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Book Review: Their Dark Reflections, by Amanda Meuwissen

Book Title: Their Dark Reflections

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Genre: Dark Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, vampire/victim, boss/employee,thief with a heart of gold, hidden agenda, kind but vicious vampire

Themes: Self-discovery, finding light in the darkness, embracing one’s darkness, love against all odds

Heat Rating:  4 flames     

Length: 70 096 words/204 pages

It is a standalone book.


Personal assistant Sam Coleman can do it all: housekeeping, groundskeeping, bookkeeping. The catch? It’s a con.

Ed Simon, his newest millionaire boss, doesn’t know Sam Goldman is a Robin Hood for hire who targets rich jerks. Sure, Sam keeps the money for himself, his crew, and his real employers, but at least they only steal from bad people.

Until sweet, fumbling Ed, who doesn’t seem to have a single vice. Too bad the people who hired Sam won’t let him back out. They want Ed’s money, and they’ll hurt Sam and his friends to get it.

For years Ed has kept people at arm’s length, but Sam’s charms wear down his defenses—just as he learns their budding relationship was an act. Sam isn’t who Ed thought he was, but Ed has a dark secret too: he’s a vampire. And someone is framing him for a series of bloody murders.

When the real villains force their hand, Sam and Ed must choose: work together, trust each other, and give in to the feelings growing between them… or let what might have been bleed out like the victims piling at their feet.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Everyone has a second face. 


Sam was exhausted, probably because he hadn’t slept well in the past two days, but when he was ready to call it a night and looked around for Ed, he was surprised to find him outside, already in the pool. Sam was usually gone before Ed took his swims.

The tricked-out radio by the patio doors was blasting loud enough to carry outside, playing Blue Oyster Cult and making Sam smile. He didn’t fear the reaper so much himself anymore either.

Ed wasn’t doing any complicated strokes, just floating serenely on his back, arms gently moving to keep him up while he gazed at the stars beginning to glitter above him. He’d left the doors open as if to invite Sam to watch, so it was easy to do so without calling much attention to himself.

Ed didn’t look like a predator while swimming, his trunks clinging to him, chest bare. Sometimes it was hard for Sam to accept that dissonance—this version of Ed compared to the swift, brutal one—but then, wasn’t a lion capable of seeming like a housecat even if it was always dangerous?

“Would you like to join me?” Ed called without turning to look at him. “I have an extra suit upstairs.”

Sam wondered if that made him the lion tamer.

Enjoying the way Ed’s eyes fixed to his mostly bare body when he descended from upstairs in the spare trunks, Sam took his time walking to the edge of the pool, set his clothes on one of the lounge chairs, and stepped off for a simple, smooth drop into the water. He shook the excess from his hair and face when he resurfaced, seeking out Ed at the other end.

“Tell me,” Sam said, lifting up to float lazily on his back, “even without your telescope, how many of those can you name?”

“The stars? Or constellations?” Ed lifted as well, both watching the sky as they orbited each other.

“Does it matter?”

“No. I can name most of them.”

“Then where am I?”

Ed navigated to drift up beside Sam, tracing over invisible lines in the sky. “Gemini. Sort of like two stick figures holdings hands.”

Sam chuckled. “And you?”

“Pisces is there.” Ed dragged his finger the other direction. “See the way the ends connect and then it makes a sort of tilted V?”

“Doesn’t really look like a fish.”

“We had to be more creative back then.”

Blinking as what Ed was implying sunk in, Sam righted himself, not sure if he could ask, “You mean…?”

“I’m not that old.” Ed grinned. He didn’t clarify how old he was, however.

“You know, one of these days, I’m going to get you up on that roof to use your telescope properly.”

Ed scrunched his nose. “I wasn’t lying about not caring for heights.”

“I figured. Any particular reason?”

“I don’t know. Maybe because there weren’t as many tall buildings in my time.”

“Which was…?” Sam tried again, but Ed glanced away.

“Is this our first date?”

“If it was, would you tell me?”

“I said my age wasn’t a first date reveal, so….”

Sam read Ed’s hesitancy and didn’t want to push. “I don’t think this counts.” He smirked when Ed looked at him with a start. “We need to leave the house for a real date.”

“We’ll have to start thinking about our rain check, then.” Ed smiled back at him.

Drifting closer, Sam slid his hands around Ed’s waist to finally connect and pull him in. Even in the heated pool, Ed’s skin felt bracing. “I guess we will,” he said and started to lean forward.

“Sam.” Ed wrapped his arms around Sam’s neck, but his hands fidgeted, and he held back from letting Sam reach his lips. “You’re not only pretending because you think this is the only way to be safe from me, are you?”


The idea that Ed still expected treachery surprised him, but then, Sam almost had betrayed him again, scared as he’d been. Ed was the most powerful and deadly creature he’d ever met, but he was still vulnerable, still so human.

“According to you,” Sam said, “I’m putting myself in more danger by being with you. You gave me an out, Eddie, and I chose to stay.”



About the Author  

Amanda Meuwissen is a bisexual author, with a primary focus on M/M romance, and works in marketing for the software company Outsell. She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed Creative Writing major from St. Olaf College, and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and several other titles through various publishers, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga, and can be found at www.amandameuwissen.com.


Author Links

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I generally thought this was pretty sweet. I enjoyed how Ed could go from bumbling cutie to cold killer and how Sam liked that too. I liked the side characters, especially Gerry, who struck me as a little bit of a himbo. And I appreciated how Ed’s vampirism isn’t glossed over. He’s a killer, will always be a killer, and struggles with those same instincts even with his ‘love.’

I did think the plotting a little shallow, with things just happening and then being set aside until convenient again. (This was especially true of the police investigation.) The book also felt overly long and the pacing was inconsistent, tending towards dragging on occasion.

All in all, however, I enjoyed it and would read more of Meuwissen’s work



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Book Review of Incubus (The Incubus Saga #1), by Amanda Meuwissen

IncubusI grabbed a copy of Incubus, by Amanda Meuwissen, from the Amazon free list.

Description from Goodreads:
Nathan only ever wanted a normal life, but for him, life, family, and love are anything but normal.

On the other side of the Veil, dark and light fae exist outside the knowledge of most humans. Nathan Grier was born human, but his twin brother Jim is a changeling. On the run since they were children, time for both of them is running out. Turning to fae hunter Sasha Kelly for help, Nathan must soon face his growing feelings for the other man while trying to save himself and his brother from a fate worse than death.

Having just finished Incubus, I think I can say with some certainty that Ms. Meuwissen didn’t set out to write a book. She wanted to write a television screenplay. The chapters are even referred to as episodes and every chapter or two completes a mini adventure (as one would expect from an hour long weekly show). 

Actually, I can be even more specific. Ms. Meuwissen wanted to write a Supernatural spinoff/fanfiction television show. I don’t think I’m the first to point out the obvious similarity to the show and its characters. Nathan would be Dean and Jim would be Sam. (It has been literally years since I sat down and watched a primetime television show, so if I’m catching such a similarity it must be pretty obvious.)

Also like popular, ongoing television programs, the book doesn’t wrap up by the end. In fact, between all of the distracting side adventures and the rather heavy focus on the romance, the main plot of saving Nathan from his dark fae bounty was lost. It felt very, very much like watching a show week after week and then finally realising that due to its new-found popularity, the writers, producers, etc have decided to add endless filler to stretch it into another season, and then another and then another, until you no longer even remember where it was originally going anyway. 

It was well written. I liked the characters and I liked the plot. I just didn’t care for the plotting. The book is way too long, there are too many forays into adventures that go nowhere, and there are a lot of extra bits—Alex and Jim’s issues, for example. All of this sets the series up for future books, sure, but it’s incredibly frustrating to read. Both because the plot feels diluted, but also because you reach the end knowing almost nothing more than you did when you started, which feels like a distinct waste of time. 

I did think the GFY aspect was sweetly done. There was very little ‘but I’m not gay’ angst and it therefore felt much more like falling in love with a person, instead of an appropriate gender. I liked that a lot. 

Now, a lot of people love this book and, being as it feels like a clone of the television show Supernatural, anyone who likes it will probably like the book. If it had been a stand-alone and I didn’t feel like I had just spent two days reading for no final payoff I would probably rate it higher than I am. As it is, I’m going with not baaaad, but could have be soooo much better.

Post review discovery: Big World Netwrok (the book’s publisher) states that their goal is to provide a “… way to enjoy both fiction and non-fiction in an episodic format, not unlike a television series….” So, while I didn’t much care for the format, I have to give the book credit for being true to it and its publisher’s aim. (Plus, I feel a little smug about having recognised it.)

Of course, it goes on to say, “Unlike a traditional novel with a clear endpoint, series on BWN continue for as long as their readers want more and new seasons are renewed. The average series episode is between 4-10 pages…” Which to me means, without end and no hope for a satisfying conclusion. Again, much like almost every TV series I’ve ever become invested enough to try and watch regularly. I’m fairly sure I’ve never actually made it to a final season, final show ENDING. Part of why I stopped bothering.