Blood Guard by Megan Erickson
Published by: Loveswept
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Alex
What to Expect: Plucky heroine falls for hot, hardass vampire when she’s supposed to be ‘destined’ for his brother…but, you know… hardass vampire is right here, tomorrow may never come, and instant gratification is so instant.
Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .
Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change my destiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.
When I sit down with a Megan Erickson book, I feel like she’s right here, like somehow she’s personally materialized in my living room, complete with glass in hand, has curled up on the sofa, and tells me her story, waving hands and all. “Oh, this guy—OMG, he’s so wrong, you will not BELIEVE what he’s done now. Like…it’s horrible but it’s incredible…can you believe he did that?”
And just like that, I’m going along with it.
I like that she finds complex characters to write about, that none are perfect, that she can take one guy who is completely unlikeable in one moment and make him star in the next. Here, that guy is Athan. And he’s paired with Tendra, a woman who’s trained all her life to defend herself, one who has learned to watch her back and to survive at all costs. So, effectively, you’ve got two people who are totally devoted to her survival more than all else.
Then comes the why. Which takesme right into…
What you may not like: The premise is not… hm… well anytime an abduction results in a love story, it’s problematic, even there were some moves toward giving the abductee choice and even when I have fully engaged my suspension of disbelief. Stockholm syndrome was mentioned I *think* in jest or, at the very least, as a way of showing how, in comparison, it wouldn’t really pertain to this particular situation. Ultimately, Tendra agreed to come along but not because she truly had a choice. This briefly brought up questions about duty and free will but the core of this issue—how quickly Tendra gave up that choice—was never really addressed and for sake of all strong, willful, smart women everywhere, I really needed it be.
What you will love: Erickson’s got the pacing exactly right in this book and keeps the tension high, providing exactly the right amount of resolution to keep the pages turning.
Another nice thing, Tendra is totally unapologetic in owning her sex drive and her love life, whether or not those two things happen to coincide. No sex shaming here, nor should there be. Just saying, when you need sex-positive romance, Megan Erickson is an author one who delivers.