Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Kris Jacen
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 02/26/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: M/M Romance, Science Fiction
A meteor strike is about to change Angel Mocavo’s life forever.
Angel is lost and has been since the death of his husband, Dante. A camping trip is supposed to clear his mind but instead he’s thrust into a battle between forces he never knew existed.
Griff, a man unlike any Angel has met, makes him see and feel things he thought he never would again. When Griff’s life is in jeopardy Angel will have to decide if he’s going to risk his own safety or remain in the life he’s always known.
So I was asked personally by the author to review Angel & Griff, the first on the Meteor Strike Storming Love stories from MLR press. As you probably know, I haven’t read many of the “Storming Love” titles.
Each multi-author series of stories is supposed to center around one “disaster”. For this series, the “disaster” is a meteor strike. That strike, of course, brings with it aliens. I got the impression there may be a lot of different aliens as the series progresses, but I am not entirely sure.
There is a lot of world building that needs to happen. This is, after all, another species we are dealing with. There is an onus on the first author in each series to set the stage, so to speak. Unfortunately, I think a lot of that necessary world building was forsaken due to word count. As it is, I am left with many questions and too few answers. It is entirely possible that we will get more information on the world and these answers as the series continues. I am almost interested in reading the rest of this series, just to see how the other authors dealt with these issues. Almost.
So how did Mr. Stone’s story progress? Well, I liked what I knew about Angel and Griff. Even if their romance was almost insta-love fast. That is explained by the situation they are in. It isn’t quite fated mates, but it is close to it. Both Angel and Griff have suffered a great loss. For some, Griff may seem to get over it too quickly. Again, something that is part of his nature and the world Stone built. Some of that nature, however, is implied more that explicitly laid out — another shortfall of the short story/novella format.
As far as the story itself goes, Stone shines with the action scenes as well as hot, rough, and dirty sex. Lao is almost a comic villain. He is very two-dimensional with little motivation other that the fact that Griff is an unknown. As is Angel, to an extent. Angel and Griff are both somewhere between two and three-dimensional characters. We know a little of their background, imparted to the reader mostly through expositional passages, but I don’t have a complete picture of either character. There are also a few passages where the dialogue and or inner monologue was a bit stilted and forced.
Brandon was quiet for a moment, then nodded. “Yeah, I’ll do it. If I do get in trouble then I’ll face the consequences, but I have to do the right thing.”
Being with him sexually the one time wouldn’t be enough; I definitely wanted to be with him again.
This story also suffered from the lack of attention to detail in the editing process I have, sadly, come to expect from this publisher.
“So you can get us to the third floor but necessarily in the room where Griff is being kept?” I shuffled from foot to foot and rubbed the back of my neck.
On the surface, there isn’t a huge problem with that sentence. However, the word “not” is missing from the sentence. That IS a big deal. There are plenty of other instances of missing and incorrect words that should have been caught along the way. This is a huge reason why I don’t read many books from this publisher anymore.
I read this story because I read most of what Stone writes. I have beta read for him in the past and consider him a good friend. He asked me to review Angel & Griff because he knew I would not sugarcoat my feelings on the story just because we are friends.
There are elements of this story where I can see Stone trying to make this a beautiful world in which I would want to spend many hours. I enjoyed the time I spent with Angel and Griff well enough. I just don’t think that this story is his best effort. Whether it was the format, the prompt, or the limitations of the multi-author series, I do not know. However, I would have loved to see him explore Angel & Griff’s relationship in a longer more thorough manner.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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