Where There's Smoke
by Lex Valentine, paranormal (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-689-0


The prologue in Lex Valentine's Where There's Smoke features two characters, Nix and Ancelin, that seem strangely familiar. A quick search through the reviews on my website reveals that they also appeared in Dee Carney's Deeper Than The Ocean. It seems like the two stories are related. I don't know, I'm just guessing, since there is no official statement on the publisher website about this.

So, anyway, Nix - short for the Phoenix - is married to Ancelin for over a century. She has all these visions of the future, which seems like the only reason Ancelin puts up with her. Still, that naughty Nix is getting some on the side with our biker dude hero, Zander, who turns out to be Ancelin's son. Oh, don't worry, it's perfectly legal for Nix to have sex with Zander since she's not his mother. She's just preparing him for that day when he will confront Daddy Dearest over the death of his mother - apparently with sex being part of the curriculum.

In this story, Nix tells Zander - bonus points to Ms Valentine for having Zander describe Nix's babbling as "info dump" - that his mate is the Phoenix, but she's retiring from the paranormal business so Zander's destined mate is her male successor, Voth.

Zander's gaze shifted from Voth to Nix and back again. His jaw clenched. "I'm just supposed to sit back and accept that this is how it is?" he asked, his voice low and tension-filled.

Tears filled Nix's turquoise eyes. "Please, Zander. You must understand. You are the son of a demi-god and a Vashon warrior priestess. Your parents shaped your destiny by their actions. Believe me, there is no better mate for you than the Phoenix. You must accept this. Your fate, and that of your brothers, hangs in the balance," she said urgently.

In other words, fate wants Zander to be gay in order to save the world. Bend over, bub!

Wait, before any of you protest that the whole premise is such a contrivance to get the hero to take pee-pees up his rear end, Ms Valentine wants you to know that to be gay is to be A-OK.

"This is not a roll call," Nix said stiffly as she rose to her feet. "Zander, it's not like you've never been with a man before. You are Vashon. Gender means nothing to you. And you know the significance of finding your mate. You know how it strengthens your power base. You need to be with Voth. We are all in danger. I directly interfered with Ancelin's plan to kill Jayce and Ryder. I stood between him and the almost certain death of Danyl's mate. I cannot anticipate his next move, but of a surety, it is against you, Zander."

Poor Ancelin. He doesn't stand a chance against the power of Taking Voth's Pee-Pee Up The Rear End. He-Man and Lion-O have nothing on Zander when he has a rod more powerful than the Sword of Omens and Power Sword combined shoved up his bunghole. Feel the power surging through him - phwoar, baby!

...Ancelin let out a scream of rage, lurching toward them, his words directed at Voth.

"You fucking punk! This is all your fault! You and that fucking bottom boy who calls himself my son! I won't let you take this from me!"

That is so beautiful, I feel tears of joy spilling down my cheeks.

Ms Valentine may not appreciate this, but seriously, reading this utterly ridiculous and insipid story has been a blast. She makes me a firm believer in the divine powers of sodomy. Where do I pay my tithe?

Rating: 73


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