Unchained (Blood Bond Saga Vol 1)
by Helen Hardt
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Held captive for a decade, vampire Dante Gabriel is at last free.
Taken as an eighteen-year-old, Dante endured being chained, tortured and humiliated regularly. He was also forced to feed—and feed from—someone who called herself the Queen.
His freedom is bittersweet when he finds his father and uncle left to find him after he disappeared ten years ago and never returned.
The world has changed in Dante’s absence. He’s confused and stumbles often. He’s missing the knowledge of his full vampire ancestry, something taught to vampires after they turn eighteen.
But of course, someone kidnapped him before his teaching could begin.
However, what confuses Dante most is his obsession with ER nurse Erin Hamilton, the nurse who walked in on him as he gorged himself in the hospital’s blood bank.
And why does she appear obsessed with him?
With help from remaining family members Emilia, his sister, River, his cousin and Bill (Guillaume), his grandfather, Dante works to reclaim his life and the mystery of what happened to him all those years ago.
Though seemingly unrelated, missing patients, blood shortages, and a homeless man with too much knowledge about vampires deepen the mystery.
Dante’s sense of urgency leads to reckless and violent behavior, but he knows he’s running out of time—the Queen is coming, determined to reclaim him.
Though he is “free,” Dante is still mentally captive. Even if the Queen wasn’t in his head, he’s suffering from a serious case of PTSD, with no time to heal. His frustration and anger leap from the page. Great writing!
Erin’s no dummy. She’s pragmatic to a fault and troubled by her attraction to Dante. It’s not the Typical Romance trope of I know I should stay away from him, but I can’t drivel. Erin’s obsession controls her and cause her to act out of character. Things are happening to her she cannot explain, but despite her fear, she’s still driven to protect and be with Dante.
Unchained is a good read that pulls you right in.
The author does a good job of world-building in Unchained, not following the usual myths and concepts of vampires, but establishing new ones with small, subtle changes.
My only issue with this read is the growing relationship between Dante and Erin.
I love a slow build to romance, but the start/stop routine with these two became tedious for me and I began to lose interest in them as a couple. Don’t get me wrong, they have definite chemistry, but it was the trouble brewing around them—Em and Jay, River and Lucy, Dr. Zarah, Ghost? What ghost?, bug bites, and why is Bill acting weird—that kept me anchored to this read until the end. And I’m looking forward to the next volume. I have questions and I need answers.
Blood Bond is a paranormal romance saga and Unchained is volume 1 in a five-volume series. Each volume contains three installments with Unchained containing installments 1-3. Volume two–Unhinged, 3–Undaunted, and 4–Unmasked are all available. Volume 5–Undefeated, releases in May.
All installments are also available separately.
Vampire Dante Gabriel is starving. What he craves is red gold—human blood. After being held captive as a blood slave to a female vampire for years, he has finally escaped. Unchained at last, he follows his nose to the nearest blood bank to sate his hunger.
ER nurse Erin Hamilton expects just another busy night shift…until she finds a gorgeous stranger vandalizing the hospital blood bank. Though her logic tells her to turn him in, she’s pulled by stronger and unfamiliar emotions to protect the man who seems oddly infatuated with her scent. Chemistry sizzles between them, but Dante, plagued by nightmares of his time in captivity, fears he won’t be able to control himself…especially when he discovers a secret she doesn’t even know she’s hiding.