Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Bloody Love Spats by Valentina Heart

Reviewed by SinChan
Bloody Love Spats (Among Wolves #2) by Valentina Heart
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
4 Pants Off

Tomislav Vugrin doesn't think himself much of a vampire—not that others are tripping over themselves to dispute it. Despite descending from one of the most powerful vampire lines and having a coven queen for a sister, he's far from a stuck-up royal and even farther from a force to be reckoned with.

That's when fate puts her spiteful fingers to use and places him right in the path of Stone Marik, the new Alpha werewolf of the East Pack. Add a bit of teasing scent of a mate, and the attraction is stronger than any lack of information about bonding that might stand in their way.

But changing allegiance might be more than Tomi can handle, even if he has the best of intentions. Centuries of prejudice divide their two species, secrets and lack of time work against them, and soon even their desperate need for each other might not be enough to keep them alive.

Bloody Love Spats showcases an unconventional love between a werewolf and a vampire. I have not read the first book in the series but this can be read as a standalone.

The story starts out with Tomi and Stone's forbidden relationship. Their mating is a catalyst for war between vampires and werewolves. It's hinted that there was previously a war between the two species before they mutually agreed to separate themselves, eliminate contact, and divide the land into territories. However, nothing further is said about that. There is a disconnection in the pacing between the beginning, where Tomi and Stone are building their relationship, and the end, the rescue mission. But that is minor and I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Something really common to this trope is using the mate bond to explain the majority of sensations, the connection between the couple (physical and emotional), and even werewolf culture. There is one attribute of the mate bond that is unique to this book, so you can look forward to that.

Something that can be further explained is the amount of control that is normal for a werewolf with a mate. There is a contradiction when most werewolves say Stone has so much control to not jump Tomi. However, their mating was done without Tomi knowing the full consequences of mating with a werewolf, so Stone kind of lost control there.

Tomi is a young vampire that is still under the protection of his sister, the Queen. He's ridiculed by the other vampires because of his inexperience and minimal powers. When he meets Stone, he is also swept up by the mate bond that Stone is experiencing. Even though he doesn't believe in their bond at first, he still leaves his home and ventures into the unknown territories of the werewolves. He's courageous, curious, loving towards children, and not a specist. He has so much potential locked inside of him that all he needs is a catalyst. I love how Tomi changes into a stronger person and uses love as the catalyst to better himself and his family.

He's also easy to sympathize with. When he was locked in the dungeon, the scenes were chilling and brutal and I was right there with Tomi. I feel his pain and panic and I really believed in Stone's urgency and their connection.

I really like the family relationships in Bloody Love Spats and how Stone shows his affection to his son, Naji. Even though Stone is the alpha and expresses dominance, he also has a soft side. The loving comments directed at Naji warms my heart and I can see how Stone eventually won Naji over from a nightmare of an abusive childhood. I love how Stone and Tomi bond with Naji and how the child comes to trust Tomi (even though that was an almost immediate "trust at first sight" thing). I see Naji's future as a well-love child in a caring family.

Overall, the story is well written and I look forward to the next book in the series. I would definitely recommend this for fans of vampire-werewolf pairings.

4 Pants Off

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