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Book Review: Blood of the Pack, by Cassie Alexander

While it wasn’t on the blog, Sadie’s Spotlight’s Insta featured Cassie Alexander‘s Dark Ink Tattoo series (Blood of the Pack, Blood at Dusk, and Blood at Midnight). However, I didn’t get all of the books at the same time. I had book one, but not the tail end of the series. So, my plan to read all three and review them together, in a single post, crumbled to dust. I’m just too much of a mood reader to allow so much time between books in a series. But since I have read book one, I’ll post it’s review and give the other books their own post when I get to them.

blood of the pack

Angela, Dark Ink Tattoo’s owner, has a secret – she’s a werewolf who used to run with the Pack, a dangerous drug-dealing motorcycle gang that services Vegas’s seedier side. She’s been free for the past seven years, ever since her ex-boyfriend (and Pack leader) Gray went to prison – but when the Pack starts threatening her shop and son she realizes she’s on borrowed time.

Dark Ink’s best artist refuses to show up before sundown – because he’s a vampire. Vegas is the perfect place for Jack – it’s an endless buffet of strangers to bleed. The only thing that haunts Jack more than his hunger is Angela.

Welcome to Dark Ink Tattoo, Las Vegas’s premier 24/7 tattoo studio, where needles aren’t the only things that bite….

my review
Sooo, this isn’t a romance. It’s erotic fiction. Sex is the point and there is a lot of it. I’m not complaining about the fact. I’m just stating it, in case anyone needs or wants the knowledge/reminder before jumping into this series.

And while I’m also not complaining about this second point I’m about to make, it was more eyebrow raising for me. Angela and Jack are not the people between whom the sex is happening. In fact, they’re not even on page together at all, past about page 50 of the book! Maybe they’ll get together in future books; their separate plot-lines are definitely connected. But do not go into this expecting Angela and Jack as a romantic pairing (like I did).

The plots are interesting looking, if a little unimaginative. The rough, evil biker gang…even the rough, evil werewolf biker gang is hardly original. Anyone who reads in the paranormal genres will have encountered it before. But both plots hold together, even when only sprinkled lightly between innumerable sex scenes.

About the sex (since it’s the point, after all), I appreciate that Alexander gave us some variety in both partners and activities beyond plain old P-n-V. I won’t go listing them all, since that would ruin the fun of discovering the various pairings for yourself. But I liked that some peoples that you don’t often see in sexual setting are given sex lives here. And I loved that Jack is assiduous about consent and unwaveringly kind to his partners, even when the kink is rough or the sex meaningless.

I didn’t love Angela’s ‘I want to be used, dominated, and “put in my place” by a man’ sex as much as Jack’s various liaisons though. For her it wasn’t play, as it was for him, for example. It felt 100x more cliched and unoriginal. It felt, in fact, like a male character was allowed variety beyond societies assigned place for him (bisexual—if not pansexual—and allowed to have varied sex). While Angela (as a woman) is still only allowed the one male partner and the sex still has to meet societal (read porn’s) approved scenarios (ie: rough, with the appearance of being demeaning, or at least subservient). Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t hot. I’m just saying it didn’t feel anywhere near as fresh as it could have.

All in all, however, for a one-handed read, I enjoyed the book and I look forward to the next one.

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