The Beast Without by Christian Baines - Image Courtesy of Author's Blog, Fiendish Whispers
The Beast Without is Australian Author, Christian Baines' first Gay Fiction novel. I came across this book while attending a writing course run by his Editor, Lauren E. Daniels.
I found myself immediately drawn to pick up this book because the it is set in Australia and had a supernatural/fantasy genre twist.
The story is set in Oxford Street Gay bar scene of Sydney, where Blood Shade, Reylan is 'hunting' his evening meal.
No vampires here please, the correct term is 'Blood Shade' and don't forget it, otherwise Reylan may come for you in the night!
The Beast Without explores the mystery of a young man who turns into an out-of-control werewolf on the streets of Sydney. The werewolf antagonist, Jorgas all but kills Reylan's evening meal in a back alley and that is where the fun begins.
Reylan has a thing for the blood of men but when he has to, he will feed on women.
He's a Blood Shade with attitude and high standards, after all, he prefers to drink from gay men as his first choice every time. Reylan does not suffer fools and detests werewolves. I thoroughly enjoyed his dry sense of humour.
Reylan expertly attracts his evening meals with his Blood Shade sex appeal which is where things heat up. Although his sex drive is almost nonexistent until... that one night. I won't spoil it for you.
Things twist and turn as Jorgas takes a liking to Reylan and continues to come back into the Blood Shade's life even though he really wants to kill the wolf.
The 'Trust,' a group of Supernaturals banded together to try to help the wayward werewolf are at odds with Reylan's attitude and actions. The Trust's appearance in the story annoys Reylan and complicates things for him. The story pulls you into Relyan's world, while keeping you grounded in the 21st Century.
Reylan is a likeable protagonist. He has attitude and a dry sense of humour that had me laughing out loud on the train.
If you enjoy gay fiction with a speculative mystery fantasy twist, this is the book for you!