Jenna Maclaine, Grave Sins

Posted August 30, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Grave Sins (Cin Craven, #2)Grave Sins by Jenna Maclaine
Series: Cin Craven, 2
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Second in the Cin Craven romantic urban-fantasy series.

The Story
The purpose of The Righteous is to preserve law and order throughout the vampiric lands and as such, The Righteous comes under the authority of the High King in Ireland. One of those laws is that no vampire may kill a human for fear of coming to the attention of humans. It seems that Marrakesh, the Queen to MacLeod’s King of the Western Lands, is guilty of breaking that law for 17 men have died, albeit under mysterious circumstances, and the queen was seen delivering one of those men to Dr. Knox for purposes of dissection.

Their assignment is delivered only five days into Cin, Michael, Devlin, and Justine’s two-week holiday at Ravensworth so you can imagine how upset Cin is about this. Even worse, she doesn’t particularly like Drake, the High King’s messenger.

The Characters
Cin Craven is obviously our heroine. She’s also a witch turned vampire and a member of The Righteous. The other vampire members of the Righteous include Michael, Cin’s lover/consort; Devlin, and Justine.

Drake is also a vampire and the representative of the High King. When this combined with the fact that Drake was once a King, you know he’s got some serious street cred. Of course, he and Michael had a falling out some years ago and now Drake is after Cin.

MacLeod is the King of the Western Lands, vampire that is and Marrakesh is his wife, another vampire but one with a serious gift you do not want to run afoul of. They live in Edinburgh in a very nice townhouse (hey, what can I say? I don’t write this stuff). Khalid and Hashim are twins of Arabic descent whom Marrakesh befriended early in their lives. And, hoo, boy, have these three got a story to tell! Jacques Aubert is the Warden of Edinburgh with an eye to everything and everyone for the MacLeod.

Belinda is a dip of a vampire with some very deep plans who is fleeing her husband, Captain Sinclair of the vampiric cruise line, Blood Cross Lines

Tristan Mahone is a necromancer fleeing from his father, the Reverend Mahone of Jamaica.

Mary Margaret “Aunt Maggie” Macgregor is Cin’s aunt as well as the Macgregor Witch. A position/title inherited when Cin’s mother, the eldest sister, married and moved to England. Drummond Murray is gamekeeper for the Macgregor and was the werewolf Cin freed 13 years ago when she first became a vampire in Wages of Sin. He’s come to Edinburgh to warn Cin of her aunt’s intentions.

My Take
Oh brother, I’ve been suspecting this character forever. I can’t believe Cin or anyone else never saw this coming!

What?? She’s not sure if she can open the locks so Cin doesn’t even try!?? Considering the seconds it took, it would have been worth it…duh… Then there’s Clarissa being murdered in her cell and supposedly Hashim didn’t hear or see a thing. Well, as the ending indicates, there was plenty of action going on that something happened in that cell and I can’t believe Hashim could avoid all of it!

Then I don’t believe that Cin got so pissy about Michael checking out a whore’s bosom. As Justine says, “he is still a man”. This just felt so manufactured. Cin certainly hasn’t a leg to stand on morally. Michael has already informed her of Drake’s thirst for vengeance against Michael so Cin proceeds to flirt with the guy? A guy she doesn’t even like though she does admit he’s a tempting bit of eye candy. Just how dimwitted can Cin be?

Then Cin talks about vacations. It’s 1828. The people at her level in society “went on holiday” not “vacation”. Jesus. I thought Maclaine had a degree in History?? And what’s the deal with the four of them allowing Bel into one of their planning sessions? What? They’ve cleared her already? They don’t care if she goes about babbling of everything they discuss? How hard is it to shove someone back out through a door and then shut it?

Okay, the concept Maclaine has going is cute and I certainly love Michael and Cin and Devlin and Justine together going about smiting the wrong and protecting the right but, please, stop thinking we’re idiots!

The Cover
Sorry, I don’t believe this cover. Yes, I believe it’s Cin. I don’t believe the dress or the Craven Cross pendant. The necklace is supposed to include some huge rubies and the dress looks like something a Vegas showgirl would wear. I might believe the knife she’s holding while the background of bars enclosing the cemetery is very believable.

The title, Grave Sins can apply to a variety of situations in this story including Cin’s sins of withholding to the grave robbing done by the Resurrectionists…hey, it’s Edinburgh.

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