Mikhail Faustin is the prince of New York. His authority is absolute, his power unquestioned–and his heart is empty. The pain he carries inside leaves him with nothing to offer a mate. When he discovers that Alya Adad is not only his destined bride but also the source of his misery, his fate is sealed. He must claim the woman he despises most. Or die trying.
Alya Adad is the most powerful of her kind born in generations and a prince in her own right. She’s accountable to no man, certainly not to her first lover, Mikhail. Now he has the gall to not only invade her territory, but threaten to take her by force–for a prophecy she doesn’t believe in? She’ll kill him first.
Their battle for the upper hand is no-holds-barred…until she discovers the one thing his pride didn’t want her to know. That she still holds the key to his heart–and his innermost desires. And when a rival vampire clan strikes, letting her guard down is the only way to save him.
After I read the stories on Gregor (BOUND BY BLOOD) and Alexander (CALLED BY BLOOD) Faustin, the wait for Mikhail’s seemed to last forever, even though it was just 4 or 5 months, but from the moment I started reading I was drawn back into the fascinating vampire world Evie Byrne has created for the Faustin Brothers.
Mikhail Faustin is the harshest and most analytical Faustin brother. He isn’t known on the streets as “Iceman”, “Frost” or “Ice” for nothing. He is ruthless, cold, practical and powerful. He respects tradition and doesn’t do sentimental or witty. He is a man of rules and abides by them; compassion is reserved for only his parents and brothers and their wives. I met Mikhail in his brothers’ books and I knew he his story would have to be very different in order to do him justice. All Faustin brothers have distinct personalities and lives and a sweet and moving romance like Alex’ or a witty and fiery one Gregor just wouldn’t do for Mikhail. A meek human bride wouldn’t do either. He needed a woman who would not falter under his ruthlessness and his harsh ways, but one who could give as good as she gets and not be intimidated by him.
In Alya Adad, Mikhail’s former lover and a vampire too, Byrne created the perfect match. She is ruthless, powerful, cruel and power hungry. She has no scruples and is as tough and sarcastic as they come. She is the ruler of the West Coast vampires who are in the midst of a territorial war with the East Coast vampires, ruled by Mikhail. Alya has gotten to the top using all means available and necessary. She has no qualms when it comes to gaining power.
Evie Byrne managed to give all three Faustin brothers their own unique book, bride and vibe. DAMNED BY BLOOD was brutally intense. Neither Mikhail nor Alya budges an inch. They are both fierce warriors and their passion shines through in both their fighting and their loving and this book is a perfect example of the saying: “thin line between love and hate.” While at first I was wondering how their HEA was ever to be achieved with so much complications and resistance between them, I think Ms. Byrne solved this perfectly and absolutely fitting of both the storyline and the characters.
Even though BOUND BY BLOOD (Gregor) is still my favorite of the three, DAMNED BY BLOOD has definitely made a big impression on me too. I was enthralled and fascinated by this book’s intensity and raw, violent feel. It really isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re expecting a sweet and witty vampire romance, skip this book. It’s intense and violent. Mikhail and Alya fight and hurt each other, both emotionally and physically and it takes a prominent position in the story. It almost seems to dominate and takes over the romance, but it was the only way to deliver Mikhail’s story and do it justice. A fluffy romantic story just wouldn’t do here and I was happy to see this.
Evie Byrne pulled it off and in my opinion, she strengthened the romance by staying true to the way she portrayed Mikhail in the other two books.
The vampire world Evie Byrne has created with the Faustin Brothers Trilogy is captivating and refreshingly unique. It’s a paranormal world I haven’t encountered before and I’ve read my share of paranormal/vampire romance. The pull of Evie Byrne’s writing is powerful and comprises dark humor, strong and consistent characterization and a heavy emotional impact. You cannot read these books and remain untouched by world, the characters and the writing. I am sad to have come to the end of this fascinating world and secretly hope Ms. Byrne has more in store for us within this alluring world of unique vampires.
“You think this is my idea?”
“You’re in my house, asshole. Holding the gun you shot me with.”
There was that. Mikhail emptied the semi-automatic in front of her, releasing the magazine and tossing it onto the sofa and carefully ejecting the loaded round.
If he were Alex, he’d say something charming and give her a lopsided grin. Gregor would…well, he didn’t understand what women saw in Gregor, actually. But whatever it was, he didn’t have it. Mikhail knew he was cold and dry and unappealing to women, and he didn’t have any experience at courtship. All he could be was practical.
He pushed back her hair, searching her face. He lowered his head and sniffed her, skimming his nose over her forehead and nuzzling her hair. She couldn’t help but sniff too. The skin on the underside of his jaw smelled good beyond belief.
“You’ve changed.” Mikhail’s eyes shut in ecstasy as his nostrils flared again. “Your blood. Your scent. My God.”
Yes. His scent had changed, too. It had become an airborne drug. She clenched her jaw to stop her teeth from chattering. She wanted to rub her face against his skin. She wanted to cut him open and climb inside.
Mikhail pressed her to the sheets. His mouth slanted over hers. Primal masculine satisfaction radiated from him, body and brain. It flooded her mind. It flavored his kiss. It said, Mine.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10