Title: Electric Candle
Series: The Sleepless City #2
Author(s): Elizabeth Noble
Genre: Gay Paranormal Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 pages
When a vampire finds his soul mate, the bond is forever. It’s love at first sight. Or is it?
Flint, Ohio Homicide Detective Jonas Forge has been a vampire for nearly two hundred years. He’s fought wars, seen life go from the simple but hard colonial days to the modern high tech world. He’s evolved with the times, adapting with each new era, blending into each new life. The one constant is his best friend and lover, Declan.
Until Forge’s soul mate tumbles, literally, into his life.
Even though they’re not fated to be together forever, Forge and Declan are perfectly happy. Despite the pheromone attracting him to his soul mate, Forge isn’t thrilled with the guy, and the feeling seems mutual. While trying to adjust to his clumsy soul mate and equally awkward feelings, Forge is on the hunt for the serial killer who’s leaving a trail of bodies, and who witnesses can’t identify. But Forge better watch out. When his work collides with his love life, things really heat up.
I had the pleasure of reading Code Name: Jack Rabbit before I read this series. At the time, I had no idea that The Sleepless City, created by Noble and Barwell, was the original series of the world that came before Code Name: Jack Rabbit, but it was! I started off The Sleepless City with the second book, because I loved Declan and Forge so much, and I have to admit, after reading this book, I love Forge even more (we don’t get to see much of Declan, admittedly, but in the third book he’s around).
I still think you can pick up Code Name: Jack Rabbit before you read this series, but the author’s point of view choices and worldbuilding make more sense after you’ve read at least some of previous series. I also believe that you can start anywhere you want in The Sleepless City. They seem to be sort of organized as mystery television series, where one mystery is solved every episode (or book), and the characters are entertaining no matter what they are doing, but that there are some broader themes that reading them in order may highlight.
Okay, all that explained, let’s talk about Forge! He’s a hundreds year-old vampire, a warrior by nature (and in the past, his trade), who works as a detective. After he was turned, he suffered a bit of a mental break down, and ran off into the wilderness… where Declan encountered him many years later. From that point on, Declan and Forge have been inseparable. Until Forge’s soulmate turns up.
The soulmate bond is fairly simply explained in most respects. Vampires live a long time, and the bonding they developed to their mates evolved until it was stronger than a human’s, allowing vampires higher survival rates. The hormones that drive vampires to bond are more intense, and there’s a bit of magic to the link. It’s different with werewolves, but similar, and any vampire can create this bond with any other humanoid species… with the right person.
Unfortunately this bond is also exclusive, and Forge’s days with Declan are numbered. He knows it, Declan knows it, and soon, Forge’s soulmate will know it too. What we have, is great groundwork for Forge’s character.
Forge is a bit of an “everyman” protagonist in a lot of respects. He’s easy to relate to, and his age makes him more of a calming influence on others around him, but the addition of his soul mate to the city he lives in gives him a bit of a wild edge. His warrior nature fights the bond, of course, because he’s also loyal to a fault, and though he has all these very persuasive vampire hormones juicing him up, he’s a bit melancholy over the process. Declan, again, provides a great comfort for Forge during this time, even though he only talks to him long distance over the telephone. Because Forge is older, and has seen this sort of thing happen to others, he’s aware the bond is inevitable. What he’s not quite sure of, is why his soulmate is so incredibly young, obnoxious, and certainly not his type? Or is he?
B. A. Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is http://www.babrockbooks.com. You can find him on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks.
Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com
Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com