Customer Reviews for

Chosen by Blood (Para-Ops Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 33 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A fine urban fantasy

FBI Para-Ops Special Agent Felicia Locke and hybrid dhampire Otherworld clan leader Knox Devereaux are attracted to each other. However, though they know they should be bonded mates, they have no future together. His species is in peril of extinction due to the steali...
FBI Para-Ops Special Agent Felicia Locke and hybrid dhampire Otherworld clan leader Knox Devereaux are attracted to each other. However, though they know they should be bonded mates, they have no future together. His species is in peril of extinction due to the stealing of an anti-vamp vaccine antidote that would enable the vamps to eat human blood as before, and besides he must wed a vampire to promulgate the species. She refuses to settle on being his mistress.

Knox struggles between saving his clan and his heart. As they, accompanied by four Otherworld agents, try to retrieve the stolen antidote that would keep his species from starving to death, he tries to persuade Felicia to become his lover. Felicia struggles between her desire and her heart as just saying no is so difficult.

From the opening gala at the Vamp Dome in Portland, Oregon romantic urban fantasy readers will feel the heat is on between the lead pair and that torridness never abates while the sextet is on their mission, bickering all the way. Fast-paced with terrific twists as betrayal is the prime norm. Although the ending leaves too many issues dangling for future visits to the DePaul world, readers will relish the adventures of the sensational six struggles to save a species bickering all the way.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on April 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Badly Executed Blush-Worthy Borderline Erotica

This book needed a better editor. There were quite a few typos, and grammar errors. Mostly it needed someone to find a way to fix the confusing beginning. The whole book was set up poorly. Actually I think the story would have been better without the already established...
This book needed a better editor. There were quite a few typos, and grammar errors. Mostly it needed someone to find a way to fix the confusing beginning. The whole book was set up poorly. Actually I think the story would have been better without the already established, overly complicated lead relationship. The book opens up two years prior to the story's main timeline and thrusts the readers into the middle of Knox's, his wife's, and Felicia's weird relationship. I found this disorienting because the threesome has a long history better suited for a book of it's own, and while I get that DePaul is trying to set up the love interest we aren't getting much of anything about the actual book. It comes off messy and forced. It would have been better to scrap the whole thing and change the relationship structure or at least not make it so rigid.

Another problem with the story is how unlikeable Knox is. It seems like DePaul took her vampire straight out of a carpathian novel by Feehan, but the writing was way more crass. Throughout the book he was mostly concerned with only what he wanted completely disregarding Felicia's wishes. There was no building of a romantic relationship. No getting to know one another. No foundation for their professed feelings. It was nothing but lust in the guise of love.

Most of all I am surprised that Chosen by Blood was so graphic. I'm no prude but most writer's try to find interesting ways to describe sexual content. Not DePaul, she was not creative at all in her descriptions. She was so glaringly blunt and to the point with her writing, that it just didn't fit well, like a puzzle piece jabbed into the wrong slot. And there was a lot of naughty scenes. It seemed like there was something steamy going down in every chapter. This book could be re-shelved in the erotica section instead of paranormal romance. Normally I like this kind of thing but I just don't think it was done very well.

I think the Para-Ops concept is a great and an original idea, but I think the book didn't focus on that idea enough. The supporting characters were awesome and under utilized. DePaul had an interesting take on the undead, mages, and half borns. Plus her world building is lacking. She spent way too much time creating a vampire society that came off aloof and pretentious. Along with an overly complicated one dimensional relationship and then used sex to cover up her short comings.

Chosen by Blood could have been a killer book with the potential for an equally amazing series. But DePaul is stalled by the tired and stale romantic standards of barbaric bloodsucker stereotypes. Choosing to highlight her stories weaknesses instead of developing it's strengths and originality. I think she could benefit by focusing on the missions, moving her minor characters into equally major roles, and putting as much effort into her post-apocalyptic world building as her sexual content.

posted by Unwasted_Words on September 22, 2011

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    Excellent debut novel

    5 years after the Civil War between humans and Otherborns, the FBI is scrambling to find the antidote for a vaccine that has resulted in the decline and death of the Vampire population. A team is put together - consisting of a mage, wraith, were, vamp, psychic, and a human - whose sole purpose is to find this antidote and bring it back to the U.S. The hero, Knox Deveraux, is the leader of his clan and the new FBI Para-Ops team, and the heroine, Felicia Locke, is an FBI agent and the "human" on the team. They've been in love for years, but due to circumstances beyond their control, and Knox's intense sense of responsibility for his clan, they have never acted on their feelings. Now they have to work together, facing danger and possible death, and the question is - will they finally turn to each other or will they let circumstances continue to keep them apart?
    Chosen by Blood is a fabulous debut novel by author Virna DePaul. It was one of those books that, once I started reading, I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. It has all the elements of a fast-paced political thriller, with the added bonus of a very sexy paranormal romance.
    Ms. DePaul's obvious intelligence shines through in her writing, and everything flows in what seems to be an effortless way.
    Witty dialog, strong secondary characters, a well-built "world", incredibly sexy love scenes - you'll find all this and more in Chosen By Blood. The pacing is consistent and the story believable. Suspense, sexual tension, a no nonsense attitude in both the hero and heroine - this book is for the keeper shelf. I'm seriously looking forward to the next book in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A fine urban fantasy

    FBI Para-Ops Special Agent Felicia Locke and hybrid dhampire Otherworld clan leader Knox Devereaux are attracted to each other. However, though they know they should be bonded mates, they have no future together. His species is in peril of extinction due to the stealing of an anti-vamp vaccine antidote that would enable the vamps to eat human blood as before, and besides he must wed a vampire to promulgate the species. She refuses to settle on being his mistress.

    Knox struggles between saving his clan and his heart. As they, accompanied by four Otherworld agents, try to retrieve the stolen antidote that would keep his species from starving to death, he tries to persuade Felicia to become his lover. Felicia struggles between her desire and her heart as just saying no is so difficult.

    From the opening gala at the Vamp Dome in Portland, Oregon romantic urban fantasy readers will feel the heat is on between the lead pair and that torridness never abates while the sextet is on their mission, bickering all the way. Fast-paced with terrific twists as betrayal is the prime norm. Although the ending leaves too many issues dangling for future visits to the DePaul world, readers will relish the adventures of the sensational six struggles to save a species bickering all the way.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this intro to this team!

    My Review:
    This book was seriously fabulous with an incredible group of characters. Humans and otherborn are still trying to figure out how to live in this world together after the otherborn have been outed and the resulting civil war has ended. As a result, the US government is developing a new Para-Ops team made up of 6 people.

    1. At the lead is Knox Devereaux who is half vampire. The vampires are dying so he has a huge stake in this first mission for a vampire antidote. He has recognized Felicia as his soulmate for years, but she has never accepted that...mainly because she is married to one of her best friends and she would never be anything more than a mistress, although his wife has given them her blessing for such a union.

    2. Caleb O'Flare is the team doc...he's a Shaman. He has the ability to heal and also has visions. He has the ability to read other people really well and tends to have insight into most the team members mentalities and issues.

    3. Dex Hunt is a half werebeast. He comes off as a cocky, jerk who doesn't care for anyone, but that's really all an act.

    4. Felicia Locke is the human FBI agent. She's in love with Knox, but refuses to act on it, because she knows that she will never win in a competition for Knox's loyalty between her and the vampire clan.

    5. Wraith is a wraith. She has been dead for 10 years, and like all wraiths, she has no recollection of her life before she died. She feels pain whenever anyone touches her, so she lives a very solitary life and has built up barriers around her as a result. She is in-your-face brash and harsh and makes no apologies for that.

    6. Lucy is a Mage. She's the quietest of the group, although she has the power to enchant people and hold them with her magic.

    Everything about this story was highly entertaining. I loved the mix of characters and how they all interact as they are learning to work together. None of them are necessarily easy to get along with, but they do manage to grow as a team and that absolutely was the best part of this book...watching this team to develop as a team.

    I also really enjoyed the romance between Felicia and Knox. There is a lot of history between them. Although they have never crossed that romantic line, it is always there between them anytime that they are together. It's an immediate reaction to each other and there is no ignoring it.

    There is a lot going on in the background of this story... The vampires' urgent need for a vaccine; The politics within the vampire realm and within the government; The team learning to trust and count on each other. There is a ton of action, suspense, underlying emotions, and romance. If the story had just relied upon the romance, I don't think that I would have liked it as much, but the whole team dynamic of the Para-Ops team made this book for me. It was just a really fabulous read!! I cannot wait to read the second book with Wraith and O'Flare's romance...the chemistry was sizzling between the two of them in this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great story

    Cant wait for the next one

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