Blood Moon: Part I (Chroma Crossing Chronicles: Book I)
I did not finish reading this book, for reasons I’ve elaborated on in the review below. You will find two synopsis beneath this introduction: the first is the summary I was familiar with when I accepted the review request; the second is from Goodreads, which I read later. Additionally, I have not included spoilers, but have included some of the explicit and sexual language used in the book to support my thoughts, so if necessary, proceed with caution.
From the Back of the Book
Candy wanted to attend SCAD and become a sustainable artist. Then someone began hunting her and Candy found herself plummeting through a portal to heaven knew where. It sure wasn’t Savannah anymore!
Widowed Cherry Ann sought wealthy husband number-three and a salacious sex life. What she found was far more dangerous than anticipated.
Todd just wanted his woman to appreciate him and quit effing other men. Neither was in her nature, but when the time was right he kept one card to play.
Mark Kingsley needed to find his lost ‘possession’. Not a forgiving or patient man he’d stop at nothing to get it back. Absolutely nothing.
Another Otherworldly Domain…
Thorne wanted to spend the day hunting but when he came up on a woman foreign to his realm, her eyes captured him. She became the only woman he ever loved.
Candy and Thorne.
It should have been a love story complete with the Happy Ever After ending. As fate would have it, the bored gods and goddesses had other plans for these human pawns hosted from two different domains.
Hunky pheromone-laden-man meets pretty accident-prone female—it should have been a love story with a happy ever after ending.
However, when the bored deities choose Candy and Thorne for an amusing game, the gods/goddesses put forth sets of circumstances that can tear the couple apart and wound them deep within their human souls.
City girl, Candy wanted to become a successful artist and maybe someday find a man who would make her feel loved and valued, a feeling she’d never known while growing up. However, with a name like ‘Candy Cane’, males never failed to remind her with a wink and snicker, how it sounded like she was a ‘professional’. And ‘professional’ held so many connotations, none of which she had in mind regarding relationships with men.
With her father’s sudden demise, Candy finds she’s inherited funds and a carriage house in beautiful historic Savannah. Not only can she now afford to go to SCAD, her future as an artist looks promising. Unfortunately her step-mom (and her disturbing son Todd) resides in the main house. When Candy gets her first commission for a life-sized portrait of a beautiful woman from a rather unsettling man, she soon questions what had seemed coincidental.
Candy is a modest female who has always found solace in her artwork, whereas her widowed step-mom, Cherry Ann, considers physical pleasure and money as her measures of worth. And as Candy pursues her art, Cherry Ann pursues a new lover who expands her world of sexual gratifications far beyond past parameters. Cherry Ann finds her new risqué sex life to be addictive and doesn’t recognize the danger of the man she’s invited into her life.
After surviving a couple of ‘accidents’, Candy realizes someone apparently wishes her harm. When she’s chased (by the one thing she fears most) Candy accidently, or so it seems, crosses into a new dimension, land or whatever. She finds herself in an unknown wilderness without resources, let alone a map, or GPS, plus she left her cell phone at home—again. Looking around she sees a curious terrain that is void of color, thus leaving the landscape looking like an old sepia photograph, hardly the Savannah spring day she’d left behind.
The artist in her wants to understand how primary colors could disappear to leave a land so colorless . . . so entirely beige-ish. How could such a phenomenal occurrence come about? A land without modern conveniences—almost as though she’d stepped into a time past, yet that wasn’t quite accurate either.
As Candy literally stumbles through the wild terrain, an intriguing hunter comes upon her. His presence makes her girlie parts beg to become ill behaved, and before she knows it, her hormones are arguing with her strict moral compass.
With so many characters and an interesting synopsis, Blood Moon sounded like an indulgent book full of art, history, and fantasy. However, shortly before the halfway point nothing about the story really gripped me, and the events strayed so far from my expectations that I could not bring myself to read to the end.
The main cause of this is my aversion to the tone and writing style. In many instances, the scene or characters (or both) felt unnecessarily exaggerated through the use of stereotypes and/or wordplay, and in others the author chose to include quick statements or details that further soured the bad taste in my mouth. For example:
“The guy expected more and had repeatedly groped her in It’s a Small World—how sick was that? Then he tried to slip his hand between her legs in Pirates of the Caribbean. Candy made sure he understood the date wasn’t a ‘booty call’ and she had no goods available for him to plunder.” Phrases like this (not all sexual in nature) are on almost every page.
“Like most females, Candy loved horses.” Reading this out of context you may wonder: is this book a scientific analysis with thorough research backing the claim that most females are fond of equestrian creatures? Answer: No, it’s not.
For most of the beginning of the book, putting up with the writing was bearable because of the building anticipation for how the action and conflict would be dealt with. Some of the interactions and expressions between and of the characters were understandably meant to build the plot, as well as build the reader’s impressions of those characters. But for this reader, leaving details up to the imagination would have made for a better reading and imaginative experience. Additionally, it was puzzling to read “pussy juice” [more than once], and then read “His thoughts were becoming too erotic with all the things he wanted to do to her— Bleep, bleep and more bleep.” It is confusing that the former phrase would be stated no problem, but “fuck” presumably seemed too vulgar for the pages of the book. Granted, these moments were from two different characters’ perspectives, but to me it just felt unnecessarily inconsistent, especially since the character who preferred “bleep” over “fuck” fondly referred (more than once) to his sexual appendage as Mr. Kinky.
To continue, this reader was also a little blindsided by how erotic the scenes and monologues started to become. They might have worked if they were scattered throughout the book, because they were obviously used in an attempt to further the story. However, by the time they were added there were already too many plot lines and character traits to keep track of. Multiple points of conflict and perspective can turn a superficial fantasy into a complex story, but in the case of Blood Moon, the writing style, the fleeting moments of excitement and angst, and continued introduction of new and often wayward plot lines just didn’t work.
Blood Moon was published on February 11th, 2016. While I was provided with a copy of the book, all thoughts are my own.