Review: Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft

Filed in 4 1/2 Stars , featured , Nina Croft , Review , The Rocket Lover Posted on March 12, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 7 comments

17376967Format read: ebook
Series: The Order, #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: Feb. 17, 2013
Number of pages: 246 pages
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Author’s website |Publisher’s website |Goodreads

Tara Collins just wants to be normal. Everyone else wants her dead.

Tara’s eccentric aunt raised her to be fearful of the world and follow the rules. But after her aunt’s death, Tara is ready to take control and experience life for the first time. But she quickly discovers that everything she’s been told is a web of lies. Determined to solve the mystery of who she is truly, she hires private investigator to help her uncover the truth.

Christian Roth is more than your average PI. A vampire and ex-demon hunter, Christian lives among the humans, trying to be “normal.” But recently, things seem to be falling apart. There’s a crazed demon hell-bent on revenge hunting him down and a fae assassin on the loose with an unknown target. Plus, the Order he abandoned desperately needs his help.

As the secrets of Tara’s past collide with the problems in Christian’s present, she finds herself fighting her attraction to the dark and mysterious investigator. Falling in love does not fit into her plans at all, but Tara soon learns that some rules are meant to be broken.

My Thoughts:

In most fairy tales, terms like demon and fae have automatic associations with them. Fae=good and demon=bad.

But what if those are just names for otherworldly races who have different agendas from our own, and what humans think of them doesn’t enter into it at all?

Tara Collins has been hidden all her life behind a hedge of rules laid down by her aunt. Don’t leave our property, don’t drink alcohol, don’t take off your talisman, and most especially, don’t tell anyone the truth about yourself.

But when her aunt dies, Tara discovers that her aunt never told her the truth about herself. And Tara feels that she needs to know. She also feels like she is entitled to a normal life. At 22, she craves a life that includes other people and real experiences.

So she leaves her remote Yorkshire village and gets an apartment in London. She enrolls in university. She makes some close friends.

She hires a private investigator to dig into her origins. And that’s where all the fun begins.

Because for the investigator to have something to work with, she has to tell him the whole story, as she knows it. Breaking her aunt’s most important rule.

Tara chose Christian Roth’s investigations firm because her cat picked his name. Yes, you read that right. Tara took her cat’s paw scratchings as a sign. But then, Tara’s cat Smokey is not exactly what he seems, although Tara doesn’t know it. All Tara knows is that Smokey is her oldest and dearest friend.

On that infamous other hand, Christian Roth is a lot more than just a private investigator. Christian Roth is a vampire, and has been for over 500 years. It turns out that he is the perfect person to investigate her past.

Because Tara isn’t human. Neither are the beings her mother tried to protect her from.

And they’re back.

Verdict: Tara is a very sympathetic character. She’s grown up under unusual circumstances, and she just wants a normal life. It’s too bad that there’s no way she could possibly get one!

But it makes sense that she resists the idea that she’s not human as long as she does. It’s not a truth that anyone in her circumstance would want to hear.

Christian is a predator in business clothing, and he drops the businessman mask quickly. He’s been waiting for a purpose, and Tara gives him something to fight for.

The really cool part of the story is the war between the fae and the demons, and how it manifests on Earth. They’ve been trying to beat each other for centuries, if not more, and so much of what happens in the story turns out to be collateral damage. This was awesome. Also awesomely painful for Tara and Christian.

This paranormal version of the world, where the vampires and some of the other races that we are familiar with, like werewolves, are part of an organization called “The Order” that is policing Earth to enforce a treaty between the fae and the demons, is a place where there are lots of fascinating story possibilities.

I want more! I also have a not-so-secret desire for this world to connect to Croft’s SFR series, Blood Hunter. Vampires and werewolves in space!


I give Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft 4 1/2 blood-tipped stars!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Marlene

Marlene is a librarian, ebook advocate, science fiction fan, and RPG fan who lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She and her husband are owned by four cats, just ask them. She's a geek and a nerd and proud of it. She's also an avid reader of everything, including the back of the cereal box, and has been blogging since April 2011 at Reading Reality and is a reviewer at Library Journal as well as active on Goodreads. She is also the publisher of Ebook Review Central.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian March 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Sounds good, thanks for the review!

    • Marlene March 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      This was good. It was also terrific that the usual conventions didn’t necessarily apply. Everyone had their own agenda, but our versions of good and evil weren’t relevant. And the ending blew me away!

  • Nina Croft March 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the lovely review, Marlene. As it happens I’m just plotting the next Blood Hunter story now – might be a bit problematical though!

    • Marlene March 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      I’m looking forward to it. I adore the Blood Hunter series. They keep getting better and better!

  • Diane March 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Your enthusiasm is catching, I’ll check it out!

  • Susan March 14, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Looks like I’ll have to add this one to my TBR pile!

  • Lily B March 15, 2013 at 10:15 am

    really interesting, adding it to my amazon wishlist

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