ARC Review: Blood Guard (Mission #1) by Megan Erickson

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Author: Megan Erickson
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Format: ARC
Page Length: 182 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Enter a world of immortal danger and desire—and discover an incredible fate borne of blood.

Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .

Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change mydestiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.

This was a fun book to read. This book starts out with Tendra, a human girl, returning to her job at a bar shortly after her mother passed away. Tendra has always been on the move with her mother, never staying in one place too long. And she’s a fighter. She knows how to defend herself and fight back, if necessary. One night, she meets Athan, a too-serious vampire who declares himself her protector and says that her blood is what could save all humanity.

As much as I enjoyed the book, there’s two parts to this story that I want to touch on – the characterization and the plot. The first meeting between Tendra and Athan is a bit sketchy, but as the story goes on, we get to know the type of person Athan is. Their first meeting…well, Athan kind of drugs her and kidnaps her? It’s not the best of introductions. Athan handled the entire situation very poorly. But Athan is completely not prepared for the kind of woman Tendra is and never expected her to fight back. Which, I get that this still sounds bad for Athan, but things are explained a bit more about the relationship between vampires, humans, and the expectations from both parties going forward. Athan never really does anything against Tendra’s will, but she is still expected to follow him to marry his brother and to provide said brother her blood. First intro to Athan is not great, but the story does get better.

A sudden urge to wrap her in my arms prodded me. To assure her that she’d be safe, that I’d take care of her. That she’d have a good life.

So, plot. Tendra posses the cure to save humanity, and the oldest brother of the royal family (in this case, Athan’s older brother, Idris) is to drink from her blood and gain powers that will save the humans from the bad vampire clans who would rather not live in harmony with humans. Save the cheerleader, save the world? There’s assassins after Tendra, and to be quite truthful, the line kind of blurs for me why the characters insist on walking everywhere. Even after two days of walking and hiding out, it’s like they never progressed at one point.

I’m reading this from an ARC, so things may change in the final version, but I’m kind of iffy on Tendra’s character at the end. She’s such a fighter the entire book, but then a scene happens near the end where she seems to…no longer fight? I think Tendra is a badass for the most part, but I also find her difficult to fully connect with at times. She goes from never having any human connection to being completely accepting that she’s got to be a blood bank and bride to a complete stranger in order to save humanity, just because a guy claims it was all prophecy. I think this book does take a bit of suspended belief to read (I mean, naturally, this is a book with vampires). Blood Guard helps set up the world and the war that’s coming between the vampire clans in future books. And I look forward to reading them!!

I really liked the introduction of the secondary characters – Zeb and Wyatt, especially. I hope we see more of them in the future! One of the highlight characters in this book is Brax, Tendra’s mysterious cat with a sixth sense. Brax seems adorable and I wouldn’t mind seeing Brax just wreck havoc on characters in future books, if for even no reason than a just because. It does look like the setup for the next book is with Idris? The two brothers, Idris and Athan, are big softies. Athan’s dangerous when he’s fighting, but deep down, he’s a real sweetheart. It kind of boggles the mind that the vampires know so little about the human world when they live in parallel with them, but I liked Athan’s utter lack of human knowledge and Tendra’s shock at what all Athan doesn’t know.

“I want you fed. You need it, and I need you, so circle of life or whatever.” I made a symbol like I was lifting up a baby Simba, and he stared at me like I’d lost my mind.

Tendra and Athan have unbelievable chemistry together and I loved reading how they gradually came together. I look forward to reading Blood Veil and everything else Megan has in store for this series!

***Thanks to Loveswept for providing me an ARC from NetGalley***

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