Phil Torres is stuck in a rut. He loves his job as a nurse, but it’s all he does. After his last boyfriend left him, Phil puts all his energy into the job. So when he’s forced to take some vacation, he reluctantly agrees to go out with his friend, Jerome. Phil never expects for someone to take an interest in him, and he is certainly surprised by the attraction he feels to Shige.
Though things don’t go as they expect on the first date, or the second, Phil and Shige try again. But before they can get going, a man enters Phil’s apartment and Shige is forced to kill him. Or not, because despite the violence, the attacker is not dead. Phil is whisked away to Shige’s manor home and kept as a prisoner. Or at least that’s how Phil sees it. Though he’s treated to every luxury imaginable, he’s not allowed to leave.
Shige has a secret, a very large one, and he’s doing everything in his power not to tell Phil. They don’t see each other much. But when there’s another attack, Shige’s right hand woman, Abby, reveals the truth. Not that Phil believes they are truly vampires. He thinks they are all crazy.
But there are unmistakable facts that keep popping up. And as Shige uses Phil’s extra talent to help root out a nefarious foe, Phil is forced to believe that vampires are real and that Shige is one. When things go from bad to worse and Phil is taken hostage, it will be a miracle if they can get out of it alive.
I have to say that the blurb for this one, while enough to get me to read the book, doesn’t really accurately portray what’s going on in this story. It seems, from the blurb, to be more of a romance and that’s not really what we have going on here. This is the first book in the Blood Sealed series and it ends without much resolution. So really, this is a beginning, a learning about the characters and of the dangers that surrounds them, and a start to a relationship.
I will say that I was drawn into the world, and I really enjoyed Phil as a character. He was a bit too trusting at times, which clashed with his supposed smarts, especially as a nurse, but it can be forgiven in the name of storytelling. We didn’t get to see much of Phil and Shige together, but there’s no doubt the two have chemistry and I’m definitely interested in seeing how that plays out as the story continues.
There are a lot of classic elements going on here, and the author handled them with a deft hand. Shige is very powerful and rules his vampires fairly. But we also don’t get to see much of this either. Most of the story is told from Phil’s POV, though we do get snippets here and there from Shige. And since such a large portion of the story is keeping the vampire secret from Phil, we don’t find out the full extent of what’s going on until about two-thirds through the book. For me, this went on a little too long, but I could also understand why the author framed it this way. Overall, the pacing is decent and works for the story. I would have liked to see a bit more lore and world building within the book, but hopefully that will come as the series continues. Though I do like that vampires weren’t painted in a perfect light, and that the balance and power was highlighted.
I will make mention of some typos that were enough to be distracting. Mostly this was in the form of words being out of order in sentences and in some cases missing words entirely. This book could have benefitted from a proofreading at the very least. It’s impossible to catch all typos, but they would have been greatly minimized. I found it terribly distracting when I had to reread sentences to figure out what the author was trying to say. While it wasn’t prolific, I would say it happened at least once in most chapters, so it was enough to catch my notice.
Ultimately, this was a decent start to a series, with likable characters and a good premise to begin on. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.