Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I’m a bit of a reading masochist. Books that put my emotions in a constant upheaval tend to be my favorites. Drama, angst, bad decisions all fuel this. There’s a reason I get anxious before starting the next book in a favorite series: nine times out of 10 it’s going to make me livid or cry. I bring this up because Kristen Painter has elevated the bar for tumultuous reading. Seriously, it borders on cruel.
Flesh and Blood jumps right back in where Blood Rights left us. Chrysabelle is living at her mother’s estate, avoiding Mal. He’s still cursed and is convinced she’s avoiding him. She is, but she’s still reeling from the revelation of having a mother, losing her and her newly found freedom. She has vials of her blood couriered over to Mal, but he’s not drinking it. Both are having trouble admitting — even to themselves — that they might care for or even love the other.
Tatiana is working her way up the vampire nobility food chain and to get more power she needs to recover the Ring of Sorrows. That means finding her ex-husband and that Comarré. And Doc is doing everything he can to bring back Fi.
Basically, everyone is in a heap of conflict and guilt and doing whatever is necessary to claw their way out. What makes this particularly gut-wrenching for the reader is the point-of-view switches. We’ll get progress on Mal and Chrysabelle with a big cliffhanger and switch back to Tatiana getting her conniving bitch on. Doc will do something dangerous and before we see the outcome, we move over to the new vampire slayer Creek and his serious crush on Chrysabelle.
The plot is intense and the pacing infuriatingly precise. If you can handle the tension and the emotional turmoil, you’ll make out of Flesh and Blood happy. I loved most of the twists — still not sure about potential love triangle aspect cultivated here — and the rich characters climbed into my head for the duration. Fans of Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series and Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires are sure to love House of Comarré, if only for the story that will leave you gripping your chest in suspense.
Sexual content: References to sex, kissing