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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Weak World Building

Wilder's Mate - Moira Rogers

When I pick up a new series, especially in the fantasy/paranormal/steampunk realm (and Moira Roger's Bloodhound series is all of these), I'm willing to put up with a fair bit of disorientation initially, until the world-building fills in the gaps of my understanding. I'm not a fan of info-dumping, and I'd rather figure things out as I read along, so it was totally okay with me that for the first half of this book, I didn't know what was going on.


Less okay is the fact that by the second half, I still didn't know what was going on. Indeed, I reached the end, and I feel like I still have only a very sketchy sense of what the writers were trying to do. I understood the general plot: Satira teams up with Wilder to rescue her mentor, Nathaniel, from evil vampires. I had a sense of the setting: a steampunky American Wild West where there are a whole lot of brothels and shanty towns on the border between the Deadlands (aka Vampire Territory) and the not-so-civilized American Frontier. Beyond that, though, the details get very, very vague. In addition to vampires, there are creatures called Bloodhounds, who seem to be some kind of shifters whose natures are controlled by the phases of the moon: in the full moon, they get really strong and violent, and in the new moon, they get the Epic HornyPants and their sexual needs are so all-consuming the hounds go mad with frenzy and they need experienced women to sate them (hence all the brothels). Sound sexy? Yeah, not so much as you might think.


I picked this up free a few months ago because 1) hello, free?, and 2) Moira Rogers is actually the writing team of Bree and Donna, who also write together under the name Kit Rocha, and Rocha's Beyond series is totally my kind of catnip. Alas, the Bloodhounds are not. There's just not enough to this story except for sex: the world-building is scant and vague, the character development is half-assed, and without any flesh to fill out the bare bones of this story, the romance between Wilder and Satira just falls flat.