Nick is the man in charge of the 77th precinct, a group of misfits with paranormal abilities charged with solving crime and keeping order in Minneapolis even though their existence is officially a secret. They’re facing their toughest assignment yet, as a series of bodies keeps turning up, drained of blood, and all the indications are that a vampire is on the loose in the city. As the case progresses, Nick is faced with a number of distractions, not least the antics of his colleagues in the 77th, who seem to have varying levels of control over their own powers.
First is Chad, a hot young thing who is able to bend metal with his mind, and who comes to the 77th looking for help when his mother goes missing. Then there’s the irresistibly sexy Arrain, who is Nick’s fated partner. Even though Nick can’t believe this young, god-like being would fall for him if it wasn’t for the fact they’ve been paired to each other, the sex they have is mind-blowing and intensely physical. Arrain is the only one who knows Nick’s true identity. Nick is the Door Keeper, whose role is to stop evil beings coming through to this world from other realms. As the vampire murders escalate in scale, it’s going to take all of Nick’s powers to prevent disaster falling on the 77th and destroying everything he’s worked so hard to protect.
The Door Keeper is an intriguing paranormal fantasy that largely steers clear of the usual clichés about vampires. Nick and Arrain are an interesting pairing. Both are carrying secrets about their past, which is par for the course in this kind of story, but Nick is also plagued by doubts about being so much older and (in his mind) less attractive than Arrain. But attraction is not skin deep here, and they certainly generate plenty of heat when they get together, including a very steamy scene in Nick’s shower.
There’s plenty of humour in the book, most of which stems from the impression that getting the 77th to cooperate on a project is like trying to herd cats, and this provides a nice counterpoint to the bloody violence of the murders. With plenty of loose ends left untied, there’s the prospect of either a direct sequel to this book or a new adventure for the 77th – perhaps even spin-off s that give the other members of the crew centre stage.
With my editor’s hat on, the book could have done with an extra proofreading pass to pick up a few rather noticeable typos. But don’t let those distract from a hot, inventive story designed for those who enjoy sizzling male/male romance that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Door Keeper is available from Amber Quill Press.