Book Title: Blooded
Author: Nat Kennedy
Cover Artist: Silvana Sanchez – Selfpub Designs
Release Date: September 25, 2021
Tropes: Hurt/comfort, antagonists to allies/lovers, past student/teacher, vampire blood feeding, vampire blood bond
Themes: Redemption, Personal Acceptance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 113 500 words/290 pages
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
A broken mage. A penitent vampire. Can they put aside the horrors of the past to save each other?
Plagued with erratic. volatile magic, Nicodemus Green focuses his entire life to stop an evil sorcerer who brainwashes or kills anyone in his path to domination. Ten years into this crusade, Nick stumbles upon his former Academy instructor in the Austrian Alps. The strict and pious Byron Domitius has cloistered himself in an isolated manor. Alone and starving, he hates the twisted, damned creature he has become.
A prophecy calls for Nick and Byron to bond by blood to finally bring an end to the sorcerer's hidden agenda. The two are forced to see beyond their shared past, and Nick finds himself desiring more from his old instructor than just his magic. But are these emotions real, or do they come from the heat of their bond?
They stood side by side, almost close, looking up at the twinkling stars. Byron pointed, and Nick followed his finger to the sky.
“Perseus,” Byron said. “Do you see that, the upper right branch of Perseus? Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“I had astronomy with you two years in a row. Or did you forget?”
“I didn’t forget. I nurtured the assumption that you and your gang of goons had more important things to do than pay attention in my class.”
“Goons? We did pay attention. I know the constellation.” He didn’t remember it from Byron’s class, though. They had a Mentor of the Month who lived at an observatory near the top of Mt. St. Helens in Washington, and they’d spent hours staring at the stars. It had been windy and cold, and the sky had been clear, the stars brilliant.
“Fine. That star, the bright one, is Algol. It means Demon Head. Fitting for the constellation that is supposed to hold the head of Medusa.”
Nick hmmed to show he was listening. Byron's voice was soothing, deep and quiet in the dark of night. Comfortable. Safe. “Algol is actually a tertiary star, but the third star is so weak, it puts off little shine. It’s used by celestials as a binary system to imbue power into obsidian.”
“A twin star.” Suddenly invested, Nick gazed up with a sense of wonder. “Is that the power that was in my obsidian, sir?”
Byron nodded, then turned to Nick, his dark eyes fathomless, his face young and smooth and illuminated from above. “Yes. There are two stars there, circling one another. Their individual gravitational pull keeps them in a perfect orbit, tethered in their eternal spin. And together, they are brighter for it,” he said softly, reverently. The air felt heavy, and then Byron faced the sky.
Nick watched his old professor out of the corner of his eyes, unmoving, like a statue, gazing upon the night sky with a depth of sorrow and yearning Nick couldn’t understand, never could understand, even after his years of wandering. He wanted to reach out, touch him, perhaps melt his cold flesh, make him come alive with contact, and then he realized he was staring and thinking inappropriate things.
He cleared his throat.
“Well, I should get back in, Byron. Enjoy your evening.”
Byron slowly looked down at him, a small smile on his lips, not a smirk, but a close cousin like he could read Nick’s thoughts. Felt Nick’s desire like a breeze on his arms.
“You as well.”
4 out of 5 (very good)
BLOODED is a standalone novel that I would love to see made into a series. I'm really not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet.
It is story of two parts, one longer than the other. We start off in school, with Nick and his friends preparing to graduate. Then we move forward ten years and see how their reality (and they themselves) has changed.
I would love to know more about their magic, and how it works. As I've said, I'm not ready for farewells! Their Mentor-of-the-Month was brilliant and it showed how they were resourceful and prepared to take the grey path in order to achieve the greater good. The relationships between all of them were interesting and showed how close they were. They had had good times and bad, and it reflected this.
Nick and Byron themselves were HOT. I thought it very well written how these two slowly transitioned from student-teacher to being on a level, with many adjustments having to be made on both sides. I loved how they were together and, I'll say this just once again, I still need more! This is a series begging to be written!
A wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed and have no hesitation in recommending.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Nat Kennedy writes fantasy fiction of all kinds. She strives to create engaging, plotty romantic stories. In her worlds, Heroes abound. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain keeps the world green. Find her online at natkennedy.com or on IG natkennedybooks.
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