Title: Blood Games: Talent Scout
Author: Darcy Abriel
Publisher: Amber Allure
Length: 17k words
Genre: m/m/m Paranormal (Romantic) Erotica
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Vampires, Rent Boys, a bit of BDSM/kink
Rating: So So
Two vampires hunt for entertainment—and dinner—on a dark, seductive night. Yum-yum…
Vampire blood games require a unique sort of “talent scout.” Claud plays front man for the powerful Silas, ferreting out tasty treats to satisfy the ancient master he adores. And Silas likes to add a special twist to their blood hunts. But it’s not all games, since Claud knows his days as Silas’s lover could be numbered if he fails in his task, and he loves Silas too much to take a chance on failing him.
Now, Claud locates tonight’s main dish—a young, handsome hustler named Jimmie. Will Claud’s choice of human playmate “live up” to Silas’s expectations and provide an evening of adventurous, entertaining passion, the vampire way?
Claud is in love (or in thrall may be a better word) with his sire and creator Silas. Over half a century ago Silas approached Claud on a train as he left the city to return to his home, depressed after being spurned by his society girlfriend and the loss of their perfectly arranged marriage. But, Silas offers a different opportunity and a new path in a life that to Claud seemed highly restrictive for a gay man. Now, they’ve formed a relationship of sorts. It isn’t quite love — well, it is from Claud — but the opportunity to serve Silas in his needs and act as a nightly companion is more than Claud could ever ask for. They have a routine of sorts: wake, fuck, feed and find their prey for the night. This is where Claud can offer Silas the most. His talents lie in his predatory instincts and the thrill of hunting a human for the night. Blood isn’t just sustenance, but also an aphrodisiac and vampires such s themselves need sex as much as feeding. And Claud has been following a new tasty morsel for over a week now, perfectly poised to make a connection on this night.
I read this story in particular because it seemed like rather sexy erotica, and for the most part I was right. Readers who are looking for romance should probably look elsewhere. While it isn’t much of a time commitment, it might be disappointing to find mostly just a sexual encounter and little lasting connection. While there is a relationship between Claud and Silas and the author makes an effort to show some evolution of that relationship within the story, it isn’t enough to classify this as a romance. The large amount of sex only makes this more like erotica. That didn’t bother me, but it does change my standards for review and rating. I will forgive more in terms of style, plot, and character in erotica than I will in romance. If I were rating this as a romance, it would probably rate lower on my scale.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. The encounter between Claud, Silas, and the hustler they pick up, Jimmie, is incredibly sexy and takes up the majority of the story, minus some backstory and a bit with Claud and Silas alone in present time. Kink comes into in through some power play (2 dominant vampires looking for a plaything) and a bit of bondage and blood play. I wouldn’t classify this as BDSM because I didn’t feel as if it were a primary aspect of the story, but some might.
I was a bit disappointed with some of the sex scenes. The encounter lasts through the night, but is broken up into segments and the story seemed to skip pretty quickly between them. I liked the beginning quite a lot, the suspense, the “hunt” from Claud’s point of view. But I found most of that tension to be gone once the sex started, so the scenes sort of blurred together for me with little separation, without much buildup and release, or ebb and flow within them. I suppose I was hoping for a little more impact.
I think this short story works well for the Halloween time. Though the holiday doesn’t come into the story at all, it is seen through the eyes of a vampire as he hunts among the human population and the game of cat and mouse that both of the vampires enjoy was pretty creepy and nicely written.
In all, this was a So So story for me. I found it pretty sexy, but nothing incredibly special to remember it by.