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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Collision by Crystal Kauffman



The Collision by Crystal Kauffman
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (222 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Fern

Balin Renforth has served the Guardians loyally for six hundred years, protecting innocents from vampire scum like Fitch Galloway. But he cannot deny the nagging familiarity Fitch inspires, any more than he can deny the irresistible curiosity stirred by the other man.

Fitch Galloway recognizes Balin immediately, though he never knew of the man’s ties to the magical Ancient Fae which gave him the powers he used to transport them to the outer limits. The Guardian has clearly grown a stick up his ass, yet Fitch cannot deny that saving him more than six hundred years ago was the best thing he ever did, and Balin has become an honorable man he cannot help but feel proud of. But that's not the only feeling the handsome Guardian stirs in Fitch...

Or in Gladiolas. If it weren’t for her painful addiction, freed Palace slave Gladiolas would think she’d died and gone to heaven. Finding herself in a remote castle prison with two drop-dead sexy men is like a dream come true. They’re both so fiercely protective it feels like she is no longer slave, but master. Now if only she can get them to stop fighting, and start loving...

Addiction, hell hounds, enchanted castles, guardians, vampires, and ultra-steamy sex abound in The Collision, the second story in Crystal Kauffman’s Guardian’s Realm series. In the beginning, the reader is swept into a world where fantastical creatures are the norm and the world is policed by Guardians and the Vampire Secret Service. It’s a novel concept that is both intriguing and captivating, and I was excited to see where the journey would take me. A reality in which fae Guardians that can shift to stone, and vampires work for a top-secret government-sanctioned agency of the United States–what more could a paranormal fan ask for?

Unfortunately, those two elements were something that were touched upon but never fully explored. After Balin unwittingly transports himself, Gladiola, and Fitch to a magical prison that is built as a castle that caters to their every whim, Gladiolas’s withdrawal from the drug Tourin means she’ll need sex to keep the agony at bay–and often. It goes without saying that the three wind up in bed together to ease her hurt, and a rocky–and steamy–relationship is established. The problem was I kept waiting to experience that all important emotional connection between the characters, but instead, was forced to accept it as a given as we are told it occurs.

Thankfully, the conflict and interplay with Fitch and Balin and their acceptance of one another–and consequent recognition of an entwined past–provide something deeper as the story progresses. This was the hook that kept me turning the pages, and the big reveal is definitely worth the wait.

The story itself is well written and fast paced, and the sex scenes should come with a burn notice. You’ll definitely writhe and squirm in your seat when The Collision hits in full swing, so be sure to have a glass of ice water handy for the consequent cool down following. Those that love fantasy and inferno-hot erotica be sure to put this one on your TBR list.

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