King of Dublin by Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry
Also by this author: Giving an Inch, Wallflower
Published by Riptide Publishing on February 24, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, M/M Erotica
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Twenty years after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, Darragh Fergus Anluan and the people of his village have carved out a hard but simple life in the Irish countryside. But with winter comes sickness, and Darragh must travel to Dublin in search of medicine. What he finds there is a ruined city ruled by a madman, where scavenging is punishable by death . . . or conscription.
Ciaran Daly came to Ireland with aid and optimism, but instead was enslaved by the so-called King of Dublin. After months of abuse from the king and his men, he has no reason to believe this newcomer will be any different. Except Ciaran finds himself increasingly drawn to Darragh, whose brutish looks mask how sweet and gentle he really is.
The tenderness Darragh feels for the king’s treasured pet is treason, but it’s hardly the only betrayal brewing in this rotten kingdom. Rebellions and rival gangs threaten the king’s power, but not nearly as much as Darragh and Ciaran—whose only hope for freedom is the fall of the king.
* This title contains the following sensitive themes: dubious consent, explicit violence and non-consent.
Check out this King of Dublin excerpt on Riptide Publishing’s website.
We’re so excited to participate in the official book tour for King of Dublin by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau. We’ve got an awesome interview and a great giveaway. First, let’s see what our special Steam Team member Les Joseph had to say about the book:
Les Joseph: I really enjoy when a book is able to totally capture me and suck me into another world. King of Dublin, a collaboration by Lisa Henry and Heidi Bellau did just that. It was dark, and harsh, brutal and depressing, but there was also hope and love mixed throughout and that made this book more enjoyable than I expected it to be.
King of Dublin is a dystopic novel, set in a post-apocalyptic Ireland. The atmosphere is bleak, the setting dark and dreary, and the world has been ravaged by a deadly pandemic. The main characters are products of their environment: Darragh with his sense of community and love of his people, Ciaran, thrown into a world he knows nothing about and Boru, sadistic and cruel as the supposed King. The book is full of scenes which made me cringe and sigh in turn. I didn’t GET a lot of what was going on, though the story itself was well-written. Boru was so over-the-top manic and sadistic, using his Boy, Ciaran, in the cruelest, most hideous of ways. I can read rape and dub-con, especially when warned ahead of time, but the motivation for the abuse heaped on Ciaran was never fully explained and as such I didn’t see its purpose.
Darragh was my favorite character, a man trying to do the right thing in the worst of circumstances and he fails as much as he wins. I understood his motivations more than any of the others and I felt like his character was really developed the best. He wasn’t perfect, I liked that a lot. Flaws always make for more relatable figures and it was easy to see how his internal conflict to do the right thing warred with his desire to protect Ciaran.
The softer, more gentle and real moments were the times I was most interested in the story. The rest just seemed sort of under-developed and I never had a real sense of what was going on. The sex is very well-written, even the brutal rape scenes, even though they didn’t always seem to serve a purpose other than for the sex itself.
I wanted to love King of Dublin and while I didn’t, I did enjoy it for what it was. If you like heavy and dark reads, this one is a good escape for a few hours.
Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau, authors of the new post-apocalyptic romance King of Dublin. We’re touring the web talking about Ireland, the post-apocalyptic genre, a behind-the-scenes look at our book, and even a sneak peek or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? We’re giving away two ebooks and a souvenir from Ireland to one lucky commenter, so read on!
Thanks so much to Steamy Guys After Dark for having us, and to all you readers for following along. And now without further ado, today’s look at King of Dublin!
Hi! Lisa here. Today, as part of our King of Dublin tour, I’m interviewing my co-author, the talented Heidi Belleau. King of Dublin is out now from Riptide Publishing.
Well, snowbound is definitely right at this time of the year. There’s a few feet of the stuff in my backyard right now. But wildnerness? Not so much. I have two trees in my yard, and a nice raised bed vegetable garden I built with my mother, and then there’s my daughter’s swingset. And the other houses in my neighbourhood, of course! So an ordinary small city view . . . but yes, with a lot of snow. And we have some deer visitors, too!
No spoilers for you! (Or anyone, mwa-ha-ha!) I definitely think Flesh Cartel fans will find something to like in King of Dublin. It’s a little less heavy-handed on the torture end of things, and there’s less emphasis on the psychology of breaking a human being, but it’s still dark and violent. And for those who find The Flesh CartelKing of Dublin, while still being explicitly violent, is much more focused on love and redemption. It’s by no means “Flesh Cartel Lite,” but I think there’s plenty there for The Flesh Cartel fans to like.
It’s so much slower. When you’re co-writing, if you get stuck on a line or a paragraph or a scene, there’s someone else to pick up the slack or spark you to get started again. When you’re writing on your own, you just have to push through that block yourself.
Boru, I think! I love the petty tyrant personality. Maybe once upon a time he was a savvy, charismatic criminal–he obviously knew his stuff to be able to rise to power like he did–but here we see him in a later, more bloated stage, when he’s losing his grip on power and even his grip on reality. As a teenager, I was really into Stalinism–his cult of personality, his violence, his ego, his paranoia. Boru is definitely a reflection of that. Not that he was ever a good guy, but absolute power has really twisted him. He’s lost his grounding. It makes him unpredictable, and it makes him dangerous, and it makes him an absolute joy to write.
We never made it to the Hill of Tara, which is a strange state of affairs for a book about a High King! I wonder if Boru has ever been there . . . maybe when he crowned himself king? What sort of man might he have been back then?
There’s a scene that takes place in Newgrange that I think really drew on how overwhelmingly powerful and special a place it is. To have that sense of age and permanence in a story about things crumbled away and destroyed and lost made it a real standout for me. There’s also a little bit before the characters get to Newgrange where they discuss the mythological importance of the site and leave an offering, and that was fun to write just for how funny it is in such a serious book. Proof that you can find a bit of light even in the darkest places. 🙂
***About the Authors***
Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.
Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.
When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her daughter or sipping a drink at her favourite coffee shop.
She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.
Good luck and be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!