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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Delta by Brian Holliday

Delta by Brian Holliday
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/M/F, Menage, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Ethan Yeager’s life is perfect—except for the complications. He often has psychic dreams, warnings about the future, but whenever he tries to use his gifts to help others, no one will listen. Glen Chase is a man who can trust no one with his secret. Only when he falls in love with Ethan does he feel safe enough to reveal it: he can shapeshift to the form of a powerful were-panther. Each soon realizes that he has found a trusted friend as well as the man of his dreams.

Now Ethan has the most frightening vision of all, and people will die unless he acts quickly. The sense of danger is there, but the solution is not. When the mysterious Lila appears, offering her help and arcane knowledge, Ethan is relieved to accept. But he isn’t ready for the changes that take place in himself or the attraction he feels for the beautiful witch, especially when he learns that her healing ritual will draw its strength from Lila having sex with him… and Glen. Even in Ethan’s life, this may be one complication too many.

When Ethan’s psychic ability has the chance to stop a demon, he must do whatever it takes even if it includes adding a third to his relationship. Ethan and Glen are happy together in their isolated house outside of Denver. Glen has enough room to run when he shape changes to a panther and Ethan just wants to make Glen happy. His own psychic ability is a minor blip on his radar. But when a beautiful and mysterious woman appears saying that she needs Glen and Ethan’s help to stop an interdimensional portal, the men reluctantly agree. And that’s before she mentions the small detail that they have to have sex together to release the power.

Delta is a paranormal ménage with some interesting elements. The story starts with some background on established couple Glen and Ethan, living happily together. Although both men are bisexual, they’re not looking for anything more in their relationship and are deeply in love. The fact that Ethan is psychic and Glen is a shapeshifter just adds a little spice to their lives. This detail is interesting and creates a good picture of a happy couple that deal with the little quirks of their lives.

Once they meet Lila the rest of the story feels like it’s just working its way to the climax scene. This made me impatient as a reader since all the lead up feels superfluous and merely drawing out the tension. I wished all the details and information would have added to the story in some way instead of merely marking time before the paranormal showdown.

The characters are decently developed and the relationship between Glen and Ethan is particularly nice. There is a happy for now ending and was purposefully left hanging, no doubt for future sequels. There were a few problems with the sequence of events, such as after the big showdown, Glen is walking around naked and no one thinks anything of it. There are also a few other details that weren’t explained or ignored that didn’t make much sense. The paranormal aspects are well crafted and interesting, although the concepts and relationships still feel too underdeveloped in some ways.

For a m/m/f ménage paranormal novella, this is interesting and the pages go by quickly with clean, crisp prose. The erotica scenes are quick and not explicit so readers are likely to enjoy this offering more for the concepts than those looking for lots of erotica. A decent story and one that is likely to have a lot of room to grow as well.

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