I accepted a free Audible Code for a copy of L.A. Boruff and Lainie Anderson‘s Dance in Night through FreeAudiobookcodes.com. However, I didn’t realize at the time that it is book two in the series. So, I then had to hunt up a copy of Bloom in Blood, which I did.
About Bloom in Blood:
At thirty-seven, the worst possible thing happened. Now, at forty-two, Riley has nearly given up.
Five years ago, my world was turned upside down when my husband and sons disappeared without a trace. I mourned, I searched, and when I got no answers, I began to prepare.
Nobody will catch me vulnerable again.
I was wrong to think my life couldn’t get any crazier. Now there are two vampires at my door telling me my missing family wasn’t human…and neither am I. I have a chance to regain everything I’ve lost. But first, I have to find the truth about my heritage, all while fighting the overwhelming attraction I have for my missing husband’s best friends.
No matter what, my mourning is done. My life is in my control again. And I will burn the world to the ground to get my family back.
This has an interesting premise and characters. But the execution…OMG, the execution is so bad. I picked this book up because I accepted an audible code for a copy of Dance in Night—book two of the series—without realizing it is a sequel. So, I had to step back and find this book to read first. If I hadn’t committed to reading and reviewing book two and therefore needed to finish book one, I would have DNFed this pretty early on.
The narrative is almost entirely dialogue, which leaves very little room for world-building that isn’t just info-dumped from one character to another for the benefit of the reader. And so much of the dialogue is painfully stilted. Worst of all, in my opinion (because it’s a pet peeve—once you notice, you can’t stop noticing), names are constantly included in the dialogue.
Authors, step back and think about a conversation you have with friends and family in real life. How often do you actually say the name of the person you’re talking to? I find the constant inclusion of names in dialogue one of the fastest ways to make writing feel amateurish.
Plus, the name of this series is An Unseen Midlife. The character is 42. It’s meant to fit in the Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre. A genre for women approaching middle age who are past the starting a family stage and are moving on to finding themselves again outside of the role of wife and mother. So, when the plotline is all about the importance of her babies (and ends with her pregnant with another), it breaches the contract of the genre, in my opinion.
Add to all of the above the fact that the plot rockets at such a pace that nothing is allowed time to grow or develop, and the result is a complete flop for me.
The writing and editing are mechanically sound, and the book has a cool cover. (The series has cool covers, rather.) And I appreciate that Riley is a full-sized woman. She’s a size 18 when her husband falls in love with her. But that’s about the most positive thing I have to say about any of it.
About Dance in Night:
Several months after the heartbreaking events in the ruins of the Isla Del Sol, all Riley wants is to resolve her complicated past and move on with life.
Pregnant, married, and safe, she never expects to be kidnapped while on vacation with her husbands.
Her kidnappers open her eyes to a dangerous threat to her baby’s entire existence. Her children’s safety is her top priority, and Riley will stop at nothing to achieve it. Is she strong enough to save her family?
Meh. I liked this one a lot more than the first in the series. But I 100% stand by my previous assertion that THIS IS NOT PWF. Paranormal Women’s Fiction focuses on what women do once they have passed the stage of life of marriage and babies. And while the character here is in her forties, she is freshly married and pregnant for most of the book, then she has the baby, and the rest of the book focuses on baby issues. THAT IS EXPLICITLY NOT PWF, and it feels like dishonesty on the part of the authors to pretend it is.
As for the plot itself, it’s pretty shallow and predictable. It’s not bad, per se, but there’s not a lot to it. (And honestly, I skipped past the spicy times, just not invested enough to bother.) All in all, I’m not too disappointed to read it, but I am very glad to have it off my TBR.