Reviewed by JustJen
Title: The Orchard of Flesh
Author: Christian Baines
Series: Arcadia Trust #2
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 264 Pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Reylan’s last assignment for The Arcadia Trust brought a rebellious human servant under his roof, and a volatile werewolf lover named Jorgas into his bed, leaving the self-reliant Blood Shade–known to the outside world as vampires–in no hurry to risk his immortality for them again. But when a new terror starts disappearing humans from a bad part of town, Reylan must do everything in his power to keep Sydney’s supernatural factions from the brink of war. Having an ambitious, meddlesome human in the mix is only going to make things worse…especially when that human is Jorgas’s father. Reylan will need all his determination and cunning to keep the peace under his roof, between the night’s power brokers, and in his lover’s troubled heart.
Review: As this is book 2 of Arcadia Trust, I highly recommend you read book 1, The Beast Without, as it contains much of the world building and initial character development that is key to understanding what is happening with the story and characters in this book.
Reylan is back and trying to acclimate his Mannequin, Brett, to his new life as a vampire (or Blood Shades, as they prefer to be called) servant dependent upon Reylan’s blood for survival. He isn’t taking it too well, and they have a few bumps to smooth out before that can happen.
In the meantime, there are some sinister developments involving missing people and other Mannequins that cause Reylan to call upon one of the few people he trusts (as fragile as that trust may be), that being Jorgas. Reylan runs into the sexy werewolf (Flesh Master, if you don’t mind) while trying to find some clues about the missing people. He comes up with a plan for Jorgas to move in with him to watch over Brett while Reylan is out of commission during the day.
Now, I love these two together. As we learned in the first book, they have a very tricky relationship. Reylan is an a-sexual being by nature, but Jorgas ignites something in him that no other before him has ever done. Even though their pairing is frowned upon by all parties involved, the Vampires, Werewolves, as well as the Arcadia Trust, they, or I should say Reylan, decides it doesn’t matter.
As with the previous book, I love the world created here. It has the same feel as Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Series, with a little more grit, and of course, the added m/m element. There is plenty of paranormal elements involved, some more gruesome than others, but it is a very colorful and interesting story. There is a plethora of interesting characters, such as Colin, the other “master” vampire, as well as other Blood Shades involved with the Trust. It started out at a slow but even pace, but quickly picked up and had me on the edge of my seat until the end. It does have a bit of a cliffhanger though which made me screaming at Mr. Baines through my Kindle and extremely eager for the next installment of this exciting series.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*