Alasdair, by Ella Frank (Masters Among Monsters, Book 1)
Publisher: Self-Published (October 13, 2015)
Page Count: 244 pages
Genre: Paranormal/Horror; Gay (M/M) Erotica
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
* I received an advanced copy of this novel from Rock Star Lit in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
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Dark, delightful, and absolutely delicious! Ella Frank is a well-known name in the M/M genre (and the Romance genre in general!), but Alasdair is something new from the author of the sweet and sexy Temptation trilogy. This is paranormal horror and romance at its finest.
Can I compare this to Anne Rice? Too bad, I’m doing it anyways. Ella jump starts the vampire romance genre with the first in this new trilogy– a genre which has been saturated with vampires that sparkle– and brings back the wicked protagonist that I love to read! This is Anne Rice for the M/M genre, for sure!
(And it’s the first in a new trilogy? YES PLEASE!)
Bestowed with eternal life by the Ancient Vasilios, Alasdair Kyriakous is one of the most feared and ruthless vampires in existence. His name carries weight across all of the seven continents.
But he is a mystery to his kind, an anomaly among the self-indulgent. While he enjoys the pleasures of the flesh, he is exceptionally particular in his choice of partners and prides himself on his ironclad self-control.
Thrust into a world he could never have imagined, Leo Chapel awakens in his worst nightmare. Taken hostage by the dangerously mesmerizing vampire, Alasdair, Leo must rely on his intelligence to escape before he reveals a secret he isn’t even aware he’s hiding.
This book was sinfully addictive; I pretty much devoured it like a vampire in need of a good meal. Alasdair isn’t a hero, and Ella doesn’t try to make him into one. He’s unapologetically 100% vampire, with everything that denotes. And while he may not be as free with his lust as his fellow vampires, he’s not above doing whatever it takes to get what (or who) he wants.
Leo, on the other hand, is sweet and naive in many ways. He has a layer of toughness, and he’s fiercely independent, but he’s also unwilling to stand up for himself at times. In fact, it’s his decision not to challenge others that draws Alasdair to him in the first place, when Leo chooses to leave his own birthday party rather than deal with a handsy stranger. It makes him prey, in Alasdair’s eyes, and the vampire is eager for a hunt.
“He’s uncommon for a human. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“You mean he’s appealing and you want to fuck him.”
“Well, that too.” (Kindle Loc. 600)
Now, there are a few things you should be aware of before jumping into this book:
Don’t think it’s going to be just like Ella’s Temptation trilogy!
While I definitely noticed some similarities between Alasdair’s character and Logan’s, these are definitely two very different series, which very different characters. The Temptation series had it’s darker moments, but was mostly light-hearted, fun, and incredibly sexy. With the first book in the Monsters series, Frank has instead written an incredibly dark novel. Alasdair’s arrogance may make you think of Logan, and aspects of Tate may be found in Leo’s innocence and determination, but this is a book about monsters, plain and simple.
This human was curious in the most unusual ways. Asking questions Alasdair would think would horrify him. But the telltale signs of arousal told him otherwise and had Alasdair fighting every instinct he had to keep his teeth off of him. (Kindle Loc. 903)
Beware the darkness!
I can’t emphasize enough how dark parts of this novel is. There are scenes that read (to me at least) as dubious consent. There is violence and gore. But at no point did I feel like it was overdone, or too much. The darker emotions and themes fit the novel very well, and Alasdair’s character never reads as the “redeemable” one. He is what he is, and even the feelings that he begins to develop for Leo are shrouded in the darkness.
“My confusion. My fear. It turns you on, right? What kind of sick fuck are you?”
“Is that a trick question?” Alasdair asked, unhooking the chain. “I’m not a person, Leonidas. I’m vampire. That’s the kind of sick fuck I am.” (Kindle Loc. 927)
I loved this book. I really did. I grew up sneaking Anne Rice books into my bedroom, because my parents had forbidden me from reading them until I was older, so I have a deep love for dark vampire novels. Ella Frank writes fantastic characters with complex backgrounds, and there’s a mystery throughout the novel that is intriguing but not overwhelming to the character development.
This is the first book in a trilogy, so keep in mind that the mystery and plot will not be resolved here. But if you’re looking for a delightfully wicked and dark novel, you should absolutely check this out.
(And if you want something lighter and more fun, but still very sexy, I cannot recommend Ella’s Temptation trilogy highly enough!)
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