Review of Blood Rights (House of Comarré #1), by Kristen Painter

Blood RightsI borrowed a copy of Blood Rights, by Kristen Painter, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

Review:
Man I’m in a slump. I haven’t read anything I love lately and the best I can give this book is that I didn’t hate it, like the last two books I read. But I’m certainly not going so far as to say it’s good. I didn’t find anything particularly new or innovative in it; just yet another growly alpha male and a woman in need of rescue and protection. Sure, Painter made sure Chrysabelle said ‘I’m well trained and can take care of myself’ several times (often enough it got repetitive), but I didn’t really notice her doing much successful defending of herself. Add to that the fact that I didn’t even like either main character and you have a fail in the making.

What I did find was about a million ways to sexualize Chrysabelle to make the whole thing artificially more titillating, something that annoys me to no end. I mean she let herself get ‘blood drunk’ in a dangerous environment from a condition she’s had her whole life (so no surprise it was going to happen), stripped down to her smalls and sexily prowled around offering herself to the man. None of which was actually necessary or even remotely like her personality to date. Or lets not miss the fact that, despite being a 115-year-old virgin she was called a whore about a dozen times (as are most the women). The giving of blood was pretty clearly equated to sex and she was constantly either offering it up or having some random male laying claim to it. Ugh.

Then there was the identity of the villain….show of hands. How many readers saw that twist coming? Come on now, hands up. Let’s see, one, two, seven, ten, four hundred….Oh, I see, everyone. I guess we can call it predictable then. Plus, the use of the loss of a child to drive her insane was clichéd. Probably the second most common reason women in fiction go bad, just behind being scorned by a man. And the fact that she was prostituting herself for power (or maybe agreeing to regular gang rapes, not sure how to categorize that one, unpleasant as it was)? Oh, I see, one more way to make sure readers know women are just whores and only have one path to power, that just happens to start at the apex of their legs. Got it. Side-eyes hard.

Then there was the whole ‘pure’ thing and the ‘patron’ thing, neither of which are actually defined in any way. What makes her pure? Being a virgin? No, I don’t think so, though sex does apparently muddy the purity. Eating well, not taking drugs, some characteristic of birth, etc? No idea. What about the owning of blood rights and the patron thing? Was that a physical attachment or just a legal arrangement? Still no idea.

All in all, if you like this sort of Urban Fantasy, moving into Paranormal Romance you’ll likely enjoy this. It kept me busy for an evening, but I didn’t love it and I’m not interested in continuing the series. In fact, writing this review brought out how many ways I disliked it and I realize I liked it even less than I thought.

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