Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Branding An Icy Heart

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0552-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Aleksei found out that two of his brothers took male mates, he took off unable to accept what they had.  Now months later, Aleksei hopes that his family is willing to take him back into the fold.  And then he meets Remy, who is not only human, but also Aleksei’s beloved.

Branding An Icy Heart is the 32nd book in Ms. Richards Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This story has at its center Aleksei, another Kuznetsov brother from Russia, who readers may remember from previous books.  In the previous books, Aleksei made known his absolute dislike of the fact that two of his brothers had taken male mates.  Because of the way he acted, I could not wait for him to get his own story.  The fact that the author chose to not only make that beloved a male but also human, made this a fun story to read. 

Remy is openly gay and recovering from a bad experience, one that has left him scarred in more ways than one.  The first time he meets Aleksei he is drawn to the man, even after he realizes that Aleksei freaked out to be talking to a gay man.  Later when the two once again run into each other, the attraction is even stronger, but Remy cannot understand why the big Russian is acting the way he is. 

There are some funny moments when these two meet again and I had to laugh more than once at the actions of Aleksei’s brothers.  I was surprised that only one of the brothers was able to figure out what was going on.  Needless to say, while the attraction between Remy and Aleksei is strong, they do not have an easy time getting together.  Not only does Aleksei have to overcome some of his attitudes, there is also the fact that Remy does not know anything about the paranormal world that he finds himself a part of.  I think the author handled Aleksei’s coming out in a way that is believable and the relationship between the two men helps make Aleksei a more likeable character. 

Branding An Icy Heart is a well-done addition to this long running series.  While some of the stories may need to be read in order, it is possible to read this book without reading all the others first.  I do suggest you find The Vampire’s Geek and Driving Borscht Batty, however, as both these books deal with the first two Kuznetsov brothers.

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