Monday, March 14, 2011

Blood Wicked by Sharon Page

Vivienne, a naive succubus joins Heath, a cursed vampire – in a breathtaking adventure with sizzling sex scenes.

Sharon Page brilliantly blended a few sub-genres. If I were to define Blood Wicked, I would say it is an erotic paranormal urban fantasy suspense romance set in London at the end of the Regency period.

Vivienne is a retired courtesan devoted to look after Sarah, her sick adolescent daughter. All the wealth Vivienne accumulated as a courtesan is useless to restore Sarah’s health. And Vivienne would do anything to protect her daughter. Because of this, Vivienne is blackmailed by an apothecary into having intercourse with noblemen in exchange for the elixir that would heal Sarah, who is getting dangerously weaker. The night Vivienne meets Heath, she’s picking up the potion.

Heath has been assigned by the evil vampire council to hunt the succubus who’d decimated five men. However, Heath’s priority is to find his missing brother, Raine. While searching for him, he encounters Vivienne, the woman whose reflection he foresaw at an oracle pond together with Raine’s image. Heath rescues her from death and even though he suspects she’s the succubus he’s looking for, he finds it almost as hard to believe it as an incredulous Vivienne does. She ignores what a succubus is, dismayed to realize the five men she slept with are dead and doesn’t believe Heath is a vampire either.

Due to the harsh experiences endured during her youth, Vivienne distrusts all males thus her reluctance to accept Heath’s offer to cure Sarah without asking anything in return. At first, they both try to resist the mutual attraction unaware that the solutions for the many ordeals both confront rest in their union. There is a strong emotional connection between Heath and Vivienne, and it’s a pleasure to see how they trail the path toward true love. He is cursed to have a lover only once, and she has never known what being really loved and care for is. I enjoyed the tender and protecting way Heath treats Vivienne. In spite of his wickedness and his detachment, he comes across as a very caring person – hunted by the guilty feelings and memories of his family tragic end. As his feelings for Vivienne evolve, he resolves that besides searching for his bother he must protect Vivienne and Sarah while fighting enemies.

Being erotic romance the sex is extremely explicit and there are scenes that might make some uncomfortable, but the romance in this book is so well done that the raw erotism is justified. The secondary characters are also well developed. I like the most Sarah’s coming of age, Julian, a young vampire sent by the council to supervise Heath’s investigation, and Guidon, the historian of vampires – a really interesting and unexpected character. The well-woven plot is suspenseful, fast-paced, full of surprises and interesting twists.

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