All Hallows Blood by Raven Corinn Carluk
Released: March 2010
Category: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Heat Level: M/F sensual/erotic sex/ very steamy
*I received this book from the author for review
The hurt and pain of lose drive Keila to loose herself. To win back her freedom from the ravenous pain she suffers, Keila must face dangers and fight for every inch of ground she recovers as she makes her journey towards the distant light. Varick Eitenhauer, centuries old vampire, will be her undoing, or her fortress of strength. Never the less, together they must accept the desires that burn between them while fighting to take back control of his domain or risk loosing everything they love...including each other.
SUMMARY: (taken from the authors's website)
Bound by her family creed to Help those who need you, Keila goes to investigate, and encounters the killer. He's a vampire, but her combat skills allow her to overcome him. Barely. Bleeding out, weary, drunk, Keila passes out just as Varick arrives.
That's where the story really begins. Varick Eitenhauer is the head vampire of Portland, and he's tracking down a rival who insists on killing the kids of his followers. He doesn't understand why, but he knows Keila is part of this, and he conscripts her into his battle. Passion flares between them, which they each try to deny, and must eventually embrace.
This book has some graphic sex scenes, and some borderline graphic fight scenes. It's most certainly not a fun little happy romp through the night, but neither is it dreary and totally dark
"Happy Halloween Mom," I toasted. Raspberry vodka sloshed in the bottle as I brought it to my lips.
Ms. Carluk pointed out something with her writing that I found to be very interesting. Using her plot she showed the reader that you DO NOT have to follow the stereo format in order to write a good book. While she did use certain elements that are found in many paranormal plots such as power control and H/h fighting their attraction, she also brought a unique twist to the plot. I won't divulge to much that would spoil the read for you, that I will leave for you to discover. I will say this, her plot held together, delivering a nice paced story. There were two areas in which I thought it could have been stronger, but nothing that interrupted the flow for me. By the end of the book, all lose ends were tied up, while leaving a great opening for the sequel.
The author's choice of an urban setting melded well with the story. For my preferences, I would have liked more descriptions to the surroundings and of Varick's home. However, I can understand how the author wanted some things to be left for the reader's imagination.
All Hallows Blood is delivered in first person which allows us to really delve deep into the heroine's thought process. I enjoyed being privy to all of Kelia's emotions, fears, as well as triumphs. Some writers can not pull off the first person POV (point of view) and make the story whole, I did not find that to be the case in All Hallows Blood.
Where I would have liked a little more description for the setting, Ms. Carluk makes up for it with good insight into her character Keila through inner dialogue as well as her thought process.
I did find a few areas where I thought the heroine's thought process did not follow the actions of the scene, however nothing that interrupted the flow of the story. I consider the author's writing style fluid and she held a nice rhythm throughout most of the book. I do love her actions scenes. She has what it takes to write very fast paced and racy action.
Keila O' Broin, Psionicists Warrior, is a unique heroine in my opinion. She is not a cut-out by any means. She does not fit into your size 5 jeans and size 4 high heels. She is tall woman that has a real waist and a full body-a perfect match for the tall German vampire, Varick. Ms. Carluk purposefully created Kelia with several flaws, and a set back or two. I found the heroine a little to quick to tears on occasion and thought it very weak of her character to cry at a moments notice. She is a Psionicists Warrior after all. However, it is what made her human after all. She didn't have to be the bravest nor the strongest and tears are part of the healing process. As I progressed through the book, I found some logic to her hurt and pain causing me to connecte with her. I could feel the pain and loss she felt. I could also see where the author was taking her character. The growth arc took her from the depths of suffering to the clear path of re-birth with a purpose. From losing her family to finding people just as close and dear to her that love her as a family should.
The relationship with Varick Eitenhauer, was interesting to follow. The friction was there from the beginning. I felt like reaching into the pages a few times and slapping the centuries old vampire, but when the time came, it made the joining of Keila and Varick all that more delicious to read. The author did a good job plotting it out.
Varick Eitenhauer, leader of the vampires of Portland, really brought out the best and worst of Keila. He pushed her character to grow and took her out of her comfort zone. In the end, he brought her out of her shell and showed her there is more going on in the world around her than her own misery and pain. He was the perfect match for her.
I believe Ms. Carluk's debut novel brought emotion, conflict, and action to the table. She used her talents as a writer to weave a great story worthy of attention. I liked the ending and how the plot points were tied together nicely while leaving you wondering what could possibly be next for Keila. I am anxious to read the sequel planned for All Hallows Blood!