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.
Everyone has a second face.
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.
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.”
Q & A With Amanda Meuwissen
Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one’s you’ve read)?
I haven’t used this quote yet but plan to in the future. My husband and I were watching an anime, I forget the name, where someone was a villain in disguise, but you didn’t know who. We thought: what if it’s the character who thinks he’s the hero, and he doesn’t even know he’s the bad guy?
Then my husband said: Who would ever suspect a hero with the best of intentions?
You will see a book from me eventually with that quote, since I am known for dabbling in superhero stories. Stay tuned.
When/where is your favorite time/place to write?
I like to write as often as possible, but a place I miss writing at is my local Starbucks. Last summer, while my husband was working in Florida, on Fridays—which my day job has as summer Fridays, meaning we’re done at noon—I would pack up my laptop and bike to Starbucks where I got my favorite drink and wrote for hours in the calm air conditioned quiet.
There was just something about the ritual, the bike ride, the weather, the freedom of being done with work early, and the coffee that helped me write especially prolifically back then. I look forward to when I can do that again.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance/fiction?
I am asked this question the most often, and the easy answer is that I am part of the GLBTQ community, being a bisexual, and I would consider myself a demi-girl, but even more so, it’s simply that I relate more to male characters, whether as a couple, friends, brothers, or father and son.
As for specifically romance, I see too often really good stories shoehorning in a romance for no reason, and I feel like that does a disservice to good romance. Instead, I try to tell a romance that is part of a greater whole, with a deeper plot than just the sex or falling in love, but where no aspect of the story could exist without the other.
All in all, the combination of M/M romance makes me feel fulfilled as a writer like no other subject matter could.
Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP. What genre does it fall in?
Since this tour is around my recent release, Their Dark Reflections, let’s talk vampires.
The fact that one of the MCs, Ed, is a vampire is no secret, but it is a slow reveal throughout chapter 1 to the other MC, Sam, despite multiple hints. This is a twisty-turny sort of story were you’re never quite sure where things will go next.
It starts out as what could be a sweet budding romance between Ed, a rich newcomer to town, and Sam, the personal assistant he’s just hired—but Sam is planning to rob Ed. Then it seems like it might be about a thief falling for his mark and changing his mind, but the people who really hired Sam aren’t willing to let him out of the job. Then it seems like it could be about Sam trying to one-up his real employers because he thinks Ed is worth the risk—only for Ed to turn out to be a vampire. Then…
But I wouldn’t want to give too much away about how the plot escalates. Still, at its core, danger and romance go hand in hand with how this story unfolds.
Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?
I’m a huge fan of multi-dimensional MCs, but more than just that, which all good characters should be, I like MCs with vastly different aspects to them, or a dual nature. There’s nothing I enjoy more than that moment when a good guy loses his cool, or when a bad guy does something heroic.
Here too we have MCs where, on one hand, Sam is a conman, smooth and suave and manipulating, but on the other, he’s a good guy who had it rough but still only ever wants to screw over bad people, never good, so when he’s faced with the fact that his current mark might not be as bad as he assumed, he wants to back out of lying and stealing from him.
In contrast, Ed, while indeed quite sweet and a little dorky and maybe not deserving of being robbed, is a vicious vampire who has no problem killing someone—and brutally—if they are a threat to him or standing in his way. I love the, well, reflections they make of each other and the duality within each character.
What was the last book you read? What did you like about it?
Always by Kindle Alexander, which is the first in what is, so far, a two-book series, though easily read as standalones. What I liked about Always, besides that it’s set in Minnesota where I call home, is the tension. It’s M/M romance, and while waiting for the MCs to even truly officially have a conversation with each other, I was constantly on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were, because they had such an intense initial reaction to each other. When things finally turn intimate, it was scene after scene of that tension somehow maintaining its edge so that I could not stop reading for chapters on end.
Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
Many years ago, just after college, while I knew I wanted to write prose, I also had an interest in screenwriting. This would have been when I was first dabbling with what became my Incubus Saga trilogy, but when I was also shopping around a screenplay that I hope to turn into a book someday.
How do you get your foot in the door with screenwriting?
Writing script coverages.
A script coverage is basically a summary and recommendation so that the people with real ability to green light a script can avoid reading the bad apples and spend their time only on the potentially good ones. So, I was that go-between, who would read scripts and pass them along as nope, maybe, or hell yes.
My favorite, I kid you not, was a horror comedy about killer chickens. I’ve seen a few movies get made that are similar, so it makes me wonder if that script I once read got filtered out into other varied scripts. Anything is possible.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
I am a huge geek, so I play a lot of video games, I play Dungeons & Dragons, I watch movies of all genres, I attend comic convention and cosplay at them, and I play board games with friends.
My current obsession is the early access to an upcoming video game, Baldur’s Gate 3, which is based on the most recent iteration of D&D rules. Anything where I get to create a high fantasy adventure character with a multitude of choices that drive a unique, complex story, is my favorite thing in the world and reminds me of the joys of writing. It’s why, without fail, I will spend hours with a video game’s character creator trying to see if I can do justice to some of my own fictional characters.
You’ll be seeing some high fantasy M/M romances from me in the years to come. ^_^
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.
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
one of three ebooks from the author’s backlist.