Joint Review: Blood Shadows by Lindsay J. Pryor ★★★★1/2

Blood Shadows by Lindsay J. Pryor
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Blackthorn #1
Publication Date: November 27th 2012
ISBN: 9781909490017
Page Count: 380
Rating: ★★★★1/2
Review Copy: Own Purchase/ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey/Janice
Synopsis: For vengeance - would you trust a vampire?

For justice - could you betray your family?

For love - are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of 'third species' beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit's most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy - a master vampire - comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane's help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for. Or die.


A vampire book with bite! 

I've become a little wary of vampire books in recent years because I feel like I've been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt at least a dozen times. Fortunately, this was one of those times I needn't have worried. BLOOD SHADOWS reminded me why I fell in love with vampire books in the first place, and why they will always be a staple part of my reading diet. Because when a vampire book is done right, it's right.

At first glance, BLOOD SHADOWS may seem like just another paranormal romance, but trust me, boys and girls, it is so much more! Pryor weaves in some intriguing dystopian-ish elements, creating a society where powerhouse supernatural races (aka "third species") are policed by humans. Hostilities, conflicts and age-old resentments abound. The world of BLOOD SHADOWS is a dark and violent place, and Pryor doesn't pull any punches conveying that to the reader.

The heroine of the story, Caitlin Parish, is a woman on a mission. As an agent of the VCU, it is her job to maintain order and keep the third species in check - and she's extremely good at what she does. Her latest assignment is tracking the elusive vampire Kane, a man who has consistently slipped through VCU fingers and whose list of crimes would make even the most nefarious of villains blush. Caitlin has studied Kane for years, determined to be the one to finally bring him to justice, but her interest in him isn't solely professional. Because, you see, as an old and powerful vampire, Kane may hold the secret to solving a mystery that has haunted Caitlin for years. She wants - no, she needs - information only Kane can give her.

Kane is no fool. He is fully aware of Caitlin's obsession with him. Little does she know, he has been watching her as well, and he has every intention of using her to fulfill his own plans.

Caitlin is a kickass heroine, yet there's a surprising fragility to her as well. I connected to her character easily and was right there with her through every emotional up and down. But Kane...Kane stole this show, folks. He isn't one of those "woe is me" vampires who is forever bemoaning his unfortunate, undead fate. Instead, he fully embraces who and what he is, thumbs his nose at human authority, isn't afraid to play dirty (in fact, he rather enjoys it), and best of all, he doesn't apologize for any of it. I freaking LOVED him.

The push-pull dynamic between Caitlin and Kane is superb and quite possibly the best I've ever read. They are relentless together, constantly pushing buttons, testing boundaries and peeling away layers. At the same time, they are fighting an intense and entirely mutual attraction which neither one of them wants to give in to. While their relationship does unfold over a relatively short period of time, it never once felt rushed or manufactured to me. Pryor makes every moment between these characters count, and the result is a complex, fully developed, and insanely hot romance.

BLOOD SHADOWS is a deliciously twisted and exciting tale. Everyone has an agenda, and motives are murky. Just when you think you've figured out who is doing what and why, Pryor will rip the rug out from under your feet. This isn't a comfortable and cozy read, folks. It will shake and stir you in the best of ways. I couldn't put it down.

Do I recommend this book? Hell yes! Whether you're a diehard vamp fan or just a lover of all things that bite and go bump in the night, BLOOD SHADOWS is a story you won't want to miss.

4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2


In a word: Hot! 

A dark, gritty and extremely sensual read. I found myself very much enjoying BLOOD SHADOWS, Lindsay J. Pryor's debut novel, and am looking forward to reading future instalments in this uber-sexy paranormal romance series!

Our story is based in the fictional setting of Blackthorn (which reads a bit like a dystopian version of a modern British town/city), and features rival factions of supernatural creatures, and the human VCU (Vampire Control Unit) agents left behind to "police" them. Or that's the theory, anyway. The truth of the situation would differ depending on whom you asked, and what species they were. But I digress...

We follow our heroine Caitlin Parish, a young woman married to her job as an agent, with a borderline unhealthy fixation on one particular local vampire. A vampire whose rap sheet (were he ever actually caught and arrested) would turn the stomach of even the hardiest of professionals. But Caitlin, after her extensive "research" into his profile, wonders if there may be more to his story than the dozens of mutilated bodies left behind would suggest. Doubts or no, when the opportunity to finally take him down presents itself, Caitlin is front and centre in the queue to volunteer her services.

Kane, the vampire in question, was just ridiculously sexy. I mean ridiculously so; no woman even stands a chance. I wouldn't even bother putting up a fight, to be honest. Just accept the sexiness that is Kane, because resistance is futile. But as well as all that yumminess, he was also a very intriguing and complex character; a real anti-hero and an alpha male of the highest order. Caitlin, too, was a dichotomy of bold, tough agent, and meek, vulnerable female. Between the two of them, you're never able to fully settle on an opinion about them because they keep changing on you and moving the goalposts. They're also both adept at lying and evading, so trust is a major issue. But the really clever part was that the deceit goes not only between the two characters, but Pryor was also able to keep much of it from her readers as well. I loved not knowing what either character might do, or whom to trust. It had me fiendishly flipping the pages to find out.

As for the plot itself, it was tight and well-constructed. There were flashes of action and excitement, but also calmer stretches confined to one location. Which may have been boring were it not for the crazy amount of sexual tension in the room. All the way up to eleven, people, I'm telling you...

There were many cool twists to the story, some "No way!" moments and great supernatural elements. If I could wish for one thing, it would be to have learnt even more about the setting of Blackthorn itself. The snippets we got sounded interesting, so I would really like to find out even more details. Hopefully we will in the next instalment.

The next book, BLOOD ROSES, is set to feature yet another hot vamp and his special lady. So it will be a different couple per book, but I have a feeling we may not have heard the last of Kane and Caitlin. I certainly hope not:)

4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2

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