Friday, April 13, 2018

Mechele Armstrong - Currents

A blacksmith has never seemed so sexy to the vampire Henri until he meets Nathan, the son of a dying friend. Nathan's everything he isn't. Impulsive and carefree, poetry in motion, and yet, there's an incredible power lurking inside those muscular depths: the critical ability to draw off emotions.
Beyond the growing bond between them, trouble lurks. For another vampire, Bellario, has discovered what Nathan can do and wants it for himself. He'll use anything to get it, including Nathan's neighbors and a former lover, who's bent on revenge, against Nathan.
Henri's determined not to lose Nathan like he lost his last student. But his blood lust threatens, and if he can't contain it, people will die. Nathan's siphoning powers help, but they're no match for Henri's emotional rush. Making him a vampire will increase those powers, Henri has sworn not to turn him unless his life is in danger.
That condition is filled when Bellario's riled up mob comes to burn Nathan out. But will Nathan and Henri be able to fight the crush and forge the currents of lust into something more lasting?

Comment: This is the first installment in a series by Mechele Armstrong, Blood Lines. I got this novella years ago, after I started to be interested in m/m stories. I can't remember anymore when exactly. At the time, however, I was still trying to see what I liked in the m/m spectrum and I was still very much dedicated to vampire stories so that must have been it.

In this shorter story, the author introduces a new world where vampires exist among humans. The story starts when Henri, an apparently older vampire is arriving at the house of a former servant who married and left his house many decades ago. She is dying so Henri wanted to see her one last time. The woman also wanted him to protect her son Nathan, for he has special powers, he can downplay the emotions of others and some bad vampire wants to turn Nathan for his own purposes. Henri is very attracted to Nathan but he is still a moral person despite his actions as a vampire. He won't do anything to Nathan unless he can see it's by Nathan's free will.
However, time isn't much because the bad vampire really wants to end things quickly and Nathan and Henri end up in danger. Can they come out alive?

First of all, this is not my premiere with this author. Even before getting this book, I had read another title by her: this one in this Goodreads' link.
That other book I read way before I got the blog but since it wasn't that memorable for me, I wouldn't try the author's work if not for this another title. It's not that the writing isn't good, but there's nothing in the two books - so far - I've read that scream to me to keep going.

This shorter story is the first in a series and by looking at the blurbs of the following ones, most are related to characters not mentioned in this book, which is not that strange but I don't feel compelled to discover more.
This sort of prequel has two or three interesting details (like why Nathan has special abilities and would others?, does the action move forward in time or is all more historically set?, like do mates bond for special reasons or are they more randomly suitable like Henri and Nathan seemed to be?), but for the most part the descriptions weren't enough to over compensate the amount of sex or sex thoughts and the bad guy's air time. This is a short story and I feel not enough attention was given to set up the world properly and we had to read through not as interesting stuff (to me).

The romance is obviously too quick. I say obviously because the fact they would end up together is a given but the road to that point happens too quickly even if one considers how easily they can understand each others' emotions and that there's the bond vibe from the start. But, personally, too much focus is given to the sexual attraction and the sex itself, this occupies too much page space.
Henri and Nathan can be quite suitable but I think it would have been better, for a shorter story, to have them deal with sexual attraction, acceptance of their feelings though some more interacting scenes, even if this meant no sex would happen. I totally get this has some erotica vibe as well but... some things are better left to wonder about, I think.

The plot itself isn't too complicated, it's easily dealt with and in terms of world, of motivations to look for different things, things aren't new nor captivating. I don't feel like spending more time in this world by this book alone.
The bad guy is very obvious, a bit of a vampire cliché and the time we spend knowing his thoughts is totally pointless to me.

All in all, this wasn't difficult to read but it was not the best thing ever to me either. I can see the purpose and the attempt to introduce elements to make the story interesting but for me it didn't stand the passage of time (and of my change in preferences) when it comes to the whole picture.
But, you know, one less book in the pile...
Grade: 5/10

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