Book Reviews

The Werewolf before Christmas (Spandex and Superpowers 4) by Charles Payseur at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Magic / Superpowers / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 30-December-2017

Book Blurb

Ray seems like the perfect boyfriend—he’s gorgeous, incredibly romantic, and has a mechanical suit he invented to become the dastardly MantaRay. For Alec, who also spends his nights making life difficult for do-gooders everywhere, it’s a match made in supervillain heaven. Except that Ray is a bit too into the hit soap opera All My Werewolves. When tempers flare during what’s supposed to be a quiet night out, Alec nearly ruins everything over a stupid bet with an alien gorilla.

Desperate to prove his feelings to Ray, and with Christmas fast approaching, Alec decides the fastest way to Ray’s heart is to embrace the thing that threatens to divide them—a certain werewolf show with a certain actor who Ray admires. A simple kidnapping promises to do the trick, only fur (and fandom) fly when Alec’s romantic gesture leads to a very hairy situation. Can Alec prove to Ray how much their relationship means to him, or will his plans be ruined by the werewolf before Christmas?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."

Book Review

As it turns out in this newest episode of the ‘Spandex and Superpowers’ universe, supervillains have a vicious streak for one-upmanship not just where destroying the world is concerned, but also when trying to impress their boyfriends more than the next guy. In this hilarious Christmas story, Alec accepts Gorillord’s challenge to impress Ray with a romantic gesture that will reach the national news and get Liu Lang to write an article. If he wins the bet, Ray has to stop watching his favorite soap opera, and if he loses the bet, he has to break up with Ray… very high stakes either way! As a consequence, this bet gets everyone into all kinds of tight spots – much to my amusement.

Alec is a supervillain without much glory – he survives by crowdfunding, does the occasional evil deed to keep the followers of his blog entertained, and has very low self-confidence. When he discusses the bet with Ray, he realizes both how logical it is that he made it and the utter stupidity of it. The fact that villains are supposed to lose means he can’t really expect to win – yet he has to since his “honor” is at stake, as is his future with Ray.

Ray is a little more self-aware, only an occasional villain, and his wealth is based on his technical inventions. He really cares for Alec, but he also dearly loves his soap opera – All My Werewolves – so how is he supposed to deal with Alec’s hotheaded bluster? But Ray would not be Ray if he were not supportive in every situation, and his pointers are what end up helping Alec a lot.

Making supervillains the focus of an entire series is a stroke of genius, and watching them deal with life, its challenges, and a struggle for personal growth makes me smile every time I read one of the installments. It’s just so unexpected to see the bad guys be so “normal” – well, except for their evilness. I loved that Alec had to use all his energy and cleverness to figure a way out of the impasse he put himself into, and, rather than coming up with a masterful plan to end the world, he devises an evil plan to prove his love.

If you like the occasional “upside down” story, if you want villains to get a happy ending, and if you’re looking for a read that is as funny as it is action-packed, then you will probably like this short story a lot.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 35 pages/12620 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link