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Saturday, February 26, 2011

'Called by Blood' Faustin Brothers #1 by Evie BYRNE

From the BLURB:

Alexander Faustin has always wanted to be human. Even though he comes
from a family of powerful vampires, he's fascinated with the daylight world. Maybe that's why destiny gave him a human mate.

It's not like Helena to make out with a stranger on her front porch, much less invite him into her bed. Somehow Alex makes her feel safe, even while he's dismantling her defenses. But in the wake of a terrifying accident, her faith in him is shattered.

Alex must regain Helena's trust and persuade her it's possible to love a monster. To do this, Alex must first learn to embrace his true nature. Unfortunately, he has to make this voyage of self-discovery while dodging the sheriff's department, the Rocky Mountain sunshine, and one very pissed off elk. But there's no turning back, because if Alex can't convince Helena to love him, he'll never love again.

Alex Faustin knows who is destined wife is; now he just has to convince her she’s his one.

Alex is the youngest brother in the Faustin family – an old and respected Russian vampyr line. Alex’s mother and father still adhere to the Old Ways, including the absolute belief in dream premonitions of their son’s future wives. Alex is the first Faustian to be fated with a wife . . . the only thing is she lives in Colorado and will take a little convincing (of Alex’s love for her, their bond and the truth about vampires).

It’s true; there are some bad vampire love stories out there. But Evie Byrne’s first book in the ‘Faustin Brothers’ trilogy isn’t one of them. To be honest, ‘Called by Blood’ isn’t reinventing the fang – there’s a mortal love interest, a rich and powerful vampiric family and a lot of smexing going on. But Byrne’s series is oddly delightful, regardless of the well-trod territory.

One of the great things about this book is Byrne’s tongue-in-cheek humour. Alex Faustin lives in modern-day New York and his ‘mate’ is Helena, a modern woman. These people know about vampires – the movies, myths and romantic ridiculousness – and as a result, Byrne draws on many references and pokes fun at many a legend. I liked her vampiric brevity – it was refreshing, without denouncing all the typical vampire/mortal problems.

This novel is very sexy, first and foremost. It’s from Samhain Publishing – a notoriously hot publisher. But ‘Called by Blood’ has a surprisingly veering plot; when the rich and handsome Alex is burnt by the sun and spends a portion of the book resembling Freddy Krueger. That’s right, a vampire love story in which the smoking-hot dead dude looks nasty and blistered for much of the book. It means that Alex and Helena have to connect on a personal level before a physical one . . . but when they do get physical, Byrne brings the goods (while still keeping things light and funny);
She twisted around to look at him, going serious all of a sudden. “Is this how you always have sex?”
“How’s that?”
“Like a crazed, bloodthirsty rabbit.”
He cupped one of her breasts, just to watch her eyes lose focus. “I've been crazed and I'm always bloodthirsty, but I've never wanted another rabbit like I want you.”
My one small complaint about the book was the abrupt ending – I really would have liked another 100 pages or so. Since this is the ‘Faustin Brothers’ trilogy it would have been nice to meet all of the Faustin brothers and get a sense of the family dynamic (as it is, we only meet oldest brother, Mikhail). And with an extra 100 pages we may have been able to read about Helena assimilating to vampirism and New York. But that’s a small and complimentary complaint about wanting more, more, more from Evie Byrne’s wonderful novel!

4.5/5

2 comments:

  1. Nice review - I like when authors take the vampire "lore" that's already around and work with it... *adding to my ever-growing TBR*

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  2. Nice! I had not heard of these books before! This sounds great!!

    Great review as usual hon! =D

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