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Posted May 31, 2012
I enjoyed this House of Comarré prequel novella.
Forbidden Blood is a prequel novella in the House of Comarré series and tells the story of Maris and Dominic. Though it is a prequel, it was written and released after book three, Bad Blood, and I suggest you (at least) wait and read it after Blood Rights, the first book in the series. Without the back story and knowledge of the Comarré that you get in the opening book the novella could be difficult to follow.
All that being said, I was beyond thrilled when I found out Kristen Painter was writing a novella bout Maris and Dominic. Being a huge fan of the series I had questions about their relationship. I wanted to know how they came to be acquainted, why Dominic became anathema and what ultimately caused Maris to seek Libertas. Throughout the series Dominic has come across as a borderline bad guy but we know that he and Maris loved each other deeply so what caused them to separate? What happened to turn him into the outcast vampire I'd grown to know and love?
While Forbidden Blood does answer a lot of the questions I had, it didn't answer them all. I enjoyed getting to know both Maris and Dominic better and it was nice to see him from another perspective. He was so much different than I expected him to be. Noble vampires are usually outcast and made anathema because they've killed one of their own. I guess I expected Dominic to be cold and calculating even as a noble but he wasn't. He was likeable, caring and sweet. Reading this story, watching him fall in love and give everything up for Maris was beautiful and tragic. Beautiful because he loved her enough to risk everything to be with her; tragic because in my opinion she really didn't deserve him. She may have loved him in her own way but she didn't deserve all that he gave up for her. He was more of a means to an end for her.
I was glad that we got to see the battle for Libertas between Maris and her asshat Patron, Arnaud. We learned early on in the series that Maris was severely damaged during the fight but we didn't get details so I enjoyed witnessing the fight. Once Maris earned her freedom and Dominic was outcast they made their way to New Florida.
The life we see in New Florida was very brief and only made me dislike Maris more. I would've liked to see what events lead to them parting ways but we didn't get any of that. After all, Forbidden Blood is a novella and in order to get all the detail it would've needed to be much longer.
In closing, I understand why Maris did what she did but that doesn't change the fact that I feel she ruined a good man in the process. Dominic, though unhappy, was a noble, decent man before she was forced into his life and I really hope that at some point in the series he finds someone worthy of him; Maris most certainly was not.
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