Title: Bulls And Blood
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Genre(s): Paranormal, Contemporary, Western
Page Count: 96
Reviewed by: Jewel
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Breaking the rules has never been Wesley’s way…until he meets Mino.
Rule Number Two that the Thorn brothers live by is that employees of the ranch are off-limits. Wesley has always followed that rule, never stepping out of his comfort zone to do more than talk to one of the cowhands that help run his family’s ranch. Being a vampire makes it easier, since he doesn’t go out during the day.
Mino’s been interested in the youngest Thorn brother since he began working at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. It’s those stupid rules that hold him back from making the first move. Well, those and the fact that Wesley could kill him in a blink of his eye. Being human in a world of supernatural creatures makes living difficult, since he’s considered prey.
These two males, from different species and societies, must find a way to meet in the middle of their worlds if they have a chance at love.
I love the blurb and the cover for this novella. I love vampire stories and cowboy stories, so I figured this was a slam, dunk! But, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I never really connected with the characters, nor was I able to actually relate to them. The story was ok, but just ok.
Wesley is the youngest vampire brother at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. He keeps to himself and he likes it that way. He’s been interested in Mino, one of the human ranch hands, for years, and the interest is mutual, however Wesley is also stubborn in that he doesn’t think they should mix business and pleasure (silly vampire). I found Wesley’s character to be too cold and stand-offish. He has a low opinion of humans and yet he is attracted to one. He tells us that he changed his opinion of humans in one evening of thought, but I would have liked to have seen the change, rather than him simply telling us.
Mino is a human ranch hand and he has lusted after Wesley for the five years he has worked at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. Now, he’s taking a more aggressive approach to see if that fares better than wanting from afar. Wesley does resist, but his walls start to break down and he starts seeking Mino’s company. I couldn’t really get much of a read on Mino. He tended to follow Wesley around like a puppy, but we don’t really get to know him at all. Why is he attracted to Wesley, when Wesley looks down on humans so much? Why has he been pining for five years? Those are questions I would want the answers to.
Alongside Wesley’s and Mino’s romance is the main story about a bull shifter that was inadvertently purchased by the ranch. They meant to purchase a bull, not a shifter, so most of the story revolves around them trying to find the seller and make sure that the council knows that they did not intend to buy a shifter (which would be illegal). We also meet Wesley’s five brothers, along with several ranch hands and other characters whom I assume future books in this series will feature.
As with many novellas, I think this story would be greatly improved with an expanded format. There was too much going on and too many characters to fit nicely in a sub-100 page book. The result is a story that doesn’t really pack the punch it could and MC’s that I, as a reader, couldn’t connect with.