Cowboys & Vampires by Hank Edwards
In the frontier town of Belkin’s Pass, as a vampire quietly feeds on the local saloon girls and their customers, a tragedy teaches resident Josh Stanton he has the ability to raise the dead. Knowing he is now a wanted man, Josh flees into the arid plains of Venom Valley. Pursued by Dex, the town deputy and Josh’s best friend, the two realize their friendship is truly something deeper, and Dex has to decide if he’s a man of the law, or a man in love. The vampire, drawn by Josh’s power, circles ever closer, gathering his forces against them.
Josh is an orphan. No one ever knew of his father and his mother disappeared one night when he was 5. Josh was raised by the town’s school teacher. He loved Agnes like she was his own mother. To his horror one night he comes upon her dead and feels a familiar heat in his blood. Agnes eventually arises and attacks him. He shoots her. He has faced having to do this earlier when a neighbor did the same thing. Now Josh must run because who would believe him.
Dex is Josh’s best friend and has been secretly in love with Josh for a long time. Dex is a deputy. When a woman comes to town and reports that Josh has shot and killed Agnes Dex is torn between duty and love.
This is an action packed horror. The romance is pretty minimal. The writing is well done, maybe a little heavy on poetic descriptions but to some degree that adds to the chill of the read. I enjoyed the characters but to be honest it is the story itself that had more of a draw on me. I just couldn’t get into the characters. They weren’t cohesive enough for me. I couldn’t really feel if Josh is a gentle man or a rough guy, big and tough or smaller and more delicate. I get that compared to Dex Josh is a smaller man but it really doesn’t describe him. Even more was the fact that the actual character of the two men was impossible to grasp. You jump so fast into the story that you are left to catch up on the characters themselves.
Now the story was interesting. I must give the author lots of props for his writing. You get pulled in right away to the mystery and horror that is going on in the town of Belkin’s Pass. It seemed like only a select few can even see or acknowledge what is happening. Now for the things that struck me as strange. Why did the vampire wait so long? From the story he was around for quite a while but suddenly just when Josh is having his horror show the Vampire starts raising havoc. I am hoping that with this being a series this may be answered later in later books. The second things were the sex scenes. They happened fast and seemed a bit anticlimactic after all the woe the two men went through with their attraction to each other. I wouldn’t think it would be that easy. I also would have thought the sex would have been more painful. I hear all the time, “Spit is not enough!” and the first time is painful so why did that not happen? It kinda through me a bit and made me pause at the thoughts. These were where I had the hardest times with the story.
I really think this series will be an enjoyable one for me. We have raising the dead, they are kind of like zombies, and vampires, the bad kind, to make this a very action pack time. The author does leave the story on a cliffhanger as a warning. I know some don’t care for that but it should be expected with this kind of read. I await in anticipation for what will happen with Josh next.
Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 2013, in Book Review, Four Roses, Horror, M/M Romance, Novella: 100-150 pages, TJ and tagged Four Roses, Hank Edwards, M/M Romance, Novella, Vampires, Wilde City Press. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.