Friday, February 4, 2022

Review: A Bargain of Blood and Gold by Kristin Jacques

A Bargain of Blood and Gold
(Midnight Guardians #1)
Kristin Jacques
Release: June 15, 2021
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A novice hunter with a mission. A five-hundred-year-old vampire with a strong sense of irony. A town plagued by creatures in need of saving.

When Johnathan Newman arrives in Cress Haven, the last thing he expects is for his life to be irrevocably changed. Sent by a clandestine league of vampire hunters to investigate a string of murders, signs point to a vampire lurking amid the townsfolk. Johnathan’s attempt to enlist the locals leads him to an unlikely partnership with Vic, the town's most eligible, enigmatic bachelor.

As the pair work to solve the mystery, Vic’s secrets come back to bite him. Revealed, the vampire fights his attraction to a man trained to destroy him, while Johnathan’s emotions land him in the middle of forbidden desires. Even if Vic isn’t the murderer, how can Johnathan yearn for his natural enemy?

As Vic leads Johnathan into encounters with terrifying beings straight from children’s nightmares, Johnathan learns that not only is the world stranger than he knew, but that those he once trusted have far darker intentions that will place hunter and vampire at the center of a conflict between realms.

Cress Haven holds more sinister secrets than its resident vampire, a secret so great, it could unleash Hell itself.

For fans of Gail Carriger’s Supernatural Society, The Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles, Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh, and The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee.

Do you ever see a beautiful cover and read a book's comp titles and immediately think "I need to read this book!"? That was my experience with A Bargain of Blood and Gold. It was compared to some of my favorite queer historical paranormal romance series so I had pretty high expectations going in to this book. Unfortunately, they were a little too high in the end.

This read was both intriguing and drove me absolutely bonkers. I felt like we just get thrown into the deep end with the worldbuilding and I spent a good chunk of the book trying to figure out how everything fit together. I think part of this stems from the writing style which was kind of disjointed and full of awkward phrasings. To be honest, I'm still not 100% clear on what was happening in the back story.

I did enjoy the characters and the mystery (which is where the author put all of their money in the storytelling) by the end but not enough to earn a place on my favorites list. I feel like the synopsis put a lot more emphasis on the romance than there was romance in the story. While there was some chemistry between the two love interests, for me, it wasn't enough to explain how the characters got together in the end. I will say that I am intrigued to see what happens next especially with a certain female character so I'll probably pick up the next book in the series at some point.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  3 / 5 Stars

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