Orbit, September 27, 2011, $7.99
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.
It’s not often that an author can add something new to a very familiar—and oversaturated—paranormal creature and make it her own. Kristen Painter has done just that in Blood Rights in not just one, but both her lead characters, Chrysabelle and Mal.
Chrysabelle is born into high society, but her life isn’t spent at balls and planning charity events; rather, she is being groomed for much bigger things. She is a comarré, a human/hybrid species bred to serve noble vampires with blood. Chrysablle’s body is marked with gold, indicating her status as a donor. Her blood rights were the highest paid to date, and her blood is suspected to be the purest blood ever. But Chrysabelle is a fighter and unlike any other comarré the noble vampires have ever seen.
The same can be said for Mal, a vampire who is anathema, previously noble but cast out of society to survive on his own for reasons you will find out within the pages of Blood Rights. Not your typical brooding vampire, Mal has bigger issues than whining about the hand he has been dealt. Mal has two curses that have been placed upon him: any time he drinks directly from a donor, he can’t stop. Thus leading to curse number two—when the person he has inevitably drained dies, their name magically becomes a tattoo on his body and their spirit haunts him.
Did I mention that he kind of turns all beast-like and scary during that? He is the vampire least likely to be seen in the company of a comarré; most nobles actually think him dead and those who do not think he’s batshit crazy.
Both of these characters have been done before, but not this way. Let’s admit it: most of us are sick to death (no pun intended) of vampires. But these two characters are by no means like any you have read before; while Mal is dark and dangerous he hasn’t lost his empathy. And Chrysabelle isn’t the pretty little daisy we think she is in the first few chapters. There is a hidden secret she carries that very well may save her life.
Automatically you know that these two characters are going to have to help save each other, but you think they’ll suck it up and get along. That’s another misconception, because these two go together like oil and vinegar, which will have you up long past your bedtime turning the pages. They clash, oh boy, do they clash. And it’s not that fake conflict; they both have secrets they wish to keep and have walls around them to keep from getting hurt.
Blood Rights really is one of a kind, and well worth the read. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for the other two books in the trilogy, as book 2, Flesh and Blood, is out in November and book 3, Bad Blood, will be out in December.
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.