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REVIEW: Bound by Blood by Evie Byrne

Dear Ms. Byrne:

1104I cannot recall what my impetus was for buying this book but I did and I was glad for my impulse. I have been in a paranormal romance reading lull and frankly, my appetite for vampire romances is at an all time low (near flatlining, to be honest). I will admit I had to block the cover image from my mind as sulky boys are not my thing.

Gregor Faustin is the middle vampire in a family of vampires. They live a fairly normal, albeit wealthy, existence in New York. He’s enjoying his life and getting ready to open his newest New York City nightclub when his mother announces that she dreamed of his perfect mate, along with her name. Gregor is not excited about this:

In ye olde tymes, Gregor would have taken the slip of paper with his intended’s name on it, sought her out that night, carried her to his castle, fucked her senseless and drained her half dry. The next night he and his new bride would have celebrated by eating their own serfs or something.

Thankfully the dark ages were over. Marriage and breeding were fine for some, but he had better things to do.

(ha ha ha, eaten their serfs, ha ha ha). Wait, am I the only one who thinks that is hilarious? Gregor decides to ignore his mother’s prophecy but his brothers are delighted to hassle him and they find out that she is a librarian at the NYC library. His brothers are not the only ones hassling him about his bride. Gregor’s mother is demanding that he not ignore his destiny.

Laughing at fate, Gregor learns, is dangerous because fate will find you and kick your ass. Gregor ends up hitting a pedestrian who just happens to be Madelena López de Victoria, his bride. Maddy doesn’t want to have anything to do with him because a) he ran over him and b) he looks like he may be part of the Russian mob and c) for reasons she is unwilling to divulge.

Gregor takes Maddy back to her apartment and through her dreams tries to heal her. But in the process, he partakes of some of her blood, not her true heart blood, but a tiny bit from a wound on her head and “gamey, bruised blood he’d drawn from her ankle.” This blood changes Gregor’s internal chemistry. He now only really wants Maddy’s blood and Maddy’s body.

Maddy is attracted to Gregor but for her own reasons can’t become involved. Eventually she succumbs to Gregor’s relentless seduction to have a glorious fling with him.

You played with the fate thing well by constructing a conflict that threatens to bring one of the couple lifelong torment. In other words, destiny or fate serves not only to bring the couple together but to cause them immeasurable pain if their coupling is not long lasting.

The weakest part of the story was part of the vampire worldbuilding. There were significant contradictions. Right after leaving Maddie, Gregor watches his brother feed off another woman and those blood smells arouse Gregor and make him think of Maddie. Yet, a couple of pages later, Gregor is admitting he hasn’t eaten because even the thought of another woman’s blood or body makes him slightly queasy. There wasn’t a full fleshing out of the vampyr myth either such as life expectancy, vulnerability to disease, creation (i.e., do both parties have to be vampyr’s to procreate? I think the implication was there that this is true).

I appreciated that there wasn’t a cop out on Maddy’s storyline and that things weren’t completely magically fixed by Gregor and his vampyr blood.

The best part of the story is Maddy and Gregor. Maddy is smart mouthed and Gregor is the reluctant pursuer turned passionate lover. The story is very sexy and I would recommend it for those who don’t mind the fated mate concept. Read the excerpt because the voice is true to the excerpt.

I wondered if this story was somehow inspired by a movie from 1993 (don’t click if you don’t want to be spoiled). I don’t want to state the name of the movie for fear of spoiling anything, but would love for that to be confirmed or denied.

In any event, I enjoyed this book well enough to seek out the other book in the series. I hope to read more from you in the future. B.

Best regards

Jane

This book can be purchased at Samhain.

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

19 Comments

  1. evie byrne
    May 22, 2009 @ 11:18:17

    Thank you for reviewing my book, Jane! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    To answer your question about the film-that-shall-remain-nameless, I have to say I’ve never heard of it, so no, that wasn’t the inspiration. Now I have to netflix it! That particular line of the plot evolved organically. At the scene of the accident, Maddy announced that she didn’t want to go to the hospital, surprising me, in that way that characters sometimes do. So I had to figure out why she didn’t want to go, thus…well, you know. Backing away from spoiler central…

  2. Angela James
    May 22, 2009 @ 11:24:04

    You bought it because I Twittered about it. Remember, we talked about how I was building in your trust network. Using my powers only for good…

  3. Jane
    May 22, 2009 @ 11:53:33

    @Angela James: You are in my trust network, feeding my addiction.

  4. ReacherFan
    May 22, 2009 @ 13:08:28

    I reviewed this book on my blog back on 5/7 and gave it a B+ :-) I loved Maddy too and thought this a much better book than the first one. I liked the characters here far more. So not the typical heroine. I’m anxious to see what Ms Byrne does with oldest brother.

  5. sirayn
    May 22, 2009 @ 14:09:15

    That excerpt is hilarious. :D

  6. joanne
    May 22, 2009 @ 16:49:32

    I always have room on my bookshelf for another vampire and this one is on my TBB list.

    The cover: I’m sure that child’s mother loves him dearly but me, not so much.

    Samhain’s ‘WARNINGS’ are the best, absolutely the best.
    They’re accurate, so no unwanted surprises after you’ve bought the book, and some of them are incredibly funny. I could never again find the link to the one that warned of ‘Vehicular Sex’. I emailed my friend who is more familiar with erotic romance writings and asked if that meant sex with a car. She said she’ll never open another email from me while she’s at work in her bank.

  7. Cybercliper
    May 22, 2009 @ 17:31:42

    I can never grow tired of my paranormal romances and this sounds like a great story – love sexy brooding vampires!! Jane, I though the “eating the serfs” thing was pretty darn funny too. That passage alone makes me want go out and track this book down! Thanks.

  8. Debra Date
    May 22, 2009 @ 17:43:43

    That excerpt is gut busting funny. I just love the dialog between
    Faustin and his Ma.

    *Runs off to get the book*

  9. MelissaG
    May 22, 2009 @ 19:00:25

    Ha Ha…no Jane you are not the only person who thinks that eating serfs is hilarious…thanks for the laugh. Now I have one more book to add to my tbr pile. sigh

  10. Minx Malone
    May 22, 2009 @ 20:32:01

    This looks like my kind of book. I love the hero already with his smart mouth!

  11. gwen hayes
    May 23, 2009 @ 10:52:54

    The unnamed movie is on of my all time faves, btw.

  12. DS
    May 23, 2009 @ 12:28:50

    The excerpt was funny, but I don’t think even very good writing could get me to read another Destined Soul Mate story. That is a plot device I would happily dig a hole and bury.

  13. KCfla
    May 23, 2009 @ 12:44:22

    Ok, I’m officially hooked. I bought this book yesterday due to the excerpt and review ( and thanks again Jane for helping me get it on my IPhone!).

    I Loved it! So much that I read it in one sitting, which is not something I normally do reading on my phone. ( small screen + old eyes= cross-eyed vision for an hour)

    Now, off to read book 1!

  14. ASable
    May 25, 2009 @ 15:25:53

    I came out of my self-imposed, post-JR Ward paranormal ban to read this because I ran out of reading ideas this weekend. Loved it. The whole destined mates thing is not a fave, but it wasn’t overblown and I liked (as Jane did) that Gregor’s magical blood wasn’t a cure-all to Maddy’s problems. Actually, I really liked that there was no magical wrap up to Maddy’s condition at all. It’s not like she became a ghost. Or something. :)

  15. Jane
    May 25, 2009 @ 17:46:56

    @ASable I’m glad this worked for you. I’ll admit the first book in the series didn’t work as well, but I am anxiously awaiting the third brother in the series. I liked how the solution to Maddy’s problems became part of what made her sexy for Gregor.

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  17. Jennifer
    May 26, 2009 @ 15:33:14

    I think that quote is hilarious. Though I don’t know if I’ll read the book after the cutesy “only YOUR blood” stuff.

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  19. Edie
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 09:47:46

    Oh I am so glad I picked this book up after seeing the review for the third one.. I am kinda funny with series, I had to get the three..
    I read the first one and went WTF, but then checked this review and persevered.. OMG so glad! Loved this book! Maddy rocks! And loved “Gregs” reactions to her at the start.

    Now to find time to read the next one.

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