Review: Bloodstained Heart by Kassandra Lea

Bloodstained-HeartRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story


Bound to his castle-like home by a curse, Seamus spends his days with no one. Until, one day, he finds an abandoned puppy on his property and must nurse it back to health—with the help of the local vet, Tibbit. Fearful that his curse will scare Tibbit away, Seamus takes great care to hide the truth of his existence. Slowly, the two bond over the puppy…until Seamus realizes he’s fallen hopelessly in love with the vet.

Tibbit has always had a soft spot for animals—it’s why he makes a great vet. When he gets a call from the man who is all but the town recluse, he knows he has to go. Little did Tibbit expect to find a great friend in the shy man. A simple house call made for the sake of Seamus’s dog turned into the beginnings of an intrigue filled with friendship and even love, but how could Tibbit let his one-sided feelings risk a beautiful friendship?

When Tibbit learns more about the curse that plagues Seamus, Tibbit comes up with a desperate workaround, but will he be strong enough to see it through?

First, a note. The summary above is in chronological order, but the story itself is not. We start the actual story with Tibbit in the midst of trying to carry out his plan to work around Seamus’s curse. While I did get a sense of tension, it quickly changed into these two characters who were wholly unfamiliar to me spiraling into the unique despair of unrequited love. Because we jump right into the angst, it was hard for me to appreciate it like I normally would because there just isn’t any background so early in the story.

That said, after the initial angst fest, Lea works backward through flashbacks to fill in the more important gaps. We get to see snippets both of how Seamus came to be cursed and of the dog that brought Seamus and Tibbet together. Having these pieces of the puzzle really helped me enjoy the story more than I expected after that first chapter. Actually, I was super interested in these details—more than the introductory chapter. As much as they revealed, they also raised a few more questions. There is virtually no real world building, though, so the characters that get introduced and the theme of magic or dark arts don’t get any page time beyond explaining what happened to Seamus. Especially lacking are any details or vignettes that show (rather than tell) how the friendship between Seamus and Tibbit unfolded. I think their connection over the dog is well explained, but once they meet—well, what is it that keeps Tibbit coming back? What about Seamus leads Tibbit to fall in love and vice versa? This is foundational information and I didn’t feel like it was explored very well—we’re just supposed to take it at face value.

I did like the curse that Seamus suffers and Lea’s coy representation of how it affects Seamus kept me interested and turning pages to find out more. It’s not often the undead are in a starring role.

All in all, the characters were likable and their predicament very sympathetic. The action and emotion felt pretty superficial to me for the lack of detail in the prose, but if you’re just looking for a easy afternoon read with sweetly saccharine emotion and a fluffy HEA, this would be a good choice.

camille sig

Leave a Comment

*

%d bloggers like this: