The Pining of Kevin Harding, Devon McCormack
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: New Adult Gay Fiction
Tags: Contemporary, Vampires, Violence, Language, Romance
Kevin Harding wanted an exciting life. Now, he’s a vampire and wishes he could go back to his average, boring one in the suburbs. His master is furious that he refuses to hunt, but Kevin knows it’s only a matter of time before he caves. The longer a person is a vampire, the more compliant they are to their master’s will.
When Kevin decides to give the hunt a try, he’s kidnapped by vampire hunters. Rather than endure their severe torture, he agrees to help them kill his master. The hunters’ plan goes horribly awry, and they flee the scene with Kevin. But they have to restrategize quick. The longer he’s away from his master, the more painful his life becomes. He craves his master. He hungers for him. He pines for him. And as they get close to enacting their plan, Kevin isn’t sure if he’ll be able to follow through.
Kevin Harding was your typical teenage boy. He was on the verge of graduating high school and following his dream of becoming an actor. Everything was in place. He had a scholarship to acting school and he had a family who supported him. Then his entire world came crashing down. He awoke in the middle of the night to the face of a man who would later be known as Master. Kevin Harding, average all American teen, became a vampire and life as he knew it was over.
Master gets frustrated with his new vampire. Kevin, though he needs blood to survive, refuses to kill. This becomes an issue when he is given no choice – either go out hunting or be forced to deal with Alyssa, Master’s partner. Alyssa is evil. She doesn’t just kill her victims. Oh no, that would be too easy. She tortures them and causes as much pain as possible before finally doing the deed. She’s a very bitter vamp and the reasons for this become known farther into the story. I’m not going to give it away, but I will say that I kinda/sorta understood her nasty attitude. Not her sadistic behavior (by any means), but her attitude and bitterness.
Then there is Dax, another vampire under Master. Dax, I absolutely fell in love with. He’s funny and a bit snarky, and he adds a bit of humor to the story. Dax and Kevin are occasional bed partners. Well, more than occasional, they get busy quite often. *grin* Dax is roughly the same age as Kevin and he’s very loyal, but he is also under the spell of the Master and must sometimes do things that end up hurting Kevin. But even when he did something I didn’t necessarily agree with, I still adored him. He’s one of those characters you can’t help but love.
And we have Kevin. Where to begin? Kevin is, as I said, your typical teenager (eighteen), so he doesn’t always make the right choices. When he is forced to hunt, he and Dax go to one of Dax’s favorite spots thinking they’ll be able to get in, have a bit of fun (it’s a gay bar), grab a victim, then be back home before the victim is reported missing. The problem? This night of hunting doesn’t go remotely as planned and the two men are pulled into something that could cost them their lives and the lives of others. Kevin doesn’t often make the best decisions (I won’t give that away) but in the end I think he means well. He’s unhappy with his life as a vampire and never asked to be ripped from his family and his home. A couple of places had me saying “You really did not just do that!” but the more I read, the more I could understand where he was coming from.
The night of hunting with Kevin and Dax is where two other interesting characters are introduced. There’s Morgan, who has this smell that draws the young vampire in. Kevin meets Morgan at the gay bar and after a bit of dancing, they leave with Kevin convinced that not only will he get lucky, but he’ll do as his master ordered (kill Morgan), get the blood he must have to survive, and then it will be over. But the thing about all that is that Kevin still retains a lot of his human side (he’d only been turned two months before) and doesn’t want to kill anyone. And there’s something about Morgan, aside from his smell, that pulls Kevin in.
Then we have Ride, Morgan’s … hmm, I’m not sure how to describe exactly who Ride is to Morgan. Suffice it to say that they have been vampire hunters together for years and Ride sees himself as a protector to Morgan. The reader may see Ride as a bit more than that. It took a bit into the story for me to really get a good feel for him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very entertaining character and adds quite a bit to the story as a whole. The author explains Ride’s back story later and this helps you to understand where he’s coming from. Morgan, I loved, in a cute and cuddly kind of way. You’ll have to read the book to get what I mean.
Master is exactly as his name describes – the master of his drones (as they are called in the story) – Kevin, Dax and Alyssa. He is in control and this control is shown even more so with one of the characters later.
The author took a nice story and added a bit of violence and gore to make for an interesting read. There is a bit of a romance between Kevin and another character and I found that to be written well. I am a big fan of stories that fall a little on the darker side. The Pining of Kevin Harding definitely veers off to the dark and edgy in a few places. One thing I love about Devon McCormack’s writing is that he doesn’t stick with the norm and you never know what you’re going to get when you read one of his books. The Pining of Kevin Harding is very unique and this reader appreciates that.
I loved the ending.
This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.