Review: CHOSEN BY BLOOD by Virna DePaul

Review: CHOSEN BY BLOOD by Virna DePaul

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, human and Otherborn - humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA - stil struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills...

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to relcaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beauitful human he's craved since their very first meeting.

Felicia's experience as a hostage negotiator makes her a natural asset to a team divided by suspicion and prejudice. While being in close contact with Knox makes the desire she feels for him difficult to deny, Knox must marry a vampire, and she's not about to be his human lover on the side.

As the team embarks on its dangerous mission, Knox is determined to convince Felicia that the passion that connects them is enough to transcend both race and her human idea of morality. But Felicia is intent on teaching Knox that complete trust and love are the only forces strong enough to unite human and Other, once and forever.
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Release Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Paranormal Romance
384 Pages

Single Title/Series: CHOSEN BY BLOOD is book one in the Para-Ops series.

Cover Thoughts: While not a favorite of mine, the cover does accomplish its base goal of reflecting the tone of the written contents with acute attention paid to the complex mash up of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal elements. I was also pleasantly surprised that the medallion featured on the cover model had weighted significance within the novel. Its definitely a nice touch that ties the outer and inner contents.

Origin: I received a published release copy of CHOSEN BY BLOOD from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Review:

The Plot:

When the secret was unveiled that the creatures of nightmares and legends did in fact exist, humans immediately enacted every force in their arsenal to protect themselves from the new unknown. Now, five years after the Second Civil War has ended, a thin precarious coat of civility exists between humans and Otherborn. In fact, war may once again be upon the horizon as the world watches the vampire population starve into extinction after a man-made vaccine inoculated human blood from a vamp's thirst. In a final bid to uphold the tenuous peace, the FBI has created a specialized task force called Para-Ops. Their mission: regain a stolen antidote that may be the key to counteracting the effects of the vaccine that is polluting the vamp's sole food source.

Human FBI Special Agent, Felicia Locke, has warred endlessly with her consuming desire and its resulting guilt from the moment she laid eyes on her best friend's husband and fell helplessly in love. Now, having tragically lost her beautiful friend to senseless murder, Felicia's mind is still dead set against any romantic chance for her and the luscious half-breed vampire clan leader, Knox Devereaux. Truth be told, there's many reasons why the two can't enter into a relationship and each one is more significant than the last. Most importantly, Felicia will not disabuse the memory of her friend by consummating the guilty love that she's felt for her husband. Two, Felicia's human and knowing Knox's deep desire to prove to his clan that he's nothing like his traitorous human father, he most certainly will marry another vampire as the vamp council demands.  In vamp culture, few marry for love. Like a throw back to Victorian principles, marriages are arranged for the benefit of the clan and no one is more dedicated to duty than Knox and Felicia will be damned before she becomes his mistress. She wants marriage and a family and she'll settle for nothing less. But when Knox steps up his passionate pursuit, Felicia's hold on her principles are quickly slipping.

Knox has hungered desperately for Felicia from the very moment he laid eyes on her and he ceased to ever make a secret of his love, even with regards to his own wife. Having a higher set of morals than most of her human kind, Felicia has been steadfast in her denial of him and their love but that's going to end once and for all. Knox is done waiting and he's been offered the perfect opportunity to claim Felicia as well as save his clan from starvation. After being approached by the FBI to head a new Para-Ops team, Knox wastes little time debating his decision. His clan is dying and he'll do whatever is necessary to save them even if it means working with the very same people that developed the despicable vaccine that doomed vampires to begin with. In addition to his agreement to lead, Knox wants Felicia and the FBI will deliver on that demand but not in the way Knox anticipated. Instead of the FBI re-assigning her to the Dome, his clan's home where Knox can be certain of her safety, Felicia is assigned to Para-Ops.

Knowing that Knox is bound to marry again given his duty to his people and their need to re-populate, Felicia is done wasting more time without Knox when he'll soon be lost to her forever. Not buying Knox's attempt to install her as security detail at the already tightly secured Dome, Felicia asks to be assigned to Para-Ops. Her hostage negotiating skills are bound to be of use when a group of hostile and distrusting Otherborn operatives are thrust together and are asked to accomplish a team goal. But when she and Knox finally give in to their burning need, Felicia realizes that Knox has never truly known or trusted who she is. While it's true that he can't deny his soul's call to her own, it doesn't stop him from discriminating or distrusting Felicia's human DNA despite the fact that he himself is half human. The taint of his traitorous father delves deeper within Knox than either him or Felicia realized and if he doesn't take control of his wayward emotions, he won't just lose Felicia, he'll lose her forever.

The Heroine:

Loyal, brave, and steadfast, anyone would be lucky to call Felicia Locke friend. In addition, her quick thinking, fighting skills, and stellar verbal sparring make her perfect for the FBI and Para-Ops. Unlike most humans, Felicia was raised, has befriended, and fights for the Otherborn creatures. Given the chance to not only help Otherborn kind, but more to the point, to help her lost vampire friend by eradicating the scourge her own race has heaped onto vamps to assuage their fear is paramount. But even beyond that, Felicia is aching for Knox. When the one and only opportunity presents itself, that being Para-Ops, Felicia can't let it pass. Knox will uphold his duty and soon marry a vampire as his race demands, but right now, in this moment he's unattached. While there are still several barriers that may never be breached where their love is concerned, the immediate one holding Felicia back is the fear that she'll never get enough of Knox. That scratching the itch won't lesson its burn but forever inflame it.

The Hero:

A born leader through to his core, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux will always go above and beyond his duty to his clan. But there is resentment that festers within his heart. Born half vampire and half human, Knox has had to work harder than a pure blooded vampire to gain the respect he deserves. To make his plight even worse, his human father is a convicted traitor having given humans the powerful secrets necessary to subdue, fight, and kill vampires. However, there are bittersweet benefits to his tainted DNA. Knox has not felt the horrific effects that the human vaccine has wrought upon his pure blooded brethren. Leading not by popularity but by his sheer physical strength amongst a starving population, Knox's de facto power generates friction within the vamp council. But all the angst he faces pales with the opportunity to find the antidote and and not only save his clan, but grant him the opportunity to claim Felicia.

Beyond just being a man, Knox's vampire culture doesn't understand the whole failing notion of having one's cake and eating it too. He will marry a vampire as his clan, and more importantly, as his race demands. Knox also loves Felicia and he wants her by his side for the entirety of her human life. From his perspective, he doesn't understand why Felicia can't handle the necessary evil of him mating with his vampire wife purely for the sake of re-population. Beyond that, his future wife would mean nothing and would in fact, know and understand the situation that she'll be wife in name only but his heart and his love would belong to Felicia. What prevents Knox from becoming a caveman however is that in all honestly, he wants to provide Felicia with her dream of marriage and a family. The question is, will Knox uphold his resentful duty or give in to the all consuming love he and Felicia share?

My Final Thoughts:

CHOSEN BY BLOOD is a rare find. Its a book that captured my attention from the moment I glimpsed its cover and it was a feeling of possible greatness soon strengthened by the promising summary. And I knew, the moment I dove into the first chapter that all my instincts were about to become proof of one hell of a thrilling romance.

Boasting one of the best opening chapters I've ever read, CHOSEN BY BLOOD opens with one of my favorite plot devices where the hero and heroine have a previous history. Even better is when that history involves love from afar so you can imagine my glee when the first pages immediately unveiled two yearning souls desperate to be together but uncontrollable forces have kept them apart. From the very start, the reader is skillfully enmeshed within the combustible chemistry of Knox Devereaux and Felicia Locke as well as the agony of circumstances that have thus far succeeded in keeping each other just out of reach. No sooner does this happen that you yourself become desperate for more.

In addition to the romance between Knox and Felicia, CHOSEN BY BLOOD hosts an eclectic group of secondary characters that hold the valuable promise of fantastic series installments to come. What do you get when you toss together a werebeast with a chip on his shoulder, a mage with a distinctly feline secret, a human psychic that defies the word beautiful, a wraith (ghost) that can't complete a single sentence without dropping the f-bomb, and a love feuding human and half-breed vampire? One hell of a storm tossed thrill ride! There's never a dull moment to be had when one or all of these unlikely team members are within the same vicinity. Outright hatred and acute distrust erupts almost immediately between some or all members but for better or for worse, this is Para-Ops. I've come to several conclusions regarding the writing strengths of authors. In my opinion, a mark of a good author is when each character can stand alone and be readily identifiable. But a mark of a great author is when one character can utter a single sentence and the reader will know without any additional information who that character is. The latter is Virna DePaul.

CHOSEN BY BLOOD is the very definition of high octane action with plotting that never lets up until the very end. Be prepared to hold tight while the book bucks and twists its way through ultimate fighting showdowns, shocking government cover ups, and a multitude of dirty little secrets. Finally, the Pièce de résistance: the passionate inferno that is the romance between Knox and Felicia. Never once, no matter how intense the scenes or how twisted the plot, the romance and all its conflicting and passionate emotions never takes a backseat but instead seeps heatedly throughout.

A paranormal "A-Team" with the added bonus of lush romance, CHOSEN BY BLOOD is one read this year that you don't want to miss. Enjoy!

5 Stars

More Reviews:

Fiction Vixen

The Series:

CHOSEN BY FATE - Releases October 4, 2011


Yvonne said...

I've heard this book is pretty good. Loved your review.

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Yvonne for taking the time to read my review and for your kind compliment. CHOSEN BY BLOOD was and is a stellar read. I highly recommend it if you like a hefty dose of action with your romances. *wink*

Hugs, VFG

Virna DePaul said...

Thank you so much for the stellar review!! I've always been an avid reader, delighted when I'm pulled into a story and swept away. Knowing you enjoyed CBB enough to write this review is HUGE!

VampFanGirl said...

You're welcome Virna!

Thank you for your kind compliments.

I can't wait for CHOSEN BY FATE! I'm seriously dying to get fully into Wraith's POV. *squee*

Hugs, VFG

meggerfly said...

Great review!

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks meggerfly! I hope you check out CHOSEN BY BLOOD!!

Hugs, VFG

Blodeuedd said...

*jumps up and down*
hi VFG :)
This books just sounds so cool

VampFanGirl said...

*Waves back* Hey Blodeuedd!! Oh girl, you've got to read CHOSEN BY BLOOD! I think you especially would really like it.

Hugs, VFG

Leontine said...

WANT. NEED. Must have...NOW. I'm so going to order this VFG. Your review triggered me in all the right ways *grin*

Virna DePaul said...

I LOVE your readers' enthusiasm, VFG! Thank you for everyone's interest!!

VampFanGirl said...

Oh Leontine! I think you'll LOVE this book!! You gotta read it. Right. NOW!! For realsies! LOL!

Hugs, VFG


Don't I Virna?! I love my blog ring. Such great peeps. ;)

Hugs, VFG

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