Title: Brazen (Channeling Morpheus #6)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Length: 20k words, 72 pages
Publisher: JCP Books
Genre: m/m paranormal
Blurb: It’s a sultry July night, and Wild Bill is content. It’s deliciously warm outside, the fireworks are about to start, a whole pint of freshly-tapped blood is on the menu, and his boyfriend hasn’t murdered anyone in months.
Too bad Bill’s contentment isn’t shared by Michael, who’s grown tired of his own lack of experience. He hints that a new lover in their bed might broaden his horizons. Their first encounter might have been a threesome, but it certainly didn’t end well for the third participant.
Even now, Bill can’t seem to shake the memory of the hickory stake protruding from the chest of his old nemesis. Lust wars with guilt as Wild Bill tries to figure out how to bury his past, once and for all.
Review: *Contains Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the previous books in the Channeling Morpheus series*
Brazen is the sixth story in the series (previously the first in the Sweet Oblivion series) and we start the story on the 4th of July at a backwoods town in Missouri at a fireworks show. Michael and Bill have had some shocks in the first half of the series, most importantly to this story, that Michael is indeed changing, though not into a vampire. He’s formed antibodies to the vampirism through Bill’s saliva. All that safe sex but rampant making out wasn’t really helping them, so now when Bill looks real close, can see Michael behaving a little bit differently. A meeting with a young goth girl to feed Bill for the night leads to Michael deciding he might be okay with sharing Bill with someone else, and they’re back to a familiar situation, a threeway with another vampire. Through their night with Damian, both Bill and Michael have their own revelations, ultimately leading to a more ‘hands on’ education for Michael.
There are two things that I love most about this story in particular. First, from Wild Bill’s perspective we can really see how their relationship has changed over the course of the series. Michael is an over-analyzer and someone who is generally always questioning himself, no matter how many times thoughts thoughts change or seemingly contract themselves over time. Bill’s confession near the end of Brazen opens up a whole new perspective for the reader. We see that while before Bill might have come off as having a less caring attitude (though not about MIchael), that his very effective and highly stylized personality covers what is really a huge amount of fear and guilt about his life. Only with Michael as his buffer to the world does he start to grow, soften his edges a bit (though internal, to be sure, lol) and force him into a situation where he’s actually accountable for something.
Michael’s also in a state of transition in this story. In the past he’s been a passionate and idealistic, on account of his revenge in the name of Scary Mary. He also has changed quite a bit with his relationship with Bill. The threesome here is really wonderful writing because not only does it contrast their first meeting and killing of Ambrose Grey, but the addition of another, perhaps less trustworthy vampire allows Michael to get away with a little blood play that was most definitely against the rules. This leads Michael to the recognition that he’s now addicted to the bite, and consequently, if he and Damian (both who have good intentions) can lose track of themselves and make a mistake that the vampires who killed Scary Mary could possibly have done the same. Therefore, is his vigilante mission really for the better good after all, or is he making a mistake. It changes his whole perspective.
I think the second thing that I love so much about this story in particular is that the majority of the story is sex. It’s wonderfully hot, sexy, grimy, slutty sex to be sure But, there’s so much personal growth between the two during this story, and most of that was done during those scenes. Authors, take note, because if everyone used sex as a catalyst for growth as Jordan has done in this series (but this story in particular), then I and many others would be much happier readers.
Once again, this series gets better and better! There’s so much more to talk about. For short stories, or short novellas, they really hold a lot of content that’s obviously very much loved, cared for, and carefully considered. An A all the way!
Also, Jordan has included an Author’s Note in each of these new releases that I just love reading when I finish the story, so make sure to check those out!