Title: Blood Possession
Author: Tessa Dawn
Series: Blood Curse #3
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Ghost Pines Publishing
Release Date: April 5th 2012/April 15th 2012
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Rating: 6 Bad Boys – An Outstanding Must Read!!!!!!
Napolean Mondragon is no ordinary man. He is the sovereign lord of the house of Jadon, the very heartbeat of the Vampyr race, and a fearsome leader who rules with absolute authority and power. While he carries the blood of every vampire in his veins; he also carries a dark secret of shame in his heart…
A secret that will soon be used against him by his enemies.
When Brooke Adams comes to Dark Moon Vale for a conference, she is unaware of the hidden danger that dwells within the valley’s majestic forest. A rising star in the corporate world, she has only one goal: to sell a leading-edge concept to her boss and advance her career. Little does she know, her life is about to change…forever.
Caught in a tangled web of vengeance and deception, Napolean and Brooke are forced to confront their inner demons. Together, they must fight to survive a BLOOD POSSESSION.
Fantasy novels aren’t supposed to be so thought provoking that it makes one think about the universe and the meaning of life in a different way, are they?
The latest in Tessa Dawn’s Blood Curse series, Blood Possession, has me doing exactly that…thinking about things in life that I’ve never considered before. I kid you not! You are probably thinking I’m crazy or at least that I can’t be talking about a paranormal romance novel. But I’m not. Crazy, I mean and I am talking about my favorite genre, PNR…I swear it!
Blood Possession is very much a Dark Fantasy novel about good fighting against evil in our beloved paranormal romance genre. Tessa Dawn manages to incorporate into her tale of Vampyrs a philosophy on how we are deeply connected to the universe through our life’s energy and how we make cosmic imprints by our actions and thoughts even. Interestingly, it adds depth and originality to the often over-used Vampyr origin histories and puts Dawn's idea in a class above the others. Tessa’s Vampyrs are descendants of Celestial Beings that live in a place where spirits and souls can exist away from a physical body - a nonphysical realm so to speak and this idea is instrumental to this particular tale.
My own novel rating system advises me to award 5 stars to a novel that is enjoyable, well structured, has compelling characterization and plot, great tone and pace for the genre and is brilliant in its delivery. Also, I would have no misgivings about recommending it to my friends. Seriously readers, in my opinion, Blood Possession meets all those elements and more, surpassing what I’ve ever given in another review. It’s truly above and beyond any other PNR novel I’ve read. So it’s more like a 5+ or 6 star read.
It took me days to gather my thoughts and calm my emotions in order to write this review. And that is in no way a bad thing. It just took time for me to sort out what I liked most and figure out why it resonated with me on such a deep level in order to communicate my experience to you.
This novel stirred intense feelings and emotions for me. There is one scene in particular where, at the same time as I was feeling overpowering love and respect for the hero/heroine, I was feeling an equal measure of loathing for the villain. I guess this is customary; however, this particular scene was so well written that it took my breath away. When I was finished reading that scene, I realized that i was crying so hard, it could only be called "ugly crying". Wiping tears away, I actually hugged my Kindle (so glad I was alone when that happened). I wanted to bow down to the brilliance of this author in how she handled such a delicate event. There were a few scenes in the novel like that and some will impact different readers in different ways. However, I guarantee, if you have feelings, you will be affected by at least one of them.
I can never do this novel justice in such a short review; however, I’ll give it a go for you so you can consider reading this masterpiece of work that is The Blood Curse series.
About the story…
Tessa Dawn’s series has an entire backstory explaining the origins of Vampyrs and how & why they were cursed. It’s explained well in the novel, however for your benefit, here is a summary from the author…
The Blood Curse…
In 800 BC, Prince Jadon and Prince Jaegar Demir were banished from their Romanian homeland after being cursed by a ghostly apparition: the reincarnated Blood of their numerous, female victims.
They belonged to an ancient society that had sacrificed its females to the point of extinction, and the punishment was severe.
They were forced to roam the earth in darkness as creatures of the night. They were condemned to feed on the blood of the innocent and stripped of their ability to produce female offspring. They were damned to father twin sons by human hosts who would die wretchedly upon giving birth; and the first born of the first set would forever be required as a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of their forefathers.
Staggered by the enormity of The Curse, Prince Jadon, whose own hands had never shed blood, begged his accuser for leniency and received four small mercies -- four exceptions to the curse that would apply to his house and his descendants, alone.
· Though still creatures of the night, they would be allowed to walk in the sun.
· Though still required to live on blood, they would not be forced to take the lives of the innocent.
· While still incapable of producing female offspring, they would be given one opportunity and thirty-days to obtain a mate -- a human female, chosen by the gods (their destiny)-- following a sign that appeared in the heavens.
· While still required to sacrifice a first born son, their twins would be born as one child of darkness and one child of light, allowing them to sacrifice the former while keeping the latter to carry on their race.
Forever banished from their homeland in the Transylvanian mountains of Eastern Europe, the descendants of Jaegar and the descendants of Jadon became the Vampyr of legend: roaming the earth, ruling the elements, living on the blood of others...forever bound by an ancient curse.
They were brothers of the same species, separated only by degrees of light and shadow.
About Blood Possession (Book #3)
In the previous novel, the Vampyrs of the House of Jadon delivered a devastating blow to the Dark Ones (descendants of Jaegar) slaying many of the dark brothers. Since then, thoughts of vengeance have consumed Salvatore (a sorcerer) leading him to devise a plan to kill the King, Napolean, thus endangering the continuance of their House.
The plan Salvatore devised was actually quite ingenious, if he could pull it off. His logic was surprisingly simple but held great possibility - start killing humans in Dark Moon Vale to keep the sons of Jadon so busy cleaning up the mess, that they wouldn’t notice the gradual changes in their King as dark magic started to influence his behavior and actions. Salvatore knew that Napolean is too powerful to try and kill physically in combat, so the use of dark magic was the only way. Killing the King will allow Salvatore to regain his lost respect of the council members after the last humiliation and hopefully regain some political standing with the council.
Salvatore counted on the House of Jadon being unprepared after their earlier success and he was right. As powerful as the lighter sons are, they underestimated Salvatore’s cunning and desire for vengeance to their detriment. Salvatore’s plan was deadly and unfortunately for Napolean, well thought out and executed. The threats built and became even more dangerous as the novel progressed and the sons of Jadon were constantly taken unawares and could only deal reactively to new threats. There was no opportunity to go on the offensive and plan a proactive strategy. The House of Jadon learned some hard lessons in this novel and has come to realize that the old values they hold to are no longer valid and new tactics for protection of their race have to be made.
In the midst of all the danger and conflict, Napoleon Mondragon, the King and Leader of the Vampyrs of the House of Jadon, suddenly is shown his Blood Moon - the sign from the Gods that the time has come for him to meet his destiny (life mate). At 2,800 years old, Napoleon had pretty much given up on the idea that he would have a true destiny like his brethren. He’d accepted the fact and was content with ruling as Vampyr King. But now that his Blood Moon has appeared, he has one month to convince his destiny, Brooke, to accept him as her mate and provide the sacrifice or he life will end. As is the Blood Curse.
As a human, Brooke has no idea about the existence of this other world of Vampyrs, Destinies and Blood Curses. And to say she’s unhappy to find out that she is someone’s destined mate is an understatement. All was good in her world. She was just starting to break into the “old-boys network”, moving up the corporate ladder and slowly starting to get recognized for her achievements. Then Napolean pops up out of nowhere and turns her world upside down. After many escape attempts and the destruction of many pieces of priceless art, she slowly starts to realize that this is all truly happening.
The path to ‘happy ever after’ for Napolean and Brooke is not a pretty one as conspiracies unfold and enemies endanger their fated union. And their enemies are many - Dark Vampyrs from the House of Jaegar, powerful sorcerers, the ultimate Dark Lord Ademordna and now even human vampire hunters.
About the Characters…
Characterization in a romance novel is key. In this novel, each main character and supporting character is well thought out and developed so that just the right amount of detail is given to complement their role in the story. We see good sides to the Vampyrs so that we can fall in love with them. However, we are never brought too far into the warm and fuzzy that we forget the truth…that Vampyrs are powerful and vicious killers. I’m dying to say more on this but alas I cannot or I’ll be going into spoiler territory. I will say that there’s a scene with Nathaniel that will put the true Vampyr nature right back into perspective for you.
Napolean is the ultimate Vampyr King - strong, capable, regal, proud, the ultimate protector of his people and of course sexy as hell. He is a little old-fashioned in his propriety and expects complete obedience from his people. But saying that, he does not rule with tyranny and has the unwavering loyalty of his people. Although he shows the upmost tenderness and compassion to Brooke while she’s coming to terms with her new life, he has certain expectations of her since she is to be queen. He doesn’t have the luxury of wooing her slowly like other Vampyrs.
Brooke is a very strong character. Not kick-ass strong like some of our favourite Urban Fantasy heroines but more courageous than most. She’s stood against terrible odds in her life and came out with a dignity and grace becoming of a destined queen. (Well, except the minor incident when she ends up spread eagled and bare-assed on the floor during a presentation to her employer...but you’ll read all about that early in the novel). Its hard for her to accept how she is the one chosen as Napolean's queen and I love how he convinces her of her worthiness of her fated position. She’s also funny as all get out! There’s one scene in particular, after she becomes a vampyr, where she stands in front of a mirror looking for her fangs and claws, and practices saying “I vant to drink yer blood”. She has many of these “private” moments, however, I wonder how “private” they really are given vampyr powers of telepathy.
The villains in this novel go from bad to worse. Salvatore is a powerful and twisted sorcerer, however, the Dark Lord (Ademordna) he calls on to help exact that vengeance is so bad that even Salvatore runs for cover in his presence.
We see a lot of the formidable Silivasi brothers and their destinies that we fell in love with in the last two novels again. Marquis is in fine form acting and reacting to situations in his typical way. Smiling at the thought of getting to kill something. It pretty funny when he starts bringing his 4-week old baby son to warrior strategy meetings thinking its fine because he figures the baby will understand what’s going on because its his son. Marquis is still my favorite hero in the series!
Nachari Silivasi plays a huge role in this novel. As the only Master Wizard in Dark Moon Vale, he is essential in fighting the Dark Lord’s magic. I can’t say any more about what happens to him (again the spoiler thing), but let me just say that Nachari carried many burdens in this novel and it was to his detriment. The next chapter in this series will be his.
Tiffany is Brooke’s best friend and she adds a lot to the story. She is instrumental in Brooke’s life being her entire support system and tries to save Brooke from her assumed captivity. I really hope she sticks around and Tessa finds a place for her in the series.
And this review couldn’t be complete without mentioning Braden - the 15-year-old fledgling Vampyr wizard training under the supervision of Nachari. He is coming into his own powers now that he’s getting older and those powers are surprising to say the least. His role in the series is like a 'coming of age' story, and the scary thing is, he has taken quite a liking to Marquis. Hopefully he’ll find lessons in what not to do.
Last but certainly not least are the new sentinel brothers of the King & Queen. Ramsey, Saxson and Santos Olaru. We get to hear a good deal about Ramsey as Tessa warms us up for his future in the series.
So as you can see, character development is a definite strength of Tessa’s work as she continues to incorporate old ones and introducing the new.
So, bottom line is that I cannot recommend this novel enough. Tessa Dawn’s Blood Possession is a 6 star read. Gods, it’s even a 10 star read!!
The backstory on the origins of Vampyrs is original and well thought out, the characters are beyond compelling and each one is developed perfectly according to role in the story, the overall pace and tone is appropriate for the genre and the way the events unfold is perfection.
Blood Possession is a dark fantasy paranormal romance and is therefore intense at times. There may be scenes a reader may find exception with, however, Tessa is brilliantly delicate in her delivery of sensitive events.
There is no doubt in my mind that you will find this novel unforgettable and you will find a connection with at least one character. Marquis is mine though…just saying!
There is a little background from past novels worked in so this novel could be read out of sequence and before the others. However, if you do choose to go that route, be prepared to want to go back and read the first two as well.
6 Bad Boys – An Outstanding Must Read!!!!!!