Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pre-Order Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BLOOD & MILK by N.R. Walker

Title: Blood & Milk
Author: N.R. Walker
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: June 23, 2016

Heath Crowley is an Australian man, born with two different coloured eyes and the gift—or curse—of having premonition dreams. He also has nothing left to live for. Twelve months after having his life upended, his dreams tell him where he needs to be. So with nothing―and no one―to keep him in Sydney, he simply boards a plane for Tanzania. Not caring if he lives or dies, Heath walks into a tribe of Maasai and asks to stay. Granted permission, he leaves behind the name and heartbreak of Heath and starts over with the new Maasai name of Alé.

From the day of his birth, Damu has always been an outcast. The son of the chief and brother to the great warrior leader, Damu is reminded constantly that he’s not good enough to be considered a man in the eyes of his people. Ordered to take responsibility for Alé, Damu shares with him the ways of the Maasai, just as Alé shares with Damu the world outside the acacia thorn fence. But it’s more than just a cultural exchange. It’s about trust and acceptance, finding themselves, and a true sense of purpose.

Under the African sky on the plains of the Serengeti, Heath finds more than just a reason to live. He finds a man like no other, and a reason to love.



It was twelve months on. A full year had passed, yet my world had stopped completely. The men who stole my life were charged and would serve time for their crime. No one called it a hate crime, but that’s what it was. If I was expecting some sort of finality to come with the court findings, I didn’t get it. 

I was still hollow. I was still numb to the world, and I was still alone. 

I was also awarded damages, civilian victim and medical.

A nice healthy sum that meant I could pay off my debts after not working for twelve months, and more. Though no amount of money would make this right. No amount of money would bring him back.

My mother came along for the final hearing, though I could only guess why. I had barely spoken two words to her in the last year. Maybe she came so she could vie for the sympathy card with her friends. Or maybe she thought she could have one last twist of the knife…

“Now it’s all over,” she said, nodding her head like her words were wise and final. “You can put all this homosexual nonsense behind you.”

I looked at my mother and smiled. I f*cking smiled. I raged inside with a fury to burn the world, and maybe she saw something in my eyes―maybe it was a ferocity she’d never seen before, maybe it was madness―and my words were whisper quiet.

“You are a despicable, bitter human being, and you are a disgrace to mothers everywhere. So, when you go to your church group, instead of praying for my soul, you should be praying for yours. You have only hate and judgement in your heart, and you are doomed to an eternity in hell.” I leaned in close and sneered at her. “And I hope you f*cking burn.” I stood up and stared down at her. She was pale and shocked, and I did not care. “If you think my words are cold and cruel,” I added, “I want you to know I learned them from you.”

I walked away, for the final time. I knew I’d never see her again, and I had made my peace with that. 

I didn’t care for the money. I didn’t care for anything. I longed for sleep, because in my dreams, I saw him. And that night, almost one year to the day since he was gone, in our too-big bed, in our too-quiet flat, in my too-alone life, I dreamed of Jarrod.

He sat on our bed and grinned. I longed to hear his voice, just once. It’d been a year and I craved the sound of his voice, his touch. But when I reached out for him, even in my dream, as in my waking nightmares, he was gone. I sat up in our bed, reaching out for nothing but air. He was gone, really gone. 

But in this dream, on the bed were he’d sat, was a plane ticket. Mr Heath Crowley, it said. One way ticket to Tanzania.

Wow.  Blood & Milk is a simply beautiful and powerful read that was nothing like I expected and just blew me away with the emotion and feelings it evoked.  With it's unique setting and difficult, even life-threatening circumstances, the story pulled me in right from the start and refused to let me go even after the end.

Heath Crowley has had his heart and soul ripped from him, and feeling that there's nothing left for him he leaves his home in Australia based on a dream.  I found him to be incredibly brave, and even with his don't-care-if-I-live-or-die attitude he still shows strength of character, even if he is broken inside.  Damu is an outsider amongst his people, never treated like a man due to events that were out of his control.  He takes responsibility for Heath once he joins their village, and it is from their that an unlikely relationship starts.  

Watching things develop between Damu and Heath (or Alé as he is named when he joins the Maasai), well it's really an amazing journey set against the backdrop of a society that is severely restricted in its thinking.  The tension is palpable and the threat of the nature of their relationship being discovered as it evolves is a real danger-one that could result in the ultimately penalty of death.  This keeps the drama and emotion set to the highest level for the majority of the book, and is most of the reason I could not tear myself away from reading.

There is so much depth to the characters, and compassion is discovered in some unexpected places.  The intimate part of Heath and Damu's relationship is intense and for Damu quite eye-opening.  As the story unfolded and the drama and tension reached a mentally exhausting drawn-out crescendo, I was overwhelmed with raw emotion and yes...the tears did fall.

I cannot recommend this story highly enough.  Blood & Milk was a 5-star read for me and gets my top recommendation not just in the genre, but overall as well.  It is filled with  emotion and passion (and not just the intimate kind), character growth, and is a story that I will be definitely re-reading many times in the future.  This book is for readers 18+ for adult language and situations, and M/M sexual content.  Be prepared for heat, overpowering feelings, and true, pure love.

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…


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