Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

 

Nathaniel Bailey is the vampire king of Seattle. He’s pretty much been in charge for more than a century, by necessity. There was a huge purge of vampires by the witches council, because the head vamp then seemed out of control, siring fledglings willy-nilly. Nathaniel put an end to that, and also took a protective stance on humans, having realized that volunteer donors would build good will within the supernatural community.

Now, the witches council is again in turmoil. It seems that several unaffiliated witches have been slain by a rogue vampire. Ethan Solomon is the only child of the council leader, and he doesn’t seem to have any magic, much to his mother’s chagrin. Even worse, Ethan seems to un-make any spellwork he touches, making him a pariah in the witch community. The council is on the verge of banishing the vampires from the city, but using a talisman that shows him scenes from the future, Ethan has seen this will only bring death and destruction to his mother and dear witch friends. So far, it seems that binding himself to the vampire king could stave off the utter destruction the talisman foretells.

Nathaniel is startled by the proposal he receives at the witches council, because he thought they were proposing war, not marriage. Ethan’s so beautiful and, Nathaniel soon realizes, the fated mate Nathaniel never thought he’d find. Ethan’s equally taken with Nathaniel’s looks, but he’s sure the vamp king will be a horrible person. And, he’s dead wrong on that account. Ethan never thought he’d fall for the man he rushed to marry to save all of Seattle, yet Nathaniel is an actually decent person, and sexy as all get out. His protectiveness won’t let Ethan seek the rogue vamp to smoke him out, however much this marriage was a sham of convenience. Ethan is a bit stunned to find out how very special Nathaniel treats him, how very hungry he is for a taste of Nathaniel’s kiss.

This is the second book in the Blood Bonded Mates series, and is fine to be read as a standalone. I definitely liked this story better than the first book in the series. It’s got a well-rounded cast, with some twisty plot moves. I did feel like I heard too much of the story being told to me by characters’ thoughts and explanations, but it was less overt compared to the first book. Plus, as the action developed, there was far less exposition and I really found myself caught up in this drama between the vampires and the witches. While I had guessed the identity of the true villain early, I liked the subterfuge that kept the big reveal at bay for a good amount of page time.

I always love when characters have to rethink their bad assumptions, and it was fun to have Ethan really swallow back his imagined distaste for Nathaniel, based on his worst misconceptions of the sentient undead. I loved Nathaniel’s patience and how dedicated he was from the outset. The idea of fated mates is pretty well fleshed out, and it was sweet to see how these connections work in favor of, and against, the pair being bonded. Ethan really got a LOT of Nathaniel’s private thoughts, and that was fun to experience, what with the secondhand embarrassment of it all.

Readers of paranormal romance will likely enjoy this not-too-spicy romance that pairs a dash of heat with the sweet resolution of a centuries-long feud. Expect happy endings all around, and a set-up for another interspecies romance down the way.