I hope you’re all doing well. Im good, not an awful lot going on, so I don’t have much to report. Small life updates since I last posted; my fiancé and I have bought new bikes, my little puppy has given herself a skin irritation by licking her legs and I cooked the most amazing chicken and chorizo paella tonight. So as I said…not a lot going on.
Blood Mercy by @velarothauthor is so far from what I would usually pick up to read, however I have quite recently become a patreon of @xxbeccabumxx and this series is in her ALPHAHO book club. Basically it’s a book club for fantasy romance that spans the whole year so I was drawn to it for the challenge and also to incorporate more fantasy reading into my TBR.
When Cassia seeks out a Hesperine, he could end her mortal life in a heartbeat. But she has no fear of his magic or his fangs. She knows the real monster is the human king, her father. If he finds out she’s bargaining with his enemy, he’ll send her to the executioner.
As a Hesperine diplomat, Lio must negotiate with mortals who hate him. Cassia is different, but politics aren’t why she captivates the gentle immortal. He wants more than her blood, and if he can’t resist the temptation, he’ll provoke the war he’s trying to prevent.
General Thoughts 🤔
If I rewound time about five years, that past Sarah would have completely turned her nose up at this book. My reasoning would have been that I’m not interested in things that aren’t real. Well present day Sarah has evolved and she is interested in fantasy stories. Throw in some romance and it turns out that I’m a bit of a sucker for it.
I have to say that I didn’t think this book and I were going to be friends as it took me such a long time to actually want to read it. It’s a big book anyway, but I was reading about 2% each time I picked it up because I just couldn’t get into it. From the 50% mark onwards, it definitely picked up and I was more invested in the story and more importantly, the characters.
In the first half of Blood Mercy I legit had no idea who anyone was or what was going on. There were so many names and titles thrown around, I found it really difficult to keep up. However once the story felt much more established, I came to realise that actually, a lot of those characters weren’t important and I didn’t need to know or understand them.
I did need to know Cassia and Lio. Starting with Cassia, I loved her so much. She could have given up on life knowing that her father would forever control her and keep her locked away as his bastard child. However she was brave and head strong and I thought that she was a fantastic strong female lead in a story where she could have been the complete opposite.
I don’t think I’ve ever been attracted to a being other than of the human variety….until Lio. What a gentleman but also what a minx. This guy was heroic, strong and caring but then when it came down to some smutty time, he 100% delivered for Cassia and helped her discover what she liked.
Writing Style ✍️
I have read so many reviews and comments about this book series from people who adore it and have fallen in love with Vela Roth’s writing. Once I had gotten into it, I really liked the storyline (specifically the politics and emotional war between Cassia and the king) and I really liked the smut. This isn’t the first smutty fantasy book that I’ve read but it definitely had the most detail. I thought I would be a bit put off by it, but I wasn’t at all.
The biggest draw back for me was that this book took so long to get going. The first half was a huge slog and it meant that the book took me so long to get through when in reality, the second half flew by. I think that there was a lot that could have been edited out from the beginning.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
This wasn’t a book that I was chomping at the bit to read, but it was a book that I wanted to give a fair chance and I’m really glad that I did. Cassia and Lio provided all of the steamy and smutty goodness, but their epic love story was what drew me in the most. The first 50% felt like a lot of hard work, but the pay off came in the second half of the book, so my advice would be to hang in there and stick with it. It was definitely worth it. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series over the next couple of months.