Review of Melanie Walker’s Bliss (The Custos)

BlissI grabbed a copy of Bliss (The Custos #1), by Melanie Walker from the Amazon free list.

Description from Goodreads:
London Chase has set her mind to a new start as far from Texas as she can get but lands in Vegas under the protection of a sexy but deadly Vampire, Cacius Troy. Her Father and a brother she has never met are looking for London dead or alive and are willing to stop at nothing to bring her back to Texas. Her blood holds the key to unleashing Bliss on a nation not prepared for its affects. Now she must choose between the growing passions and love for her Vampire savior, or the Father she always wanted to please.

In the fight for London, Cacius falls deeply in love with the spoiled rich girl and one night of passion ignites a fight to the death to save her from their clutches. He has never gone into a battle with so much at risk knowing her life is on the line Cacius will fight dirty and cause hell itself to tremble if anything or anyone gets in his way.

Passion will unfold as danger thickens and forces Cacius and London to face their biggest fears and trust one another to the death, or un-death as it may be.

The streets of Vegas are no stranger to sin, but when a drug intended to change the life of rape victims lands in the hands of the Vampires. All bets are off.

Review: **Spoiler Alert**
This book had potential. There was a point in the beginning when I thought I might really like it. But that time passed and I was never able to reclaim it. I’ll grant that Cash was both manly and open about his feelings. It’s a heady mix. I found him an appealing leading man.

London was also a strong female lead.  I liked that about her. But while I appreciate that she had a mind to give Cash a piece of, she was practically psychotic about it. She flipped from docile to furious with almost no provocation, often then childishly acting out on impulse. For example, taking unknown drugs, provided by a known enemy, who was already making sexual overtures and suggesting the drug would make her ‘want to party’ and then, not surprisingly, turning into a panting, nymphomaniac, porno princess; all simply because Cash had said not to, in what she perceived to be too authoritative a tone. That’s pretty much approaching ‘too stupid to live’ territory. What did she expect to happen? Plus, the whole begging every man present to fuck her was just about too tacky for words. Though Cash’s response to it all was pretty good, that’s about when I really gave up trying to like this book, but I hung in there and finished it. 

I did like the side characters—Preacher, Leucious, Bastion. I think I even liked where the plot was going. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it ever really got there. It got completely sidetracked by London and Cash’s deluge of self-affirmations. I lost count of how many times they told themselves (and each other) they loved the other, or how sure they NOW were that he or she was THE ONE, or how perfect the other was, or how sexy, or how dirty (in the good way), etc. It was ENDLESS, as was the sex.  I like a good erotic scene as much as the next reader, but the sex definitely got in the way of the story here. What’s more, by the end London was orgasming, literally, on command. It started to feel mechanical—push the button, cue the orgasm. Not sexy anymore. 

By the final climactic scene, I’d pretty much forgotten what they were fighting for and the easy win didn’t reestablish it in my mind. The Custos just pretty much walked in and walked out again. That easy. It was a real lost opportunity. 

Lastly, editing: OMG, I have to talk about editing. But I also have to admit to a certain amount of confusion. You see, I downloaded my copy of this book way back in April (2013). The Amazon description currently reads, “This version was edited professionally and updated to Kindle on 7/27/13. Any errors remaining in the book are mine alone.”

So, though my version predates the re-edit, it SHOULD have been updated by Amazon. However, the book I’ve just read is possibly the worst edited self-published book I’ve ever seen. It was full of typos, homophones, incorrect or missing punctuation, inconsistent tense, and just randomness. For example, every time the word ‘next’ was used it was capitalised. No idea why. Worst of all, though, was the skull-razing constant use of ‘I seen’ instead of ‘I saw.’ I mean, even the most basic automatic grammar check should have caught that. So, I’m left wondering if the problem was that my copy was never updated for some reason or, heaven forbid, it was the ‘corrected’ version. I just don’t know. I suspect the former. It would make a whole heck of a lot more sense. But I have no way of verifying it, beyond checking for pending updates, which my account says there aren’t any.

So, though I know others seem to really like this story and I’ll admit that there were some funny bits, the heavy-handed attempt at emotional manipulation and excessive sex-talk (by which I mean characters who talk about what they’re doing as much as actually doing it), and the virtually abandoned plot left me struggling to make it to the last page. 

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