Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 28, 2019
Received From: NetGalley
Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.
When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?
A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.
SEXUALITY: homosexual, bisexual
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: homoromantic, bisexual
TROPES: age gap, immortal for you, magical abilities
TAGS: adult, historical, paranormal, erotica, romance, queer romance, queer characters, existing relationship
WARNINGS: attempted rape, explicit violence, open water, physical injury, ableism, slurs, gendered slurs, misogyny, mind control, cheating mention, anti-queer, religion (Christianity), parental death mention, rape threats, slutshaming, forced suicide
Well. To be completely honest, I requested this book on NetGalley out of a self-destructive need to see how the trilogy ended after the mess of problematic content that were the first two books–ESCAPING EXILE and ESCAPING SOLITUDE–which the author had sent to me when she requested reviews through my blog.
Blessedly, this third installment is (slightly) less troublesome, but alarmingly, it’s even more boring than the first two for the lack of problematic content. I haven’t read other books of Bauer’s, but based on this trilogy, it seems fairly safe to say that her writing tends to incorporate problematic tropes and themes in order to carry the story and keep it “action-packed.” See, for example, the glaring racism in ESCAPING EXILE, the flagrant disregard and disrespect towards sex work in ESCAPING SOLITUDE, and the threat of rape and dubious consent that haunts all three novellas. There’s something deeply troubling about the fact that these dangers and hatred are the guiding forces behind the plots of the stories.
In this installment of the trilogy, there’s practically no action to keep the plot moving forward, and it’s not well-written or entertaining enough to pass as pleasantly surprising Porn Without Plot, or even as Slice of Life Domesticity. Frankly put, there’s very little to recommend the book. All aspects are the plot are rushed, or introduced and then never mentioned again. As with the first novel, I do believe that the bones of this story are intriguing, in theory, but executed poorly. In the hands of the right author, this particular story, and the trilogy as a whole, could be a dark, delicious series of bloodthirsty vampires and hiding amongst humanity, but it just doesn’t work out for Bauer. Largely because of the problematic elements, and on a lesser scale, because the writing is entirely too boring when the enraging aspects are removed.
Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of The Escape Trilogy and Bite Somebody series, among others sexy things.