Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Blood Bond' by Alicia Rayn

Northern California author Alicia Ryan grew up on a farm in North Carolina. After a health setback she is, thankfully, back to writing - revising and re-publishing older works while writing new books such as this - BLOOD BOND, a novel that began as a short story and now is presented as a full blown novel. Alicia writes paranormal fiction across a variety of genres (erotic romance, fantasy, and mainstream vampire fiction). `I like to see the ordinary in the extraordinary and vice versa - in both fiction and in life.'

Alicia manage to blend many categories of writing in this story - time travel, vampires, ghosts, very steamy erotica, a hefty dose of classical music, and MMF encounters. One of the reasons she makes it work so well is her manner of writing from the feminine standpoint - a strong woman who is the one who time travels and blinks between lovers and yet stays in control of her situation at all times.

The author's synopsis is terse but offers the flavor of the book well: `Roxanna Collins thinks her life as a Vegas singer is going nowhere - until she's dragged back in time by a Victorian vampire. While Darren tries to convince her they are the perfect match, Roxanna sets about turning a certain gentleman's club on its ear, not to mention upending the straightened sensibilities of her handsome piano player Philip Branham. Roxanna's modern ways threaten to send him running every time she opens her mouth. Phillip's heart overrides his sensibilities, however, and he's there for Roxanna, even when Darren isn't. Darren lures her like a flame in the darkness, while Philip hides his light. Darren knows all Roxanna's secrets, and he gives her things she fears she can't live without. As does Phillip. Both of them speak to some deep part of her - must she choose or can she have them both?'

An example of her colorful writing style is apparent in this little passage; `Contemplating returning to her old life didn't exactly fill her with excitement, but she could see no future for herself here - none that involved singing or hard work, which was what she knew. A fling with Darren would have been glorious, but how could it really have ended? With her a mistress? Doing what all day while her vampire lover slept? And Phillip. She didn't know what to make of his words of love. Perhaps he meant them. She couldn't deny he looked at her now with a tenderness she didn't always welcome. It made her feel undeserving. Or maybe he was confusing a little lust with love. Either way, there was no future with him. Mistress? Unlikely. Wife? Even more unlikely. And the idea of being a housewife made her want to hurl.
Welcome back to Alicia Ryan! Top drawer writing about subject matter that would challenge any author! Grady Harp, August 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.