Review: Cowboys & Vampires by Hank Edwards

Posted December 4, 2013 by Leigh in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review: Cowboys & Vampires by Hank Edwards
Cowboys & Vampires
by Hank Edwards

4.5 Stars

BOOK INFO


Released: 17 April 2013
Series: Venom Valley #1
Published by Wilde City Press
Pages: 165
Format: eBook
 

    

Cowboys & Vampires is like no other book I have ever read.  It is an old time Western – the first I’ve ever read – but it incorporates so many elements of books I do love to read: paranormal/fantasy, suspense, male/male romance and a new but solid love.

Josh Stanton lives in Belkin’s Pass, an old western town, where his adoptive mother, Agnes, took him in and cared for him since he was a small child.  But strange things have been happening to him recently and he can’t explain what it is or why.  After finding Agnes’ dead body, Josh realizes he’ll be implicated in her death, so he decides to flee the town. As the Sheriff’s Deputy, his best friend, Dex Wells, needs to decide what to do: should he go after Josh and take him into custody, or should he let his friendship prevail and help Josh get away safely?

Meanwhile, other mysterious occurrences are taking place in town.  Prostitutes at the local saloon are behaving oddly and the only one to see that something is very wrong is one of their own, Glory.  She quickly discovers that an evil vampire, Balthazar, is the cause of everything taking place at the brothel and that he is turning the others into vampires as well.  Very soon, all of the strange occurrences begin to intersect and so begins the fight for justice, life and love.

Edwards gets the reader wrapped into this story right out of the gate: Josh arrives at his house to find Agnes’ dead body and the action quickly ensues. From that point on I was hooked and it was difficult to put the book down. Edwards writes extremely well his descriptions and details were enticing to me as a reader and I loved all of the suspense and paranormal elements he kept introducing into Cowboys & Vampires.  More so, Edwards wove the tale in such a way to keep the explanation of it all mysterious and taunting – but in a very good way. Without any answers neatly provided up front, I continued to ask myself questions throughout the book. For instance, Balthazar- where did he come from and why is he drawn to Josh? He is definitely not the type of vampire we have come to know and love in our books these days; he is pure evil. Some of these are answered for the reader by the end of this book; however, since this is a series there are some that linger, which I am absolutely fine with that so long as they are answered eventually.

Edwards also writes characters that grew on me quickly-both the good and the bad. Balthazar is an awesomely evil bad guy and he had me biting my nails in just about every scene in which he appeared; I never knew what might happen.  On the other hand, Josh, Dex, and Glory had me rooting for them from the beginning. I was drawn to their uniqueness but also their will to live and to fight evil head on.

And, of course the relationship between Josh and Dex is one of my favorites – friends turned to lovers.  In the midst of everything taking place, these best friends decide to take a chance on a love to which neither was willing to previously admit because being gay back then was never accepted.  But when the odds aren’t looking great and there isn’t much else for which to fight, throwing caution to the wind and letting love prevail seems like a wonderful idea. And it is. The relationship between Josh and Dex is so sweet and beautiful and their time together is full of tenderness and heartwarming love.

While Cowboys & Vampires provides the reader with a plethora of characters, paranormal elements, and events, the primary intersecting plot never faltered. It was all woven together in a very enticing and engaging manner. True to the style of the book, Edwards also left the reader with one hell of a cliffhanger. It’s definitely one to bring me back for more, not only because of the cliffhanger but because of all the reasons leading up to it – an excellent story, a creative world, great characters, suspense, and a beautiful love story that has me wanting more. Cowboys & Vampires is my first book from Hank Edwards, but it surely will not be my last!

*Review copy provided by publisher


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About Hank Edwards

Hank Edwards’ humorous erotic novel, Fluffers, Inc., which introduced his Fluffers, Inc. characters, is available from Lethe Press in both print and e-book format, along with the sequels A Carnal Cruise and Vancouver Nights. His Up to Trouble series of suspense novels include Holed Up, Shacked Up, and Roughed Up. He has also published the gay marriage romantic comedy Plus Ones, all available from Loose Id in e-book format. His noir gay romance novella Hired Muscle is available from Silver Publishing.

His paranormal Venom Valley Series is now available from Wilde City Press with the first book, Cowboys & Vampires, and second book Stakes & Spurs, currently on the market. Watch for more books in the series which follows Josh and Dex who battle vampires and zombies in the American Old West as they realize just how deep their feelings for each other reach.

He also has self-published two short story collections, A Very Dirty Dozen and Another Very Dirty Dozen, each of which contains 12 sizzling short stories, and will soon self-publish his medieval time travel romance Destiny's Bastard.

Hank is a member of the Story Orgy writing group, who have published three anthologies: And The Prompt Is... Volume One, And The Prompt Is... Holiday Edition, and And The Prompt Is... Road Trip. Find his blog at www.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.

More than three dozen of his short stories have appeared in various gay erotic magazines and anthologies, find the complete list on his website. He lives in a suburb of Detroit with his very patient partner of many years and their two cats who distract and inspire him on a daily basis.

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Leigh

Guest Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I am a wife and mom of two sassy and fabulous kids, and I have decided I will be forever 39.After college, I became a paralegal and read only legal documents and eventually some baby naming books.Then about six years ago, I needed to check out all the hype of some teenage vampire romance, and that was all she wrote.It didn't take me long to rediscover my love of reading that I had throughout my youth, and I was devouring every paranormal romance and urban fantasy series I could get my grabby hands on.

Through Amazon forums and Goodreads, I met a lot of amazing women with that same passion, including the lovely ladies who started UTC.While those genres will always be two of my favorites, I have discovered that M/M romance is my primary love.That kiss between Qhuinn and Blay in Phury's book (you BDB lovers know what I'm talking about!) sealed the deal for me.I love a story where love is hard fought and hard won.I am also a firm believer that EVERYONE deserves love and a happy ending, and the beauty in achieving that is what keeps me coming back for more.

I have amassed quite a collection of book boyfriends through the years, with the top two being John Matthew and Jamie Fraser.**le sigh**In the M/M genre, my best buddy is Randy Jensen.Two of my favorite tropes are Friends to Lovers and Out for You, and I enjoy just about any subgenre - PNR, UF, contemporary, historical, RomCom, Young Adult, Erotica, Mystery/Thriller - in my M/M romance.As long as it is written well, eventually gives me an HEA, and makes me have all the feels, I am one happy girl.
Leigh
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Timitra
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Timitra

I’m intrigued…Thanks Leigh.

Emily W.
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Emily W.

Sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

You have me wanting to read this one. Thanks I hadn’t heard of it.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Oooo I like the xound of this…..I love when a book keeps me guessing…thanks leigh

Leigh
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Leigh

You’re welcome, ladies! It really is a very neat book. It was one that kept me thinking about it long after reading it. Enjoy!