Friday, April 29, 2011
Review – Bound by Blood by Cynthia Eden
When Cynthia Eden tweeted that she was going to give away free review copies of her new novella Bound by Blood being pubbed on Smashwords I was johnnie on the spot to get a copy. I couldn't wait to tear into the title and even though it was short, with the plot and such cast of characters it read like a novel-length work.
Bound by Blood finds vampires and werewolves in the precarious position of having to work together against a common enemy. Demons have been escaping from hell and the vampire council is willing to sacrifice their princess to the local werewolf pack in order to gain their alliance. What on the surface seems like a pretty easy transaction is anything but. Genetics, betrayal, hell and burn down the house sex (literally) make this a fantastic quick read. And this is one packed novella; Ms. Eden took time to paint a backstory as well as give us some basic physiology of how this universe works. Basically, blood swapping with anyone can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Improved physical strength and abilities, but in exchange you have to take on the memories of that person as well. Good thing the hero and heroine are such dominant characters.
Morgan LaBreaux and Jace Vaughn are a great pairing. In 'fuck-me or fuck-off black boots,' Morgan is dangerous in more ways than one. She wastes no time in getting to the point when she seeks out Jace in his dive werewolf bar. This is no love at first bite, but definitely lust and you don't feel like you have to be tricked into believing this. Ms. Eden makes good use of the chemistry they have going as well the violence of their very natures. I appreciate that she doesn't make an attempt to romanticize what will happen between them.
It's obvious that both Jace and Morgan have outside agendas, but that won't stop them from enjoying the moment. This alpha male isn't interested in playing nicely with his new mate, nor is he going to be cruel, but it's obvious that he's going to stake a claim. 'Some days, a bride was just lucky,' or she will be as soon as she gets over that whole fear of this werewolf bit. Morgan is portrayed as a badass to start, but she's a woman who knows her limits and exhibits a healthy fear of a man who could tear her head off if he weren't trying so hard to get her off. Let me be honest, sex between these two is a real mating dance.
As I delved deeper in to the plot I realized that there was more afoot than just the demons. There's a past between the characters that only Jace seems to know about. And as it is revealed where their lives have entwined the characters live more off of the page and the romantic elements begin to take shape. From the beginning we get the feeling that Jace had a plan and all the things that he had done leading up to when Morgan walked into his bar were part of the plan. But his endgame was for Morgan to be his and anyone standing in the way of that was very likely to be dead after he was done.
The more I read the more my tastes change and solidify and what I require in a hero/heroine becomes concrete. I don't necessarily need my hero to be a good guy. He doesn't have to be a dyed in the wool patriot that will die for everyone, but he does have to be willing to sacrifice himself for his beliefs (which may or may not mirror those of everyone else) and his woman. Jace is a great example of this (and truly, most werewolf Alpha males are); he doesn't rule through fear, he tries to be fair, but he's not above kicking some ass as necessary, especially when it comes to his mate. Likewise for the heroine; Morgan is willing to put those black boots far up an ass if it becomes a threat to Jace. This couple is into each other, there aren't any gimmicks to make us believe they're being led around by the nose, they just recognize the chemistry they have and see where it leads. Luckily for us it's to a HEA…a bloody one, but still, one all the same.
Posted by Some Like it Hot at 9:07 AM