(House of Comarre #3)
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Samhain approaches, bringing with it the final melding of the mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows just how much power the night holds...
Violent murders occur in Paradise City as counterfeit comarré are systematically hunted. The police and the Kubai Mata have more than enough trouble to keep themselves occupied. As war erupts at home, Malkolm and Chrysabelle head to New Orleans to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Chrysabelle is forced to make a life and death decision and will realize that her relationship to Malkolm may have fatal consequences.
The clock is ticking . . .
The third installment in the House of Comarre series, Bad Blood continues to breathtakingly depict the range of shades between light and dark, walking us through denser and darker grays than we’ve experienced before but also ensuring that our eyes adjust quickly and easily with well placed moments of light between Mal and Chrysabelle that make the shadows feel far less menacing. There is always danger, always the potential for pain and suffering, and always the possibility that the next threat will be far worse than the current one, but through it all we have characters who are trying to take the prevalent darkness infecting their world and transform it no matter the cost to themselves, molding it into something better for the future than it is in the present.
Chrysabelle and Malkom are an extraordinarily intriguing couple, their relationship one that’s slowly and painstakingly evolving as they both attempt to come to terms with the nature of their feelings for one another. As at times sweet and caring as Malkom can be, the blackness of his past clings to him, a shroud of pain and death he can never shed no matter how much light Chrysabelle shines on it and a constant reminder to us just what he is capable of should his rigid control slip for even a moment. He is not simply a tortured soul on the now smooth path toward redemption through the love of a woman however, instead he continually makes mistakes and stumbles along the way, often hurting her and himself when his moments of selfishness stemming from years of being his only priority make an appearance. It is these slips that make them such a perfectly flawed pair though, their steps forward often accompanied by steps backward as well, and together all of us trudge forward together to face what challenges Ms. Painter has in store.
The progression of Malkom and Chrysabelle’s relationship is a highlight of this tale, and because we have such an intense desire to follow them and their tenuous connection, the addition of several more independent-but-linked plotlines becomes a bit tedious to wade through. We have always followed several different characters in the books in this series, bouncing from one to the next to give us a broader perspective and feel for this supernatural world, but it seems as though with each new book the number of side stories increases, and we find ourselves getting to spend less and less time with the characters who have come to mean the most to us. Ms. Painter of course does a meticulous job of tying all the separate pieces of the puzzle together, though we can’t help but hope some of our character hopping decreases moving forward, allowing our focus to zero in on the core group of people we love so much.
Overall, Bad Blood is an enjoyable addition to the series if for no other reason than the growing romantic feelings and sexual tension between Malkom and Chrysabelle, two individuals who have more layers than we could ever hope to explore in a single book and who have us eagerly anticipating the next installment.