Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: "Bloodgifted" (Tima Maria Lacoba)

On Laura Dantonville's fiftieth birthday, her beloved aunt reveals a lifelong secret that explains why Laura has always looked decades younger than her chronological age: Laura is descended from an ancestor whose blood contains life-preserving properties. Further, those properties make her valuable and a potential target, so she needs a guardian.

The next piece of news is not nearly as tame. Turns out that Aunt Judy has the same blood type, and she's stepping aside so her guardian can become Laura's. And ... oh, by the way ... the guardian is a vampire, and he needs to feed from Laura (as he fed from Judy) as part of the bargain.

What follows the revelation sends Laura reeling. Suddenly, she's a food source for a fantastical race of creatures she doesn't believe exists. Her boyfriend, a very normal human investigator with local law enforcement, doesn't want her to have anything to do with vampires. Meanwhile, her new guardian's sexy yet gallant behavior keeps her off-balance, even as she distrusts his motives.

Then she's attacked, taken captive, and held as bait, a bargaining chip in a far bigger-picture battle than she realized existed. A rebel group of vampires has risen out of the Brethren, and their intentions are terrifyingly clear: Use the powers in Laura's blood to slaughter the other vampires.

Bloodgifted is the first book in the Dantonville Legacy series by Tima Maria Lacoba, a work of urban fantasy and contemporary paranormal fiction, combining elements of mystery, suspense, and romance.

From the first entrance of protagonist Laura Dantonville and her self-deprecating opening line --- "Thou shalt not fear birthdays has been my motto for the past few years" --- I empathized and loved her. She's approachable, unique, quirky, and honest, with an excellent sense of humor and an admirable sense of loyalty and honor that nearly lands her in a lot of trouble.

Her counterpart, her vampire guardian Dr. Alec Munro, is the other voice through which the story is told. His perspective, conveyed through a parallel story line about every other chapter, is that of the reluctant hero, forced into a situation he doesn't want to deal with, until he finds himself falling for his ward.

Lacoba maintains tension throughout the story via the various subplots she intertwines to enrich the main plot. Those subplots include Laura's relationships with her family members, her fledgling relationship with her law enforcement boyfriend, her growing attraction to and love for Alec, and several murdered humans whose deaths appear to have been caused by vampires. Each subplot is artfully and organically woven with the rest, and all are brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

A future edition of the work would benefit very much from a close proofread to ensure that the errors --- some of which, like missing words and misplaced punctuation, prove distracting --- are resolved and don't detract from the story line.

That aside, though, Lacoba's is a fresh voice in the genre, and I look forward to reading future works from her!

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Author: Tima Maria Lacoba
Title: Bloodgifted
Series: Dantonville Legacy (Book 1)
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Goodreads in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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