Book Review: Beckoning Blood (Bonds of Blood Book 1) by Daniel de Lorne

 
 
Thierry spends his days working in a filthy abattoir and dealing with an abusive father and an obsessive twin brother he can't escape from even in his own mind due to their empathic connection. The one good thing he has is his secret relationship with Etienne. But Olivier, wants Thierry all to himself, condemns them both to immortality as vampires when given the opportunity, and will continue to do whatever it takes to keep him.

Book Review: Beckoning Blood (Bonds of Blood Book 1) by Daniel de Lorne | books, reading, book covers, book reviews, LGBT, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampires, paranormal, supernatural
Title: Beckoning Blood
Author:
Publisher:
Series:
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 222
My Book Rating:
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher
 

Review:

Vampires. Twins. Obsession. Cruelty. Love. Angst. And so much blood!

There honestly isn’t a single bad thing I can say about this book. I’ve loved everything about it both times I’ve read it. It is just as gripping and blood-drenched as the blurb promises it will be.

The book focuses on two characters, twin brothers, and they’re both so complex. Olivier is awful. Just so messed up. But in a way that makes you hate him but also makes you want to keep reading about him. His cruelty doesn’t just come from being a vampire—it’s part of who he is. He likes to toy with people’s emotions and break them mentally as well as physically. And of course there’s the fact that he’s literally obsessed with his twin, jealous of anyone else who gets close to him, and delusional about their relationship. That, honestly, might be the scariest thing about him. And yet… he’s so well-written that I found myself not being able to help but feel sympathy for him at times, even though I knew he absolutely didn’t deserve it. Thierry is the “good” one of the two, but I put that in quotes because, well. He doesn’t enjoy killing innocents… for the most part… and he isn’t cruel like Olivier, but he is by no means virtuous. Throughout the story, he was bored and numb, going through the motions for hundreds of years, and as he said himself, a bored vampire is a dangerous thing. But it was the characters’ emotions and the relationship between them throughout the book that really showed the realism and complexity in them.

[Olivier] boiled and Thierry boiled with him. The deeper he went, the closer to one he grew, until finally he could see through Olivier’s eyes, feel the grip of his hand on the leather hilt of the butcher’s blade, and smell the blood spraying onto his brother’s chest. Underneath it all, arrogant and unguarded thoughts tumbled over one another.

Thierry. Thierry. Thierry…

Not only are they complex, they’re so vampire-y! You know how sometimes you read about an immortal vampire, but they sound like a teen or twenty-something? Thierry and Olivier actually feel like immortal predators with the way they think and act and feel, their patience, their boredness, their general disassociation from humanity. These vampires are sexy but deadly, the kind that can blend in with people but are all the more dangerous for it. I loved it. You won’t find any sexy biting, but you’ll find sex, and you’ll find biting. (Content/trigger warning: There’s also one explicit rape scene.)

There’s also an empathic connection! If there’s anything I love reading about almost as much as vampires, it’s empaths and empathic connections between characters. And the author writes the connection between Theirry and Olivier beautifully.

Speaking of which, the writing is gorgeous with just the right amount of purple prose to suck you in.

[Thierry’s] tension sawed on Olivier’s nerves as tightly as any fiddle, as if the bruises and aching bones weren’t enough. The crowd pressed in on him, every laugh sharp, and every nudge a tightening on a dagger’s hilt.

The settings are also beautifully described with just the right amount of detail to make you feel like you’re there. And because this story covers roughly 700 years, you get to experience multiple times and places (1300s Carcassonne, France; 1700s Saxony; and present day Perth, Australia).

There is also a strong romantic element (not between the twins, much to Olivier’s dismay). In case you like to know what you’re getting into in terms of happy-or-not endings… *SPOILER* It’s less of a romance and more of a tragic-yet-hopeful love story involving reincarnation. This book has a kind of happy-for-now ending that I’m assuming will get a more definite conclusion in the third book of the trilogy. *END SPOILER*

Overall, this was a story of love and obsession with sexy-but-deadly vampires, beautiful writing, and complex characters that I absolutely recommend if you’re looking for something dark, violent, and amazing!

*Note: My original review from the first time I read this can still be found on Goodreads.*

 
 
Book Blurb

A gripping, blood-drenched saga about twin brothers, the men they love, and the enduring truth that true love never dies — no matter how many times you kill it.

Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.

Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his — Thierry, made immortal just for him.

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  1. Greg

    Sounds dark and twisted and bloody haha! I love the idea of immortal vampires who don’t act like modern twenty- somethings. And the fact that they’re predatory, and dangerous, and all that. Glad you’re enjoying this series. I love the empath element too- I want to read more empath stories!

    Greg recently posted: Comic of the Week #47

  2. Maxine

    Yes please. This sounds right up my alley and it gets extra points for having part of it set in Perth, where I live.

  3. the mad dragon hatter

    So yeah, I’m not much into romance, but the twin obsession thing sounds interesting despite the romance side of it. Mixed with the empathetic connection, it sounds like it gets really psychological. And covering a span of about 700 years is quite a feat! It sounds interesting.
    Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does have a big psychological component to it, at least in the sense that it explores the depth and motivation behind such a twisted character, and I love that. Thanks!

  4. Daniela Ark

    oh I love well described setting I think that’s SO HARD! and you cracked me up with the “so vampire-y” I’m rewatching true blood so really getting in the mood to read vampire-y things again :) and I can’t pass a 5-star from your blog! :)

  5. Lola

    Wow a 5 star rating, those are rare. Olivier sounds creepy with his obsession and how cruel he is. They sounds well written and I like how you say they actually act like vampires. I’ve read quite some books with immortals who act like teenagers. The empathic bond also sounds well done. And it covers 700 years, wow that’s a long time span for a book, but it sounds like it works here. And it sounds fun to visit all those places, especially if the author describes them well. I don’t think this would be a series for me, but I can definitely see why you enjoyed it so much.

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #312

    1. Kristen Burns

      They are! I love when vampires actually act immortal. Yeah, sometimes I’m books that cover long periods don’t work for me, but I really worked in this one. Yeah, probably not your kind of book, but definitely mine!