[1. Review copy provided by Carina Press]
After a chain of earthquakes ravaged the globe, long-dormant viruses were released into the air, turning many humans into creatures with an appetite for human ashes. Erica and a group of survivors are barricaded in a half-destroyed hotel, and every day brings them closer to being devoured by the seemingly unstoppable ashers. Even though Erica is a fighter, she’s tired of just surviving…
When a mysterious stranger rides into town, everything changes. Jake knows how to kill the ashers, and he’s the only man brave enough to leave the safety of the hotel in search of a better life. Erica and Jake make a deadly fighting team, with even hotter sparks flying between them. But Jake has survived this long because he rides alone. He doesn’t trust easily, especially in this harsh new reality. Can Erica convince Jake that living is more than just surviving to the next day?
I’ve tried to write post-apocalyptic erotic romance before. Despite the fact this is the second in the genre I’ve reviewed, there’s a huge gap there. I’d personally like to read more of it, and because I believe in writing what I’d like to read, I made the attempt.
I wasn’t very good at it. It turns out, I am not good at writing desire and sex. I am extraordinarily good at writing people having awkward romantic feelings for each other that sort-of maybe get kinda fulfilled towards the end, but I cannot write erotica. Because of that, I am always pleased to read the good stuff.
Despite what people think, writing sex is hard (no pun intended). You can never guarantee that everyone is going to like how you write it, and as it’s designed for… ahem…. personal use, if they dislike it, they’re really going to dislike it.
So. Let’s be honest here. The sex scenes… didn’t really work for me in that one. Going into detail would be too far, but there was something kind of cold about them. I believed the romance, I believed the desire, but the sex… wasn’t all that. This was disappointing, like taking a smoking hottie home from the club, all full of hope and fizzing with desire, and just falling asleep before you can do anything with them.
It’s not that it’s badly written, either, it’s just not for me.
Despite what the uninitiated think about the genre, it’s not all about the sex.There is often a story too! In some forms of the genre, the sex IS (at least partly) the story, but here, while the romance is the main thread, the rest is an interesting little plot about trust and hope.
Ok, so here it is. Ashers are human beings who have been changed, somehow. Their bodies are now stonelike, and they have an overwhelming desire to eat ashes… and burned human flesh. If they catch you, they’ll drag you away and burn you alive. Erica and her fellow humans have been holed up in a crumbling hotel, out of bullets, running out of food and water. A chance of survival lies just out of reach – rainclouds over a certain area promising water and things too wet for the Ashers to burn/eat – but they have no chance to get there. Until Jake arrives, bringing a way to kill the Ashers.
No spoilers, but of course Jake and Erica head off to the rainclouds, and the last bit of the plot is what they discover and how they’ll deal with it. It’s well-constructed and interesting.
What is really interesting is the world. This is a very different apocalypse, and the Ashers are similar to zombies but just different enough to not bore me. I love the environment we’re shown, and the ending suggests there will be further books in this series. I may pick them up… and for the plot, even!
You can get more information about Rosso’s books at his website.
[Rating: 4 out of 5]