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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Anne Barwell – Shades of Sepia

Shades of Sepia - Anne Barwell

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: M/M Paranormal


Review:  Ben Leyton was restless when he completed his university degree, and on the advice of his grandfather, decided to take a trip to the US, specifically to Flint, Ohio. His grandfather had been there as a young man and told Ben that it he loved it and hoped Ben would too.


Simon Hawthorne lives in Flint, Ohio and has for many decades. He’s a vampire and shares an old castle with a ghost, another vampire, and a werewolf. Together, they form a task force to police the supernaturals in the town, making sure the community stays safe for not only their kind but mankind as well.


They are currently on the trail of a serial killer who is killing his victims in pairs— one human and one vampire. But when they kill one of Simon’s very close friends, the clues and his instincts tell him that it could be his “maker” who is on the prowl— a vampire who was supposedly killed in the fifties.


When Ben spots the handsome man sitting on the park bench, he’s immediately attracted, yet each time he turns around to approach the man, he disappears. What’s even more bizarre is that Ben seems unable to capture the man’s picture on the camera he keeps with him all the time. An amateur photographer, Ben’s passion is getting candid shots of people, and this man intrigues him so much he keeps trying.


Eventually, the two do meet and go out together and ultimately fall in love. Even when Ben ultimately finds out about Simon, he’s not afraid and doesn’t reject his love. If anything, the two become closer, with each realizing the other is his soulmate. But the danger is still there, and the action steps up in the latter part of the book when both Ben and Simon are put in danger.


This was an interesting story but was difficult to follow at the beginning. I suspect that was because it was an audiobook and with such a large cast of characters, in addition to the setup for the world-building, it was confusing to listen to. At about the midpoint of the story, it became much more interesting, and by the end, with all of the danger and action scenes, I was looking forward to an exciting conclusion.


The narrator did a great job with the MCs accents and the voices of the various featured secondary characters. However, the story lacked a certain depth or maturity, and I found that I had to suspend belief in a few areas. Though I was looking forward to an action-packed scene for the culmination of the hunt for the murderer, it was quite mild, very simplistic, and definitely fell short of my expectations.


For those who love vampires who are “respectable” and work with other supernatural beings, this may be a great story to listen to. As I stated, the narration is very good— Michael Ferraiuolo is getting to be one of my favorite narrators. If you are considering this story, then I definitely recommend it in audio.

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/audio-review-anna-barwell-shades-of-sepia