Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Blood Vine by Amber Belldene

Blood Vine 
by Amber Belldene
(Blood Vine #1)
Source: From author for honest review

In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.

When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?

Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.

His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?

Zoey Porter is PR executive who is sent to out to Northern California wine country to design a campaign for Andre Maras's new vineyard and new wine. She is young, professional, level headed, straight forward, but lonely, a bit lost and has been morning the death of her husband for the past few years. She had no desire for any permanent attachments, which is clear from the beginning since she is sleeping with her boss, Ethan - who she doesn't really seem to least, that's the vibe I got from the opening scene. But, after working with Andre, she can't deny that there is something happening between them.

Andre Maras is an ancient vampire searching for his long lost people. He has created a wine that gives him and his family members strength, allowing them to feed less often and possibly curing their wasting disease. He wants to reach out to the underground vampire community by marketing his wine just right. He reaches out to the firm Zoey works for, which so happens to be owned by vampire hunters - Ethan and his brother. Ethan, who knows Andre is a vampire, purposely sends Zoey out to the vineyard, hoping to use her to gain inside information on Andre and his family, who plans to attack.

Blood Vine was an extremely interesting book. I enjoyed this twist on vampires. I liked the idea of the wine and Ms. Belldene's take on how vampires are created and live. The loves scenes were nice and steamy and the romance between the main characters developed well.

I gave this book 3 of 5 stars for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I just didn't identify with the heroine. I didn't like how she was emotionally unavailable. I understand, losing her husband was horrible, but she had been morning him for years and selecting to engage in meaningless sexual relationship. She had sworn off love, romance, and shied away from happiness or fear of getting hurt again. Now, I don't usually add spoilers to my reviews, but I have to say this: After she found out Andre is a vampire, she leaves him and calls Ethan and spills everything she learned about him. Ethan then confesses that he is a hunter and tells her he sent her there on purpose, then she goes to to Andre to warn him about Ethan...

Andre, on the other hand, I liked. Then again, I haven't come across a sexy vampire I don't like :) Kos and Bel, Andre's sons were also wonderful characters and hope each gets their own book. However, I do have to add, there were a lot of characters to keep track of.

Overall, this was a good book and solid beginning to a new series. I'm interested see what else Ms. Belldene has in store for her readers.

About the Author:

Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.



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