Title: Blood Lines
Author: A.L. Bates
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Length: 110 Pages
At a Glance: A unique story of love in its different forms, with plenty of action and suspense.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Mark Thomas owns his own “New York”-themed bar on an off-world colony.
Nate Fox is an ex-con gone straight.
He’s also Mark’s best friend and brother-in-law.
Mark has feelings for Nate. Nate has feelings for Mark.
But neither man is prepared to compromise their friendship or Mark’s relationship with Danny.
Blood Lines is a story about fidelity, trust, and respect. It’s a story about honesty and learning from mistakes.
And it’s a story about second chances.
Review: Mark is married to Danny. Danny is Nate’s brother. Nate is in love with Mark.
What do you do when you love your husband but can’t let go of your criminal past? What do you do when you love your husband but can’t seem to be what he wants or needs? What do you do if you are in love with your brother’s husband? What do you do when you make a decision that puts the only people you care about at risk? What do you do when your brother puts all of you in danger? That is the situation Danny, Mark and Nate find themselves in this suspenseful story.
Blood Lines takes place in an off-world colony that is separated in the form of Districts. Though human, the inhabitants of the colony have a completely different way of life due to their surroundings. Nate has left his life of crime behind and keeps his head on straight, working a steady job at the docks. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for his little brother Danny, who manages to put them all in peril with his criminal behavior and greediness.
I was impressed with the unique way the characters’ emotional ties were portrayed, and it made for an interesting plot as Mark, Nate and Danny try to survive the events which Danny’s decisions have placed them in. The clock is ticking, and even if they manage to survive the attempts on their lives, will Mark manage to survive what his husband has done?
The story is told from multiple POVs, mostly Nate’s and Mark’s but also several other secondary characters. That doesn’t always work in a book, but in this case I felt it added to the value of the story, giving the reader insight as to Danny’s motivations and feelings, as well as the other players’. It is fast-paced once you get through the first chapter or so, and it kept me engrossed in exactly how it all would play out. I was torn on certain characters and how I felt about them, and what I wanted to happen, and ultimately I felt everything wrapped up very nicely.
Though a mostly enjoyable thriller, I found the actual world building and sci-fi aspect of the story a little wanting. Yes, some aspects of the story, such as the reason for the treacherous situation Danny puts his brother and husband in, are given a little background. Mostly, though, the focus was on action more than the world building. For me, when I am reading a fantasy, paranormal or sci-fi book, one of the things I look forward to is finding out about the unique world that the story takes place in. That didn’t happen much with this one because the details given, I felt, were mere morsels and I would have loved to know more about the colony and how it functions, why it came to be, the different districts… just more.
I will note there were a couple errors in grammar, and one main word that was used out of context; not too noticeable, though, and I am far from someone who gets too wrapped up in minor errors because, as many could probably tell from my reviews, I am far from perfect on the grammar front myself. Plus, it didn’t really take away from my personal enjoyment of the story. But I know there are some readers for which that happens to be a pet peeve when reading a book, and if those errors caught my attention, I’m sure it would be noticeable to others.
In the end, I still found this to be a unique story of love in its different forms, with plenty of action and suspense to keep me invested in the characters and the outcome.
You can buy Blood Lines here: