Outlander Kell Laughlin has been charged with murder, and though Damian Junter is assigned to find him in Terra Noir, the bounty hunter has his doubts about his quarry’s guilt. Damian won’t kill an innocent, so he must find Kell and get to know him—and the truth—before dispensing justice. It’s a decision that will lead to passion between them and expose political intrigue in the ruling aristocracy, endangering their lives and changing the world Damian knows forever.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
The Outlaw is a steam punk story blending steam power and metal architecture with Wild West mentality and time frames. The basic premise is familiar – the cop and the outlaw develop instant chemistry which ends up changing everything the cop believed in while the two rebel against the status quo government. There’s nothing especially innovative or original about the plot, even when teaming it with the steam punk setting. While this would have been ok, unfortunately I couldn’t really connect with either character and never got interested in the story.
While the plot is one used frequently in romance novels, it’s not necessarily a bad thing but the story never tries to make it different. Unfortunately there are numerous leaps of knowledge and obvious inconsistencies that stand out when reading. Most of these leaps happen to move the story along. For example the bad guy is the villain therefore everything must stem from his actions, even when there is no logical reason to make such assumptions. Frequently the story just skips over issues and inconsistencies (such as when the rider has been traveling away for 4 days on horseback but Damien tracks him down on foot that same night). Also during the sex scenes the two men have sex without any lube or spit at all. Now I know the ass isn’t dry as a barren desert but not even spit or oozing buckets of precum? Ouch.
Not only does the plot itself have some problems but the writing quality doesn’t lend the story any favors. The writing feels very basic and lacking in descriptive quality. The prose is often repetitive (such as “riding him the way he rode the rider”) and tends to use chunky dialogue tags. Some of the prose choices are pretty unfortunate and make the passionate sex scenes feel corny. An example of this is when Damien gets hard and “his juices soaked his jeans.” Considering Damien wasn’t having an orgasm, that’s a lot of precum. These types of word choices, using “sap” for cum and others just kept dragging me out of the story.
Those issues are highly reader dependant and other readers may not have a problem. Combined with these issues there is the instant love between the two characters and the hanging ending, which doesn’t actually solve any of the problems brought up, I found the story to be unsatisfying and didn’t like it. It could have been so much better and the steam punk elements are nicely incorporated so perhaps others will enjoy this more.
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