Friday, April 10, 2020

Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer Release Blitz

I'm not hunting him; I'm protecting him.
At least, that's what I tell myself.
In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I'm the perfect vampire to watch his back.
But what if keeping him safe isn't enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?
I need him. But I've never needed anyone.


In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.

That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters—and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.

Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.

Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to... well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too...

This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

I feel an itch on the back of my neck so glance behind me, and indeed, there he is, the blond kid from yesterday. I must have caught him staring, because as soon as I turn to look, he ducks his head and goes back to reading.

I shouldn’t approach him. Granted, he’s stunning. Most vampires would love to get their hands on his bare skin, but I’m not one for picking up humans outside of blood clubs. I’m cautious. Vampires can get in a lot of trouble for biting a human without consent. Like sentenced-to-death trouble. The humans at blood clubs know what they’re getting into. This guy? He looks like a puppy in need of a cuddle. He has no idea what a vampire could do to him.

Maybe some reconnaissance is in order. Just to, you know, make sure he’s all right after yesterday’s altercation.

Or something.

I’m lying to myself. This isn’t a protective detail in Serbia, this is me away from combat too long and bored in New York.

Fuck it.

He sits at one of the heavy wooden tables with the lid off his cup. His hair hangs halfway over his forehead, tilted down over a paperback, but I can still see his mouth, the way he chews his bottom lip, making it pinker, fuller.

I walk right up to his table. I don’t wait for him to look up. I don’t wait for an invitation. I just sit.

He startles at my arrival. His eyes widen and stare at me.

“Who are you?” I ask. I’ve always been really good at openings.

“Uhh.” His forehead wrinkles.

I drum my fingertips on the table. “I’ve never seen you in here before.”

“You saw me yesterday.” He folds the top corner of a page in his paperback: Dracula by Bram Stoker. “You saved my ass yesterday.”

“Before yesterday,” I reply.

He sighs. “A Starbucks bought out my favorite coffee shop, so I guess this is now my favorite coffee shop. Buy local.” He scoops his messenger bag off the floor and shoves the book inside.

The kid has one of those runway model faces—gaunt if not so beautiful, sharp and yet soft. Freckles? Zero. Wait, no, he’s got just a smattering that you would only notice close-up… or with well-trained vampiric eyes. He has no shadow of recently shaved facial hair, and that’s no surprise based on the white-blond of his hair. He must moisturize those lips because nobody’s mouth just naturally looks like the perfect mixture of velvet and silk.

He sighs again, louder. “You’re staring at me.”

No, I’m studying him—checking out his vulnerable areas, which are pretty much everywhere considering he’s so thin and fragile-looking.

As for everyone else in the coffee shop, they’re looking at the kid like they want to take him to bed. I catch a girl at the next table over gawking. A big dude with a beard stands in line to our right, his mouth hanging half open as he admires.

“Everyone is staring at you,” I respond.

His pale cheeks burn bright red as he swoops his bag onto his shoulder and stands. “No, that’s…” He shakes his head. “Ha, no.” He doesn’t say goodbye. He even leaves his coffee, half-consumed on the table. He up and abandons me without a word, but I do watch him go—as does half of Inky Grounds.

Once he disappears out into the early October morning, I turn back around and stare at his deserted coffee. Granted, I’m not smooth—I get it—but he didn’t have to run out like that. I just wanted to see that he was safe. Shit, I don’t even know his name.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

It's been awhile since I've read a vampire book, and this was a good one. I was sucked in right from the start. I found myself putting the book down to make it last longer. Tris is so sweet and innocent, and Ethan is not. These two have such chemistry right from the start. There was never a dull moment for me while reading this story. It wasn't really insta-love and the relationship and story developed and grew at a good pace. I love Tris's family and his best friend. I kind of want a story about Toby, he seemed like a good guy. I highly recommend this book.

I am not one to read vampire stories as a rule, but the blurb for this one drew me in, and I am certainly glad that I got to read it. I should add that I am not a novice to the genre, just don't often engage, so I am aware of the general paranormal issues.

I enjoyed reading about Ethan and Tris, and how love somehow conquered all the problems between them. And for me, the biggest problem was most definitely Ethan's somewhat understandable reluctance, given the centuries of experience that he has behind him. However, Tristan is so beguiling to him, that he cannot help but be drawn to him. The dance that they engage in is both fun, frustrating, and frenetic. It is most definitely passionate, and ultimately very romantic.

I do think that it could have been a little tighter, there were times when I felt that the to and fro was unnecessary, and even the intimate moments didn't always draw the story forward, but I was curious as to what was going to happen next. Overall, it was very much a drama running inside Ethan's head, and once that was overcome, then it was all about introducing Tris to his new reality. I think that the fact that the world was aware of its paranormal elements worked well.

This is an intense, sexy read. An ancient, consciousness vampire hitman finds himself stalking a beautiful young musician around New York City. With every encounter, Ethan finds himself more obsessed with Tristan, but Tristan’s humanity forces him to keep his distance.

This is gothic melodrama at its most extreme. Every emotion is heightened, every glance and gesture dissected and every interaction scrutinised. The men are beautiful, and the angst is overwhelming. They speak in meaningful, almost poetic emotional outbursts. The sex is alternatively a sacred, almost spiritual experience and a kinky, debased and rather bloody obsession for Ethan and Tristan.

So many popular tropes are thrown into this relatively short novel. Beyond the ancient vampire taught to feel again storyline, Ethan plays into the billionaire romance clichés and Tristan is a little bit Anastasia Steele in his world. But Ethan also plays into military, black ops, and law enforcement tropes with his job.

Readers who love sexy, over-the-top romance against all odds will love this one. Readers who want a hint of realism and readers who expect solid, well edited writing probably won’t love this as much. This is light, easy entertainment but I’m not sure it offers readers anything fresh, meaningful, or memorable.

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. Her current obsession with Timothee Chalamet runs deep, and don’t even get her started on Call Me By Your Name.

Connect with Sara

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer to read and review for this tour.

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