Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sex. It’s graphic. And most of it isn’t between the protagonists.
Character Chemistry: So, the book isn’t actually focused on Mack and Jason’s relationship as such
Plot: Sociopath vampires wreak havoc on a ranch in colonial Australia. And then it’s the 90s.
So, I read the blurb for this book and thought either it would be completely bonkers or I would not be able to read it. It is completely bonkers and also, for me, not a super easy read.
I don’t want to give away the whole book, so: Allen and Evelyn have a cattle station in colonial Australia. They also have a son, Mack. The first POV is Allen’s, so you might not expect Mack to be a protagonist, but he is. Then we’ve got Zoran and Bela, Italian vampires. Zoran dumps Bela because he’s probably a sociopath, so Bela moves to Australia, taking with him Jason, among others. Jason is not introduced until after Zoran and Bela have sex, so you also might not think he’s a protagonist, but he is. There is a great deal of murder and mayhem. Revenge. Non-consensual vampire creation. Considering that the book is only about 87 pages long, there’s a lot of sex happening, but only twice is it between Jason and Mack. Jason and Mack spend very little time together on page, and there’s a lot of stuff going on that isn’t about their personal journeys, so the story doesn’t exactly feel like a romance.
The readership for this book is probably: readers who enjoy darker romance with violence and gore. Also, readers who like to read a lot of sex scenes but wouldn’t be bothered that the scenes aren’t always between the protagonists or that the protagonists are having sex with other partners. There’s a lot going on in this story, and it could easily have been a 300-page book if some of the ideas had been more fully developed. (What is the importance of the development of Allen and Evelyn and the cattle station at the beginning of the story if it simply becomes a setting for the massacres and then loses relevance? What are Bela’s motivations for turning Mack? How do Mack’s parents struggle with the loss of their son? How do Mack and Jason develop a relationship and feelings for each other? How does Zoran go from dumping Bela to take-no-prisoners revenge? What happens in the intervening century for both Mack and Jason when they’re kept apart, and how does that shape them? How do they cope emotionally with what their lives have become and how does that impact their feelings for each other?)
There is a sequel, Blood of the City, that explores Mack and Jason’s relationship after they return to each other in the 90s, but given the amount of angst in the description (it sounds super dark) combined with my feelings after reading the first book, I know it’s not a great choice for me. If it sounds good to you, we’ve got links for you below.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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