Book Review: Kristen Painter’s Bad Blood

Posted March 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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.

Book Review: Kristen Painter’s Bad Blood

Bad Blood


Kristen Painter

urban fantasy that was published by Orbit on December 1, 2011 and has 449 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Blood Rights, Flesh and Blood, Out for Blood, Last Blood, House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires

Third in the House of Comarré urban fantasy series revolving around Chrysabelle LaPointe and Mal set in an alternate Florida.

In 2012, Bad Blood was nominated for the HOLT Medallion by Virginia Romance Writers for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.

My Take

Whoa…there is a lot going on in this installment. The baby. The outing of the othernaturals to the city powers. What we learn in New Orleans. Chrysabelle’s ordeals and the problems that crop up between her and Mal.

Oh man, I did enjoy Mal’s response to the mayor. She did ask for it. She has no right to complain if she gets what she requests.

It was just too easy with the witches. Although, Doc did come up with a pretty creative way to evade the compulsion!

Oh, now the bit about why New Orleans — Ville éternelle Nuit — is so attractive to vampires was an excellent inspiration! There is some mystery about Mortalis. Painter is hinting around with the comments from Mortalis and Loudreux. And Mortalis certainly has a point with his comment about “Taking bribes bothers you but assassinations are fine? So long as the greater good is served?”. “As long as [Loudreux] doesn’t get his hands dirty.”

The Story

Creek’s in trouble. He was found, covered in blood, holding the fake comarré. The mayor’s daughter. With the world about to explode on Halloween and the threat of being thrust back into prison, Creek needs to relate the facts of this new world to Mayor Diaz-White. Facts she resists. Facts she uses against Creek.

Chrysabelle also has a problem. Only the Aurelian can tell her where to find her brother. The identity of her brother. But she can no longer reach her without the signum on her back. For that she needs Dominic’s help. A help she must pay for with asylum. Then there’s the sacred gold required to replace her missing signum. And Chrysabelle can only think of one source — the Ring of Sorrows. The same ring that is being held for ransom by the fae.

It seems the Preacher has a child. A half-human, half-vampire child whose blood will be desired by all: the witches, the vampires, Castus, the grandmother, and the Kubai Mata. And it’s Doc’s weakness to be whole again that makes it all possible.

The compact is broken. There is nothing to protect humans against the othernaturals. It could be worse. The bad guys could have the Ring of Sorrows.

The Characters

Chrysabelle LaPointe is no longer a comarré, technically, for she has been disavowed and stripped of the tattoos on her back. A woman bred for the deliciousness of her blood, schooled in how to please her master — as well as how to protect herself from anything. But she stepped outside the accepted boundaries and now she’s paid a price. A price she will pay again to talk to the Aurelian, to find her brother. Velimai is a Wysper fae. She is mute and communicates with her hands, but her voice is a killer. She holds household for Chrysabelle.

Malkolm “Mal” Bourreau is anathema. Formerly a noble vampire, he has been struck down for his “impertinence”. He has fallen in love with Chrysabelle and will do anything to help her survive, achieve her desires, even at the cost of his miserable existence. Thomas Creek is part of the Kubai Mata. Enhanced, he is tasked with killing demons and finding the Ring of Sorrows. A task at which he is failing. On purpose. Both Mal and Creek want Chrysabelle. Argent is a dragonshifter and Creek’s boss in the Kubai Mata.

Maddoc “Doc” has regained his ability to shift into a panther after the witch Aliza helped Fiona come back to life (see Flesh and Blood). Fiona is one of Mal’s victims who became a ghost and then returned to life with a solid body before being killed again. A spell from Aliza brought her back partially. Sinjin is the leader of Doc’s old pride. The leader who threw Doc out. Seems he’s had a much more sinister agenda. And at completely the wrong moment, Doc discovers Sinjin was married.

Dominic is a vampire who was declared anathema by his House for enticing Maris to invoke libertas; he has since become the owner of Seven and a drug lord. Atticus is a signumist, the artist who creates signum on comarré. Real and the fake. Mortalis is a shadeux fae who also works for Dominic. Amery is Mortalis’ cousin and the driver he hires to convey their small party about New Orleans. A comarré and a comar, Saraphina and Damian, have taken refuge with him and Dominic needs them out of Seven.

Hugo Loudreux is a cypher fae, a very demanding one about to learn his limitations. Never threaten a comarré. Especially one named Chrysabelle! Blu is a shadeux fae. And Mortalis’ sister. She’s also Loudreux’s bodyguard. Sklar is the smokesinger fae Guardian of New Orleans. An ineffective mayor of sorts who must be removed from office. Augustine is another shadeux fae. A fairly randy one if I’m interpreting the implications correctly. And another of Mortalis’ siblings. Olivia Goodwin is a hoot! A former film star with a trace of power — one-eighth Haerbinger — and cheeky besides! Khell is a fae who actually desires the guardianship. I kind of get the impression that Loudreux did not have Khell in mind…

Lola Diaz-White is the mayor of Paradise City, formerly known as Miami. A very hard woman. Harder with the murder of her daughter Julia. With the discovery that Julia gave birth. John Havoc is one of her bodyguards, a wolfshifter. His brother Lucas Havoc is hired later. Police Chief Vernadetto is extremely reasonable for what he has to deal with.

Preacher is a former Marine and now a vampire. One not turned properly allowing him to walk in daylight. He has lost the fake commaré, the mayor’s daughter, with whom he had a baby. A half-human, half-vampire baby. The first such and thus one whose blood is very valuable.

Samael, the head of the Castus Sanguis, the creator of vampires is trapped by the witches, forced to hunt for the Ring of Sorrows. Aliza is the leader of her coven. It was her spell that prevented Doc from shifting completely as revenge for what happened to her daughter Evie (see Blood Rights). Both are witches, both are evil. Slim Jim runs the marina where Aliza docks her boat when coming to the mainland, where anyone heading out into the water hires a boat. And guns.

Tatiana‘s plans are coming along. With Lord Ivan dead, she has her chance at becoming Dominus of the House of Tepes. Octavian has become the perfect vampire underling, supporting her completely, earning her trust. Laurent and Daciana Bracey are eager to get within Tatiana’s good graces. Rennata is the head of the Primorus Domus. Chrysabelle’s former House.

The Cover and Title

This complements the first two covers with its elaborately carved black frame with, this time, red skulls in the center of the sides, top and bottom of the frame and the bottom of the lower brocaded panel. In this one, Chrysabelle has her gold tattoos back and she’s clothed in armor to match the frame, her long white hair loosely braided with the elaborate filigreed hair clasp on the side as she prepares for action with a sword in each hand, jeweled and armored bands rising up her right arm, the sword in her right hand floating red, figured-silk ribbon.

The title is a reference to Chrysabelle’s Bad Blood, the aid she received from Mal. Of course, it could also refer to Aliza and Eve as we know how bad they are. Or perhaps it’s the obvious issues which exist between Mortalis and the rest of his family…