by Carolina Courtland
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Dominique is a typical teen in a boring Texas town, where the most exciting thing is the annual turnip green festival. When the charismatic Caden Hanover enrolls in her high school, her life takes a heart-pounding turn. From the moment she sees Caden, she is irresistibly drawn to him. She has no idea that not only is he a vampire, but that he knows she is the reincarnation of his human wife—the wife he hasn't seen in almost two hundred years. He is determined to reestablish their passionate love. He won't stop until he claims Dominique as his own—and eventually makes her his vampire bride. Sweet Savage Blood is a story of undying love sweeping across time from the 19th century to the 21st century.
Sweet Savage Blood by Carolina Courtland is the first of three novels. This is an epic YA romance that spans nearly two hundred years. It is also the story of a vampire hunter, a witch, and reincarnation. I quickly consumed this novel in a single evening and look forward to continuing this saga.
The tale begins as we meet both Dominique and Caden. She is walking across the street and he stopped at the red light. As she crosses, Caden Hanover immediately recognizes her as the reincarnation of his human wife. A wife named Dominique, who died almost two hundred years ago. He follows her and enrolls in her school to reestablish their love. Dominique is irresistibly drawn to Caden. The tale that unfolds is complicated as Dominique’s best friend Madison is a vampire slayer. Filled with suspense, romance, vampires, and slayers I quickly became immersed in this world.
The characters in this novel are complex. Dominique lives with her irresponsible mother and pot smoking younger brother. She has to take on the role of mother to accommodate her mother’s long work hours and boyfriend addiction. She begins having dreams about another time and a strange man, who she has mixed feelings for. When she awakes, she finds bite marks on her neck. She quickly hides them and wonders if she is losing it. She is a typical insecure sixteen years old who wants to be asked to the dance. She is instantly drawn to Caden and seeks him out in the crowds. Caden looks like he is in high school but has the experience of a two-hundred-year-old vampire. He has looks that make a woman swoon but he only has eyes for Dominique. The story on how and why he became a vampire was bittersweet. Madison was awesome. I really liked her and her vampire killing techniques. While she has supernatural abilities and lives a double life, she is still very much a teenage girl. She fears her own death, is a fashionista and wants romance. Quentin is Caden’s uncle and a vampire. He doesn’t get true love or soul mates but cares for Caden and agrees to help him. He is a real ladies man and when he steps into distracting the vampire slayer he gets more than he bargained for. The romances that developed were sweet, complicated and kept me completely enthralled.
The world-building was interesting as several stories were taking place at once. Told from multiple POV’s Courtland takes us into the minds of each of the characters. There were two separate story-lines, one involving Caden, and the other Madison the vampire slayer. The two intertwine, adding suspense and the fear of discovery. The tale wasn’t without flaws but as a first novel for this author, it was exciting to read. None of the issues distracted from the overall story. The tale flowed at an even pace with action-packed scenes, danger, and excitement. I became invested in the key players and look forward to continuing the tale. It ended with a cliff-hanger and I am anxious to begin the next book.
I recommend Sweet Savage Blood to fans of paranormal romance. The next books are currently available in eBook format. They are Sweet Savage Blood (Part II: Revelations) and Sweet Savage Blood (Part III: Blood Ties). Sweet Savage Blood(Part 1: Reunion) is currently available in both eBook and paper formats.