“ Paperback: 208 pages / Publisher: Atom / Published: 20 Jan 2011 „
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Having read 'The Keys in the Repository', the previous Blue Bloods novella, and being throughly disappointed by it, I was not keen to read Bloody Valentine. The paperback blurb did not really give any indication as to what this book was about (again). I really don't understand how the blurb of every. single. book. in this series could be so bad. They are absolutely awful and giving you any sort of indication as to what really goes on in this series and this book was no exception - in fact, it was so much worse. The Goodreads summary tells you what's contained in this novella, but the blurb does not, so I was thoroughly confused as to what this book was about when I started it.
This book contains three short stories. One follows Oliver, Schuyler's best friend come conduit come familiar, as he tries to resist the power of the mark that was placed on him when they shared the 'sacred kiss'. In simple terms, Schuyler sucked Oliver's blood and now he's irrevocably in love with her (well, even more so than before). We've never really heard much about Oliver in the previous books. He always seems to be around but he's not usually the focus of the story. I've actually found him to be quite irritating with all his pining for Schuyler, but I really loved this short story about him. You get a real sense of Oliver's pain as he tries to carry on without Schuyler and it's quite touching. This is also the first, I think, story told from the perspective of a human and it was interesting to see the devastating effects that a vampire could accidentally have upon a human. This section surprised me as it made my heart flutter a little and there's a rather sexy scene.
The second short story was my favourite by far. It was about Allegra Van Allen and her time at Endiscott Academy where she meets Steven Chase. I was a little perplexed at first because she was dating a guy named 'Bendix', not Steven, and I assumed they were the same person, but I'm still not 100% sure. Either way, Bendix is a human (an uber hot human), who catches the eye of 'Gabrielle'. Her brother, Charles, is less than pleased about this given that they are bond mates but he assumes it is little more than a fleeting romance and leaves them to it. Charles is an incredibly irritating character throughout the series but especially in this novella. You do feel a small sense of sympathy for him but he comes across as a really pompous and clingy character. I loved the character of Allegra Van Alen. She's so feisty and sure of herself, I kind of wish I could be her. The romance that plays out between her and Bendix is really cute and romantic (even a bit saucy at times). I think one of the reasons I preferred this short story to the others was because it was a story with new and unexplored characters in an unfamiliar place. Instead of being at Duchesne, it's set at Endiscott and although Allegra and Charles are frequently mentioned throughout the series, we never really get to find out who they really are.
The third short story follows Jack and Schuyler as they're about to be bonded. This was probably my least favourite section, though I'm not really sure why because I thought it would be my favourite. I think perhaps I've heard too much about Jack and Schuyler's relationship and I'm slightly bored by it now because nothing new or exciting seems to be happening in it.
All in all, I really enjoyed this novella and I'd highly recommend it to any fans of the Blue Blood series. If you haven't read it yet then you'll probably find this book a bit confusing but the stories really are good. All the stories are romances, but none of them are sappy. These short stories are a refreshing break from the Blue Bloods series still using the basic outline set out in the main series.