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Book Review: The Pining of Kevin Harding, by Devon McCormack

The Pining of Kevin HardingKevin Harding wanted an exciting life. Now, he’s a vampire and wishes he could go back to his average, boring one in the suburbs. His master is furious that he refuses to hunt, but Kevin knows it’s only a matter of time before he caves. The longer a person is a vampire, the more compliant they are to their master’s will.

When Kevin decides to give the hunt a try, he’s kidnapped by vampire hunters. Rather than endure their severe torture, he agrees to help them kill his master. The hunters’ plan goes horribly awry, and they flee the scene with Kevin. But they have to restrategize quick. The longer he’s away from his master, the more painful his life becomes. He craves his master. He hungers for him. He pines for him. And as they get close to enacting their plan, Kevin isn’t sure if he’ll be able to follow through.

I figured I’d review something in the paranormal genre in honor of today and this was a great choice! I’ve noticed themes for the last couple of my reading years and this year it’s been the year of the man, or should I say, the year of the male authors. I’ve come across a number of new-to-me male authors that have impressed me enough to actually read more than one book from them. And I’m talking about a range with my new found male authors, angst ridden to smutty to interesting as hell.

This author, Devon McCormack, I think he’s one to watch. Romance writer? *tilts head* Not really. Sometimes it’s there but it’s on the back burner. What this author does well is tell a story. One I want to read; wish it could be performed on screen because I would be a fan.

The story is told from Kevin Harding’ POV. Kevin was a high school senior, eighteen years-old with acting aspirations. Sadly his dreams were cut short by his Master. A sadistic vampire who set his sights on Kevin, turned him into a creature of the night (without his consent) and added him to his meager vampire family which consists of the deranged and even more sadistic Alyssa and the ever-horny jock vamp, Dax. Vampires crave two things above all else, their master and blood. It’s deeply ingrained. But Kevin wants to be human. He was happy being human. Being a vampire was thrust upon and he struggles with that. He’s pissing off his mater and his partner. Luckily he finds consolation in the form of cock in the ever charming (yet shallow) Dax.

This leads Kevin down a path riddled vampire hunters, a duo of self taught vampire hunters to be exact – cowboy Ride and the young, gay Morgan. They add to this ensemble of characters. They also have real life issues that interplay with trying to rid the world of bloodsuckers.

Kevin is an exception as he is still new and the human side continues to war with that paranormal beast inside. This is not a vampire who revels in being a vampire. He’s disgusted with that side of himself and tries to humanize more often than not. The book does get gory and bloody. I mean, this is Devon McCormack. He doesn’t pull the punches.

Why I think this book rocks? There’s a sense of realism that the main characters face while dealing with the paranormal tint. This is new adult – there are life changes that Kevin deals with and he handles it appropriately for his age. And just because there is no actually on page sex does not mean it is not had nor discussed. We are brought into the mind of an 18 year old male…sex is on there a lot. Along with sex, there’s the awkwardness of that age, dealing with the vampire physiology (it sucks because you have to kill your victim to feed). The characters are descriptive and have normal features – big heads, eyes too close to their big noses, balding…no hot models in here. Well maybe Dax but he has some minor self hate/body image issues.

This is gay fiction, with minor romance. There is minor suspense and action, it gets better as the story progresses. I always find learning about the vampire world an author creates fascinating – the rules and society – vampires are night dwellers, are immortal, and survive due to a vampire virus. There is a HEA of sorts. I am happy with how it is played out. It read a little rushed toward the end. But the key parts are answered. This author excels at creating a scene. This could have been a movie.

Do I recommend? *nods effusively* After reading hundreds of books, this author is just different. The writing is simple, easy to relate, not pretentious and gives good story.

And I’m a story girl. Give me a great one no matter what the subject is, make me forget any reservations I might have and you have a fan in me.

Note: Review cross-posted from Boy Meets Boy Reviews with permission.

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