Vampires, much like zombies, have been done.
And then they’ve been done and done some more.
There’s a reason people going back to the paranormal well,
though – people like the stories and you can always tweak the mythology just a
little bit and create something different.
That’s exactly what happens with ‘Blood Marriage’ by Regina
In this installment, dying Elizabeth is suffering from
hemophilia in the early 1800s and she’s not long for this world. All she cares
about, though, is surviving long enough so her dying mother will think that at
least one of her children will have a long and happy life.
Elizabeth’s simple plans turn to ash, though, (sometimes literally) when a chance
encounter with Nicholas Devlin forces her into a surprise marriage – and even
more surprisingly lifestyle.
You see, Nicholas – all stalwart charm and swarthy lies – is
actually a half vampire. The change was never finished on him, so he has some –
but not all – of the vampire gifts. He can also save Elizabeth – but he has to
worry about a series of murders at his estate before he can do that. Oh, and he keeps hiding what he is from her -- even though she keeps getting attacked by hooded "monsters."
While I loved the setting of ‘Blood Marriage’ – and the
writing is pretty solid with only a handful of typos – I had a problem with some of the plot points.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that women had to be more
subservient in those times, but Elizabeth’s whole attitude rankles me in our present time.
Basically, she’s a walking doormat for her new husband because he’s good in
It gets old pretty quickly.
Not only is new groom Nicholas disappearing from their bed
every night – but he also manhandles his new bride whenever the mood strikes
and refuses to answer her questions. It’s Elizabeth’s response to this – just letting
him get away with the lies (and something that’s fairly similar to rape) and
never demanding answers of her husband.
I like a strong heroine in a book. Every character in ‘Blood
Marriage’ says that Elizabeth is a strong woman – but she’s actually just the
opposite. She’s consistently weak – in character and body.
Despite all this, I enjoyed a lot of the book – and the new
take on half vampires and demon vampires was a breath of fresh air in a crowded
genre. This book would have been a lot better, though, if Elizabeth had been
something other than a damsel in distress that completely loses her mind every
time her husband kisses her.
That just doesn’t work for me.