06 September 2011

Blog Tour: Blood Lust by T. Lynn Tolles

Hi, all! Today, I'm hosting a CBLS tour stop for T. Lynn Tolles, author of Blood Lust. Below, you'll find a review and excerpt, as well as a link to the next tour stop! The author is also hosting a giveaway at the end of her tour! Go here to register.

Enjoy the excerpt and review and please find the buy links at the end! Thanks!






Blurb:

A surprise visit from Blake and Devon's uncle, Dominic, demanding both vampires, come home immediately to find what is ailing his son Anton, puts everyone on edge. Can vampires get sick?

Devon doesn't appreciate Dominic's demands, but agrees to fly back to Connecticut with Darby, since Blake has a job to finish up in California. Excited to meet more of Devon's family, Darby is confused by Devon's distance and coldness since Dominic's visit. In Connecticut, this only gets worse when a gorgeous Libby, Anton's estranged wife, shows up unexpectedly and seems to have her sights set on Devon. To top it all off, there's seems to be some pent up animosity, Anton and Devon have towards each other.

What is this strange power Libby has over the men in this family? And what's wrong with poor Anton? Why does it seem that Anton and Devon hate each other? These are all question Darby sets out to answer in this third volume of the Blood Series.


Review:

Darby O’Rielly is a witch who is loving her life with new vampire boyfriend, Devon. When his estranged uncle, Dominic, shows up unexpectedly she finds her life flipped upside down.

Blood Lust is the third novel in a series by Ms. Tolle. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, which involves my favorite things: vampires. The story is well played out, and the progression is easy to follow. I also found Darby, the main character, easy to relate to and likeable at most times.

Tolle creates several poignant moments in the book which we can all relate to at one point or another in our lives. For instance, there is a scene in which there’s been some tension right after Dominic’s arrival. When Darby and Devon go to bed, he rolls over, brooding and moody. Tolle observes, quite accurately, that sometimes, “the loneliest place in the world is lying next to the one you love.” This line stuck out to me in the story and set the tone for the next few chapters, if not the rest of the book.

I did have a hard time with Darby's devotion to her boyfriend while he was being such a cruel character. This played Devon off to be malicious and narcissistic, only worried about himself and how he's suffering. Darby, meanwhile, is left to seem a weak or spineless character, in spite of her random outbursts of anger.
One thing that drew me out of the story time and again were grammatical errors. Commas where they were unwarranted and missed quotation marks threw me for a loop. I found myself having to read a sentence or paragraph a few times over to comprehend what was said in the context of the story.

Otherwise, I enjoyed Blood Lust. I just wish there had been a tough round of edits for the piece, but I’m going to give it three stars for a strong plot.

Available for purchase at the following fine institutions:

Amazon (Kindle Edition): http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Lust-Book-ebook/dp/B003OQUN1I
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/26103
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-lust-t-lynne-tolles/1103309225?ean=9781453801826&itm=3&usri=blood%2blust%2bblood%2bseries


Excerpt:

Before every one started to eat the festive dinner laid out on the table, Devon stood up with his glass of wine and said, “I’d like to make a toast.”  Every one reached for their wine glass.


“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends and loved ones.  I want to say that I am thankful for each and every one of you in this room. You’ve all become like family to my brother Blake and me. May we always have each other to call family!”


Blake, Darby, Rowan, Dean and Sally raised their glasses and clinked them together. “To Family,” said Blake and they all repeated.  “To Family.”  They all took a sip and set their glasses down and started to dig in.


Laughing and talking ensued around the table and all seemed perfect, when the doorbell rang. Devon and Darby looked at each other surprised, as if asking each other, Is someone else expected?  Devon wiped his mouth, kissed Darby and said, “I’ll get it. You stay and enjoy.” He set his napkin down next to his plate and headed for the door.  He was about to open the door when, again, the doorbell rang. He opened it to find a very elegantly dressed man with brown eyes, brown hair, and an intimidating six foot four stature, standing there looking at him. It was Devon and Blake’s uncle Dominic.


“Dominic! What a pleasant surprise. Come in.” Devon was trying to sound pleasant, but he was truly floored at seeing him.  In all Devon’s life, he had never known his uncle to travel away from the east coast, and even more precisely, Connecticut.


He was dressed in a very distinguished manner; black hat, over coat, red scarf (for some festive color) and gloves.  It was a little overkill for the 58 degree Thanksgiving weather, but very handsome, none-the-less. He was meticulously groomed and extremely polite, at first. Devon made his introduction as he helped Dominic with his coat, hat, scarf and gloves.


He was very handsome indeed and there was definitely some family resemblance to Devon and Blake. Now closer, Darby could see that his eyes were a warm brown. His hair was slicked back and he sported a very bushy mustache.  He was at least as tall as Blake, so now Darby and Rowan knew now where Blake had gotten his height. He didn’t smile, but Darby felt if he did, he might have the kind of smile that lit up a room, like his nephews.  Darby was sure she wouldn’t be seeing it anytime soon, though.


“This is Darby O’Rielly,” Devon pointed to her near the end of the table. Devon didn’t tell his uncle this, but she and her sister Rowan came from a long line of ancestral witches.  Devon had only met the beautiful blonde woman a few months ago, but he had fallen madly in love with her almost at first sight. He continued around the table.
“Her sister Rowan,” Devon said pointing to her.  A tiny strawberry blonde woman with Caribbean blue eyes smiled and nodded. A few months ago, a horrible man named Terrence Paine, who had injected her with werewolf blood in an attempt to kill her, had kidnapped Rowan.  He had thought that Blake being a vampire, had turned her. The werewolf blood would have battled the vampire blood, leaving Rowan dead.  However, Blake had not turned her and the werewolf blood just changed her to a werewolf this last summer. Devon continued around the table


“You know Blake of course,” he said.  Blake Bloomington is Devon’s brother and a born vampire. Unlike a turned-vampire, a born-vampire is born of two vampire parents.  Though they drink blood like a turned-vampire, they do not need as much or have to feed as often, allowing them to live among humans without being detected.  Turned vampires have an almost uncontrollable lust for blood and they must feed daily and are more likely to kill their prey, as they can’t control the lust of their feeding frenzy.  A vampire that turns a human to a vampire is supposed to train them to control their cravings and to teach them how to feed without killing. More often then not, though, this doesn’t happen.


Blake looked up at his uncle in acknowledgement of the introductions to find him glaring at his hand holding Rowan’s.  Blake knew why and immediately let go of her hand.  As a young man Dominic had seen a horrific scene of a couple being mutilated and killed by a werewolf.  Blake knew his uncle could sense Rowan’s mind and her inner werewolf, as he and his uncle were very adept at telepathy and mind control.


Ignoring what he heard his uncle telepathically said to Blake, Devon continued “and this is Sally Keaton,” he said. Sally, like Rowan and Darby, was from a long line of witches.  She and her sister Rachel are very powerful witches, indeed.  Initially when Rachel and Sally came to Oljone, California, it was to cast an ancient spell that was written by one of their ancestors in an attempt to receive more power – very evil power.  The spell included kidnapping thirteen girls to invoke the powers of the Blood Moon.  Sally went along with her sister’s ranting, until the showdown with Darby, Rowan, Blake, Devon and Dean back in October when her sister turned on her and almost killed her. Darby bound both the sister’s powers until they could show they were sorry for what they had done.  Sally practically became the guardian angel to all thirteen women that she and her sister had kidnapped.  In doing so, she earned her powers back a few weeks ago.


Devon continued with, “and Dean Wolfe.” Dean is the brother of the Benjamin Wolfe, whose blood had been injected into Rowan by Terrence Paine.  Dean, like his brother, is a werewolf.  In an attempt to learn all they could about werewolves, Darby and Blake had gone to Colorado seeking Dean. At the time, they were not certain what would happen to Rowan after the injections. Rowan had spent her first full moon as a werewolf with Dean, learning about her new abilities. Devon had joined them one night and had found that werewolves and vampires were very much alike.  They both had telepathic abilities, they both had speed, and strength, and both species were often blamed for those of their breed that lost control and killed humans. The folklore behind both species was very similar too, making Devon wonder if maybe once a very long time ago if the two species were brothers.


Dean had grown up hating vampires. Blake had grown up with Dominic’s slanted opinions of werewolves.  Blake had left Rowan just before she had experienced her first full moon, in confusion and misguided expectations of her change.  In an attempt to win her back, Blake had gone to Colorado to learn all he could from Dean about werewolves.  In doing so, they had become very good friends.


Finishing up his introductions, Devon continued, “Dean and Sally are two very dear friends of ours, this is our uncle, Dominic Larson,” Devon said.


“Darby, Rowan,” Dominic paused for a brief moment, “Blake, Sally and,” he paused again and quite a disgusted look came over his face as if he could barely choke the word out, “Dean. Sorry to have interrupted your festivities.” 


He offered a bottle of very expensive champagne to Darby making a wide birth around Rowan. “I would like to borrow my nephews, just for a moment, if you don’t mind. I’ve something I must speak to them about, immediately.”


“Well sit down, Mr. Larson and join us,” Darby said and continued as she jumped out of her chair, “Let me get you a place setting and a chair.”


Dominic smiled at her gesture and said, “I’m sorry, Miss, this is a private family matter and I just couldn’t possibly stay.  You understand, don’t you?” He said this dismissively as if speaking to a servant or maid; polite, but not genuine.


Darby could see that Devon was irritated, by his uncle’s rude behavior and was about to say something, when Blake jumped out of his chair, saving them a scene and said, “Sure Dominic,” grabbing his uncle’s coat and other items and continued, “they understand.” He glanced at the others at the table and gave Devon an imploring look all the while helping his uncle with his coat. “We’ll speak in the front yard, Dominic.  Go back to your meal, Enjoy! We’ll only be a minute,” Blake said rather apologetically to Darby who was still standing in front of her seat stunned by what was happening.


Darby looked at the rest of the people at the table and said, “I’ll go get some champagne flutes, to enjoy our lovely gift,” she said excusing herself as Devon and Blake lead Dominic to the front yard.


They were almost to the black limousine, when they all finally stopped walking and Dominic turned to the boys and began to speak. “I’m in need of your help, boys.  Anton is terribly sick and I would like you both to come to Connecticut with me, to help me determine what it is that is ailing him.”


“I’m very sorry Anton is sick, but that does not excuse your. . .” Devon started and Blake interrupted.


“What Devon is trying to say, Dominic, is that we are not boys any longer. We have lives, here; jobs, commitments, significant others.  We can’t just up and leave.”


“Yes, I can see you’ve hooked up with a lively bunch of hooligans. Eating at a table with witches and werewolf swine. How could you? So what, you with your, Darby girl, and you with the werewolf cross breed creature?  Both witches, I presume?”


“Yes.  I am with Rowan, but you don’t understand, Dominic,” Blake said reluctantly.


His eyes grew large as saucer.  “How despicable, boy. Didn’t I teach you anything? Didn’t you listen to a word I told you? Your mother must be turning in her grave in shame. We are a family of noble vampire blood.  What a disgrace to your heritage. Vile. Disgusting.”


“That’s enough Dominic.  You are wrong about werewolves, like many are wrong about vampires.  You are mistaken. .” Devon defended.


“How dare you.  I am a professor of science. I most definitely am not mistaken.  I saw, with my own two eyes, the horrific act of a werewolf.  They are animals, not people.”


“Your wrong, Dominic, very wrong.  These are good and decent people.  They’ve risked their lives for us on numerous occasions..” Blake tried to explain.


“Don’t bother explaining Blake.  He won’t change his mind. He has his view, and that is the only view he’ll ever see,” Devon said.


“I see your manners have been severely degraded by the company you keep.  I demand you come to Connecticut immediately.  Maybe you’ll find your manners there and remember your place in society.”


“I’m not leaving. Not for you and most definitely not for Anton.”


“Oh grow up boy.  That was ages ago.  Let bygones be bygones already. I won’t take no for an answer.  You will both march in there pack your things and come home.”


“Connecticut is not our home. This is our home, Oljone, California. Right here, a bunch of great friends that are waiting for us to continue our Thanksgiving feast,”  Devon said as he turned and headed back to the house.  


“Wait Devon,” Blake said.  Devon stopped and slowly turned around. “Dominic, won’t you please join us for dinner.  Get to know these people. They are like family to us.”


Devon said, “Don’t bother wasting your breath Blake. He’s already made up his mind about them.”


“It’s Thanksgiving.  You said yourself, Devon, that Thanksgiving is a ‘time to be thankful for family, friends and loved ones’. Dominic and Anton are our only blood relatives.”


“Fine.  You’re right, Blake, I did say that. Dominic, would you please join us for dinner?”


“Thank you for the offer but NO.  I can’t. No, I won’t sit at a table with two werewolves. I am staying at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.  Here are your tickets.  We are leaving 10:50 A.M. tomorrow. I expect to see you on the plane.” He handed each of them a first class ticket. 


“Whoa, wait a minute. I can’t go Dominic.  I have to work. I have a project due, deadlines, I just can’t up and leave,” Blake implored.


“Fine, you will join us, when you are done with your commitments.”


“I’m not going either, Dominic.  This is my home, here with Darby.  There is no love lost between Anton and I. I’m sure he doesn’t want to see me any more than I want to see him.  I’m sorry he’s sick, but for God’s sake, he’s a vampire, he’ll heal.  I’m sure he will be fine.”


“No Devon.  He won’t. He is rapidly declining. You must help me. I demand that you help me.”


“You demand that I help you?  There’s nothing I can do for him.  I’m not a doctor, you are. I’m a software engineer. So’s Blake.  What could we possibly do for him?”

“You’re his family.  You can be his family.  Maybe he will confide in you.” 


“What makes you think if he hasn’t confided in you, that he would do such a thing with me or Blake?”


“Because.. you are his age. You speak his language. You’re more understanding, like your mother was.”


“Not where he’s concerned,” Devon muttered under his breath.


“You must do this!” Dominic was yelling and turning red in the face, pounding his fist in his other hand and tears were welling up in his ferociously angry eyes.


Blake said, “Hang on, now. You both need to cool off a bit.  Dominic, you’re going to blow a gasket.  Relax.  Devon, if Darby went with you to Connecticut, would you be willing to go and at least talk to Anton?  See if maybe he would confide in you?  You never know.  And if he’s really that sick, don’t you think one of us should be there?  We’re family, after all.”


“If Darby were politely invited to come, and treated appropriately, yes, I may consider going to Connecticut,” Devon said aversely.


“Dominic, would you be willing to accept Darby as a guest in your home, treating her as such, for Devon?”


He mulled this over and took a little too long in doing so for Devon’s taste, but he reluctantly agreed saying, “as long as her mutant sister does not come. Yes, I would accept her as a guest in my home providing she behaved in a proper manner.”


“What the he. . “ Devon started. Blake could see he was about to blow his top.


Blake interrupted Devon and said, “See, I knew this could be worked out. Now, would you at least join us for a glass of champagne and invite Darby properly, Dominic?”


He grumbled something inaudible and nodded his head in acceptance. They walked back up the walkway and up the porch stairs opening the door to an absolutely quiet room of guests sitting at the table, but not eating. 


Darby had brought out 7 glasses and all but one was filled. Blake picked up the glass, filling it, and handed it to his stern unhappy looking uncle.  Blake grabbed his glass and raised it as he had done earlier.  Everyone else followed along grabbing their glasses and holding them in the air.  Blake said, “To Family!” They all repeated, “To Family,” but not as enthusiastically as the first time.  Dominic downed is glass and said.  “Miss Darby, I would like to invite you as a guest with my nephew Devon, to my home in Connecticut.  I would be most honored if you would oblige me this request.”


Shocked and surprised, Darby answered, “I’d be delighted. Thank you, Mr. Larsen.”


With that, and the feeling he had fulfilled his obligatory duty, he spun on his heals and was out the door before anyone could say a word.


Please make sure and stop by to visit Ms. Tolles on the next tour stop at http://closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com.


She can also be found at her website, blog, facebook, twitter, goodreads, email, youtube, and you can get a kindlegraph!







3 comments:

tlynnetolles said...

Lindsay...thanks so much for hosting this stop and taking the time to read and review Blood Lust. I'm not sure if you received Liz's email that the copy you received was much like an ARC and sending my apologies for that fact. The day the tour started I uploaded a cleanly edited copy, so hopefully new readers will not have the trouble you did.
Thanks again for everything!
Best Wishes
Teresa

Lindsay K. said...

I still enjoyed the story very much!

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