Gray Line

Gray Line - Windstar and Zee This is one of the most popular original f/f stories in free online fiction which first appeared way back in 2010. I've always put off reading it because it was unfinished until the last quarter of 2012.

The story is dark, and there is a fair amount of violence and gore. But those elements and the paranormal aspect of the story (demons living/fighting amidst humans) never overwhelm the love story. The characterization is top notch. I love all of the four main characters (all women), but especially Dianna, the half-demon. She's one of those rare characters that stay with you long after you've read a book. She's a succubus, a creature that lives for and thrives on sex, but she's also half-human, and so the constant struggle of both her natures for dominance is a joy to read. The whole story is worth reading for her alone. Quinn, the police detective, also has a very compelling backstory. And her heartbreaking struggle to retain her humanity in the face of overwhelming odds is the cornerstone of the book.

The tale is split into three parts, and was written over a period of two years and by two people. As such, the tone is a bit uneven. The first part is appropriately dark. The second part is the bleak and depressing. But hang in there 'cause the third part will make everything worth it.

Even if it is free, It stands up well to other paranormal books. I'll have to say it's a bit better than Geonn Cannon's Riley Parra series, with which it shares very similar paranormal elements. Riley Parra is also well-crafted but the difference is in the emotion. This is a classic case for the argument that men just can't do dyke drama as well as women. Although there was an instance or two when I thought the lady authors overdid it. But angst is always > no angst. So gimme drama anytime. :)

One caveat though. The online version of this work is riddled with every single typo you can think of--wrong word usages (your/you're, to/two/too, their/they're/there, lose/loose), misspelled names, different names for the same character, wrong person speaking or referred to. The first part is relatively typo free, but the second and third look like they haven't been beta-read.