alexander Dumont is accused by the Church of being a demon and imprisoned at a monastery in North Wales, Jeremy comes to Wales to free his cousin. But they encounter more problems than anticipated on their escape and have to flee from the monastery with the guards of the Church on their heels.

They find shelter with Grey Constantine, lord of the local estate. Grey is a man haunted by his own internal demons and a hate towards God since losing his lover just days ago. Jeremy instantly feels the need to help Grey, teach him how to keep his outbursts in check, those moments when Grey is overcome by a blind rage.

But then there is Grey's brother Marcus, who is trying to threaten Grey into signing over his estate to him and he doesn't want anyone helping Grey. Marcus doesn't hesitate to use any necessary means to achieve his goal, even threatening Jeremy and Grey's life.

I would describe myself as versatile ... no, I mean in regard to READING. You know, I enjoy a book with a gripping story, in-depth details and characters who have to overcome obstacles and fight for their love. With those books the amount of sex is of lesser or no importance. On the other hand I can enjoy a book with lots of sex just as much, even if the story linking the sex scenes is of lesser quality. It all depends on the narrative or, you know, the sex.

While reading this book I had the feeling that it tried to be good at both, but that didn't work completely. I would normally not complain about the amount of sex scenes in a book, but at one point in chapter ten even I found myself thinking: Not AGAIN. I think two characters can only have so much interesting and creative sex in a book and this book is no exception.

And because I find the idea of a 16th century werewolf m/m romance story quite fascinating, I would have loved if the authors had focused more on the story and thus giving the reader a more detailed description of life in the 16th century, the surroundings and simply the story itself. As it is, some scenes in the book which seemed to be important in the beginning (e.g. Alex´s escape from the monastery) are reduced to mere sentences and a sudden shift in balance between the characters at the end of chapter seven had me literally groaning with frustration.

So, you see my dilemma? At first I was quite satisfied with the developing romance between Jeremy and Grey, but soon had the feeling that with the sex the emphasis was more on quantity than on quality. And when I became interested in the story itself, I found myself wishing the authors had added more details to the story and focused more on the flow of the storyline.

Now you ask, why do I still think this is a good book and a satisfying read? Because of the two main characters. The authors have created two wonderful and lovable characters and I was intrigued by their story and the development of their relationship. I think Jeremy and Grey really have potential and I found myself caring for these characters ... and especially about the well-being of Grey's ass.

So I think anyone who likes a good m/m romance with werewolves and historical elements will still enjoy "Through the Dark".

Review first posted at Rainbow Reviews.
1 vote shoganrea | Jun 16, 2008 |
Setting at the end of the sixteen century, this is a pretty 'classical' paranormal romance story with a bit of a kinky side.

Jeremy is a stranger in a small village in North Wales. He is here to free his cousin from the clutches of the Church which holds him imprisoned in a monastery. Along the path he meets Grey, a mourning man. Grey has just lost his lover, Rhys, the man with whom he chose to leave in an almost isolation in a estate atop a cliff. Now Grey is a very dangerous man with fits of uncontrollable rage that no one seems to be able to control, no one except Jeremy.

Jeremy is a noble, but also a werewolf, and this hidden ability allows him to see in Grey his mate, and to be able to soothe him and his rage. Grey needs Jeremy to control him, because without the man beside him, he is unbalanced.

Even if the story has an historical setting, there aren't many historical references. It's quite interesting how the story deals with the Church and the political matters, quite true the fact that Church think to have the right to persecute a man until it finds that he has 'powerful' friends: if you are poor and without connections, you can be easily charge of witchcraft, but if you are an important man, witchcraft becomes only an oddity you are allowed to cultivate and homosexuality something that strangely no one notice.

The big appeal for me in this book is Jeremy's relationship with Grey, his ability to comprehend the man and to love him not for what he could be as a 'healthy' man, but for what he is now, with all his supposed madness and his instability, but also with his great need of love. Grey could be a strong man in body, but he is like a child in a emotional level: he needs to grow and he needs that someone stronger, like Jeremy, takes him step by step during his journey, something that neither his family, or his former lover Rhys, understood.

A big warning to most sensible readers: this is a shapeshifter romance that push a bit the boundaries on the furry thing... there is a bit of sex in partial shifted form, means that one of the lovers is a man with... well, more fur than expected.

Reading the book I have the feeling that this is only a little part in a bigger series: there are a lot of references to other characters and situations, and hints of possible future stories. Romance, historical and paranormal are not elements easily found in the M/M genre, and so, maybe it would be interesting to have more, and maybe, since it's also an historical romance, to have also more on the setting.

  elisa.rolle | Jun 10, 2008 |
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