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REVIEW: Blood Bound – Courtney Maguire

Blood Bound cover reveal - Courtney Maguire

Genre: Paranormal, Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Two hundred years can strain even the seemingly eternal love of the youkai.

When Hideyoshi’s coldness drives them apart, Hiro finds comfort in his friendship with Takanori, a vociferous human man he met at a ramen shop and can’t seem to keep away from.. Everything Hiro had to fight for from Hideyoshi, Takanori gives freely, making it all too easy to turn away from his responsibilities–and Hideyoshi–in favor of something sweeter.

But while Hiro is off playing human, danger is brewing among the Youkai. Hideyoshi, still reeling from his breakup with Hiro, struggles to uphold the promise they made to the Hunter leader, Kyo, but the Youkai’s loyalty has been challenged by Hiro’s abrupt disappearance. With Hunters literally banging at the door, Hide must find a way to bring Hiro home or risk igniting the war they’ve spent the last two hundred years trying to prevent.

Warning: graphic violence, terminal illness, depictions of grief and depression/mental illness, suicidal actions

The Review

Blood Bound is the third book in the “Youkai Bloodlines” series by Courtney Maguire. Hiro and Hideyoshi are now living in more modern times, and the Youkai still survive among humans.

Hideyoshi has lived for over two hundred years, and adjusting to the many new changes hasn’t  been easy. Once as a great Samurai Warrior, he has now given up his swords, as the Emperor Meiji declared swords illegal. He’s still managed to keep his home – and Hiro – safe. In his eyes, he’s given everything to Hiro.  

Hiro sees things differently. As much as he’s tried, he can’t find the love he craves from Hideyoshi. Hiro misses Kyoto and thinks that if they go back there together, he can reignite the feelings they had when they first met. He buys two tickets to return, but addressing it with Hideyoshi turns into a fight.

Hideyoshi is concerned about the responsibilities that he and Hiro have agreed too. They made the promise to keep the Youkai under control and protected.

Hiro is broken hearted, and runs away. He seeks shelter with his new friend, a human named Aikawa Takanori, and a relationship grows between them.

When Hideyoshi realizes his loss of Hiro, it’s a struggle for him. But danger and death is now at the door for the Youkai. The Youkai feel the loss of Hiro too. The battle with the Hunters and Kyo is coming, and Hideyoshi will have to give his all to bring Hiro back to fight a long-awaited battle.

Maguire is true to form with the third book in the “Youkai Bloodlines”. I’m really impressed at how she fills the story with a Japanese flavor, much of it flowing from her use of Japanese terms. For all readers, I recommend reading the “Glossary of Japanese Terms” before starting the story.

Once again, this is a thriller, with fast paced, page-turning action.  

Blood Bound is set in 1993 and 2004, which made it a little confusing to keep track of the time.

Still, this is the book I was really looking forward too. There’s alway been something lacking in Hideyoshi, and more of his life and personality is revealed in this tale. He is really misunderstood.  Surprisingly, he makes friends with a human in this one. He never had the choice that he gave Hiro about becoming Youkai, and he blames himself for many things.

Spoiler alert: I so wanted to see Hiro and Hideyoshi find the love and affection that they both need, but it seems I will have to wait for the next book.

The second book in the series (the one before this story) is Blood Pact – it can be read as a stand-alone, but it will pique your curiosity to read Blood Bound. I’m on the fence about a few things in Blood Bound, so I can’t wait for the next installment!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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