A car accident changes everything for Dr. Toni Parthen. Her computer hacked hospital blood test confirms she’s the carrier of a gene that’s the key to salvation for a unique race of human beings. Abducted from her hospital room to a secret, underground community, Toni is asked to do the unthinkable: procreate with a man from a race called Varcolac-a species that must consume the blood of other humans to survive. Then bizarre turns dangerous, because a new, mysterious enemy also wants her special DNA, and Toni finds herself in the middle of an all-out war to possess her. It’s the job of Jacken Brun, leader of the Warrior Class, to keep the captured women safe from a demonic race of humans who rule a neighboring part of their underground world. His challenges multiply when Toni inflames the women into mutiny, and then there’s his biggest problem…his growing desire for the infuriating woman herself. Afflicted with a dark genetic makeup, Jacken can never be with a woman. Until Toni uses her scientific ingenuity to find a way for her and Jacken to be together. But then the new enemy faction unearths Toni and drags her to their hidden lair, where they’ll inflict an unspeakable cruelty on her to gain access to her valuable genes. It will take every warrior skill Jacken owns to save the woman he loves, but only if he can find her in time…
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author as part of a R2R in the Lovers of Paranormal Goodreads group. This doesn’t affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.
Wow, where to start with this one! I’m still a little overwhelmed by how fantastic The Bloodline War was! From the very beginning I was captivated by the rich lore and world that Tracy Tappan created. Right off the bat the reader is introduced to one of my new favorite romance heroines, Toni. A doctor of hematology, she occasionally works on crime scenes and from the start I felt that she was a little different than most heroines. Toni wasn’t one to take nonsense from . And I mean anyone. Even when she’s in great duress or tough men are trying to intimidate her, she doesn’t just sit there and take it. I loved that about her and it was one of the many endearing qualities the book had.
Toni wasn’t the only vibrant character in The Bloodline War either. Tracy Tappan created a cast of characters that are interesting, dynamic, and relatable. Even when I disagreed with what they were doing (as I did with some of the Warriors as well as the antagonists) I understood why they were up to, in my opinion, no good. Oftentimes it’s so easy to loathe a character that doesn’t do as the reader wishes and I’ve found, more often than not, it’s because we have so little understanding of their motivations. This is hardly the case in The Bloodline War. The characters, even the antagonists, have very clear reasons for what they do and while I despised some of them (Looking at you, Raymond.) I couldn’t help but understand.
Not only are they interesting and exciting, many of the characters are funny – and not in a bad way whatsoever! (I never thought Jaċken would be funny and I love that he was!) I didn’t go into the book expecting humor but I found myself laughing as often as I was cursing out the bad guys. Tracy Tappan does some amazing dialogue which I think speaks volumes about her skill as a writer. Flat dialogue can kill the most brilliant of ideas and lovingly crafted worlds but The Bloodline War has no shortage of witty banter and engaging conversations between the characters. A few of the characters are foreign and their vocabulary and speech patterns really made that believable. I was very impressed with how well they were done! I’ve read a few other books where characters with accents or from another country are just so over the top or poorly done that it’s really jarring to read. Tracy Tappan handled them flawlessly, weaving together both thoughts and speech that left me knowing the character was from another place but not struggling to understand them.
The Bloodline War has quickly become a new favorite of mine. It was gritty and full of action which, while I’m not normally big on, the scenes were so well done I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world. And the fact that the story was told from several different points of view was very satisfying. I wasn’t expecting to get to see so much of the other characters and I loved it! I am the oddball who loves side characters as much as the main ones and getting to know them, to know what was going on with them, was just what I needed to make this one of my favorites.
I highly recommend this book. It recently won the Bronze Medal for romance from the prestigious Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) and, in my opinion, it deserved gold.