"fast-paced story of loyalty, redemption and self-sacrifice"
Jaeger is half-human, half-Vector, and until he one
afternoon encounters a pompous young Lord's son on the side
of the road abusing his horse and blaming the animal for
his fall and injuries, he is a Vector who has never sated
his hunger with human blood. Unlike many in his Lair, he is
also a virgin -- in the sexual sense, and the bloodshedding
sense -- not yet having entered the Growth, and never
bedded a woman.
This changes once he rescues Rhiannon, a Bleeder and a
witch, from certain death. He finds the young woman at the
docks mortally wounded and pale as her life's juices flow
into the putrid waters below.
Rhiannon's condition both horrifies and excites Jaeger. But
in the end, the Vector's human half wins out and he takes
the young woman back to the inn where he is staying so that
he can heal and nurse her back to health.
Celd is a Chosen, a Vector handpicked by the Sovereign to
father a Vector child. He is neither friend nor foe to
Jaeger, their relationship neutral, each associates
occasionally passing in the night. This too changes once
the elder pure-breed reveals to the younger outcast his
intentions to find a Bleeder to play hostess to his Vector
child. In fact, Celd was on the trail of just such an
individual in the area -- Rhiannon -- when the fresh scent
Jaeger's first victim distracted him.
It was Celd who finished off the Lord's son and killed him
after Jaeger left the youth injured on the side of the
road; but it is Jaeger, guilt-ridden and under suspicion,
who finds it necessary to leave town for safer haven.
So begins Jaeger's and Rhiannon's adventures and alliance.
The young witch refuses to let Jaeger leave town without
her, convinces him that theirs is the perfect partnership,
their requirements mutual. Since Rhiannon needs to be bled
periodically, especially during times when she has
exhausted her energy using magic, and Jaeger is a Vector
who, having tasted human blood, now needs to feed on it
regularly to maintain his strength and survive. What better
sustenance for Jaeger's hunger than Rhiannon, one who is
more than willing to provide the blood he needs, not to
mention, she is already half in love with him?
This was a tight, fast-paced story of loyalty, redemption
and self-sacrifice where platonic love plays as pivotal a
role in the story as romantic love. Complete with a strong
and spirited heroine, a noble and shape-shifting half-
human, half-Vector who is her match in every way, and a
villain as evil and self-serving as the h/h are meant to be
The characters are engaging, sympathetic and well written
(both supporting and leads). As in this author's previous
work, "Free Sprit", there are a couple of instances of
rape, but they are integral and don't detract from the
story or enjoyment of it (at least not for me). Neither do
the references to bisexuality and homosexuality, which only
add authenticity and are handled with compassion and
The last quarter of the book is especially enjoyable, both
creative and unique in that the hero -- after a spell is
cast on him by an elder Vector as punishment for his
insubordination -- spends much of it in the form of a
mountain cat. Jaeger has all the primal drives of a wild
animal but the memories, higher intelligence and
consciousness of man. This makes it doubly difficult for
him to keep safe Rhiannon or communicate his thoughts and
needs to her during their flight from Celd.
"A Gift of Blood" is a true gift and a keeper, and has this
reader eagerly looking forward to Ms. Frances's
sequel, "From the Heart".
ParaNormal Romance Reviews
Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted March 5, 2003