Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 1 out of 5
The ghost in Haunted returns every year to spend Halloween night in the bed of the man he loves, only this year his lover looks older—frailer—and the ghost must face the possibility that their time together might be drawing to an end. The shapeshifter who plays with the minds of men, giving them instensely erotic dreams, finds himself confronted in Dream Lover with a situation none of his kind has ever experienced: he’s fallen in love with the man he visits, only the shapeshifter’s repeated presence in the man’s mind threatens his sanity. In Billy and the Ghosts, a young man’s midnight visit to the grave of a murdered madame transports him to a Comstock bordello where he meets a sexy, if ghostly, male prostitute. And for the centuries old vampire of Bound by Blood, a simple purchase of blood from a living, willing, and handsome man leads to the kind of bond the vampire has avoided his entire life—a bond of love and dependence.
This collection of four previously published short stories features an entire panoply of things that go “bump in the night”, from ghosts to vampires to shape-shifting creatures. The stories are varied, but there is something of a common theme of finding love in unexpected places.
The characters in each of these stories are remarkably well developed given the short format. You will easily finish one or two of these in a single reading session. The writing flows well and moves the plot along at a good pace, giving you just enough to information to spur your imagination without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail.
There’s nothing particularly kinky about any of these stories, unless you consider making it with a ghost or a shapeshifter kinky. In fact, the shapeshifter story, “Dream Lover” is the only one with even the slightest mention, in passing, of anything remotely un-vanilla.
For a quick, entertaining, Halloween read, “Bump in the Night” is pleasant enough. None of the stories is particularly memorable, but as light erotic thrillers they fit the bill.
Reviewed by Michael Joseph