Monday, October 26, 2009

Bound by Blood by Evie Byrne

TITLE: Bound by Blood
AUTHOR: Evie Byrne
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 40k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.50

As the middle son, Gregor Faustin doesn’t expect to be the first one married off. So when his mother has a prophetic dream about his future mate, he fights his so-called fate as long as he can. He’s his own vampire, after all. And this Madelena Lopez de Victoria is human, of all things. And a librarian. And definitely not what he wants. He avoids her as long as he can, but when he accidentally hits a woman with his car, he’s appalled to discover he’s found her anyway. And now, her blood is calling to him…

Though this is the second of the Faustin stories, this actually takes place before the first chronologically. When I finished it, I was dying to go back to the first and see where Gregor and Maddy might have played in the first, and like all good series, it has me dying to read the story of the last remaining brother. Because this was fantastic, and now I want more.

At the start of the story, Gregor is a gruff businessman, focused on his clubs, not ready to settle down in the slightest. He’s more than a little miffed that he’s been singled out as the first to get married, to someone who seems the antithesis of everything he’d ever imagined. Maddy is a librarian and human, to boot. He does everything he can to avoid it, and succeeds…until he hits her with his car. From there, it’s all downhill. In person, she’s even less than he’d hope for, with her glasses and hair that hides her face and frumpy clothing. Then he makes the mistake of wanting to help her heal, tastes her blood, and the bonding process starts.

I really liked Gregor, but I loved Maddy. She’s funny and down-to-earth, and the issues she has never cross the line into melodrama. She doesn’t care what other people think, and yet, cares enough about what’s going on with herself not to want to have to deal with the crap anymore. She resists Gregor as much as she can, but when she gives in, it’s hot, it’s seductive, and I wanted more. Much more.

While there are serious issues at hand, and thankfully, the author doesn’t cheat on resolving them, this isn’t a heavy story at all. The humor and genuine chemistry between to the two leads carries it far into romantic comedy territory (Strange things happen when you and me and cars mix, Faustin.), careening from event to event with an irresistible vim and vigor. That’s one of the things I love about this author. There’s a certain energy to her work that dares the reader not to tag along. It’s there in her voice, the slightly twisted spin she puts on normally mundane details. It’s in nearly of her characters, leaping from the page in crisp, vivid life. Even when the world building feels a little muddied (still original, but not nearly as cleanly presented as it was in the first book), her work shines.

I have the third book on my TBR. I’ve had it there since it was released. I can’t wait to see where she decides to go with Mikhail, the oldest brother. If ever there was a reluctant hero, I think he’ll be it.


9/10 – Funny without losing its pathos


8/10 – I really liked his gruff nature combined with his romantic side


9/10 – Manages to be real and flawed without ever falling into melodrama

Entertainment value

9/10 – Definitely stronger than the first book, worth it for the rewarding romance that doesn’t take the easy road as well as the humor

World building

8/10 – Elements of the vampire/vampyr world didn’t seem quite as consistent this time around, but still a welcome departure from the usual fare



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