Review: Shatterproof

Author:  Xen Sanders
Published: September 5, 2016,  Riptide Publishing
Genre:  Paranormal, M/M

Saint’s afraid to die. Grey can’t stand to live.

Grey Jean-Marcelin wants to die. He thought painting his passion—vivid portrayals of Haitian life and vodou faith—would be enough to anchor him to this world. But it isn’t. And when the mysterious man known only as Saint saves Grey from a suicide attempt, it’s more curse than blessing—until Grey discovers that Saint isn’t just an EMT. He’s a banished fae, and can only survive by draining the lives of those he loves.

All Saint needed was a simple bargain: one life willingly given for another. But as Saint’s feelings for Grey grow deeper, centuries of guilt leave him desperate to save a man who doesn’t want salvation, even if Grey’s life means Saint’s death.

When Grey’s depression consumes him, only he can decide if living is worth the struggle. Yet his choice may come too late to save his life . . . or Saint’s soul. And whatever choice he makes, it may shatter them both.

Buy Links:

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5 hearts

It is not often that a story teller can invoke all 5 senses.  The lyrical prose of this book will have you doing just that.  The author brings to life the magical world of Fae and vodou, open markets, old houses and coffee houses, oil paint, sweaty skin and fresh rain.   There is a story here too, but listen to the words and you will be transported into this fabulous tale, experiencing it as our two heroes do.

The elements of this book are not a paranormal genre I have read much about.  The Sidhe, or Fae, or Fairy Folk are an ancient race.  I found myself searching to learn more as I continued in the book.  The other element that plays a big role is the Haitian Gods of Vodou.  Again, the tidbits that are revealed in the book just made me more curious.  I love when an author can invoke that need to read more! 

Over the centuries, Saint has done what he needed to survive.  Guilt has consumed him each and every time.  He enters into a bargain with Grey—a man willingly looking to end his life.  What happens when you try to be cold and detached—shatterproof—in order to save what is left of your soul?  What happens when you want to die but in making a deal with a Sidhe you find the other half of your soul?

This book is many things and I suspect it will touch readers in as many ways.  It’s a twist on paranormal.  It’s an M/M Romance.  It’s a tragedy.  It lends insight into what it is like to live always in the dark and finally to have a glimmer of light peak through.  It’s a story of hope.  Love is not always the answer.  But sometimes, knowing someone cares for you more than you care for yourself, is enough.

You are guaranteed a rollercoaster ride of emotions as this book unfolds.  The writing flows through despair, humor, lust and joy.  All very seamless while letting the characters tell their story.  Thank you Xen, for bringing us Grey and Saint—equally strong partners in this book.   Thank you for highlighting the very real struggles of mental illness.  Thank you for showing us…. Love is…Love.  Well worth the read on so many levels! Looking forward to more paranormal from this author. 

*ARC received from the author for an honest review

Slender. Angry. (Part) Asian.

Yeah, that about sums me up.

Hi. I’m Xen. Cole. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted, author, and of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip over cats in a single half-asleep lurch; I’m what happens when a Broody Antihero and a Manic Pixie Dream Boy fight to the death, and someone builds a person from the scraps left behind. Beardless, I look like the uke in every yaoi manga in existence; bearded or not, I sound like Barry White. About half my time is spent as a corporate writer, and the other half riding a train of WTFery that sometimes results in a finished book. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, paranormal; LGBTQIA and cishet; diverse settings and diverse characters from a diverse author.

Sometimes I shout about things on the internet. Usually intersectional feminism and marginalized voices, and whomever’s punching down in those directions today. Sometimes human sociology, the psychology of sex and gender, and my own gender non-conforming arse (he/him, by the way). Sometimes I get really mad at Stephen Hawking and nerd out all over the place about hairy black holes, and believe it or not, that’s not a terrible pun or even worse innuendo.

That’s it. I’m a huge dork. My humor’s so dry it could empty oceans. I’m a native Southerner from the New Orleans area with zero Southern accent; I’m a mess of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual influences; I have two cats. I wake up at daft hours of the morning to go running. I crochet terrible, lumpy things that never really turn into anything. I’m older than you think I look. I’m much more shy than my fury makes me sound (signifying gods only know what, but probably nothing). Recently I decided, at 36, that I needed to restart my life and move cross-country, so I tossed 75% of my possessions in the trash and randomly trucked it to Seattle. I’m in love with books and music and technology, and they war with each other for dominance and sometimes come together in a beautiful confluence. Most of the physical books I own are strange, obscure, out of print, overseas imports, or any combination of the four. Most of the physical books I used to own were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and have been replaced with the infinite library on my Nook. My wallet has a dangerous attraction to anything with pages; it flirts and teases and gives its all, until there’s nothing left but emptiness and ruin.

There will always be things you don’t know, and I won’t tell.

But ask me late at night over live music in a seedy bar, and you might just get an honest answer.

...or you can poke me via:

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