Whispers in the Dark: Black Oasis 1 (MM Monster Romance) by Nikole Knight & Lily Mayne

Whispers in the Dark is the first book in the collaborative series by authors Lily Mayne and Nikole Knight. And if I had to read them with the lights on? No one has to know but us. 

From the blurb:

You never know what’s hiding under your bed…

At twenty-four, Cody has already lost hope of having a life of his own. All his time is spent playing
nurse to a dying, spiteful step-father and maid to his bully half-brother. His only escapes are playing his favorite online fantasy game, Black Oasis, and talking to the strange, unearthly presence under his bed that may or may not actually exist.

But everything changes when his nightly visitor, who introduces himself as Nor, starts talking back.

As their connection deepens, Nor invites Cody into the surreal world existing just beyond his nightmares, filled with haughty demons, passion-killing pet bugs named Gef, and a dark landscape that is oddly familiar. With his sweet but monstrous companion by his side, Cody might finally gain the life of freedom and adventure that he’s always wanted.

Join Nor and Cody as they unearth the true meaning of hope, passion, and a love of endless depths that spans between worlds in Whispers in the Dark, the first book in Knight and Mayne’s co-authored queer, monster romance series, Black Oasis.

Whispers in the Dark is an M/M monster romance full of hurt/comfort, angst, humor, and a sweet, spicy love between a redheaded Texan and his precious, six-fingered Deepdweller. This love story contains explicit content and is not suitable for young readers. Be sure to check the Trigger Warnings at the beginning of the book for more details.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

This was different... a good different. However, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight without knowing there's a sweet monster under my bed like Nor to protect me from the rest of the nightmare demons. *shudders.* My heart hurt for the MC Cody. His life is complete shit. I'm not saying that to be mean, it really is. He lives with his absent mother, verbally abusive invalid father, and his rather sickening prick of a half brother. Cody spends his days caring for said abusive father, even so far as bathing him while his father repeatedly berates him. He's basically treated as a slave with his so called brother tracking his every move and being physically abusive when the mood suits him. It's no way to live.

Cody feels like he has no escape from his shitty life. He's too good a person to abandon his family. To be perfectly honest I would have split long ago. The streets would be better than how he was treated. When he can Cody spends his time hiding in his room, sometimes playing his favorite video game Black Oasis. It's his one space, even if there is no lock on the door. When he starts to hear noises under his bed, he thinks it must be his mind playing tricks on him. He couldn't be more wrong.

I don't know what I expected from a nightmare monster, but Nor was not it. I mean he's terrifying in appearance for sure, but he is oh so sweet to Cody. I adored him, full stop. I loved his naivete about some things in the human world, while also enjoying his fierce protectiveness of his human. Nor was the first person, for lack of a better term, to make Cody feel like he was something. That he wasn't worthless. In fact, to Nor, Cody was everything.

Meeting Nor's best friend Lau was a treat. He made me nostalgic for Lily Mayne's Moth with his snootiness and downright arrogance. Not to mention his overall looks. I'm hoping his book is next. I'm also hoping we get some more information on the side plot that involves a certain video game. I'm an avid fan of Mayne, but this was my first book by Knight. Looking forward to more of their collabs in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars

Whispers in the Dark is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.