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I Belong


Review: Bloodright by Karin Tabke

Title: Bloodright

Author: Karin Tabke

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Blood Moon Rising (Book 2)

Publication Date: April 3, 2012

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 042524301X (Penguin/Berkley)

ISBN-13:  978-0425243015 (Penguin/Berkley)

Reviewed by: Sheila and Angela

Synopsis

The coming of the Blood Moon will lead two Lycan packs into war, spur two rival brothers into conflict, and spark an act of vengeance so evil that its effects will be felt for generations.

One woman stands at the center of it all…

After years of waiting, the Blood Law is at last avenged. Lycan Alpha Lucien Mondragon takes revenge on his brother, Rafael. Lucien is poised to slay Rafael’s life mate, the Lycan/Slayer half-breed Falon- but cannot complete the kill. For Falon’s mystical powers and fiery nature awaken a heart Lucien thought long dead. Instead of ending her life, Lucien defiantly marks Falon as his own, tormenting his brother to insanity and spurning Rafael’s blood thirst for his own revenge.

Though terrified by the savage Lucien, Falon finds herself inexplicably drawn to his primal rage and strength by a desire she cannot resist. Torn between the true love she has for Rafael and the burning hunger she holds for Lucien, Falon knows that the will of her heart will lead her to her destined life mate. But it may also doom the Alpha brothers-and the Lycan race-to extinction…

Quick & Dirty: A woman torn away from the man she loves only to be drawn into the bed of another.

Opening SentenceLucien grabbed Falon to his chest before Rafael could touch her and whirled away from him deep into the safety of his pack.

Excerpt: Yes

The Joint Review:

Sheila’s Thoughts:

Bloodright is considered a paranormal erotic romance.  The “paranormal” is there, along with lots of scenes that get the “erotic” stamp of approval.  It’s the drama queen romance that is too clichéd for words.  Really, not being able to decide between two hottie twins is fine and dandy, but to profess undying love to one then the other in an obscenely short amount of time is too much.  It smacks of Romeo and his fickle love in Romeo & Juliet.  Good story, but the flightiness is hard to swallow.

If the first book centers on Rafael, then the second installment of the Blood Moon Rising trilogy is all about Lucien.  Lucien, the dark, brooding yet misunderstood twin.  Lucien, the epicenter of all the in-fighting among the clans of werewolves.  Lucien, bane of Rafael and Falon’s Happily-Ever-After.  Lucien, the black sheep of the family that only needs the love of a good woman to make him the better man he was always destined to be.

Admittedly, Falon and Lucien are thrust together in an uncomfortable situation and try to make the most of it.  They are the alphas of their pack, and love doesn’t have to be a part of the equation.  But Lucien is never happy, no matter what changes.  He wants Falon’s body, so she gives it.  Now, he wants her to love him as much as she loves his brother, so she does.  Does he stop there, heck no!  He is jealous because he can’t have ALL of her heart.  There just seems to be no right answer for Falon here.  So I ask, what’s the point?  It just seems to me like a bad relationship that thrives on drama.

Then there is Rafael.  He gives up Falon, his chosen mate, to his brother because it’s the right thing to do.  As if THAT is going to keep him warm at night.  When he sees that she is making the most of her situation and trying to make a life with Lucien, Rafael gets pissed.  Really?  You push her away and now that she is happy, you want her back?  What is this book, the Jerry Springer Show: Werewolves Special?  And in true Jerry fashion, Falon admits to wanting both as her mate – at the same time.  Fine Falon, but do you need to drag it out so?  What’s the point in going back and forth between the two if you want them both together?  Shouldn’t that be your goal and not making everyone miserable?  Can these emotionally immature people get their act straight before the final fight happens?  Or will they be so busy wrapped up in themselves to even notice the bigger picture?

True, there is a lot going on besides the love triangle.  Lucien learns the truth about Mara; the whole reason this blood feud between twins started in the first place.  Rafael and Lucien make tentative steps toward reconciliation.  Falon learns more about her parents.  And the three of them tap into a tremendous power that could possibly tip the balance in this war with the Slayers.

For the most part, this is a good read.  Aside from the wishy-washy Falon and both brothers’ lamenting, the overall plot was great.  I enjoyed the fact that the well written sex scenes are evenly dispersed as to not overwhelm the overall story and slink into porno territory.  Other than that, I don’t recommend this book to people that have a hard time reading fickle hearts residing within blood thirsty heroines.  On the other hand, if you are looking for another love triangle, this is the series for you.

Angela’s Thought’s:

From the moment that I finished Blood Law, I knew that Bloodright would be at the top of my must read list. The ending from the first book has a killer cliffhanger and Rafael and Falon’s story was far from over. I’d been impatiently waiting to find out how the story would progress and how Rafael would be able to hold onto Falon, and everything that they shared. This isn’t a book that you can just jump into. You have to read the first book because the events in this book are very much tied to everything that happened in the first book.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this review since I read the book a month ago. In many ways I knew how certain elements of this story would play out. The foreshadowing in Blood Law and other plot point hints didn’t really prepare me for the story that I read in Bloodright. From the jump I had misgivings about Lucien and Falon having a real relationship and the idea of them being “true” mates. Their previous interactions were cantankerous at best, but more importantly, they didn’t share a connection.

Many of Tabke’s signature styles remain evident in Bloodright. The writing style, world building, and mythology/lore are all fantastic. My biggest critique of this book is the characterization and believability. I like some of the twists and turns that Tabke threw at the reader as well as the evenly placed plot devices, the kind where the author will write their characters into a corner and the reader is then frantic trying to figure out how their beloved characters will get out of the mess that they got themselves into. In this case it didn’t work with Falon and Lucien.

I knew that Falon would have a lot of challenges to face, but I didn’t expect her to be so mercurial. Falon initially presented as someone who was very strong, independent, loyal and resourceful despite all of her previous hardships. Given everything that she shared with Rafael, it was truly hard to believe that in such a short period of time (a week or two) she would be able to give herself so completely to the one person who swore he would destroy the only man that she has ever loved. The relationship that Falon and Lucien developed just didn’t seem sincere. Falon seemed to justify her deplorable actions by hiding behind the blood law. Telling herself that what she was doing was right for the pack and that she was honoring Rafael in his selfless, albeit forced act to give her up. The running theme throughout this story is that all of a sudden Lucien is the “key”. I guess conveniently, he is the key to everything. The war against the Slayers simply can’t be won without him and everything else that needs to be done to save the Lycan race also falls at his feet. I couldn’t help feeling as if Falon thought so little of the love that she supposedly shared with Rafael, the alpha who she shared a mark with; the alpha who was supposed to be her “true” mate. Falon never really processed the loss of Rafael or truly mourned the demise of their relationship before she threw him aside like trash to fall into bed with his brother. I was truly disappointed and didn’t care for the neutered version of Rafael in this installment.

The only other thing that I will mention is that this story isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a sexy story with vividly detailed love scenes, which might cause some readers to pause because there are a few human/animal sex scenes. Meaning one character is in their human form and the other is in their wolf form. I’ll let you be the judge.

Readers are also treated to another cliffhanger, which I didn’t seem coming at all. You’ll just have to wait a few months because the third installment, Blood Vow, won’t hit shelves until December 2012.

Overall, while I was disappointed with certain aspects of this latest installment, Bloodright was a decent read. It’s a good continuation of the complicated/ill-fated story arc, but not a great installment. I just found it hard to be sympathetic towards Falon and Lucien’s continued deceit was just too much. I didn’t find him as likable as I thought I would, and it was really hard to connect with Falon in this story. She wasn’t the slightest bit relatable. Not in the same way she captured my heart in the first book.

Notable Scene:

Falon lick her dry lips and glanced at Lucien, who had walked over o talk weapons with Anton.  He looked so damn sexy in the pair of low-slung jeans.  His muscles rippled along his arms as he grasped a sword from Anton’s cache, making stabbing and thrusting gestures.  Lucien’s dark hair framed his fallen-angel face in a wild halo of midnight black.  Her body warmed when she thought of them earlier that day on the riverbank.  It had been ferocious, frantic, untamed.  But then, so was Lucien.  He kept her off balance.  She never knew what to expect from him except the unexpected.

Lucien’s feral nature was the polar opposite of Rafael’s civility.  Rafael was a sensualist.  Slow.  Deliberate, and oh so passionate.  With Rafael, Falon knew where she stood, and that he would always do the right thing.  He was grounded, revered among his people, and highly intelligent.  He was her first.  She had always thought he would be her last.  But fate had a funny way of stepping in and shaking up a person’s life.

Falon’s chest tightened with longing.  She missed waking in Rafa’s strong secure arms.  Yet her breath hitched high in her throat and her belly did chaotic somersaults when she thought of Lucien’s touch.  He was instant heat followed be internal combustion.

How was it that each man, in his different way, completed her?

The Blood Moon Rising Trilogy:

1. Blood Law

2. Bloodright

3. Blood Vow

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided us with a copy of Bloodright.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Bloodright by Karin Tabke, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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