When Ethan was a young boy, vampires slaughtered his entire family. He has never forgotten and he has never forgiven. Now that he is grown up, Ethan still wants revenge and he finds a group that wants to help him get that justice. But when Ethan meets Marcus Varik, he isn’t prepared to learn that not all vampires are ruthless killers. Marcus is incredibly handsome, but he’s also reserved, secretive, and protective. Ethan accepts a temporary job as Marcus’ assistant and he is supposed to betray the vampire, but Ethan finds himself falling for Marcus instead.
Marcus and his brothers have been vampires for over a century. When their mother became ill, she was changed into a vampire to save her, but it fractured her mind instead. Marcus, along with his brothers, decided to become vampires as well to look after their mother, but her bouts of extreme violence leave them all drained and on edge.
Marcus was born in a time when it was not okay to be attracted to men and no matter how long he has lived, he can’t shake that feeling. Yet with Ethan, he finds all the things he has never known. But Marcus doesn’t know why Ethan first came to him and there is a whole world of vampire politics that are looking to keep them apart.
Claiming Marcus starts The Lords of Discord series about four vampire brothers. This first book focuses on the oldest, Marcus, but also introduces the other three brothers as well. It started out interesting with Marcus and the family having to move and Marcus needing an assistant to help with that. Ethan was left an orphan at a young age when a vampire killed his entire family and he has never forgotten and the need for revenge has never quieted. He falls in with a radical anti-vampire group, but then realizes they are not the type of people he wants to be associated with.
The initial interactions with Marcus and Ethan are a little sweet and a little hesitant as there are many reasons they shouldn’t be together. Marcus is a virgin and still can’t accept being attracted to men and he’s not sure if he can trust Ethan, and Ethan can’t wrap his head around falling for a vampire. Marcus and his brothers are wealthy men, but it is never disclosed what Marcus does or where all the money comes from; it seemed like vampires are supposed to be wealthy and so they were. The book then moves in a lot of different directions with many different storylines and not all of those worked for me.
We meet the brothers and they all have a story, which was fine. Then there is the story with their mother that seemed like it was being set up to be a focal point of the series, but then that changed as well. There is also the storyline of Ethan wanting to avenge his family. One of the foundations of the book was the music the men played for their mother, but that also got watered down behind so many other competing storylines. There is also a lot of time devoted to vampire politics. This aspect was too much for me the way it was presented. There are a lot of characters introduced that came in and out and the politics overwhelmed the story for me and moved in too many different directions. The Ministry, as it is called here, does not like Marcus’ family and there were too many pieces of stories added in that made the narrative feel incredibly bogged down and mostly it was not interesting. There was also the radical group and a seemingly random wolf clan introduced and when some of these storylines reached their height, the resolution was quite lackluster.
It would have been fine to have so many things going on in one book, but here they didn’t all come together for me and a lot of the areas of the book didn’t hold my interest outside of the brothers and the relationship between Ethan and Marcus. Each brother will get a story, which could be interesting, but if the rest of the books are set up in the same fashion with the political side of the vampire world, I may have to pass.