Book Title: Blooded
Author: Nat Kennedy
Cover Artist: Silvana Sanchez – Selfpub Designs
Release Date: September 25, 2021
Tropes: Hurt/comfort, antagonists to allies/lovers, past student/teacher, vampire blood feeding, vampire blood bond
Themes: Redemption, Personal Acceptance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 113 500 words/290 pages
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
How far will two sorcerers go to save humanity? Will they give up their lives? Will they give up their hearts?
A broken mage. A penitent vampire. Can they put aside the horrors of the past to save each other?
Plagued with erratic. volatile magic, Nicodemus Green focuses his entire life to stop an evil sorcerer who brainwashes or kills anyone in his path to domination. Ten years into this crusade, Nick stumbles upon his former Academy instructor in the Austrian Alps. The strict and pious Byron Domitius has cloistered himself in an isolated manor. Alone and starving, he hates the twisted, damned creature he has become.
A prophecy calls for Nick and Byron to bond by blood to finally bring an end to the sorcerer’s hidden agenda. The two are forced to see beyond their shared past, and Nick finds himself desiring more from his old instructor than just his magic. But are these emotions real, or do they come from the heat of their bond?
Excerpt – Stargazing
They stood side by side, almost close, looking up at the twinkling stars. Byron pointed, and Nick followed his finger to the sky.
“Perseus,” Byron said. “Do you see that, the upper right branch of Perseus? Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“I had astronomy with you two years in a row. Or did you forget?”
“I didn’t forget. I nurtured the assumption that you and your gang of goons had more important things to do than pay attention in my class.”
“Goons? We did pay attention. I know the constellation.” He didn’t remember it from Byron’s class, though. They had a Mentor of the Month who lived at an observatory near the top of Mt. St. Helens in Washington, and they’d spent hours staring at the stars. It had been windy and cold, and the sky had been clear, the stars brilliant.
“Fine. That star, the bright one, is Algol. It means Demon Head. Fitting for the constellation that is supposed to hold the head of Medusa.”
Nick hmmed to show he was listening. Byron’s voice was soothing, deep and quiet in the dark of night. Comfortable. Safe. “Algol is actually a tertiary star, but the third star is so weak, it puts off little shine. It’s used by celestials as a binary system to imbue power into obsidian.”
“A twin star.” Suddenly invested, Nick gazed up with a sense of wonder. “Is that the power that was in my obsidian, sir?”
Byron nodded, then turned to Nick, his dark eyes fathomless, his face young and smooth and illuminated from above. “Yes. There are two stars there, circling one another. Their individual gravitational pull keeps them in a perfect orbit, tethered in their eternal spin. And together, they are brighter for it,” he said softly, reverently. The air felt heavy, and then Byron faced the sky.
Nick watched his old professor out of the corner of his eyes, unmoving, like a statue, gazing upon the night sky with a depth of sorrow and yearning Nick couldn’t understand, never could understand, even after his years of wandering. He wanted to reach out, touch him, perhaps melt his cold flesh, make him come alive with contact, and then he realized he was staring and thinking inappropriate things.
He cleared his throat.
“Well, I should get back in, Byron. Enjoy your evening.”
Byron slowly looked down at him, a small smile on his lips, not a smirk, but a close cousin like he could read Nick’s thoughts. Felt Nick’s desire like a breeze on his arms.
“You as well.”
Nicodemus Green must live with unpredictable magic. Sometimes it’s present, sometimes it’s uncontrollable. The power of his magic waxes and wanes and it seems completely out of his control. He embarks upon a crusade to stop an evil magician and is teamed up with some good friends and colleagues. After a decade of searching and learning and fighting those on the darker side of magic, they come across an old professor named Byron Domitius.
Domitius is a vampire and has basically been starving himself. He’s overcome with remorse and disgust over the state he is in and has little or no motivation to exist. He feels that he has been abandoned by everyone.
When Nick enlists the help of Domitius to pass on what skill he has he ends up offering his blood to the vampire. Unfortunately, it’s not until after the exchange of blood has occurred that one of Nick’s colleagues points out that a bond can develop just by virtue of the feeding. In fact, if a vampire feeds upon three occasions there’s a solid bond developed between the two beings. That bond could be influential… it could be used as a weapon to get the upper hand.
Domitius finds himself in the unfortunate position of being a pawn in the epic battle that is going on in the book. Both Domitius and Nick must determine whether the connection they feel to one another is purely because of the blood bond… or whether there is something very “human” attracting them to one another.
This is an entertaining book. I found the beginning to be a little slow, but it picked up the pace quite quickly. The magical world is complex enough to be engaging although I wish that I had been able to learn more about the great evil side of magical beings.
Domitius was probably my favorite character. He was quite brooding – and not without reason. He was turned into a vampire against his will, lost his connection to the celestial bodies, and has lived a decade alone and torturing himself over things he did in the past.
This was a real adventure story, and very enjoyable.
About the Author
Nat Kennedy writes fantasy fiction of all kinds. She strives to create engaging, plotty romantic stories. In her worlds, Heroes abound. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain keeps the world green. Find her online at natkennedy.com or on IG natkennedybooks.
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