London, 1888 – Jack the Ripper
Having loved and lost his soul mate three times, Broderick MacDougal refuses to put his beloved Blossom in danger once more by barging into her life. As a vampire with a dark past and countless enemies, he brings too many risks with him to selfishly claim her as his own. But keeping her at a distance, while he guarantees she lives a “normal” life, proves to be much more difficult than he anticipated–and so is encouraging her to find refuge in the arms of the another man. As much as Broderick hates to admit it, Theodore Coleman may be Belle’s only safe haven.
Christabelle Williams has fought for her financial independence since the cradle, and nothing–not living on the poverty-stricken streets of Whitechapel, not even the handsome and rich Theodore Coleman–will make her turn to anyone for help. But Belle is attacked and her injuries jeopardize her living as a laundress. Finally accepting Theo’s marriage proposal wouldn’t be so bad…if she wasn’t haunted by the sinful encounters with a passionate vampire in her dreams.
Jack the Ripper starts prowling the streets where Christabelle lives…and he is no mere mortal. Broderick must act quickly to get Belle out of harm’s way before the Whitechapel murderer learns what she means to Broderick and use her to extract payment for an old debt.
This is the fifth book in the Bonded by Blood series and I loved it!
Broderick has followed the call of Davina’s soul to London in 1888 and though he desperately wants to reclaim his Blossom, his soul mate, he’s decided to give her up so she could live a long, normal life. Broderick and Davina (and all her reincarnations) are destined to fulfill a six-stage prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires and Davina, as her new incarnation of Christabelle, must die once more.
In all her other lives, Christabelle has lived in health and happiness with a family who loved her. Now, she’s poverty-stricken but determined to survive with her pride intact. She only has two friends to call on: an elderly woman, Darla, and a wealthy suitor, Theodore, who seems to love her.
My favorite moments in the book were all the scenes where Christabelle kept stealing Broderick’s pocket watch. So sweet and romantic. I laughed out loud when he wiped her memories the second time. I definitely cried over Broderick’s heartache in having to give up his Blossom to Theodore and over the pain Christabelle suffered throughout her life which was so common for so many people back then and still is today.
Broderick and Christabelle are apart for a good chunk of the book so there’s a lot going on with the supporting cast.
Peter and Cordelia are married and they run the London offices of the MacDougal Shipping Company. We met Peter in the last book (he’s a sun wolf/vamsyrian hybrid) and we met Cordelia in the first book (she’s a moon wolf/vamsyrian hybrid). They’re roped into helping Angus and Kahli, and I’m surprised by the outcome. There are a few unanswered questions about this subplot but I’m sure it will play a role in the next book in the series. (I just hope Broderick’s ship and portraits stay safe!)
Angus (Broderick’s vamsyrian brother/enemy) is so distraught over killing his and Broderick’s brothers that he’s become addicted to drugs to drown the pain. Kahli (Mabel the Spirit Witch from book 4) has her own demons and she’s helping Angus overcome his. Of all the side characters, their relationship intrigued me the most.
Malloren (a vamsyrian prophetess) is determined to fulfill the prophecy at any cost as usual and Prince Jesse Amir (the second oldest vampire in existence) seems willing to help her.
There’s a big twist at the end which makes me think the upcoming book 6 may not be the last one in the series. I don’t want to give away the surprise but Broderick’s close-knit circle of friends is growing bigger. It’s going to be so strange to see Broderick in the twenty-first century driving a car. (It was strange enough to see him in a carriage in this book with a ton of journalists chasing after him since he’s a rich businessman. He’s certainly come a long way from being a Gypsy-turned-Scottish laird.) The sneak preview for book 6 will leave your mouth dropped open. I sooooo want to know more.
This book is well-edited and the writing flowed. I can’t wait for 2017 to read the next book!!
Disclaimer – Thank you, Arial Burnz, for sending me an ebook copy for an honest review. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape or form for this review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.