Originally reviewd on Basia's Bookshelf
Isn't that a gorgeous cover? Before even knowing anything about the book, I knew I was going to read it because of my curiosity about the gold tattoos. As usual, I settled my munchkin into bed and curled up on the couch with my Kindle and began reading with excitment. While I wouldn't say I was grossly disappointed with the book, I wasn't as excited about the story as I was about the cover.
Chrysabelle has spent her whole life either preparing for, or in servitude as a blood donor to the vampire race. She's been specifically bred for this purpose, and has undergone rigorous training in decorum and the traditions of the Comarre race. Chrysabelle has the purest blood her House has ever produced, and her blood rights were bought for a cool twenty two million dollars - the highest anyone has ever paid for a Comarre. Not to the mention, receiving those gold markings is not a painless task. When she stumbles upon her patron, minus his head, she flees the vampire's mansion knowing she will be accused for his murder. By way of Paris and her aunt's house in New Florida City, she is finally directed to a local vampire, Mal, who she is told can help her clear her name. The meeting between Mal and Chrysabelle is explosive to say the least. Mal is cursed twice over, and death follows him wherever he goes. Chrysabelle's blood may be more temptation than he can bear. Considering he hasn't drunk "from the vein" in about 50 years, I can see how meeting a woman with blood like Chrysabelle's would be like a sudden downpour of rain on a thirsty man in the desert.
I adored Mal. I sincerely felt sorry for him and his inability to get close to anyone because of the curses he bears. I admired his resolve to ignore his inherent vampire inclinations, in order to retain the last remaining shreds of his self respect. Chrysabelle was hit and miss for me. It seemed like as soon as she escaped her duties as a blood servent, her subservient attitude was pushed away and her arrogance shot off the charts. After so many years of living in one world, you'd think she'd be a little humble after stepping over that threshold. Uh, no. She constantly talked about how great she was, how talented she was and she expected to retain the level of respect she had as a Comarre. She basically treated everyone like dirt for the first half of the novel. Maybe she did have skill, but it's one thing to talk about it and it's another to show it. Even the action parts of the story didn't really show off her fighting abilities. She slashed her sword around for a bit and then it was over. Basically, Chrysabelle rubbed me the wrong way from the very beginning. And my opinion of her only grew slightly better by the end of the novel. If I was Mal, I definitely wouldn't have stuck around.
My Summary: I think Chrysabelle was my only complaint. I enjoyed the rest of the characters, the world that Kristen Painter created for us and she even threw in a few twists that I was not expecting. Everything is a little unsettled still in Mal and Chrysabelle's world, which left a perfect lead into the next book of the series. I will definitely be continuing on, even if Chrysabelle's immaturity doesn't go away. Mal's worth it!
My Rating: B-