Soulless

Soulless - T. Baggins *4.5 STARS which I just have to be round up*


Totally WOWED and utterly impressed... just exquisite! Sometimes, you pick up a book and begin to read and in the first few lines you realise you are in for a treat, I found myself wanting to absorb each and every word T.Baggins had so carefully, and what seemed to me lovingly laid out for us in this book… Soulless.


 

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Soulless is a book on a whole other level… the writing is in the Old English formal style but it struck a chord with me and just made me want to sing I was so excited! It’s an intelligent read with so much going on, the descriptive prose… beautiful, evoking vivid imagery in my mind, some of it not pretty in the least… in fact its gory and painful to watch at times with an authentic historical feel to it… It felt like watching a high budget Hollywood movie, with a dark, eerie, haunting atmosphere… horrific, but with a refreshingly different take on the usual Vampire myth, with comical moments that I’m not even sure if they were supposed to be, but tickled me anyway and had me laughing… as well as the banter that both men seemed so fond of.

Even though my dark and depraved mind got a good and proper fix of blood and gore, with some tortuous scenes that even had my stomach turning, it’s not the main body of the book, it is a romance, and as it happens, one that spans lifetimes, a true love story and an emotional journey for our two MC’s Nicholas and Ban. It delves deep into the damaged souls of these two characters, both consumed by anger and resentment… full of self-loathing, they are starved of love and the human touch and compassion that goes with it and neither of them are particularly nice characters when we first meet them, with absolutely no concern as to how the world perceives them and even less for themselves.

Nicholas Robinson is a man of science, brilliant but cynical and disillusioned with life after a riding accident left him crippled, castrated and abandoned by a wife that could no longer bear to look at him never mind touch him. Now disgusted with his deformity and in constant pain from his injury his only solace comes from a bottle… and, what little satisfaction he gleans from his rude and antagonising behaviour, something he feels entitled to because of his disability and justifies it to himself.

His stomach twisted with fear, not a visceral terror of Ban but a far deeper terror of himself, what he might let himself feel, what he might let himself do. Ban's mouth slid down, tracing Nicholas's jawline with his tongue, and Nicholas moaned. He was lost. Yes, he was utterly lost, and the realisation was pure, piercing relief.

Enter Bancroft Ulwin… one very HOT, tall, dark and handsome 300 plus year old Vampire, extremely dangerous, with an air of control and an arrogance that screams power but he is also a slave to a Master that controls his every move. Something that fills him with anger and disgust at his weakness. Ban is also consumed by guilt for the blood lust that overtakes him turning him into a monster that kills to survive… so for 300 years he has behaved like the soulless creature he perceives himself to be, knowing no different, having been cleverly manipulated by the evil SOB Sebastian who as an “old one” has far more power and quite frankly is just one evil sick fuck! We learn Bans past through flashbacks, moments of contemplation when we see the real Ban and the man he had once been… carefree, confident and cocky, a man who fell in love with a travelling Fire Eater and then saw his future destroyed at the hands of evil itself.

Nicholas was a simmering beauty, all the hotter because of the rage and bitterness. Neither illness nor blade nor mischance could erase masculinity. And Ban knew from his time in the Eastern pleasure houses, a eunuch's mouth could fasten around a cock as avidly as a whole man's. What else mattered?

These two men are in turmoil, conflicted, yet we see them set aside their insecurities and trust what’s in their hearts. Nicholas against his better judgement sees Ban not as a soulless monster but a man who despite himself is more than the sum of his past and the master who made him. Ban had been controlled by fear of pain only now we see Ban in fear of his emotions… and in fear for someone else other than himself. Ban also doesn’t see a cripple or a man disfigured, to him Nicholas is beautiful and T. Baggins does an exceptional job of making the sex passionate, sensual and erotic, despite Nicholas’s deformity… and seeing Nichola's desire… bringing to life something inside him he thought had died and both of them realising they are worthy and see their love reciprocated was just beautiful.

"I could do this forever," Nicholas heard himself say. "I could starve to death, die of thirst, yet never stop kissing you. Never stop touching you."

This world T. Baggins has created had me fascinated and intrigued, I was as enthralled as one of Ban’s victims. With the vampires, witches and the wise, it was mystical… the reincarnation of Serafino in Nicholas, the man Ban had loved centuries before and how that love had never died had my heart fit to bursting. The secondary characters also had huge personalities of their own and they too brought the pages to life. My favourite though was Nicholas's Grandmother, one of the wise and a witch, a fountain of knowledge and a woman not to be messed with despite being in her eighties, I could gladly have pulled up a chair and sat listening to her.

So I have waxed lyrical and effused at just how wonderful this tale and Ms Baggins writing is and what a wondrous and fascinating journey it was… but, there was one thing that just didn’t sit right and that was Martha, as a character I loved her, she is funny, smart, fearless and protective of those she loves, even as a child of fourteen when we meet her… she is also asexual and what transpires at the end, didn’t make sense to me somehow!

Regardless this is EXCELLENT and a MUST READ!!!



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