Death's Bloom (Monsters & Mayhem) by Lily Mayne

"Lets just say I read this one with the lights on. Perfect spooky read for October." Death's Bloom freaked out Jacqueleen the Reading Queen.

From the blurb:

He’s the most perfect man I’ve ever met, but something is… wrong.

I don’t see it at first. All I see is the gorgeous man with dark eyes and long hair and that unusual blue beard. The piercings and the tattoos, the beautiful smile. All I can focus on is the way he touches me, the sound of his voice in my ear, the perfect life he draws me into.

I hide it from him at first. The fact that… I think I’m losing my mind. That I keep seeing something lurking in the corners of rooms, keep hearing a terrible voice mumbling in the dead of night, keep seeing white eyes watching me in the dark.

Something is haunting me. Tormenting me. Trying to ruin this perfect life I now have with Theo, so I do my best to pretend that everything is fine. That I’m not terrified I’m losing my mind, or that a demon is stalking the halls every night trying to… get me.

Until I can’t pretend anymore. Until I realise… the monster in my nightmares and my perfect, loving boyfriend are not so different after all.

Death’s Bloom is an MM horror retelling of Bluebeard, as part of the collaboration Monsters & Mayhem: An MM Horror Collection, adapting some of your favourite classic horror stories with an MM romance twist.

Warning: This m/m love story contains explicit sexual content and is not suitable for young readers. It includes mild BDSM, including restraint and breath play, and MMM elements as well as graphic depictions of death, gore and violence, a somewhat toxic relationship and morally reprehensible characters.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

OK. So horror is not my go to subgenre in my romance. Actually, this one may be my first. I'm a scaredy cat on a good day. I still haven't recovered from my cousin forcing me to watch Gremlins with her when I was 7. I didn't sleep in my own bed for a year. I hope that puts into prospective my trepidation with this read and how my review, even though I did give the book 4 stars, should likely be taken with a grain of salt.

First off...this was creepy AF. We spend the majority of the book in Ari's head, but we also have a couple of chapters of Theo, aka bluebeard, thrown into the mix. I felt those were necessary as it really gave us a glimpse of Theo's mindset and obsessions. Ari, bless him, was the most "normal" of the bunch, but by the end I was convinced he might be a little crazy himself. I'll tell you right now that I wouldn't have made it even halfway through the book if it were me in Ari's place. I'd be out of that house faster than kicking off heels after a night of dancing.

There were definitely parts of the book that had me glad I read this during the day with the light on. The pacing was a bit off in the middle. I admit it dragged a little for me then, but after it picked right back up into freaking me out territory and I was drawn back into this unusual romance. I see now where the MMM element mentioned fits into the story. This is definitely not your classic romance, but I promise it does end in a pretty satisfying HEA befitting of the subgenre.

Rating: 4 Stars

Janet's Review:

Death's Blooms was simply an amazing read that kept me reading and engaged. I fell in love with Theo and Ari. The way Theo romanced Ari with flowers. Theo with his tattoo, piercings and blue bread was simply breathtaking in his sweetness towards Ari. Ari is a total sweetheart and kind of shy. Their chemistry, the heat and spice were top notch! 

The fist half was sooo creepy but enthralled me, the second half I couldn’t stop reading! The gauntlet of emotions was rung out of me and still left me wanting more. The twists and turns for Ari had my heart palpitating. 

Overall, a fantastic read! Well written with pacing that flows and catches you unaware! Highly recommend.

Rating: 5 Stars

Death's Bloom is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.