Love Bleeds (Only After Dark #1) by Maggie James
This book, on paper, ticked some major boxes for me.
Rock stars – check
Vampires – check
Hot sex – check
I skimmed through the reviews on Amazon, figured it was a new author and worth splashing out the $5.99 Kindle price tag. Mistake.
The book has a sound premise, a bunch of potential characters for a series and… that’s about it. I’m always keen to support and encourage new writers, but I really struggled with this. It’s a great example of how fiction can be so subjective.
So what did I have trouble with?
Every new person that makes an appearance is given a formal description, more akin to a police report. They almost all include a summary of outfits, too.
Lucas: Towering over them, he appeared to be at least several inches over six feet tall. His jet black hair pulled tightly off his face and secured in a braid that travelled halfway down his broad back.
Julian: At five foot ten with brown wavy hair that barely touched his shoulders and warm chocolate brown eyes. Julian was a sensitive, attractive, well-built man, nearing thirty.
Max: Standing at a meagre five foot four with what was left of his rapidly depleting hair a blending of white and silver-grey. His round cherub like face edged with a neatly trimmed goatee.
Joe: He appeared to be a few inches shy of six feet tall with a medium athletic build. His shoulder length blonde hair shone like spun gold.
Typos and spelling mistakes are everywhere (e.g. blonde instead of blond). Grammar and punctuation have gone MIA. Commas seemed to be rationed as closely as a smoker on his last packet of ciggies and all night until the corner shop opens again.
It’s supposedly set in Dublin, but written by an American author who persists in using American terms for everyday things. Elevator. Lobby. Purse. Curb. The rock stars are supposed to be English but their dialogue is so clunky and awkward that you begin to wonder if English is their native language?
Joe: “No need to be embarrassed. We may be the undead Phillip but mortal death cannot wane the true desires of the flesh.”
Joe: “Drink dammit, for fear I will eventually grow tired of this game and kill you myself!”
Joe: “You’re fairing well my friend.”(sic)Speech tags are littered like autumn leaves on a windy day.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Joe stated coldly. “Whoa… down boy!” Joe interrupted. “He’s right Joe.” Phillip agreed. “But Joe…” Phillip pleaded.
And the whole premise of show-don’t-tell is just a blue-sky concept.
Erick Slade was the leader of a modern day vampire coven who got their rocks off terrorizing innocent mortals and preyed on young beautiful women.
There were however, plenty of rock hard abdomens and lots of tanned skin and tattoos 🙂
Head hopping is dire and confusing, motivation is unfathomable… Why oh why didn’t I read the other reviews before I splurged my $5.99 on this? If it was a paperback I could at least tear the pages out and burn them 😦
Okay, I’m being harsh, especially since I think this writer has potential. I’d love to see her work properly edited. Hell, I’d love to have the opportunity to proofread her next manuscript and whip it into something un-putdownable.
Ms James, if you read this review, I’m serious with that offer – add me to your list of crit-partners. What have you got to lose?
There are gazillions of fantastic writers out there to learn from. To get into this genre you could read some JR Ward (perfect vamps) or Olivia Cunning (perfect rock stars)… The combination of Vampires and Rock Stars could be a winner; it just needs a little more work in this case 🙂
Abandoned at 30%. A reluctant 1 out of 5.
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