Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Raised as a human who had no idea he was anything but a blue-collar construction worker until the night of his 25th birthday, Colt finds it hard to adjust to life in the Kinship, a hidden world woven discreetly into human society.
After a grisly encounter with his true nature, Colt meets a family of human-friendly ghouls who teach him that there’s a way to be inhuman without being inhumane. But things get complicated when he realizes that the “wolf attack” responsible for killing his boyfriend’s brother was actually committed by a ghoul on the hunt.
When an elite family of especially monstrous ghouls called Alphas threatens the man he loves, Colt will have to lie to Jason to keep him safe. Can a predator ever truly be a hero, or will the man he loves become his prey?
What an unexpected treat this story turned out to be! A first release by Kat Bellamy, Ghoulish revolves around a main character that’s yes, a ghoul in love with a human, not that he’s aware of it right at the very beginning of the story. Now ghouls are not something I normally find as main characters in my LGBTQIA romances or any romances for that matter in fiction.
Where do I find them? In superb anime like Tokyo Ghoul (if you love anime’ and haven’t found this series, it’s a must) or, ok, that’s about it. I can’t think of any outside of anime or Manga. So for Bellamy to make this work (and they did), they needed to create an empathetic character, a group of support characters we can also care about, do a terrific job with their universe building, and weave in a romance and a suspenseful plot.
Check, check, check, check, and check. All accomplished.
Not bad for a first work. In fact, this story had me in it’s grip from the moment Colt discovers his true nature. From then on, it’s a “hang onto your seat, flip that page, stay riveted to the story” sort of tale. I became so immersed in Colt’s life, his deadly situations (really no pun intended), even his romance with Jason, that I was unaware of the time flying by. It was 2 am when I finished and I was heartily sorry to see these characters go.
Several things here. There is a fairly large cast of characters but not too many that a reader can’t keep track of them. The world building isn’t complete but as there’s a sequel coming, I won’t fault the author on that, hoping the new novel is going to fill in the blanks as the title (The Kinship) seems to infer. This is a HFN and honestly, the romance sort of takes a backseat, or at least slides a bit to the side, to all the other marvelous narrative work going on here. It’s a thriller, laden with suspense, but still manages to be full of tons of heartwarming elements and love. Huh, how about that! And that’s on the ghoul side!
Anyway. Any details would just spoil this so none are given. Read it! The characters are great, the writing flows quickly, the scenes are vivid, and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Plus I thought the ending worked because there’s a sequel coming and hopefully, there’s a younger character I need to spend more time with. And we still have some mysteries to unfold. Yes, I can see this as a series to successfully run on past the sequel. Now I’m anxiously waiting the next book out. Why not pick this one up and catch up to me! I highly recommend it! Ghouls in love are so much fun!
Cover art is eye-catching even if that model is getting to be a bit overworked.
Kindle Edition, 314 pages
Published October 22nd 2017