The Awakening by Shane Keleher

The Awakening - Shane Keleher

3 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews


Jake is still dealing with the death of his lover and returns to his hometown to escape the memories of his lost love, but, returning to his mothers has old memories of an abusive father which Jake finds equally hard to deal with. With warring memories which Jake needs to let go of he is pulled into a nightmare when people are being brutally murdered and he meets an attractive cop Kris. Kris is attracted to Jake when he meets the out of town cop and they are on the cusp of something special when Jake begins to make wild assertions about the murderer. Kris and Jake must work together to remove the threat from the community, but with Kris' doubts about the murderers identity will they really be strong enough to combat an evil that is centuries old?
This is a pretty good dark paranormal/horror story that draws us back to the old style evil vampires, with a budding romance thrown in. Jake lost his lover to cancer seven months ago and can't escape the memories, he takes time off work as a cop to return to his mom's to heal. Jake also has to face the memories of his past as his fathers abuse still haunts him, but something more important crops up when he notices odd behavior and he links it to the murders in town. Kris is the low man at the police station, he is gay and has to keep it hidden in a small town, when he meets Jake he is attracted to him and they hit it off. Kris has to trust Jake when the sheriff calls for his arrest, but he finds it hard to believe that something evil is hunting in his town. 
This story follows Jake as he returns to his hometown, it is mainly from Jake's perspective but we also see it from others perspectives at pivotal moments, it doesn't affect the flow of the story and gives us better insight into what is going on. Jake is weighed down by memories but is trying to deal with them all, laying his past to rest in his old childhood home is hard to do though and he gets caught up in his new friends rather than spend time with his mother. When he and Kris meet the attraction Jake feels overwhelms him a little, but we see a relationship begin to develop that Jake isn't sure he really wants so soon after the death of his partner. Kris is a really nice character and he seems to suit Jake quite well. 
The horror/dark paranormal side of the story is nicely done, we are treated to a couple of spine tingles as the dark evil plagues the town and no one has a clue what is happening. There was the usual disbelief even when the truth smacked some characters in the faces, and there was a fantastic showdown that had me wondering if one of them wouldn't make it. The vampire aspect was very old world type, dark and evil, leaving a bloody path behind him, turning those who are useful and fully enjoying the carnage he leaves behind. Between that and Kris and Jake's relationship I quite enjoyed this story but felt that it was bogged down by some details (Jake's non-dealings with memories of his father) that don't get addressed or dealt with. 
I recommend this to those who love dark fantasy, horror, new beginnings and new relationships, hot sex, bloody deaths, saving a town from dark danger and a sweet and sexy ending.