Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gay Guy Straight Girl Review- Blood of the Land by Adrik Kemp #MMRom #pnr #GayRomance


Blood of the Land 
By Adrik Kemp

Lisa's Rating - 2.5 Stars
OJ's Rating - 2.75 Stars

Available for purchase at:
Amazon
Pride-Publishing



About Our Gay Guy/Straight Girl (GGSG) Reviews

I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours
This isn’t a buddy read. Our co-reviews are done on a blind basis. We both choose the book we want to read, but from there on out we don’t discuss any of our thoughts before the review is live.  We think it’s more fun this way and we won’t influence each other.

Three Questions
We’ll form 3 questions for each other during our read to be answered in the comments below the review. Please feel free to join in our discussion, we’re always happy to know what you think.
INITIAL THOUGHTS 
Lisa Arbitrary

I’m stretching this to 2.5 stars because I was enamored, even enchanted by the beginning. It soared on wings and painted images that made me think I had really found something special. Unfortunately this book turned lazy, rushed and very disappointing.


OJ

I must admit that vampires aren’t my first grab when I think of an M/M book, however the Australian Outback certainly is and I have enjoyed a good M/M vampire book, so when I saw the description for this one it called out to me. A definitely different take on the whole vampire thing by putting it into the Australian Outback I just had to see what it was about and Lisa and I decided this would be our first Gay Guy/Straight Girl review. 


THE CHARACTERS

Lisa

Zoran - Mean. Not wicked evil, but just mean. He needed to be unlikable, but I couldn't even work up that much feeling for him.

Bela - I cared for Bela. He was broken and aching and should have been developed more.

Mack - A simple cowboy turned vampire against his will. Just when he might have gotten interesting his character fades to black. 

Jason - Poor Jason. From vampire meal plans to go-go boy he really doesn't catch a break. Why he's in love with Mack I've no idea. But no matter because he's able to move on to the next guy.
OJ

Mack - Mack looked like a younger, more strapping version of him. They shared the same dark hair and complexion, a brooding brow and thick eyebrows overshadowing dark eyes. But Mack had the bone structure of his mother, high cheekbones and solid jaw, different from Allen’s slim face and leathered cheeks. Nonetheless, in the right light, with his wide-brimmed hat overshadowing his face, Mack looked just like Allen. 

Zoran - No breath escaped from his mouth and his hands were tinged blue around the joints. His eyes were red-rimmed from the cold and his lips set in a thin, line. His skin was pale and taut over perfect bones and under his furs, the hints of musculature were betrayed. Floppy, black hair covered his forehead, fringe just shy of his eyes. 

Bela - Zoran could recognize Bela’s slim frame anywhere. Bela’s hair was slicked back, his body clad in fine robes and a dark, velvet cape that reached up around the back of his neck. 

Jason - Jason was young and slim, his body finished with puberty but still gangly and undefined. 
He was blond and blue-eyed, a perfect Greek face under shaggy hair. 

Greg - Greg was a bartender at Fuel and was cleaning up after last drinks. He had aspirations to be a singer in a rock band and dressed the part. He was nothing but skinny, black jeans, studded belts and a slim but well-defined body. Greg’s tight black T-shirt rode up to display a little gap of his freckled back as he ran the mop over the floor. His auburn hair was long at the front and flopped over his sweat-sheened face as he worked. 

THE STORY
Lisa

This story spans about two centuries from the early-19th century to modern day. Zoran, the ancient, experienced vampire has decided it’s time to spread his wings and move on from his mundane relationship with his lover, Bela. After a gorgeous, erotic lovemaking scene I found my heart breaking for Bela. I was all in here. Then he vanished from Bela’s life forever.

Bela decides to run to the newly colonized Australia with his consort to hide from his memories of Zoran. This is where the story really starts; with their somewhat brutal descent upon a cattle station and their overtaking of the property and family that owns it. This is also where the story falls apart. The beautiful tone turns cheesy and melodramatic.

The station is owned by Mack’s family and Mack only has dreams of his life here, but quickly becomes captivated by Bela and a young man, Jason, in his consort. Exposed to all things sexual and vampire, Mack is overwhelmed with desire and curiosity. He falls prey to Bella’s ways and must depend on Jason to save him. 


OJ

The plot of this story is what drew me in to this book and it remains a great premise worth exploring. The whole intermingling of the vampires and tough Outback settlers could be such an intriguing and awesome book and this book is really wanting to do that, really working up to get there and we see glints of the possibilities throughout. Not a bad plot bunny at all, rather interesting.

THE WRITING
Lisa 

I kept thinking two completely different people must have written it and am left wondering if it was the author or editor that failed. The copy edit was spot on, but developmental editing didn’t help the author here.

The dialog switching from modern terms to period phrases without regard to the scene’s date. “Come to Daddy” completely threw me out of the story. Stopped me in my tracks. 
The amount of gore and violence wasn't an issue for me, unfortunately, because it didn't come with any fear. I just don't believe the author was completely sure of what he wanted this book to be: A Western, PNR, Horror or Contemporary erotica. Sure all of those can be combined, but here it just made a mess.
Lastly, there were big issues with context. Did Zoran die or not? How did Mack find Jason at the end? And even the blurb has an error. I suppose there is a love triangle (except that would infer that three people were "in love"), but the blurb even has that wrong.
OJ

The writing really shows great promise, and has moments of a brightness wanting to shine through, however I really found that it was rushed and not carried through as well as it could have been. I felt there was so much potential here with the story plot that wasn’t delivered. The characters begged for more developing and further exploration, both in the 300 years prior to the start of the book as well as during the ensuing century in which this story takes place. At times the story became choppy and hop-scotchy and I had to double back and re-read passages, and still sometimes they didn’t make sense. Something happened in the middle of this book with the writing. The last third of the book wasn’t bad and followed a better writing line, it just begged for more in depth developing.  All in all it was almost a 3 star.


THREE QUESTIONS 

For OJ

1. Did the author reach you on an emotional level? Any feels?
2. How 'bout those oil guns?
3. Would you rather see a sequel or a prequel?


For Lisa

1. So what did you think of the erotic level and the sex scenes?
2. Who was your favorite character and why?
3. What was the most intriguing thing in the book for you?
BLURB
When an ancient Italian vampire travels to the pioneering Australian outback, what he finds there triggers a decades-long love triangle from which there is no escape.

Mack, a young Australian cattle farmer, makes his living on his father’s cattle station. The work is hard and the days are long but he is content with the life he has been born into. Unfortunately for his family, he is awakened to forbidden desires of the flesh by intriguing visitors from far-off Italy. When these visitors reveal themselves as lustful creatures of the night, Mack bites off more than he can chew and finds himself in a predicament he is ill-equipped to handle. Lost and seemingly alone, he spirals into a deadly path toward a decades-long love triangle between himself, the monster who made him and the love of his undead life.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and death.
Publisher's Note: This book is the prequel to Blood of the City
Details via Publisher Site
BOOK LENGTHShort Novel
FORMATEBOOK
PAGES:87
ISBN978-1-78430-962-6
WORD COUNT:31,128
LANGUAGEEnglish
GENRESCowboys and Western
Erotic Romance Gay
Historical Vampires

Adrik Kemp

Adrik is a cross-genre author, specializing in speculative fiction and erotica, but he mainly enjoys writing a mixture of both. His love of reading and writing began at a young age by forgoing nap time for reading the daycare out of books. He used to dream about being friends with Astro Boy and joining the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sing along to Transformers and secretly indulge in My Little Pony. Invariably, these formed his first celebrity crushes and helped shape the stories he writes today.
Even now, Adrik is a big reader and counts among his most cherished authors Kim Stanley Robinson,China Mieville, Clive Barker and Octavia Butler. His all time favorite novels are the original Dune series by Frank Herbert because they are rich in detail and contain a multitude of fascinating allegories for contemporary society despite being written decades ago.
He also loves traveling the world and has spent an inordinate amount of time in Japan, but wouldn’t be caught dead in a hostel.
You can take a look at Adrik's website and blog, and you can find him on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Tumblr.
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We would like to thank Pride-Publishing for providing us with a review copy in exchange for our honest review.

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Visit Lisa Arbitrary at Goodreads
Visit OJ at Goodreads


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