Blood Claim

by Laura Baumbach, Angela Fiddler

and Jet Mykles

Blood Vampires, Book 2

ManLoveRomance Press

M/M, Paranormal

ISBN: 978-1934531167

Reviewed by Jo

   

 

"Winner Takes All" by Laura Baumbach

Malcolm Crane is a vampire that has been playing the ultimate game with another of his kind.  When he wins the game and kills William Pray, Malcolm lets William know that he will be going after his prize soon – William’s mortal son.

Hunter Pray is a photojournalist who has seen some strange and dangerous sights in his life, but the most dangerous so far is the dark man that seems to be following him around town.  Strangely, Hunter can’t seem to get enough of him and he now watches for him. Hunter has also tried to take his picture to no avail. 

Once they actually meet, Hunter is going to learn that there is a lot to his world that is unknown to mortals.  The game has gained a sensual turn and is going to be played out to its final ending.  Will that that be the end of Hunter’s life or the beginning of another richer one?

"Winner Takes All" had me going for the majority of the book because I could not see Malcolm as anything but the anti-hero.  Even Hunter’s reaction on learning the truth about his parents' deaths was not what I expected.  I found that I did not give Ms. Baumbach enough credit to know exactly what her characters wanted and needed.  I’m surprised to say I did enjoy "Winner Takes All" when I finished it and discovered a side of both Malcolm and Hunter that I didn’t see at first.  I really should know better than to assume something at the beginning story of anthology by an author I enjoy.

"Gift of the Raven" by Angela Fiddler

Luke is a vampire who has no need to conquer the world or even his little city.  He is comfortable enough with his nice house and his garden.  Until recently, he had a relationship with his fledging that gave him someone to love and talk to.  However, Corbin did something that forced Luke to turn him out and that relationship has almost become a burden now.

Corbin (Cory) has his own reasons for pursuing Luke and getting himself changed into a vampire.  One thing he never expected was to begin to feel anything personal for Luke.  When the danger that Corbin had been hiding from, yet had been expecting to find him, shows up in their town, Corbin knows he has to make sure Luke is out of the picture for his own safety.

What neither Corbin nor Luke has taken into consideration is that when a soul truly loves someone else, it won’t be denied no matter what is now in the picture.  When Luke makes the choice to fight for Corbin, it is Corbin’s own actions that win the day and pulls forth the deep love that has always existed between them.

"Gift of the Raven" has two vampires who normally would not have wanted to fight at all, having to go against the power hungry and just plain natural power in a battle that will determine many things.  I was surprised at just how deeply Corbin’s feelings for Luke really went after reading his earlier actions.  Fighting for your turf is a normal thing for vampires but Ms. Fiddler took it to another level in "Gift of the Raven".  The second great story in a row and I seriously cannot wait to read the final one.

"Wolfe’s Recluse" by Jet Mykles

Matthew has not been out of his apartment since the night he saw his lover being killed by a creature of the night, a vampire.  Never imagining that such a thing even existed, Matt was scared to such an extreme that he just cannot force himself out of the apartment much and never at night now.  Matt finished his college degree and with the help of his instructors, he gained a programming job that he can do from his home.  Now a problem has come up – his boss wants to take him out to dinner. 

Wolfe Larsen has specific reasons for hiring Matt and now wanting to see him in person for the first time.  Now that a huge project has been completed and their client will be happy, Wolfe decided to take his main programmer to a celebration dinner, only to be refused.  Wolfe has worked for two years to try and get Matt to rejoin the world by going along with the odd hours and conditions Matt requested as part of his employment. 

Unusual circumstances have brought Wolfe and Matt together as employer/employee and even stranger ones have caused Matt to basically hide from the world.  Wolfe knows what needs to happen to help Matt heal.  He came to truly care for Matt after years of discussions and friendship.  Will Wolfe’s solution help Matt and give Wolfe a chance to show his love or will the truth drive a wedge between them that cannot be overcome?

"Wolfe’s Recluse" shows the extreme lengths that a nice guy will go to, to make things right. Wolfe feels that he was to blame for a night of destruction that ended with many deaths.  Matt lost more than his lover that night; in a way, he lost his freedom and innocence.  I could understand why Matt was so scared that he was becoming a hermit in his apartment.  I loved Wolfe for his actions and the reason behind them.  When Matt and Wolfe came together it was fireworks caused by extreme attraction.  "Wolfe’s Recluse" was gripping in a way that showed the good guys could still come out on top.

Blood Claim is an anthology of three extremely wonderful writers.  All three stories involved vampires of course but that was the limit of the connection.  In one, I found an anti-hero who found this heart; in another I discovered that love can overcome the ultimate power; and in the last, I found that just because you are a creature of the night, does not mean that you can’t be a good guy and act as such.  All three showed just what love can do to overcome major obstacles.  Vampire lovers will not want miss having Blood Claim in their libraries.  In my opinion, each story is worthy of being a solo book in itself, which should tell you a lot about the anthology.

     

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