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REVIEW: Shades Of Sepia – Anne Barwell

Shades of Sepia - Anne Barwell - The Sleepless City

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Linda, PRG

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About The Book

To be soulmates they first have to survive. 

A serial killer stalks the streets of Boggslake, Ohio. The victims are always found in pairs, one human and one vampire. 

Simon Hawthorne has been a vampire for nearly a hundred years, and he has never seen anything like it. Neither have the other supernaturals he works with to keep the streets safe for both their kind and the humans. 

One meeting with Simon finds Ben Leyton falling for a man he knows is keeping secrets, but he can’t ignore the growing attraction between them. A recent arrival in Boggslake, Ben finds it very different from his native New Zealand, but something about Simon makes Ben feel as though he’s found a new home. 

After a close friend falls victim to the killer, Simon is torn between revealing his true nature to Ben, and walking away to avoid the reaction he fears. But with the body count rising and the murders becoming more frequent, either, or both of them, could be the killer’s next target. 

Author’s note: This story was originally released in 2014 by another publisher. This edition has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story. 

The Review

Ben Leyton has relocated from New Zealand to Boggslake, Ohio a place his grandfather had once visited and thought would be perfect for Ben. Ben works at a cafe and his hobby is photography something he loves to do at the park his grandfather told him about. Each time he is at the park he feels that someone is watching him and he often sees a man who suddenly disappears. Ben’s attempts at photographing this man always prove to be a waste since he never captures his image.

One day the man in question sits next to him on the bench and introduces himself as Simon Hawthorne a Professor of History. Ben has no idea that Simon is a hundred year old vampire and that Simon knew immediately that Ben was his soulmate. Keeping his distance from Ben is impossible because of the soulmate connection and he will have to reveal to Ben what he really is and hope Ben doesn’t run screaming into the night.

Ben knows that Simon is keeping secrets from him, every time he tries to question him Simon changes the subject or has to leave. There is a serial killer and when Simon is called away to one Ben follows. One of Simon’s friends, a vampire is lying dead next to a human and there is no doubt that she was the one that killed him. For years she never took blood from a human so something drove her to it, but what.

Simon is aware of the fact that he can no longer keep his identity from Ben any longer and is shocked when he discovers that Ben still wants to be with him and loves him. Simon lives in a house with Lucas Coate the City Medical Examiner a werewolf and Jonas Forge a vampire and homicide detective. The three of them investigate incidents connected to the supernatural community keeping humans safe. There is also Boggs the resident ghost and the owner of the house, or castle as he likes to call it.

Simon’s past in the form of his maker, who everyone believed was dead comes back putting Ben in serious danger. I won’t reveal the extent of what his past relationship was with Simon or what he wants now but it is quite a story. I did wish there was more regarding the killings but the majority of the story centered around Simon and Ben and their relationship.

Two vampires, a werewolf, a ghost, a human and a hacker all working together, quite a combination. I am about to start book two which has been written by a different author, Elizabeth Noble each author doing a book and hopefully there will be more to come.

The Reviewer

I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York. 

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