Book Review: Leather and Lace (Southern Gothic Book 1) by Magen Cubed

Dorian (vampire) and Cash (human) are friends, roommates, and partners for hunting gigs, and they've just gotten a new case about murderous weredeer to take care of. But their feelings for each other, and Dorian's insistence on them not making their relationship a romantic one, are complicating things.

Book Cover - Leather and Lace by Magen Cubed
Title: Leather and Lace
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 202
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

This was a good story with good characters, but I feel like the writing choices did it a disservice.

Dorian was an anxiety-filled, tattoo-covered, heeled boots and crop top-wearing vampire who didn’t have the best childhood and, because of that, struggled with relationships and trusting people to stick around. Cash was a karaoke-loving, monster-hunting human who wanted to settle down in a real, meaningful relationship. They felt believable, and I can see them becoming more developed over the course of the series.

There was anxiety rep, since Dorian has anxiety and panic attacks and an emotional support dog. There was POC rep, since Cash is Hispanic/Latinx (I don’t think a country was specified). I also saw on the author’s Twitter, after reading the book, that Cash is gay and Dorian is pansexual and non-binary (he/him). I’m pretty sure Dorian being non-binary was never mentioned in the book though (since other reviewers don’t seem to realize either), which is a little frustrating only because it would’ve been nice for it to be on-page representation, but maybe there’s a reason it wasn’t.

There was some romance, but there was also a plot about these two, partners in hunting bad supernaturals, tracking down some murderous weredeer.

The vampires weren’t explained super well, but I understood enough to get by. There’s clearly a whole vampire and supernatural culture in this world that seems interesting.

My biggest problem with this book was that the head-hopping or omniscience (whichever it was) kept me at a distance, unable to sink into any character’s mind, pulling me out of the story every time I had to figure out whose head I was in. The author also used “the vampire,” “the human,” and “the hunter” a lot instead of pronouns or names, which felt awkward and made me feel even more distanced.

I love mutual pining and because it usually has lots of tension and emotion, and this was such a great pining situation with so much potential (what with them having a bit of history even), but I never really felt much here, and I think it was also because of the POV keeping me distanced.

Another issue was that there were kind of two timelines, but it was hard to figure out sometimes whether we were in the past or the present, at least until part way through it, which was confusing. (*Update: I’ve been told the author added time indications for the flashbacks, so this shouldn’t be a problem now!*)

I do think it was a good story with good characters and a great mutual pining romance situation. I considered rating it 3.5 stars for those reasons. But the writing choices made it hard for me to really get into the story. I did somewhat enjoy it though, and maybe the writing will work better for other readers. I might give the next book a try to see if I can get into the story more as it gets more developed.

*Rating: 3 Stars // Read Date: 2021 // Format: eARC*


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  1. Greg

    The underlying vamp culture sounds like it has potential, even if it wasn’t spelled out much. and murderous weredeer? That’s new! Timeline confusion though- I always hate that. dual timelines can be awesome but yeah, I need to be clear WHEN we are lol.

  2. ShootingStarsMag

    Great review! The writing choices definitely sound a bit off. I’m glad the characters were pretty well done, and I do love some good diversity in a book.