Sometimes I decide to read a book based on how badass the cover looks, this was one of those times. Well, the cover and all the four and five-star ratings on Goodreads. Which confused me, I kept going back and forth to check and make sure I wasn’t missing something. I could barely get a quarter of the way through Blood Flows Deep in the Empire without snorting, rolling my eyes and laying my Kindle down to take deep breathes. I’m still scratching my head over why the book is even named Blood Flows Deep in the Empire. What blood? What empire? And why did the blood flow deep in it? I have no idea.
From the blurb on Goodreads:
Dyletri, God of Fertility, has locked away his powers. No woman is allowed to touch him, not until he can return his long-dead lover back to life. All he has to do is sacrifice one human girl, a girl who unlocks his powers and rips his dormant lust right out of his body. Trapped by his promise, Dyletri has no choice but to watch Ismini die, no matter how much he wants her.
Yet the darkness of his calling is spiraling within him, demanding he claim the human as his. If he goes back on his promise, the energy of the Fates will cause untold destruction in the Universe. That doesn’t change how Dyletri’s begun exhibiting symptoms that point to more than just lust. How does he allow Ismini to die when she’s come to own him from the inside out?
Desire and torment spiral into something much darker than obsession, more turbulent than an addiction, and something much more brutal than a mere soul-mating. As a war is being rekindled right under his nose, Dyletri will have to come to terms with a destiny eleven thousand years in the making. He thought he’d known what path his future would take, but he’d been wrong. Now the one woman he truly loves might pay the price for his decision.
Blood Flows Deep in the Empire is the first in a series that will pit free-will against Destiny, Destiny against Fate, and love against brutal desire. Everyone likes to think they have a choice as to who they end up with, but as they rise to face the greatest threat they’ve ever known, even the Gods will learn they have to bend to Destiny’s whim to survive.
After reading the blurb and seeing the cover I was expecting to read a darker, more erotic paranormal romance. I didn’t find it dark or particularly erotic, or even romantic for that matter. Dyletri is one of several gods who live in some alternate dimension together and who have all been around for thousands, if not millions of years. They do not act like higher beings, they do not talk like one would think higher beings would talk, they seemed more like frat boys to me. Every other word is fuck, they tell each other to “shut it” constantly and the dialogue between them is so ridiculous I could not take it seriously. I had the feeling the author was trying to channel another well-known literary group of men who fight together, live together and talk smack to each other. Unfortunately it did not work here.
Ismini is the woman who is set from birth to be sacrificed in order to bring back the dead lover of Dyletri. I started out liking her well enough, until she morphed into super badass chick in the blink of an eye. Untrained, helpless human woman one minute, ass kicking, black leather clad woman of steel the next. At this point I completely lost interest. I skimmed over the sex scene and tried to get to the end. I made it to about the 75% mark when I decided to bow out and admit defeat. I didn’t enjoy the characters, the dialogue was unrealistic, the world building was confusing, I hated the stupid names of all the characters and decided that this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. Rating: DNF