Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Written In Flesh

Written In Flesh by Various Authors
Storm Moon Press
Novella: 117pgs
3.5 Pants Off

For many people, there's nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there's no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We're showcasing four of those stories in Written in Flesh.

Key is Bound by Ink to a woman he does not—cannot—love. He runs to escape his fate, but finds Dax, another fugitive, and learns that some bonds go deeper than skin. In the heyday of the 1980's, Ian Grothe's club is about to discover the Next Big Thing, but Ian only has eyes for the lead singer. But as the band's star rises, Ian gets left behind, his hopes turning to Powder.

Then, in Helotry, Rontak is an escaped slave who wears the mark of his service beneath his skin. While on the run, he is sheltered by Tréy, an artist with a heavy secret of his own. Finally, Ellis comes to the Sui Generis Protection Agency bearing the Mark of the Familiar, magical animal tattoos granting him remarkable shapeshifting abilities. When he feels a True Bond to William, the Wardsman of the agency, he has to convince William of the truth or risk losing his sanctuary, and perhaps even his life.

Another anthology I was looking forward to but once again didn't meet my expectations. I found this anthology to be the tamer of the bunch than what I am used to from SMP. It’s not a bad thing to go with mild sometimes but almost none of the stories worked for me except for one. I will just share a little on what I liked and didn't like about each story.

Bound by Ink by Kimber Vale
This was a hot read about Key, a man running from the wife he never wanted and searching for a place he can belong. It’s on the outside where he meets Dax and the men begin and explosive sexy relationship. It’s an all right story but I had problems with the dialogue. Just the way they were speaking during sex just didn’t quite go with the time they were living in. I couldn’t quite picture them speaking with a “Fuck Yeah”. I think that’s where the story fell for me. I just could not believe it.

Powder by Alina Ray
I loved that this one was set in the 80s and I loved the tats and overall nightclub feel. I just found the story to be too feel good, and Ian our MC to be rather annoying. I wanted to give him a swift kick because Apollo needed to grovel a bit more. Overall, an entertaining story but the ending was wrapped up just a little bit too neatly, but hell yes to 1985 :D

Helotry by Suzanne van Rooyen
One of those where the story is too big for just a few pages. I liked the world created and it really had my interest but overtime it just felt rushed and left me unsatisfied. Everyone gets their HEA but I just feel like this is just piece of a bigger picture. I would love to see more, because when slavery is tackled it needs at least like a 100pgs to get across. My second fave in the anthology.

Mark of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall
Thank the gods there was this story, seems they saved the best for last. There is something about shifters and their true mates that get me every time. One can say that it has been played, written, and re-written but trust me never like this. Fantastic job by Alex, and I am looking forward to more stories from her. Love the hell out of this one, so sexy and awesome the anthology is worth it for this story alone.

Not the awesome I was expecting but it does not suck either. I always find a new fantastic author in a SMP anthology. If you like, tats, sexy men, and a ridiculous amount of happy. Then this anthology is for you.

3.5 Pants Off

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