Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a collection of love stories like you’ve never read and probably never will read again.

About the Book

The book cover for "The Sense of Blood Ink" by Nick Spill. It is an orangey, yellow background with black lettering including a white framed polaroid picture of a young white woman with long blonde hair wearing a white shirt and black suspenders.
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Amazon US: https://a.co/d/5fSqINa
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3IlpLXp
Author’s Site: https://nickspill.com/about/

Nick Spill has written nine stories about love including the novella “The Sense of Blood Ink,” an unusual love story.

Best-selling fantasy writer Zacharias is surprised at his rural Florida home by a young woman who resembles Princess Alexandrina, his lead character.

They try to resist the powerful attraction they have for each other. Then they become lovers for one long night.

Alexandrina returns to London, and they continue their affair through video calls and letters, until she discovers she is pregnant.

As the global pandemic spreads and borders close, they face enormous decisions as they begin to understand why they are fated to be together.

The Anonymous Bottle of Champagne

In a famous hotel restaurant in Montreux, a private investigator from Miami Beach, finally able to travel after the pandemic, impulsively sends a bottle of the most expensive champagne to an alluring woman. What happens next will forever haunt him.

And seven other stories about love.

My Thoughts

The description of this book – including “an unusual love story” called to me, and I answered. And boy was I left unsettled and agreeing that it was indeed “unusual.” I’ve never read a love story quite like any of the nine included within the pages of this short, but impactful collection.

I had actually guessed at the twist at the end of “The Sense of Blood Ink,” which may have made it less uncomfortable for me. But it was still a shocking. It was the longest of the nine stories, and was very intriguing. The right level of suspense and intrigue kept me turning the pages. The entire book was a quick, enjoyable read. Other than the titular story, I also rather enjoyed “The Anonymous Bottle of Champagne,” and “An Eighteenth-Century Love Problem.” Some, like the latter, were very different from what one would usually consider a “short story,” and more like an essay.

The biggest complaint I have is that the women don’t have a great deal of depth to them, but the men don’t have a great deal more depth. This is one problem with the short story, but some writers are better at mining the medium than others. At times, it felt a little like Spill was simply pouring his fantasy life out onto the page for us to join in on, which is a perfectly acceptable choice – erotica depends on it. I very much enjoyed the stories, but I make mention of it for the incredibly feminist readers.

I really enjoyed the unique experience brought to us by Spill and his short story collection. I look forward to more, and I’m grateful to have been included on this tour by the author and Love Books Tours.

Who’s It For?

People who can handle taboo subjects and who enjoy love stories, but don’t need them to be all wrapped up in a neat, pretty bow at the end. This book is not necessarily full of happily ever afters, but it is definitely worth the read if you’re into unique stories.

Content Warning: Incest, Adult Situations, Adult Language, Violence

About the Author

Nick Spill has published seven books. His latest is The Sense of Blood Ink, a most unusual love story.

The Way of the Bodyguard, is his story about being in the protection business, Reluctant Q, is his father’s popular World War II memoir. Nick Spill completed The Jaded Kiwi Trilogy: The Jaded Kiwi, The Jaded Spy and The Jaded Widow, dark crime novels with an off-beat sense of humor. He also released an e-book Reflections on the TranzAlpine about his return to New Zealand to talk about Kiwis, art, death, coffee and sex.

Nick Spill lives in South Florida with four cats.

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