By Mari Mancusi
Available now from Berkeley Jam
Review copy provided by publisher
Since coincidence makes the world go round, a friend bought me the first three Blood Coven novels as a Christmas present a few weeks before I received BAD BLOOD. I'm happy that the series has been recovered, since the original covers were cute but lacked homogeniety. As for BAD BLOOD itself, I'm glad it focuses on Sunny rather than Rayne.
I'm not gonna lie; Rayne annoys me. I've always been a member of at least one subculture, but I have loyalties to a variety of groups. This usually leads to people claiming I'm not a real "_". And Rayne is one of those people. You've got to fit into her idea of what the subculture is, no deviations. And if you aren't a member, then you're contemptible. (She did get called out for it in GIRLS THAT GROWL, which makes me really happy.)
BAD BLOOD has my favorite book setting: Las Vegas. Sunny's boyfriend Magnus is required to blood a coruler, and Jane Johnson has been chosen. Now they have to go to a vamp convention in Vegas. But Sunny is suspicious of Jane, and takes the opportunity to visit her estranged father and his family. I enjoyed the family story and the mystery, but felt the romance was lacking.
The romance lacking, however, is a trend in the Blood Coven books. It got worse in GIRLS THAT GROWL and BAD BLOOD. The main couples treat each other badly, fight about it, then make up quickly in the end. I have trouble buying it. Instead of being a great love story, it feels like Mari Mancusi is afraid to break the characters up.
Once more, Mancusi ends with a reveal that sets up the next book. And yes, I will keep reading. The books are fun enough, but Mancusi (like almost all authors) has rough edges. Hers just tend to be the rough edges that rub me the wrong way.