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REVIEW: Blood Pact – Courtney Maguire

Blood Pact - Courtney Maguire

Genre: Asian Myth & Legends, Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Non-Binary, Pansexual

Reviewer: Sherry, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

In Hiro’s world, youkai are a supernatural story used to scare children into obedience, and to keep men out of back alleys and brothels. Until Sakurai Hideyoshi walks through his door with a fantastical tale of a samurai who had killed a thousand men and drank the blood of his enemies, a man that lived in darkness but sought beauty to keep it at bay.

A story both terrifying and romantic…and completely ridiculous.

Unless it is true.

Convinced something softer lurks behind Hideyoshi’s hard mask, Hiro follows him home. And discovers the story is real.

Only instead of the blood of his enemies, it is innocent blood taken.

Hideyoshi tells him never to return. Yet after Hiro’s mother is mortally wounded, Hiro runs back to the one being he knows with the power to save her. When Hideyoshi can’t, Hiro begs him for the next best thing: the power to avenge her.

As Hiro becomes youkai, he faces a new threat, something darker, older, and far more dangerous. With Hideyoshi at his side, Hiro must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice–and what he’s willing to do–to protect this new life before he loses everything for a second time.

If you like Bella Forrest, P. C. Cast, AJ Tipton, or Anne Rice, you will love this beautiful dark paranormal fantasy romance.

The Review

“I fell into darkness deep as a well, wondering if I had made a terrible mistake.”—Blood Pact

There are many things to like about “Blood Pact.” It has Asian mythology—of which I know very little, so it was novel (if you’ll forgive the pun). The main character,Hiro, a male geisha or taikomochi. He’s employed in the house of a high-class courtesan with several other geisha. That, in itself, was a pleasant departure from the “usual” geisha story. But best of all, “Blood Pact” is a story about youkai—Japanese demons—and that is simply fascinating.

The house mother where Hiro resides is a kind, protective woman whom Hiro regards fondly and with reverence. In the course ofhouse business, they attract the abusive attention of a minor feudal lord named Yamaguchi. Hiro considers Yamaguchi to be crude, rude and repulsive, but Yamaguchi wants Hiro for his own. Being the consummate geisha, Hiro does what must be done to prevent bringing dishonor to the house, until he can do no more.

Add into the story protection payments, an intimidation murder, and Hiro ends up in the arms of a legendary but mysterious shogun, Hide. Hide is a man with a grim secret, though. While Hiro struggles to come to terms with Hide’s secret and what it will mean to their developing romance, a powerful adversary with a dark agenda intrudes.

“Blood Pact” is a love story, except it’s a horrifying one. The characters are well-developed and believable. Chapters are titled, crafted to provide a bit of subtle but creepy foreshadowing. Making the story’s mythology and folklore more accessible, Maguire added a glossary to the book.

The cover art is evocative. If the cover art of the first book, “Bloodlaced,” is any indication of the story within, well, let’s just say it’s added to my TBR shelf.  

A five-star, moody romance that reminds us monsters do exist and regardless of how they got that way or what good they try to do, they are still monsters. 

The Reviewer

Sherry Perkins has worked as a licensed practical nurse for more than thirty-five years and has experience in psychiatric/addictions nursing, nursing-care coordination, and risk management. She earned a BS in health sciences from Campbell University and has spoken at public health functions on topics such as addiction prevention and treatment, prevention of teenage opioid deaths, and connecting patients who are resistant to treatment with appropriate services.

A mother of four, Perkins lives with extended family on the Delmarva Peninsula, where she enjoys collecting shells and sea glass; reading and writing mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy; doing organic gardening; and following the Dave Matthews Band around the East Coast

The Paranormal Romance Guild was established in 2009 by 8 Indie Authors and one Reviewer to be a constant help for authors. You can be a free author member, submitting your work for review OR become a Premium Author Member for a small yearly fee and enjoy many extra services including Free Beta Reads, Author Giveaways and many others. Your reviews are posted on our 3 FB Sites, Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram. WE REVIEW ALL GENRES LGBTQ+ welcome.

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