Title ~ CryptShiver (Dark Regulators #1)
Author ~ Chacelyn Pierce
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ June 11th 2014
Genre ~ M/M Paranormal Romance
When a skinned corpse found in a cemetery rises from the dead, supernatural agents Avi Grissom and Jakob Ender hunt for the killer. But Grissom is more interested in his partner’s mysterious disappearance two years ago and his recent return. Something isn’t right with Ender, and the werewolf in Grissom desperately needs to sniff out what has Ender so tight-lipped while fighting off the desire for the secretive vampire that has only grown during his absence. His quest to solve the murder unearths personal truths of vengeance and death magic, and reveals one of their most notorious enemies.
Big smiles because this was great! A paranormal treat that pulled me in from the moment I picked it up and discovered Chacelyn Pierce's really easy writing style. With an urban fantasy feel, that jumped out at me as soon as I entered 'Mean Priest,' the seedy city bar that catered to all the supernatural creatures who inhabit Chacelyn's paranormal universe, I knew I was on to a winner. It's the place where we first meet yummy Avi Grissom, Alpha werewolf and cop or Regulator as they're known in this particular world, a group of otherworldly creatures who police the paranormal sector and work the cases that the human cops can't handle. He's there to meet up with his former partner Jakob Enders, a beautiful vampire who, two years before, just upped and left with no warning after they closed a really hard, messy case, and who has reappeared...just as abruptly as he disappeared!
These two have a lot of history and before Enders did his vanishing act, they were best friends and the top Regulator team on the force. A formidable duo to be reckoned with. Grissom had always felt an attraction for his vampire partner but had never shown or acted on it because emotionally cool and collected Enders hadn't sent out any vibes to even hint that he was a sexual creature at all. On the flip side, Enders had in fact felt stirrings for Grissom but had never let it show because he'd thought that Grissom didn't find Vampires particularly sexually appealing—typical case of non communication, and having been celibate for nearly two decades, just closed off those feelings and continued to throw himself into his work. So they'd kept their relationship purely professional, but still formed a closeness and a bond like most long term partners do, helping each other outside of work with personal things that transcended just a casual friendship.
At the start Grissom is mad as hell at his ex partner for turning up again out of the blue, and even more pissed because Enders is keeping the reason why to himself, with no explanations or apologies, even when asked outright, so their reunion is a rocky one! But despite that his old feelings are fighting with the anger he's harbouring.
'He wanted to hug his old friend, welcome him back, ask why he fucking left, and then punch him in the mouth for doing so. The way he suffered facing Jakob proved he hadn't fully healed.'
Cue some pretty great tension, both angry and underlying sexual, as the two of them are made to join forces again by their Chief, Captain Marx (nice to see a woman filling that role for a change!) on a case involving brutally mutilated corpses, magic cults and reanimation...and what a blast it was! Grissom and Enders are two fantastic characters and another instant attraction for me to two sexy, conflicted but really likeable guys!
Shifter and vamp partnerships are nothing new in the paranormal genre so it's hard to bring something new to the table, and in a way that stands with this little gem, there are still recognisable plot tropes scattered amongst it but the overall feel of the story still felt different to what I've mostly read in the m/m paranormal field and going back to the comparison earlier of urban fantasy, I think that's what the difference was. It felt like something, that once again, would transpose very nicely onto the small screen. If this was a TV series...after the watershed *winks* ... I'd be very happy to tune in weekly and I could see (with the right actors of course...think a hairy and fangy Sam & Dean, LOL) the two lead characters becoming cult favourites.
As for Enders secret and the reasons whys he went AWOL and is now back on the scene...that's very tantalisingly spread across the book, so like Grissom you get to find out in snippets. What exactly had happened to him? Where had he been? And...why couldn't he tell his friend the reason he'd taken himself away from their partnership? Grissom can't help but notice that the Enders who has returned is showing different personality traits from the vampire he used to know and as the pressure and strain between them starts to heighten so does their sexual awareness of each other, that'd been simmering really since they first reunited again at the beginning of the story. To find out if or when they end up acting on it, you need to read this story!
'"You couldn't help me. No one can. I have to figure this out myself," Enders whispered, their lips close to grazing one and others. Grissom's breath quickened as Ender focused on something he wanted for himself, something other than blood. He leaned in....
It was littered with really interesting supporting characters who fleshed it all out well, the plot was cleverly constructed and the feel was gritty and exciting without being too dark and dour. The bad guy delivered exactly what a bad guy should, sexual tension was delish, chemistry was absolutely spot on and after the tense build up; when it finally came, the explanation of Enders disappearance wasn't a let down or a fizzle. My only complaint? It was too short!!! Don't get me wrong, working out at 106 pages, there was plenty going on and I never once felt cheated or short changed, but I was enjoying it so much that I felt I could have spent at least another couple of hours in their company quite easily, and that included all the other fascinating species who bolstered the books entertainment value. One surprise character in particular, who came into play at a gripping, quite unexpected part of the book! I really loved this and thankfully it looks like there's more to come from Grissom and Enders and if it follows in the vein it's started in, I for one will definitely be waiting in line...not so patiently...for another fix! Very impressed!
Buy it Here
A Word from Chacelyn
There is something sinfully delicious about official partners working together on a professional capacity. Don't you agree? I mean, think back to Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, and Men in Black. Of course those duos might not be swoon-worthy in the sexual sense. If they were, it would've made things a tad bit more interesting. They spend hours upon hours together to crack a case and solve murders. Tempers flare from frustration, crap hits the fan, and their action scenes were always loaded to the brim with testosterone. Yet, something always seemed to be missing for me. It was that good ol' thing called sexual tension. I love it and you can find me gobbling up any read or flick that gives a hefty dose of they-need-to- get-it-on-now. I was always a bit disappointed when they would fight amongst themselves and not share a must deserved kiss in the end. So I made my boys in Cryptsiver "kiss" to make up for the disappointment I endured after every male duo movie let me down. No set of heroes are complete without a villain of course, so there's some death magic spells governed by one of their most notorious foes. Add in some animalistic needs of an edgy werewolf and a vampire with a dark secret. Voila, the world of the Dark Regulators was born.
I fell in love with my boys as I created them and I look forward to revisiting their world for the second story. I'm sure a lot of their construction was subconsciously inspired by a few of the mentions movies mentioned above. What are your favorites on-screen duos? Or better yet, who would you have liked to see as an on-screen duo with a heavy amount of get-it-on-now?
About Chacelyn Pierce
A rocker by heart, Chacelyn Pierce is constantly ear plugged with heavy tunes blaring to stir up the phantom personalities that swarm her mind. It’s no surprise that she enjoys writing and reading to satiate her appetite for the male antagonist in a story. Married to a blatant redhead and mothering a diva, there is never a dull moment in the house. As a native Texan, she doesn't personally own a horse but follows the unwritten southern rule of knowing how to ride one. When she’s not testing the emotional capacity of her characters, she works as a dog groomer.
Chacelyn will be gifting one lucky reader an e-copy of CryptShiver (Dark Regulators #1), all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.