Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-381-2
Sci-fi Romance, 2016
The cover of Michele Mills’s Die for You may give the impression that this is a romantic suspense tale, but it’s actually a Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic thing here. So, set your expectations accordingly when going in here.
Okay, this one is set in a time when most of the folks on Earth have been wiped out by the Ruyigi Ebola virus. Rachel Donnelly, our heroine, lost her parents to the virus, but she seems okay. She is most likely immune to the virus, which is little consolation considering that she seems to be the last person left standing in town, maybe in California. Oh wait, here comes the mighty Adam Sanchez, marine sniper who knows how to handle big long ones, and they stumble upon one another as both are planning to get out of town. Both are initially suspicious of one another, but they soon have to work together to make sense of this new, crazy world.
Oh, and as Adam puts it, they’d probably have to get it on soon. Only, he uses the F word, as I’m sure you guessed.
This one could have easily slipped into tawdry, campy “Make babies all day, to restore the human race!” erotica territory, but instead, the author approaches Die for You in a more sober, serious manner. Oh, she injects some humor into this story, don’t worry – what I’m saying is that the author wants the whole thing to make sense as much as possible. However, the story soon devolves into the predictable “every man now wants the heroine” melodrama, with Rachel’s 19-year old virgin status being made into some kind of fetish-trophy thing. Adam doesn’t waste time thinking about putting the moves on her, alternating with him thinking of her as useless and barking at her. To be fair, the barking is often warranted because our heroine would act petulant and do stupid things. Still, there is a creepy “Daddy thinks you’re a waste of flesh, but it’s hot flesh, so Daddy wants to shag you!” vibe to the whole thing.
Also, our hero isn’t the most consistent person around. One moment he’d imagine our heroine’s hot virgin honeypot status drawing men from all around to molest and deflower her – not that he’s projecting, I’m sure – but he’d be barking at her the next moment, demanding to know why she’s wearing baggy clothes. Gee, what does he think? He’d abandon her in a huff just because he gets jealous and creepy when previously he was happy to pimp her out to other men, and then later act crazy and insane when he feels that she may be in danger. Dude, he abandoned her over petty issues – I don’t think he has much ground to stand on when it comes to lugging the pregnant penis pin-cushion named Rachel all over the town.
Oh yes, there is some sex here, but these scenes are not explicit enough or envelope-pushing enough, in my opinion, to be considered erotica-style hot stuff. In fact, these scenes only serve to place Rachel further into a position of weakness, and this only accentuates the amount of power Adam has in this story. And Adam having so much power is not a good thing because he’s like a Neanderthal pig with the intellect of a stunted man-child.
Not exactly a thing to die for, then, this story.