The Pill Bugs of Time

The Pill Bugs of Time

Offbeat Crimes #2

Angel Martinez

Pride Publishing, September 2016

109 pages, ebook only

Paranormal Cozy, LGBT Romance M/M

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was purchased at the current price. This is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way.

I reviewed books #1 and #4 on GoodReads awhile ago. So now I’m doing books #2 and #3 to fill in the gap. I own them, so I may as well read and review them, right? I don’t own the other two books, so you may or may not see those here. But these two are more crazy stories of what happens at the 77th Precinct.

Vikash Soren has a strange paranormal ability. He never loses his temper. He’s always serene and competent. His partner is Kyle, who he loves, though he can’t tell him that. On the job or off the job. He just can’t articulate how he feels to him. He’s super paranoid about his feelings and about PDAs. He’s bisexual and has been harassed so much about it, that he’s totally tied up inside when it comes to relationships. If he’s with a woman, they want a total commitment to being straight. If he’s with a man, he’s labeled as a homosexual and bullied. Kyle is his partner, his lover, and his friend, but if he can’t tell him how he feels about him soon, he’s not going to be anything. No one’s going to stay in a relationship with someone who can’t share their feelings. He knows Kyle is hurt by what he sees as rejection.

And POP! The whole park looks different. Everything looks very futuristic. People are dressed strangely. And Vi isn’t feeling very well. This must be what happens when you get bitten by one of those pill bugs, time-traveling pill bugs. You get carried through time. And Vi is about 200 years in the future where this unisexual looking person is suggesting he go to the Care Clinic to be taken care of. He’s also offering to have sex with him if it would make him feel better. The two of them discuss gender and sexual identification and Vikash discovers that here in the future the human race has gotten away from male and female and gone to more unisex with different ways of identifying people and their orientations. He’s also discovered that while it is discussed openly, it isn’t considered terribly important as it is in his time. Anyone can get together with anyone. And he opens his eyes to Kyle looking very worried. But he pushes him away when Kyle reaches for him.

The 77th Precinct is not having fun looking for these baby pill bugs since they have been left on statues and the city of Philadelphia has so many statues. The mother pill bug is the size of a food truck, now, and popping in and out of time faster than they can keep up with. And once again, Vikash is bitten by a pill bug. This time, he opens his eyes to a very different time.

Prehistoric man hunted in groups with clubs and drove their prey over cliffs. Vi figures his teachers got at least that part right, since that’s exactly what was taking place in front of him. Vi spends what seems to be about 24 hours with these prehistoric people while they process the game, cook a meal, and allow all the young adults to partake in an orgy. Basically, it started with two young men snuggling, then a young woman joined them. And another. Until all the young adults of the group were involved in one way or another. There was no shyness or exclusion. No fighting or jealousy. It was all in the open and all were welcome in the group. At the end, they napped and then woke to take the evening watch. The adults slept through the night. The next morning the group elders attempt to find some use for Vikash until finally he is given a basket and sent to gather berries with the young children. All is fine until the are approached by three large hunting cats and the children are the prey. Vikash send the children back to the camp while he faces off with the cats and then remembers he has a gun… and he opens his eyes to Kyles very worried eyes again. As Kyle starts to back away to call a doctor, Vikash reaches for him. He realizes what he’s seen in both the future and the past is that love and sex are open, gender is a non-issue and it has helped him claim his feelings for Kyle. He tells Kyle he loves him. Now, I can’t tell it as well as Angel Martinez, but basically he has learned that he was going about things the wrong way and that he has to be open and honest with Kyle if he wants to have a relationship with him and keep him happy.

So, let’s go on to book number three, which I thought was the best one yet!

Skim Blood and Savage Verse

Offbeat Crimes #3

Angel Martinez

Pride Publishing, April 2017

186 pages, ebook only

Paranormal Cozy, LGBT Romance M/M

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was purchased at the current price. This is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way.

Carrington Loveless III is a vampire. He can’t tolerate the sun or blood, well, not whole blood anyway. He’s allergic to it. He has a prescription for RBC, no white and has it delivered to his townhouse. That’s red blood cells, rinsed, no white blood cells. So, no biting for him. This often confuses people. He’s just not that “big, bad vamp who’s going to bite you and toss you around” type. They just don’t expect this mild-mannered, gentlemanly type. His family in particular are a bit in denial about his vampirism. His mother is just sure that there is a cure for his disease and that she can go back to having her social life again. Sunshine and all. Sometimes she’s sure that Carr is doing this just to get attention. But as Manda helps Carr into the library from the sunny garden party his mother had planned for Carr’s 35th birthday, the dizziness and nausea are quite real. Sitting quietly in the dark library helped for a while until a book popped up and spit words at him, literally. And then it disappeared! All he could really remember about the quote was something about a bull’s pizzle.

Manda and Carr go to see the library’s rare books expert, who also happens to be the library’s expert on Beatrix Potter bunnies, Dr. Erasamus Graham. Who’s also the nephew of the 77th Precinct’s LT Mia Dunfee, Carr’s boss. Carr has already been warned not to endanger the good doctor in any way. Erasamus is a skinny, little guy with large, brown expressive eyes that only need one look at Carr. Those eyes may be just enough to heal the damage done by the “handsome hunk” from the Booktique who wanted the “big bad vamp to bite him and toss him around” the other night, in spite of Amanda’s warning to Carr. He’s trying to keep his LT’s warning in mind as well. But Ras is too cute and too clever for this poor, unwell, and battered vampire.

The Leather Jacket gets a girlfriend in this one, too! Miss Hunter Green Pea Coat is introduced and finds clues in the dumpster and stockroom of the Booktique. Could the “handsome hunk” be guilty of more than just bad manners and poor relationship skills?

The Rare Books group at the library are getting involved with the hostile books. They’re trying to research whose books they were originally and how they can be controlled so that they can be captured and controlled again. Step by step they come to the correct combination of this and that to get all the books under control, but not until the books have attacked again. This time the mayor and a group of dignitaries at City Hall are the victims. Before it’s all over and the books are all quietly shelved, Ras and a bunch of children will be bait at the library and Carr will be a hero. Then Ras will make him relax and learn how to enjoy a relationship.

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