Click here to read reviewer Sonia R. Polinsky's take on Blood Bargain (Blood Lines).
I very much enjoyed Matters of the Blood, the first in the “Blood Lines” series (in fact, an extract from my review is printed in the front of this second book). However, I was a little disappointed by Blood Bargain.
There's nothing actually wrong with the story - it's a continuation of the vampire/shapeshifter/sidhe-themed story of Keira Kelly, a woman who has just started her Change and isn't sure yet what her powers will be. Will she be a shapeshifter like her father, a sidhe like her mother, or something else altogether? She's living with Adam Walker, chief Vampire and owner of the Wild Moon Ranch, but she's begun to worry about him. Adam is growing weaker and weaker and insists on surviving on animal rather than human blood.
Keira's thoughts are very much taken with Adam's health, yet she also finds herself investigating the disappearance of a Mexican man several months earlier at the behest of his brother. Her searches seem to be uncovering a tale of missing people, and when four young people from the town of Rio Seco go missing, there is far more urgency. Is there some link to the strange angel statue at a cemetery near the Wild Moon Ranch? Could there even be some link to Adam's failing health?
As I was reading this book I had no idea where the plot was actually going. It was certainly not predictable, and the resolution of the mysteries is a bit of a surprise. It’s also a slightly unusual read in that the hero of the previous book, Adam, plays only a minimal part in this story. The foil for Keira here is her hellhound brother, Tucker. Keira has not yet come into her powers so - despite being supernatural - there's not a great deal extra she can do over the humans around her.
Blood Bargain doesn’t have as much as an impact as the previous book; its plot lacks the ability to really grab my attention. It is well-written, however, and the small-town Texas setting makes a change from the usual big-city vampire tale.