This is a hard book to rate because it revolves around two separate relationships one of which I loved and the other I had major problems with. Bloodlines is book 3 in an m/m urban fantasy series, Sanguis Noctis. Usually I always reread past volumes before I read a new release in a series. However the secondary relationship in book 2 ended sadly and I didn't want to go there again.
When I started book 3 I had mostly forgotten the events in book 2 and I struggled to gain a picture of Victor. For quite a while I had him confused with another character. I really needed some description of Victor and some of his backstory. Even now that I've finished I have no idea what he looks like and this has made me realise that I must be a visual kind of reader who needs to be able to picture the characters in her mind to truly connect with them. I found him woefully one-dimensional. He is portrayed as a nerd. Every time another character looks at him, he is sitting quietly reading. He seems really old-fashioned, becomes 'scandalized' by very tame things, plays little part in any of the action scenes, and is one of those characters that lets things happen to them, rather than act themselves.
Normally I would be happy to read about this kind of character but unfortunately his love interest, Randall, was almost indistinguishable in terms of personality. It made their relationship so boring. Both Victor and Randall talk in old-worldy, polite terms, and come across as a couple of eighty year olds. The big conflict that supposedly keeps them apart is Victor's dislike of staid married relationships and his need for wildness in his life. That premise was extremely unconvincing to say the least considering Victor's personality. There is no-one more suited to staid married life than he. As a plot device it was fake and annoying.
On the positive side Jed and Redford's relationship is brilliant. Even now in book 3 they are still growing as a couple, still providing plenty of sexual tension and humour to the story. They lit up every page they appeared on. I love them and I want MORE!
One of my concerns earlier in the book was a lack of an overall arc to the series, or an end goal. But I was glad to see that this is provided towards the end in the form of a prophecy and I think it will make for an exciting, epic finale a few books down the track.
Another thing that put me off in this story was the bad-guy arc.(show spoiler)
I think this part of the story could have been done better. It was inconsistent and lacked a little credibility. In general though the urban fantasy component was very engaging. I love the world these two authors have created and the paranormal beings who inhabit it.
Another thing I really liked about the book were Randall's brothers, especially Anthony. His illness and the family love it inspired were really the heart and soul of this book. I'm really looking forward to his love story. But the final line in the novel is definitely a lead in to David's book coming next and I can't wait for that.
I don't mind having two main couples in each book. It's not something I'm used to from mainstream Urban Fantasy, but it works quite well here. The only thing is that it makes the books quite long, which I ADORE but may put some readers off. Which would be a shame because Jed and Redford should go down in history as one of the best m/m romance couples around.