Title: Blood and Water
Author: Caroline Davis
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Vampire Romance / Ghost Thrillers
Blood and Water: A Paranormal Mystery is a vampire romance filled with death, séances, and everything paranormal. Jan Martínek travels to a small New Jersey town to find answers about his missing aunt and uncle, when the tragic deaths of two local men catch his eye. What starts as curiosity turns into an entanglement as Jan discovers that the deaths are a part of something much bigger.
Over the past hundred odd years, Jan has tried to make the best of his “life” as a vampire. With an estranged wife, a displeased brother-in-law, and missing aunt and uncle, Jan knows he has a lot on his plate. Jan becomes eager to meet and get close to Kristina, a young woman who’s related to a lover from his past. Boundaries become muddied as Jan, Kristina, and those around them get pulled into a fight between vampires and humans.
With multiple narrators, relationship dynamics, and intersecting storylines, the plot is complex. Although we get to know the characters through their different perspectives, the information and exposition we read isn’t what we need to get a clear picture of the plot.
The first half of the book is mostly told through descriptions and internal monologues, which slow down the book’s pacing and make it unclear as to which details or plot points are pivotal for readers to focus on. This may cause readers to feel a bit disconnected from the characters and the book overall. Though slow at the start, the novel picks up speed about halfway through. We feel more invested as we see all the different storylines converging, while tensions surrounding the mystery begin to rise.
One of the highlights in the book is how the characters, especially the vampires, are flawed and morally ambiguous. As every character’s motive is revealed, the suspense is amped up, and readers will be kept on their toes as they struggle to decide who to trust. However, in many scenes, the characters’ emotions are not evocative enough and it prevents us from feeling excited about watching their story unfold. Incorporating more sensory details and making some characters more expressive would have brought the scenes to life and solidified some of the characters’ personalities.
Kristina has the strongest characterization and is by far the most enjoyable to read. She is the most dynamic, has the strongest voice, and she is easy to empathize with. The other characters always feel a bit at arm’s length from us, and we aren’t able to fully connect with them.
Full of sexual tension, and at times explicit sex excerpts, the novel features spicy intimate scenes. This erotic romance is cheeky, fun, and portrays some of the most well-written, effective scenes in the book. Sultry and vibrant, these scenes brighten the mood, switch up the pacing, and freshen up the atmosphere to add excitement and lightheartedness to the otherwise serious plot.
In Blood and Water: A Paranormal Mystery, vampires, secrets, and romance combine to create a tantalizing tale. Davis creates tension-filled scenes, high-intensity drama, and a surprise around every corner in this paranormal mystery. For fans looking for their fix of seductive vampires and mystical elements, this book is sure to satisfy.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars