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Review: The Bloodgate Warrior by Joely Sue Burkhart

6 Aug

The Bloodgate Warrior by Joely Sue Burkhart
Carina Press (Aug. 6, 2012)
ebook: $3.99
ISBN: 9781426894183

Favorite Lines: “Maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty about the dreams if they weren’t so… Raw. Uncomfortable. Even violent sometimes. He scares me with his intensity, and yet I love every minute of it. Don’t get me wrong, my dream lover can be incredibly tender. The way he cups my face in his big, powerful hands and strokes my cheek with his thumbs makes me melt, but he’s relentless too. He won’t let me pretend to hide or lie about what it is that I’ve come to expect–and want–from him.”(p. 16, e-galley)

As the Mayan hero Técun lay dying, a sorceress cast a spell tying her bloodline to him, so that one day he could return and avenge their people…

Following a near-death experience, Cassandra Gonzales is haunted by erotic dreams of a mysterious man. As the dreams intensify, she is compelled to travel to Guatemala in search of him. There she learns that her blood has opened a gate—and she is the only one who can bring the great warrior back from the afterlife.

Once faced with Técun in the flesh, Cassie fears the need he stirs within her. She aches to submit to the pleasure he promises, but first she must learn to trust in him, and in her own desires. Their time for sensual exploration is brief—Técun’s killer has escaped, intent on sacrificing Cassie and wreaking havoc on the world. Now, only Cassie’s complete and willing surrender to Técun will give him the power to defeat the demon once and for all…

I started reading The Bloodgate Warrior  and the first thing I noticed was how short it showed up on my nook. My nook showed 137 pages and the story ended on page 132. I point this out because it means my expectations for a short story are different from those of a full length novel. I know there will be less depth and I adjust before reading.

The Bloodgate Warrior is book two in Joely Sue Burkhart’s Mayan Bloodgates paranormal romance series. It is told in first person and is written as additions in a family journal. Chapter one begins:

“Entry added August 2012 to the Guzman-Gonzales family journal by Cassandra Luisa Gonzales.”–p. 9

I’m not a fan of diary style romances but I knew it was supposed to be filled with erotic scenes and decided to give it a shot. First off let me say it’s not filled with as many erotic scenes as I expected. This isn’t necessarily bad. It’s just different. As it is, reading a family journal about “porn moments” just feels wrong. Like this:

“God, it makes my face hot with shame just writing this down. Yet I’m squirming in my chair, too,  and hurrying so I can slip between the luxurious hotel sheets and get to him as quickly as possible.”–p. 16

Can you imaging writing about your intimate encounters and dreams in a book for your descendants to read? I can’t and it affected my thoughts of the story. Instead of simply being a form of story telling, the journal idea yanked me out of the world Joely Sue Burkhart created. I realize this is a matter of preference, but my squicky feelings were reinforced throughout the tale by the story which is told in first person past tense. The Bloodgate Warrior should have been a quick read, it felt like it would never end.

I liked the idea of a Mayan warrior arriving in the present day to prevent a destructive evil force. The hero and heroine had explosive chemistry. Técun liked to dominate in sex and Cassie liked to submit. Both liked to please the other even more. My problem is that I never felt anything. I didn’t care if the good guys won or loss. I never felt the attraction more than I would notice two animals mating. I was extremely apathetic to the entire story.

In the end, I wanted to love The Bloodgate Warrior but I never quite made it past the “it’s okay” point. The book is inexpensive though, so if your library doesn’t carry the book pick it up from Carina Press, B&N, Amazon or where ever you buy your ebooks.