House of Comarré: Book 1
Orbit, October 2011
Mass Market Paperback
There are all kinds of beings that go unseen in the world. One set of beings are vampires, with the usual traits of speed, strength, rapid healing, and, oh, yes, the need to feed upon pure human blood.
Another set is the Comarré, who have the purest, sweetest, most intoxicating blood of all. They sell exclusive rights to their blood to the highest bidder, earning millions. Usually, this bidder is of the highest echelon of vampire, and the contract lasts as long as the vampire lives—which can be a very long time.
Chrysabelle, who is noted for her intricate golden tattoos, is the comarré of one of the most powerful vampires of all time, Algernon. She wants to buy back her blood rights. When Algernon is murdered and a ring denoting untold power is stolen, she is freed, all right, but she’s also accused of the murder. Only the fringe vampire Malkolm can help her find the murderer and the ring. Unfortunately for her, Malkolm wants nothing to do with her.
Meanwhile, the evil vampire Tatiana aims to destroy both Chrysabelle and Malkolm. She fears that if they recover the ring, her plans to be the most powerful vampire of all time will be thwarted. Tatiana is willing to go to any lengths for her plan to succeed, no matter who she has to kill, or how much she has to pay.
Author Kristen Painter has peopled this world with many different beings. Demons, ghosts, wraiths, some whose kind I can’t even pronounce, as well as ordinary humans who mix freely with vampires and comarré. Dangerous…er…men, warrior women, unexpectedly sympathetic characters, they’re all here. The book is packed with interesting and well-imagined beings. The plot’s not too shabby, either. There’s romance, fighting, and a lot of blood-letting to hold your interest as the story takes the reader from place to place. Good guys and bad guys, especially bad guys, abound.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, October 2013.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.