I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Flesh and Blood by Kristen Painter
is a Urban Fantasy
This edition was published by Orbit on October 1, 2011 and has 320 pages.
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Second in the House of Comarré urban fantasy series revolving around Chrysabelle, the most expensive comarré ever who is in possession of the ring of sorrows.
It’s right against wrong, self-preservation versus honor. Painter creates a tension-filled, twisting story of good versus evil with plenty of drama without being a drama queen. Thank you, God!
Betrayal abounds with Tatiana leading the pack on so many levels and Katsumi in seemingly overt ways…I don’t trust this “new leaf” she has supposedly turned over! Then there’s the reveal at the end! Eeeek!! Painter is definitely setting us up for even more major action.
I love it when an author creates something new and different and Painter has done a lovely job of building a new culture of vampires in a different yet contemporary world. The introduction of a new love interest, the disavowal, new, nasty players on the scene, and the changing dynamics at Seven should make Bad Blood a fascinating read.
Back from their partly successful mission, Chrysabelle is avoiding Mal as she tries to figure out a safe way for her to fulfill her side of the bargain with him while Mal is trying to avoid drinking the blood she sends to him. Mal is terrified of his reactions to the kiss he must give her if he drinks her blood while Chrysabelle is both ashamed of not honoring her part in their deal and angry that he won’t drink even as she worries about her own reactions to Mal.
But events won’t allow for avoidance or fear. Tatiana is in town and the Nothos are on the loose. And Maris’ diary reveals that only one man knows the ritual Chrysabelle must use to gain the answers she seeks about an unknown brother and Mal’s relief from his curse.
Nor is Tatiana the only one after the ring of sorrows. An organization that has been deemed a fairy tale wants it back and yet another side wants it for their own ends.
Chrysabelle Lapointe is a comarré. A human bred for the most exquisite blood. Unbenownst to the vampires who own them, they are also trained in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. Velimai is a wysper, one of the fae, she served Chrysabelle’s mother Maris and now serves Chrysabelle.
Mal, a.k.a., Malachi, a.k.a., Malkolm is anathema. A vampire banished from “decent” vampire society. Mal bears a double curse: once for killing the vampire who sired him, a second time by his wife, Tatiana. Maddoc “Doc” is a cursed shapeshifter whom Mal brought home one day as a pet for one of his victims, a ghost named Fiona. Doc’s pride leader, Sinjin, threw him out when they found out about his curse; now he lives with Mal and Fi on an old freighter. Fiona was Mal’s last victim; after killing her, he swore not to drink from another human. For some reason, Fi is the only ghost who haunts Mal — because of his curse, Mal is haunted by the voices of every person he ever drained. Doc loves her.
Tommie Creek has a mission to recover the ring of sorrows. They know Chrysabelle has it and the Kubai Mata wants it back. Argent is his sector chief and a dragon. Preacher makes a brief appearance in this one; Painter is setting us up here as well.
Tatiana is also a vampire but she has schemed her way to the position of Elder of the House of Tepes, just one of the steps in her path to world domination. She is beyond evil and has only gotten worse since she undewent navitas. Lord Ivan, the King of House of Tepes is…in her way. Octavian is the human in charge of Tatiana’s household staff while Zafir and Nasir are brothers she is enticing and dicing into serving her.
Dominic is also anathema because he was the reason that Maris underwent libertas. Now he runs Seven, a nightclub, a fight ring, and drugs in Paradise City, New Florida. Katsumi is the “former wife of a Yakuza crime boss” turned into a vampire and she now works for Dominic. Never trust Katsumi. Pasha and Satima are twins, both are fae with Paul a Gemini harbinger. He can see the future because he has only ever drunk Satima’s blood. Mortalis is a shadeux fae and appears to be Dominic’s right hand man, er, fae. He is also friends with Mal, Doc, and Chrysabelle. Ronan, a fringe vampire, is in charge of the security at Seven and has a hard-on for Mal.
Aliza is the witch who cursed Doc after the drugs he delivered to her daughter Evie caused her to turn to stone.
The Cover and Title
The cover is much less innocent with the golden tattooed Chrysabelle dressed in gray armor, her sacre firmly held in its very elaborate scabbard as she begins to pull it out, a very knowing look on her face as she tilts her head to us, her platinum hair flowing behind her, held back by her elaborate filigreed hair clip. All framed within an even more elaborate black frame with a brocaded panel beneath. Only two red skulls nestle at the left and bottom centers of the overall.
The title has several possibilities from Tatiana’s new hand to Chrysabelle’s new canvas while the use of Mal’s blood does not bode well in this new story of Flesh and Blood.