SJ Frost – Refined Instincts (Instincts, #5)


Author: SJ Frost
Reviewed by: Susan65
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Parnormal
ISBN 13: 1020130160

Rating: ★★★★☆ 



Troy Raines wants it all to end. His pain, his heartache, his regrets. Having been in hiding to avoid capture from the Tribunal, he returns to Chicago believing since that’s where everything began for him, that’s where it should end, as well.

Renart Bellerose has known many regrets in his long life as a vampire, but few are stronger than what he has regarding Troy Raines. As the one to make Troy a vampire, he gave him power, money, anything he thought Troy wanted, but he restrained on giving him what they both needed.

When Renart and Troy face each other again, anger and passion explodes between them. Renart wants to help Troy find redemption, but as danger closes in, it might be too late to set right the wrongs of the past.


We finally get Troy’s story, and it was so worth the wait. I have had my heart set on Troy getting his HEA since he was crippled after being thrown from a building and when he ended his rogue vampire lovers life. I just knew that there was some greatness left in his misguided heart, and I was so glad to be proven right.

What I didn’t expect was Renart to be his one true love. I was never a Renart fan because he was too uppity, too….refined. But having learning about his past…and ouch, what a horrible past he had, I no longer felt any disdain for him. He honestly is a good man and his refined, noble ways came honestly to him. He wasn’t pretending to be nobility…he was noble.

When Troy returns to Chicago to end it all, he isn’t expecting to face off with his master, Renart. But face off they do…and the sparks fly. Too bad they both have a bounty on their heads, and it’s only a matter of time before the Tribunal makes an appearance. Those tribunal warriors are some mean thugs…no getting away once they have you in their sights.

As always, I am happy to see Titus and Andreas. Renart was one fortunate vampire when he chose to be on Titus good side, because with Titus now on the Tribunal it is their only chance for a fair trial, and a chance for them to be together as eternal partners.

Of course this is a romance, so there is a HEA, and also a little bit of humor at the end. I guess you could call it gallows humor since it takes place in the Tribunal prisons, but nonetheless, it took a serious situation and added a bit of hope. Never have two men needed a bright future after suffering for so long.

As always, I love this series and hope for more. SJ Frost has a style of writing that calls to me and I look forward to seeing what’s next.




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