Book Reviews

The Celestine Room by Jared Rackler at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Vampires / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 06-July-2013

Book Blurb

In the city of Melinoe, necromancer Nikos Aristos summons the dead for king and country. Yet, in the frozen depths of winter, bonds are easily shattered and he may yet find himself under the spell of the very thing he once commanded. Love knows no heartbeat between a necromancer and a vampire.


Book Review

Nikos Aristos, from 'Celestine Room' by Jared Rackler, is a necromancer; Rune is a vampire. Normally they’re natural enemies and forbidden lovers. Yet, are they really so different? Rune is undead and survives by taking lives; Nikos is alive, but commands the dead by becoming one with their realm. When a truce is called between their people, will it pull them apart, or draw them closer together?

Nikos is a powerful magician, very good at what he does, and has earned the respect and admiration of his king and queen. He doesn't accept the king’s decrees blindly the way other subjects do, but questions things, thinks about them, and takes nothing at face value. He looks at all angles of a situation, deciding what's practical and what isn't before he makes plans. He loves Rune, although he’s hesitant to admit his affection. Considering their loyalties, it isn't possible for them to be together, so he tries not to dwell on the way Rune sets his very soul on fire, and risks his reputation and very life to tryst with him.

Rune is practical as well, but readily admits that he loves Nikos and isn't resigned to live apart from his necromancer. He knows that Nikos loves him, but he also hears the man’s denial. Rune doesn't believe him when he says that their forbidden union is inevitable. When Rune has the opportunity to, once again, seduce Nikos, he does so with a mixture of grace, consideration, and raw passion that almost made me cry. The love between them is palpable, even with all the obvious barriers. Rune is determined not to let his former lover wallow in denial. Once more, he attempts to make Nikos admit his deepest desires and most passionate dreams. Now that there’s a truce and that they are no longer enemies, Rune, once again, invites Nikos to bond with him and live openly with him forever.

This is a short, dark, sensual story, told in a lyrical language befitting the Gothic setting. The emotions evoked by the descriptions of angst, pain, love, desire, and honesty touched my heart. Even though they're a seemingly odd couple, I quickly came to realize that Nikos and Rune were very obviously meant to share a life together. I marvel at the talent it took to create such an intense, descriptive story out of such an unusual setting and have it feel...right. This is Jared's first published story and it is awesome in quality and depth. I can only see him getting better and would encourage him to continue to share his talent with us in the future. Thank you, Jared, for giving me such a wonderful gift.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 20 pages/5100 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-June-2013
Buy Link