Author: Lisa Oliver
Book: Bound By Blood
Series: A Cloverleah Pack Spin-off
Page/Word Count: 165 Pages, 58K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Shifter Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi
Release Date: September 27, 2018
Cover Artist: Lisa Oliver
Maximillian “Max” Lipovsky has been Regent of the Atlanta coven for the past six months. His days are full of meetings and paperwork as he does his best to straighten out the mess left during the disastrous reign of Vadim’s brother Ermine. With Vadim now happily living in Cloverleah with his mate Josh, it’s up to Max to keep his friend’s coven happy and safe. Easier said than done. When it is pointed out to him it’d been more than six months since he’d fed from a willing donor, Max decides a night out is exactly what’s needed.
Lyle Roberts is tired of being scared, tiny, and alone. But mostly he’s tired. When a tall, strong man with flashing red eyes stops him getting beaten up in an alley, he thought he might have found a momentary reprieve from his rotten life. Finding out the man was a vampire, something he’d only seen in movies, Lyle decides to take a chance and asks the man to remove his curse. Only, it turns out Lyle isn’t cursed after all – unless you consider having a workaholic mate as a curse.
Lyle’s arrival at the coven seems to have brought out the worst in people. As soon as one threat’s dealt with, another one rears its ugly head. With the Alpha of the Atlanta pack pushing for a meeting, and vampires turning rogue within the coven itself, Max has his hands full. The only problem is, with his hands full, he doesn’t have anything to hold his beloved with. Will Max and Lyle ever find their HEA or will the mating curse strike its cruelest blow of all?
Bound by Blood is a complete standalone spin off story from the Cloverleah pack. Regular Lisa Oliver readers will remember Max from Watching Out for Fangs (The Cloverleah series #7) but it’s not necessary to have read that book, to understand this one. Intimate situations and some violence means this book is suitable for adults only.
“Your blood called to me,” Max said slowly, choosing his words with care. “Your gift is to share your spirit with a beautiful cat. Vampires are able to learn a lot from the blood we ingest, or even scent. Through blood, I can tell a person’s emotions, if they’ve got something lacking in their diet, and even if they are sick and don’t know it.”
“Do you drink a lot of blood?”
“Not as much as I used to. Among the vampire community I am considered very old, although Vadim is older, and his mother is older still. But as we get older, we don’t need to drink as much blood. A bag a week is usually enough to meet my needs.”
“You don’t bite humans and drink from them?” The warmth from Lyle’s head left Max’s chest as his beloved leaned back to look at his face.
“I can and have done so many times. Most vampires do, even though we do have blood bags available at the coven. We also have what we call donors; humans who live at the coven in exchange for providing blood from the source when certain vampires want it. A vampire bite is very beneficial to humans too. For one thing, it can extend their life and also helps prevent them getting sick as often.”
Lyle scrunched up his face and Max forgave himself for thinking it was a cute gesture. “How does a bite do that?”
“Vampire saliva, from our fangs.” Max tapped one of his with his fingernail. “When a vampire bites down to break the skin, a tiny part of their saliva enters the donor’s blood stream, helping them to remain healthy.”
“Sounds painful.” Lyle curled back up under Max’s chin again. “You’d think if everyone knew about how great a vampire bite could be, they’d be queuing up for it.”
“We keep our existence a secret from humans for a reason, precious. Not everyone is as open minded about the paranormal as you are.”
“You said I’m one too.” Lyle yawned and rubbed his cheek on the top of Max’s chest. “If I stay with you, do I have to be one of those donors too?”
“You aren’t a donor, precious. You’re my true match, my beloved.” Holding Lyle close, Max carefully got up and headed for his bed. “Once you’ve allowed me to claim you, and you claim me in return, you will rule the Atlanta coven by my side. And if anyone,” he whispered, tugging the covers back and lying Lyle on the crisp sheets, “anyone at all bites you apart from me, I’ll remove every shred of their existence from this planet.”
“Sounds like a fancy way of saying you’d kill them,” Lyle said sleepily. “I think I like the thought of you biting me.” A soft snore fell from his lips.
Fucking brilliant, Max thought fondly as he covered Lyle’s body with the covers and went into his bathroom. He drops that beautiful bombshell on me, and then falls asleep. Turning on the shower, he stripped out of his clothes, and stepped under it, grabbing the soap in one hand and his cock with the other. His desire for blood wasn’t the only thing he was going to have to go without for the night.
3.5✨s – Relationships between vampires and shifters, and between fated mates are some of my favorite types of paranormal books. This one misses the mark a bit. It’s well written, the characters are interesting and the plotline is okay, but there was something missing. I know this is a standalone, and I think the author could have explained the way the world works a little better. It’s a spin-off of the Cloverleah Pack series, therefore it does not need to be read with the other books. I think if there was a bit more explanation to how the world is organized it would have gone smoother, not just for the reader but for Lyle as well.
Lyle who is not at all familiar with the paranormal world doesn’t have anything explained to him. He meets Max and then we see them three days later entering the cover, which is full of issues. He feels lost, alone, and neglected because he doesn’t understand. I can’t blame him. Max, as good of a person as he is, doesn’t understand that communication is needed. I like these two together. Once they learn to communicate and aren’t assuming things, they’re great.
There is a lot of moving pieces, things that had happened in other books that affected this one, because of that the reader is playing catch up. Which is fine, as it’s marked as a standalone. However, it isn’t really written like that. We get bits and pieces explained to us, but it’s almost like you have to read the whole Cloverleah series to understand. Which is fine, I love series, and this seems like an interesting world, I just felt it was a little misleading.
Despite all of that I liked the story. I loved how it was a fresh take on the paranormal world and on the idea of fated mates. I loved the characters, they were fleshed out, well-rounded and once they figured out how to work together they were perfect. Would I read the other books set in this world? Maybe.
5✨s – This is a separate Cloverleah book from the regular series. It’s given Max (Vadim’s friend) a chance to have his story and HEA. Whilst it can be fully enjoyed as a stand alone story, I’d recommend reading at minimum Watching Out For Fangs – Cloverleah Book 7, as it gives a bit of back story to some of the characters and troubles going on in the Atlanta Coven. Max is struggling at running the Atlanta Coven since Vadim left him in charge as Regent Proctor. Taking his first break in months, he goes for dinner and stumbles across his mate in an alley, in a cat fight. Literally. Lyle is a white cat, has been homeless and forced to live as his cat for a couple of months after being kicked out of his home by his step-daddy. Vadim and Lyle’s connection is immediate however, with so much going on in the coven, backstabbing, scheming and lazy vampires, it’s going to take a lot of work from the both to understand and balance their mating and the coven. Lyle is just the most adorable young man! Finding out he’s not alone in being able to change forms is huge for him but he has a lot to learn about the paranormal world. Vadim is a strong man, mentally and physically but when it comes to his mate, it’s easy to read the attraction, love and care that he feels. Lisa is really good at writing the connection that is there between fated mates, and also the struggles that a lot of them go through. The story itself is intriguing, giving Lyle a chance to show his inner strength and fight for himself and the wider community outside of the Coven. It takes something big for Max to make his true stand as leader and you can see it making for a better future for the vampires within the coven. There are some great secondary characters involved in this story. Dominic is friend and head of security for Vadim, a great support for him. We have occasional spots with Vadim’s mother, the Dowager D’Arcy, who is enchanted with Lyle and full of love and support for both men. There are of course the bad apples within the coven and they make for an entertaining read! For any fan of the Cloverleah series this is a must read and anyone who loves a paranormal romance.
About Lisa Oliver:
Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.
When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.
Guest Post from Lisa Oliver
Hi Jessie, and thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I’m really excited to share some thoughts about real vampires, a concept that came up when I was researching one of my latest books, Bound By Blood. BBB is a Cloverleah Pack series spin off story, so can be read as a standalone. It features Max, the leader of the Atlanta coven and what happens when he meets his beloved, Lyle, for the first time. Although they do end up with an HEA (all of my books do, lol) the road to getting there has a lot of bumps in it.
But enough about that for now, let’s talk about real vampires. I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and in my ideal world, everyone would be accepted for who they are regardless of species, race, sexual orientation or anything else. Vampires and shifters hold a special place in my heart, not least because so many people believe they actually exist.
An exciting search on Google (just type in “Real Vampires”) and there among the various articles there are on the True Blood television series, you will find actual studies conducted by real researchers who believe vampires are real. Of course, in modern day terms we’re not talking sparkly skin and a hatred of sunlight. There are people alive today who are afflicted with the need to drink human blood.
Many researchers discount historical accounts of vampires as an ignorant population’s explanation about disease – most specifically, Tuberculosis. There have been some gruesome accounts, some as recently as the last century, depicting rituals frightened family members performed on corpses believed to rise from the dead and drink the blood of their victims. Of course, tuberculosis is contagious, the family members for the most part died anyway, but many serious researchers believe that is where the myth about vampires begun.
Our modern day vampires stay under the radar. While there are people who have their teeth cosmetically shaped to appear like real fangs, and the goth clothing industry is still alive and well, for the most part modern day vampires are just like you and me. They are teachers, doctors, accountants and more. Studies indicate there are as many women as men who feel the urge to drink human blood and as many as 5000 of them living in the United States alone.
Alas, this is where real life and fiction part ways. In my books, vampires love the feeling of sinking their fangs into their beloved’s neck as the two writhe together in an erotic embrace. In real life it’s not so sexy. With the spread of blood borne diseases rampant, donors have to be medically checked for issues like HIV and Hepatitis C. Blood is sucked from small cuts made on the skin and care has to be taken afterwards to ensure the wound doesn’t get infected. When I was reading the articles, I couldn’t help but feel my way sounded a lot more fun.
But I will leave that for you to decide. Bound by Blood is available anywhere good e-books are found.
Hug the one you love, and a huge thank you again to Jessie G for hosting me here today.
Where to find Lisa Oliver:
This contest is hosted by the author and/or promotional company, and Jessie G Books does not have access to any data collected as a result.