Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Tour for Bleeding Heart by Melissa Graves (Review & GIVEAWAY)

To start the week off I'm introducing you to a new-to-me author and her sexy paranormal m/m read that puts an intriguing spin on the well-known vampire myths.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Bleeding Heart by Melissa Graves and how she balances the sexy with substance in a story.  You can read my impressions of this story and learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win a $25 BN GC along with eBooks and an author swag pack too!

Like sex itself, writing sex is about pacing.  
Do both characters share a mutual attraction that is openly acknowledged between them?  Is one oblivious while the other pines? Are they both unsure, or hovering in the in between space where a situation could go multiple ways?  
Once you have that decided, it's a matter of deciding how you want to take them there.  You let the characters get close, you let them brush up against each other, you let them do and feel what they need to do and feel before they can crawl comfortably beneath another's skin.
No matter how or what they do, it's all about textual foreplay.  
Without anticipation, there's no desire.  I write very explicit and detailed erotica, but if I just threw that in my reader's faces for the sake of "getting to the good stuff", it would ring hollow.  In longer work, without story substance, erotic scenes are flat and meaningless.  Erotic scenes should be the result of effort on the writer's part of building tension, of making you want these characters to touch, to kiss, to fuck so badly, that when they finally do, you fall over in your chair or make a noise or—well, have some fun of your own.
There's a formula with any given pair or set of characters who are on the road to getting their grooves on, and one of the most vital parts of that formula is that they have experiences before they can get there, experiences that lay the groundwork for the sweaty fun to come (pardon the pun!).  So maybe they talk about their desires with a friend, or just think about it.  They go through their lives.  They spend time away from the object of their affections.  They watch the person or persons that they want with desire but also distance.  Maybe they get close again, and then back away—maybe they do this multiple times before giving in.
Story substance is the meat and potatoes that justifies the dessert reward of erotic scenes—one isn't quite as good without the other, and together they make a complete meal!

While the public struggles to live side-by-side with vampires, medical student Brian Preston has dedicated himself to their care and study by working in a government-run clinic that monitors and feeds the resident vampire population. He has learned to expect the unexpected in his job, but his life takes a surprise turn late one night when a young, struggling vampire named Kyle stumbles into his clinic and his heart.
As they draw closer, can Brian come to grips with loving the elusive vampire, and can Kyle find the strength to share the secret that can separate them forever?
Bleeding Heart is the story of love, blood, political intrigue and the secrets that can spell the difference between life and death.


Kyle’s heart pounds loudly all the way to Brian's apartment, and the click of the door closing behind them causes it to skip a beat. He's nervous, and yet his skin is hot and his clothing feels tight and itchy against his skin and he just wants. He wants to put his hands on his boyfriend so badly.
Brian toes off his shoes and turns to look at Kyle over his shoulder. There’s a spray of red visible across Kyle’s cheeks and his eyes are wide and wet. Brian asks, husky and unsure, "Shower?"
Oh, my god, you can't just say that.
Kyle has no idea how much of a fool he looks standing there so aroused it hurts, his hands curled into fists and his chest heaving. "God, yes, please."
In the hallway outside the bathroom, Brian catches Kyle around the waist as Kyle reaches for him at almost at the same time, putting his hands on Brian’s shoulders and then around the back of his neck, pulling him forward into kisses that start out soft but go hard within moments, tongues and teeth dancing around throaty noises that die before they are even born.
It takes every bit of focus Kyle has to keep his fangs tucked away.
He pins Brian against the wall beside the bathroom door, carding fingers through his hair and turning his head up and back. His lips find the softness of Brian's throat and the hard ridge of his Adam's apple. He tugs Brian's button-up from the waistband of his jeans with falsely brave fingers, enduring a full-body shiver when Brian lets him undo the buttons one by one before shrugging out of the shirt. His undershirt follows and then they slow down, Kyle's lips hovering over his, his fingertips poised above the button on Brian’s jeans.



Fans of vampire stories will find themselves drawn to this one that's an intriguing mix of young love in a world where vampires are a part of society and their needs met through blood centers along with a bit of suspense.  With its two sweet main characters and a colorful cast of secondary characters playing matchmaker the romance goes from a cutesy burgeoning relationship to a steamy no holds-barred romp.  Along the way we're presented with a society catering to vampires while also showing bits of racism when it comes to the police.  Underground there's a group studying vampires and trying to make their lives better with leaders whose identities caught me by surprise.  All of this makes for an entertaining read that will hopefully lead to more.

Brian is a sweet-natured young man with a big heart who just wants to help people.  One night a bedraggled young man comes to the blood center and he goes out of his way to help him as he's completely drawn to him.  This meeting changes his life forever as their romance plays out over weeks of sweet verbal foreplay and hand holding before segueing into even hotter encounters before becoming scorching interludes.  Brian is clearly the more experienced but even he is caught off guard by being with a vampire which leads to encounters fueled by curiosity and sexy blood-fueled interludes.  Just when it looks like they're on their way to HEA danger from Kyle's past comes to put Brian in danger in a heart-pounding fast-paced conclusion that leads to secrets being revealed.

Ever since his parents died life has been lonely and difficult for Kyle.  He had no real friends and an aunt and uncle who saw him as a burden.  He was ostracized for being gay and one night out of desperation takes false comfort from a vampire which leaves him changed forever.  He knows very little about being a vampire which leads to a traumatic event that has him running from is past life and finding a new one at the Bleeding Heart where people pay for vampires to feed from them.  The owners become like family to him and his deepening relationship with Brian has him happy for the first time since his parents died until a not so blast from is past puts Brian in danger.  Kyle's guilt over this event further complicates his relationship with Brian and it's a true test of their commitment if their love will survive.

This story has a clever premise that I hope to see expanded as we've seen just the tip of the iceberg.  Seeing vampires as part of society, able to go outside, with a special field of medicine devoted to them made for an intriguing read.  The early stages of Brian and Kyle's relationship was sweet as they discovered more about their needs and the techniques but it soon started dragging.  The sexual interludes, while steamy, overwhelmed the story at times and showed Kyle as a kid with a new toy who couldn't get enough.  All of this made for a middle section that went on a bit too long.  The suspense late in the story seemed to come out of nowhere but it was the kick-start the story needed to make for a thrilling conclusion that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Overall this was an entertaining m/m read with lots of sweet and vividly detailed erotic encounters.  Fans of the paranormal will enjoy this view of vampires while others will enjoy the high steam factor.  This was a good introduction to Ms. Graves for me and I look forward to reading more from her.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


A veteran writer of fan fiction known as MissBeizy to her online readers, Melissa Graves’ stories have thousands of followers. At age 13, she wrote her first work of fan-based fiction, and by age 16, had met her future husband in an online vampire fiction chat room. A fan of science fiction/fantasy, she has a degree in anthropology and a passion for good chocolate, amateur erotica and fan worlds that celebrate diversity. She is mother to two cats.



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  1. Congrats on the release of Bleeding Heart, Melissa.

    It sounds like an intriguing story. What is your favorite scene in the book?

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed to win.

  2. Thanks for the post and the giveaway. The premise for the book sounds interesting and I enjoyed the review.

  3. Looking forward to reading!

  4. The blurb's interesting