Friday, April 19, 2013

The Blue Moon Cafe - Audio Book - by Rick Reed

Reviewer: Jon Michaelsen

I usually listen to audio books (the unabridged versions) via headphones traveling on hours-long plane rides or driving long trips alone. So when a book I’ve had my eye on was released in audio book format recently, I decided to take a chance and listen while in my car – which proved quite often as I found myself looking for places to go, errands that needed doing so I could listen to Rick R. Reed’s suspenseful, romantic thriller, The Blue Moon Café.
Taken from the blurb for both print and audio format: “Someone–or something–is killing Seattle’s gay men...” Something moves in the dark night at full moon hunting and killing gay men in the places they gather. The protagonist is Thad Matthews, a young gay man done with relationships and certainly not ready–or willing–to take yet another dive for the perfect dream that presents in the form of a sexy, super compassionate, masculine, hairy and handsome Sicilian restaurant owner and chef, SamLupino.
Reed begins The Blue Moon Café with his signature terror/horror prose, which he is well-known for delivering, quickly ensnaring the reader–or listener in my case–with heart-racing, pulsating suspense. Vivid detail and full-moon-lit scenery ratchets up anticipation and pushes the listener forward, sans trepidation. Reed tempers the heightened elements of the novel with a strong romance that provides a little distraction from the bloody killings.      
Thad Matthews is unemployed and without purpose. He is every guy’s friend, the boy-next-door type you’d introduce to mother, a best friend always there to support you, even if having to take a back seat. Along with his domineering Chihuahua, Edith (don’t let the docile name fool you!), Thad fills his days looking for a new job, taking care of his neurotic friend, and pining about lost love. Edith, however, comes to the rescue in more ways than one, quickly proving dogs are excellent judges of character and man’s best friend.
Thad treats himself to a night out, which he can’t afford of course, in hopes of finding someone to fill his bed for the night. He dresses for notice and sets out for The Blue Moon Café, where he stumbles upon manly, macho, Sam Lupino

Not only the owner and chef of The Blue Moon Café, Sam is a werewolf in a family of werewolves. He is seduced by Thad’s naive charm, but once drawn to the young man, trouble beings. After a night of hot and heavy love-making, Sam leaves a goodbye note and disappears from Thad’s life. But not for long as Thad can’t seem to stay away from the mysterious man who tells seems to tell lies and hold secrets that prey on Thad’s  insecurities.
I can’t divulge more of the story without ruining the mystery behind the killings, the betrayal Thad and Sam both feel at different times in their rocky relationship. What I can share is that listening to the audio book version, the voice of narratorTopher Samuels, is soothing and calming when necessary and ratchets up the suspense with inflection at thrilling scenes that puts the listener “there”, in the moment staring at the beast with yellow eyes, or making love to a most compassionate man with a wounded soul.
The Blue Moon Café is a horror mystery suspense/thriller and gay romance all in one that will pull you in, scare the crap out of you and have you rooting for the unlikely relationship between human and werewolf. Non-traditional in that it strays from modern-day romantic epics and ends with a shocking surprise that just might break your heart.

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