Reviewed by Xanthe
Member of the The Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
This is definitely different from what I have read from Kate Hawthorne before! It’s darker with pain and blood play between vampires, along with a newcomer to town intent on making it his own.
Ezra has been a vampire for over two hundred years and is being pushed towards standing on the council on behalf of his family so his father can step down. In order for this to happen, he needs to find a mate but is reluctant to do so as he doesn’t want to push this life onto another. Ezra is very good at playing the dark, brooding character and finds his perfect match in Declan. Completely surprising to both of them is the connection they feel and how quickly they develop feelings. The heat between them is instant and striking, each man on the kinkier side making use of their quick healing time as they enjoy making each other bleed.
Unknown to them, another vampire is in town looking to take over from Ezra’s family as the one in charge. Events unfold leading Ezra and his family to take action that will change their course for the future and the bond between Ezra and Declan may be in jeopardy.
It did take me a chapter or two to really get into the story and get attached to Ezra’s character. He seems very “woe is me” which, does match his character and history but until I learned that, he just appeared to whine a fair bit. When Declan comes into the picture, their attraction is instant on both sides. There are a lot of hot and heavy scenes, cementing their relationship with one blip where Ezra makes a mistake that gives him the greatest gift.
The title says a thousand lifetimes, and this is referred to in the story as the MC’s become closer and begin to experience their relationship but across past times. I don’t think this was explored enough as it is only mentioned a couple of times and could become so much more, even if just discussed between the MC’s.
There are several secondary characters in this book that help to give it a family feel. William and Elizabeth are the “parents” of the group even though in order to turn there must be sex along with a bite to turn someone. Then there are Henry and Jedidiah, the “brothers”. Elijah is also a vampire and Diah’s best friend and then Liz is Diah’s partner but human and wishes to remain that way. They are an eclectic group of characters and make it a really interesting dynamic, especially for how things work when it comes to standing for the council, something Ezra doesn’t want to do.
The bad guy of the story, Franklin, is so very easy to dislike. He takes pleasure in the pain he inflicts on others and doesn’t care who or why he hurts them. The set up of that part of the story is great to read and really draws you in.
It’s kind of a story of two halves. Firstly, we see Ezra and Declan meet and pursue a relationship, which is then followed by the dispute and following events with Franklin. I enjoyed the chance that the MC’s had to learn each other and take their time as Declan got used to his new life. Then time is taken over the events that unfold as Franklin steps up his game and draws out Ezra and his family.
It’s dark, hard reading at a couple of points and the characters are definitely not afraid to play dirty. There is a fair amount of masochism and occasionally sadism between some of the men. But is balanced out with what Ezra and Declan experience together and hope of what their future may hold. Definitely a recommended read but only for those who are okay with reading the darker side of vampires, blood play, and masochism.