Bitter Harvest - Kim Knox 3.5 stars

I usually round up when I give half stars but this one had me both uncomfortable by some aspects (and not in a good way) but also intrigued by others.

The book itself is fascinating. The premise of the story is very unique and captivating especially with the dystopia/technologically advanced setting. The way the world revolved around a nano-virus and AIs and how the hives created and continued to create and procreate based on those infected with the virus, while the humans were trying to fight them off and survive, was something I enjoyed immensely. The complete chaos the world has become because of this nano-virus was something I gobbled up and wanted more of. This world is seriously amazing.

The characters were a surprise. For one, Nicholas Rider was infected with the nano-virus. For a while, he was consumed by it but he somehow managed to beat the infection so he can make his own decisions now and follow his desires without infecting new people. Rider is snarky and uses sarcasm for everything but still knows how to charm people and get them into his bed. Robert Sutton is Lieutenant at a human compound trying to survive the virus. He hates Rider right from the start because, while Sutton is immune to the virus, Rider still gets under his skin and makes Sutton want him. When they are paired together to fight incoming hive colonies, the tension between them starts to escalate and Sutton just can't resist Rider anymore. It's one of the things I liked about this story. Rider had such a powerful influence on Sutton BUT Sutton had the same affect on Rider, which left Rider bewildered and intrigued. The way Sutton and Rider have an almost all-consuming jealousy over anyone that gets too friendly was very entertaining to me because I always loved stories with jealousy and possessiveness. So, yes, I really loved these characters because of how they acted to each other and the feelings they didn't want to feel but couldn't help but develop.

I loved the story, I truly did but the beginning had me wondering if I should keep reading or not. It mostly has to do with the relationship, or I should say the friends with benefits, Sutton had. I didn't like it at all and later I didn't like finding out that the three people he had that type of relationship with (Sevti, Gryff, and Annabel) were essentially using him or at least that's what it felt like to me. In addition to that, the constant talking of Sevti, Annabel, and Gryff, got on my nerves. Especially since they are still present in the story and didn't seem all that broken up about Rider claiming Sutton, and vice versa, but were freaked out and pissed with what Rider did to Annabel. I didn't much like the constant comparison between them and Rider. Also, I didn't like how Rider described a number of his conquests. It didn't seem to help or further the story and wasn't that hot, in my opinion.

Overall, while I loved the concept of the story, the characters and the amazing world that was created, I didn't like the relationships and constant boasting of past conquests at all. It fell flat for me. I did, however, enjoy the chemistry that Sutton and Rider had and the way the author easily captured their intensity. This was very well-written and easy to read. I wish the story had been longer and a bit more elaborated on with the hive colonies to explain more of how they got certain marks and scarring. I would definitely recommend this, though, because the world is truly awesome and I sincerely hope there will be more of it in the future. I would definitely love to have more Sutton and Rider as well because it doesn't feel as if their story, and their new found cure, is fully told. So, sequel please!