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A Thread of Deepest Black - Finn Marlowe When his deadly enemy shows up on his doorstep asking him to kill him, Killian Frost promises he'll consider it - with one condition. Colton Dècarie must spend one night in his bed. But this condition has unexpected consequences, and Killian finds himself faced with a lot more than he bargained for.

At first, I found the opening chapter of this book very confusing. Finn Marlowe launches straight into the story without giving us any backstory of the werewolves, the shifters, or their feud. Instead, this is slooowly drip fed to us throughout the first few chapters. Ordinarily, I would applaud this lack of trudging through exposition, but a little bit at the start (or just a bit sooner) would have been nice. However, this is Finn Marlowe’s debut novel, so the fact she attempted to avoid the pitfall of too much exposition gives me a lot of respect for her.

One of the things that got me about A Thread of Deepest Black was the fact that sometimes the writing was so absolutely beautiful, and other times the writing was horrifically clumsy. Thankfully, there were more examples of the former than the latter. I especially loved the fact that the title of the novel kept cropping up in the text every so often. That was a nice touch.

Talking about writing, the nicknames: ‘Mr Killing Frost’, ‘wicked one’, ‘dark hunter’, ‘my enemy’, etc. Weirdly, though this sort of thing usually irritates me quite a bit, it didn’t bother me that much in A Thread of Deepest Black. Perhaps it is because there is something almost quite primal and antiquated about the feud between shifters and werewolves, and the way they speak to each other. It’s the centuries of tradition and the fact they seem to live so long, I believe. For example, the word ‘wicked’ in and of itself is not used very often in everyday language (you know, aside from the musical). In essence, I approve of the traditional, almost ceremonial way they speak to each other.

I could wax lyrical about Finn Marlowe’s way with words (most of the time) for paragraphs, so I’ll stop there, haha.

Coming to the plot, then. At first, I didn’t really feel that there was much potential for plot. I thought it’d just be a kind of ‘I hate you – no wait, I actually love you’ kind of story, but it was much more than that. By the latter half of the novel, I was on the edge of my seat, so wound up with tension that I was hardly able to bear reading what happened next. It's a shame (or a blessing) that on kindle you can't flick to the end to make sure it all ends up okay!

The BDSM in this book was intense, and very well written. This is BDSM as healing, as atonement. Redemption, almost. Even the most violent scene in the novel was, well... almost beautiful. Let me say, however, that this is not a good book to read for an introduction to the BDSM scene. It might very well frighten your metaphorical (or literal) testicles off).

As for the characters, well. I love how well the paranormal aspect was handled. Though there are not really any proper characters apart from Killian and Colton, any minor character who pop in and out are well built and fully-fledged characters in their own right. Case in point, Colton's mother. I particularly enjoy the portrayal of Killian, the werewolf. He is a very feral man. Inhuman. It is really, really tough to write a convincing non-human, so I take my hat off to you, Finn Marlowe.

I also very much enjoy the extended metaphor of the red ribbon, because stylistic devices make me happy inside. :)

In conclusion, this is a wonderful debut novel and I believe that great things can come from Finn Marlowe in the future. :) I was originally going to give it four stars, because of the exposition problems and some minor niggles, but the story captivated me so much after the first few chapters, that I couldn't justify getting rid of a star. If you love reading paranormal romance, and if you love gay BDSM erotica, this is a great, heart-pounding read.