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“Partnership in Blood Volume One”
Can a desperate wizard and a bitter, disillusioned vampire find a way to build the partnership that could save their world?
In a world rocked by magical war, vampires are seen by many as less than human, as the stereotypical creatures of the night who prey on others. But as the war intensifies, the wizards know they need an advantage to turn the tide in their favor: the strength and edge the vampires can give them in the battle against the dark wizards who seek to destroy life as they know it.
In a dangerous move and show of good will, the wizards ask the leader of the vampires to meet with them, so that they might plead their cause. One desperate man, Alain Magnier, and one bitter, disillusioned vampire, Orlando St. Clair, meet in Paris, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance of their decision: Will the vampires join the cause and form a partnership with the wizards to win the war?
There is a war being waged by renegade wizards. The good wizards seek an alliance with the vampires who have had an animosity towards the wizards for years. In order to broker a peace agreement, the emissary for the wizards, Alain, agrees to have his blood sampled by the emissary from the vampires, Orlando, as an olive branch and also as a means to prove his sincerity and honesty. Instead of merely proving these, which it does, it also gives Orlando a burst of magic that is both erotic, and provides safety from the sun!
The bond between them is so strong that the couple quickly goes from allies to lovers. However, this is no simple case of “insta-love/lust”. Yes, they are both immediately and exaggeratedly attracted to each other, but Orlando has a long history of mistrust. His “maker” raped him and abused him in other ways, repeatedly, over years. Only by killing him did Orlando get free, though he is still crippled by the emotional scars left behind. Alain is a true and gentle soul who seeks only to make Orlando feel whole again, both for the sake of the alliance and for their budding relationship.
Meanwhile, the other wizards and vampires must find their own “pairing”. It is determined that this bond between Orlando and Alain can also be found with others (though not necessarily the deep, sexual bonding). They test one another and several couples emerge.
Once the couples are joined they begin their work to spread this knowledge among vampires and wizards and begin to build their part of the resistance.
This is the first of four books. It is a unique take on the “mate” that we see in a lot of paranormal books in that (at least at first blush) not every “mate” is a sexual partner. (That remains to be seen in further books.)
Orlando and Alain share a deep and instant, but very imperfect bond and it is clear that their struggle to overcome Orlando’s past will play an important role in the coming books.
The other couples look like they, too, will play important roles in upcoming story lines and some of the pairings are m/f and f/f.
The overall feel of this book is very dark and as some have said, “gothic”. The language is more formal and stilted, perhaps because it takes place in Europe, though it is in modern times.
These are long books. The world building is significant and lengthy. There is a fair amount of the “love story” but that is at least equaled by the “other”. IE The other couples, the war, the world building, etcetera.
I really like Alain. He’s just generous and giving and so sincere. It’s obvious how much he cares for Orlando already, though it’s only been days. The other couples are intriguing as well. Orlando is a bit much. He is moody and guarded and scarred. Something like a old, vampire, emo teenager. I am hoping we see him open up as the story evolves, and that we see him returning the adoration fed him by Alain. Right now it feels very lopsided.
Overall, this is a great start to a fascinating series with a very complex, dark and yet romantic world.
I give it 4 of 5 hearts