Series: The Order #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Entangled Publishing on February 17, 2013
Reviewed by: Kate
Sensuality, graphic sex scenes, references to rape
Tara Collins just wants to be normal. Everyone else wants her dead.
Tara’s eccentric aunt raised her to be fearful of the world and follow the rules. But after her aunt’s death, Tara is ready to take control and experience life for the first time. But she quickly discovers that everything she’s been told is a web of lies. Determined to solve the mystery of who she is truly, she hires private investigator to help her uncover the truth.
Christian Roth is more than your average PI. A vampire and ex-demon hunter, Christian lives among the humans, trying to be “normal.” But recently, things seem to be falling apart. There’s a crazed demon hell-bent on revenge hunting him down and a fae assassin on the loose with an unknown target. Plus, the Order he abandoned desperately needs his help.
As the secrets of Tara’s past collide with the problems in Christian’s present, she finds herself fighting her attraction to the dark and mysterious investigator. Falling in love does not fit into her plans at all, but Tara soon learns that some rules are meant to be broken.
I liked BITTERSWEET BLOOD way more than I was anticipating. It featured a sexy vampire and a woman with a secret so hidden even she doesn’t know it, with enough action and mystery to keep me hooked the entire time. There were so many things to like- strong leads, great sexual tension, and even laugh out loud funny parts amongst it all.
BITTERSWEET BLOOD takes place in a London where all kinds of supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, demons and fae exist. Croft does some good world building, going into enough detail for the story to make sense, but not overwhelming the reader with excessive details. There were some aspects that weren’t fully explained, but I hope they will be touched on in future books, like magic users and types of demons.
While the world building was good, the characters were great. At the beginning of the book, when Tara meets Christian, I got a bit of a “my what big teeth you have” vibe and I was concerned she was going to be a wimpy protagonist. Luckily, she proved me wrong. It is reasonable for her to be a bit skittish to start, since she was raised cut off from any human contact except her aunt, and throughout the book, she manages to grow up quite a bit. One thing I like was as she learned more about herself and the danger she was in, she was appropriately scared, but at the same time, she didn’t bury her head in the sand. She even asked to be taught how to shoot a gun!
On the male side of the equation, we have Christian. The vampires in this book were definitely portrayed as sexy, but they weren’t nice by any stretch of the imagination. Christian is a signature alpha hero, easily taking charge, but at the same time, I didn’t see him as overbearing. Piers, the head of The Order (the supernatural organization the series is named after) is the ultimate bad boy. And when the two of them got together, they had no problem calmly discussing taking something or somebody down if they needed to.
One thing this book had going for it was that it was familiar without being cliche. I’m pretty sure at least some of the conflict could have been resolved by some good old conversation between Tara and Christian, but point me in the direction of a romance novel that doesn’t have some form of miscommunication. At the same time, sometimes when I was absolutely certain of an outcome, it went in the opposite direction!
This book was a wonderful surprise. There was a lot of fun, a lot of action, and some unexpected twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. It will be interesting to see where Croft takes us next in this world, because I can see so many possibilities. My only complaint is that I have to wait for the next book!
1. Bittersweet Blood