Brazen (Channeling Morpheus, #6)by Published 07 Feb 2012
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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 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.
Brazen (Channeling Morpheus, #6) Reviews
This first book of the Sweet Oblivion series is the continuation of the Channeling Morpheus series: there are the same main characters, the vampire Wild Bill and the human Goth Michael, and they're still traveling the country in their van. They are also on a mission to educate people and vampires on how to prevent the transmission of vampirism.
In this book Wild Bill is the narrator and he is really Michael-smitten. The way he looks at him shows how much he is in love with Michael, he is so taken by him that he accepts Michael's idea of bringing another vampire in their bed.
Wild Bill is over-protective toward Michael, and I'm afraid he is almost losing his personality. He seems an unwilling passenger in Michael's journey to something no one knows yet (this time it was a sex experiment, but at the end of the book it hints at something far more sinister).
The short story doesn't communicate a cozy feeling, but there are still moments of revelation of Wild Bill's feelings and this is what makes it impossible for me to put these books down.
Explosives, Threesomes, and Confessions...
Mikey and me, we were living in our own little vacuum of blood and sex and vampire love.Well, book six in the Channeling Morpheus series certainly started out with a bang - that is to say, a fourth of July fireworks display and a bit of public sex...
Bill holds the POV of this story and he's become a little more introspective as the series continues. He really is a fabulous character, and it's always a pleasure to get into his brain.
Michael is settling into his life of an Almost-Vampire. He and Wild Bill work as a team to wrangle goth kids willing to donate a pint for Bill's dinner. It seems as though Michael has traded his satchel of stakes and roofies for a phlebotomy kit.
Michael and Wild Bill have gotten quite comfortable - traveling across the county in their van, fucking like bunnies, and hiding from daylight... So Michael suggests a threesome, and given that he and Wild Bill are loath to spread the Vamp virus around, good ol' Mikey suggests they pull another set of fangs into their bed. The target: Damien. Yes, that Damien, the vampire that Wild Bill went all territorial hiss-fest on in book two, Vertigo.
As threesomes go - and I happen to be a connoisseur of these things - it was pretty fucking awkward.
Michael was over-eager,
Bill was over-protective,
and poor Damien was fairly certain he wouldn't survive the hookup.
I was worried for Damien's safety as well. It wasn't a jealousy thing, more like a Damien-can't-keep-his-mouth-shut- thing. The Vamp had a million questions about Michael's acquired immunity to the virus and he wouldn't freakin' shut up about it. Poor Mikey isn't exactly talkative about his condition...
Anyway, incredibly awkward gothy hookups aside, Wild Bill has some pretty incredible moments during this story, not the least of which occurs when he waders into a confessional and ponders the threesome that began this whole adventure... Michael, Wild Bill, and Ambrose Grey in the first Channeling Morpheus book. That hookup was spark that ignited the relationship between Bill and Michael, and it was the last night on Earth for Ambrose Grey...
Yes, there's been a lot of bloodshed in this series, but I have a feeling that our favorite couple are turning a new leaf. Looks like there might be a little "If we can't beat 'em, educate 'em" on the horizon.
Read all my Reviews in this Series:
01.0 - Payback - Read my Review Here.
02.0 - Vertigo - Read my Review Here.
03.0 - Manikin - Read my Review Here.
03.1 - Heaven Sent - Read my Review Here.
04.0 - Tainted - Read my Review Here.
05.0 - Rebirth - Read my Review Here.
06.0 - Brazen - You're reading it!
07.0 - Snare - Read my Review Here.
08.0 - Fluid - Read my Review Here.
09.0 - Swarm - Read my Review Here.
10.0 - Elixir - Read my Review Here.
10.1 - Jackpot - Read my Review Here.
10.2 - Canine - Read my Review Here.
1-5 - Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary - Read my Review Here.
6-10 - A Bitter Taste of Sweet Oblivion - Read my Review Here.
***I read this book as part of the Bitter Taste of Sweet Oblivion box set which was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review***
About this Story
I suppose it’s hard to say whether to take what Michael says to Wild Bill as him being manipulative or honest when he suggests the threesome, and then quickly tells Bill to just forget about it. I think he’s probably being sincere, though. (Can we try this? No? Okay, never mind, not a big deal.) Bill is the one who can’t let go of it. It must be confusing to both of them to need to continually involve other people in their day-to-day sustenance in such an intimate way. I have no doubt their boundaries are always shifting and blurring.
In terms of the function their little romp with Damien fills for the storyline, first, it echoes the main characters’ initial encounter while providing lots of contrast with that first threesome. This one is from Wild Bill’s point of view, as opposed to the menage they had with Grey from Michael’s point of view. It’s an opportunity to see that Wild Bill is totally anxious about the whole thing, though he’s projecting a cool and confident “I’m totally in charge” vibe. Thinking back to Payback, we can then infer that he was probably freaking out ten times as much during that encounter, since Gray was so dangerous and Wild Bill utterly loathed him.
There’s also a wonderful shift Michael has afterward, when he’s thinking about the fact that both he and Damien promised, “Yes sir, no biting,” and then they forged ahead and did it anyway…and he wonders if maybe Scary Mary wasn’t savagely murdered after all, but in fact just the victim of a kinky tussle that went too far. The vamps involved were not necessary leering, slavering creatures of the night (like Gray) laughing wickedly as they made their escape. They could’ve been freshly-turned pacifists (like Damien) who came back to themselves after they shot their wads, blinking and stunned, thinking, “Oh my God, what just happened?”
Michael isn’t the only one who gets some good emotional mileage from the story. With Wild Bill, it’s actually more of a reveal than a development, though. He enjoys a full pint of blood during the fireworks and mentions that it hasn’t always been the case, that he usually stopped himself much sooner for fear of taking too much. Later, Damien questions him about how often he eats, and we get to see that he’s been a bastion of restraint this whole time. The chain-smoking and the dabbling with whiskey are as much about keeping his blood urges under control as they are a clinging to his past. And in a deeper reveal, when he does his half-assed Confession, we can see how much of his inner landscape revolves around guilt and regret.
I can kinda see the point of what happens here - doesn't mean I like it. I am somewhat mollified because for the guys, it made them realize that they don't need anyone else but each other. Still...
Things are a-changing, especially as Michael reconsiders his mission in life, as well as his ever evolving new chemical makeup.
Love Bill's vulerability here as well… "I was a giant turning fork, and he was the note that had just bent up to meet my quivering harmonic."
Review posted at Brief Encounters Reviews.
*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!