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REVIEW: Blood Calls by Caridad Piñeiro

Dear Ms. Pià±eiro:

Blood Calls is Book 6 in the Calling series. This vampire novel raises some interesting philosophical questions such immortality being weighed against the continual loss of loved ones; the sexual fetish of S&M due to psychological ties to torture; being the object of affection by another man; and infidelity. The problem is that these issues are brought up but never discussed and allowed to dangle or disappear altogether. The book had a dreamy narrative but its plot had fits and starts that made the book struggle with coherency.

During the Inquisition, Diego Rivera’s wife testified that he was lapsed and turned him over to the church. During a respite of Inquisition torture, a plain servant girl, Esperanza, snuck in to care for him and brought to him an artist that Diego once sponsored. The artist offered Diego immortality and Diego took it. He transforms his life into a patron of the arts and marries Esperanza after turning her.

After 500 years, Diego finds himself alone after Esperanza died. His loyal retainer is also refusing the bite that will prolong his life. Uncertain about his place in this world and his choice of immortality, Diego finds himself drawn to Ramona, an artist his gallery represents.

Ramona is dying due to a rare blood condition. She is hurrying to paint her best works to provide enough money for her sick mother to have long term care. This need for money pushes Ramona into creating near perfect copies of some classic works commissioned by a reclusive millionaire. Ramona finds out that her copies are sold at auction in place of the originals and she cannot live with knowing she participated in such a fraud. Her desire for justice places her life, and her mother’s, at risk.

Diego is reluctant to allow Ramona into his heart given that his 500! year relationship with Esperanza ended only 18 months before. He’s further beset with doubts about the value of immortality. He’d rather close himself off than suffer hurt again.

Diego’s portrayal is complicated but very uneven. I wasn’t sure whether he never loved Esperanza or whether 500 years can just be swept away in 18 months. This reminds me of a statistic that I read once where 80% of men will be remarried within 2 years of death or divorce. Guess that remains true for even vampire males.

There were scenes included that felt out of place such as acts of infidelity and arousal brought on by torture. I believe that it was meant to show the animalistic nature of a vampire’s thirst but those concepts were not developed. They were never even part of the relationship between Ramona and Diego. Diego’s having sex with three other women in the book was not an issue of betrayal or infidelity. He felt more guilty having sex with Ramona that leaving her bed to run off to be tortured and have sex with strangers.

Diego’s conflict seemed manufactured and the path to the ending was predictable. I wanted to yell at him to get on with the biting already and stop using other women to assuage your guilt. I liked the style of the writing and would definitely read you again. This book, though, simply didn’t work for me. C-.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

6 Comments

  1. Jayne
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 06:56:55

    After 500 years, Diego finds himself alone after Esperanza died. His loyal retainer is also refusing the bite that will prolong his life.

    Is this vampire world different in that they eventually die? Or did Essie accidentally go out in the sun and fry? And I’d say if his loyal retainer has lasted 500 years, he doesn’t need a bite.

    ReplyReply

  2. Jane
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 07:27:01

    Nah – she died from some vampire hunters I think.

    ReplyReply

  3. Sara Dennis
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 09:57:16

    Is this vampire world different in that they eventually die? Or did Essie accidentally go out in the sun and fry? And I'd say if his loyal retainer has lasted 500 years, he doesn't need a bite.

    She’s killed in an earlier book in the series. I’ve read three of the five books in the series (not counting Blood Calls, obviously) and she was not the heroine of any of them, so Ms. Piniero is not killing off a romantic lead. Diego’s book has been a while in coming.

    I’ll read it because I like the series, but the books are a little uneven. In my opinion, book #5, Devotion Calls, is the strongest.

    ReplyReply

  4. Rosario
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 10:12:35

    I’ve read the first 3 in the series. I really liked the 1st one, which was a B+ for me, but the rest have been gradually declining in quality. I’m still reading book 4 (whenever my friend returns it), but if the trend continues, I might stop.

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Apr 19, 2007 @ 19:30:28

    The style of the writing was appealing but the story was a mess for me. Maybe I needed to read the first five books to really understand Diego, but I don’t think that is quite fair to the reader. I’ll keep my eye out for her non series stuff and see if it doesn’t work better.

    ReplyReply

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