Blood Gambit Book Cover Blood Gambit
A Sonnet to Saint Payne, Book I
T. L. Ryder
Gothic Romance
T. L. Ryder
October 17, 2019

A funny, sexy, and sometimes vividly gruesome tale, Blood Gambit unveils a secret kingdom of blood bonds and winner-takes-all politics.

Be careful when you play chess with vampires.

Calan's finally got her dream job at the consulate. Too bad that it sucks. Then things go really strange, and the suck becomes literal. Her chess partner is a vampire, and Calan has accidentally agreed to be his temporary servant.

When hot, intriguingly reticent Sloane requests Calan's company for chess, there's no chance she'll say no. And now he's about to become a friend with very strange benefits.

Prinz Sloane would prefer to sit out the political machinations of the vampire Host. But when Calan charges in to rescue a friend, she unwittingly forces his hand. To not intervene could be viewed as weakness but to claim her as his own is dangerous-- for both of them.

Can Calan survive in Sloane's dark world? Will Sloane release Calan when their time as master and servant is up? Or is there a chance that he might convince her to stay forever?

Welcome to the world of Saint Payne.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

A while ago I was given a few sample chapters of the Sonnet to Saint Payne and what I read  left me definitely wanting more. Calan Deveraux has a degree in Trans-Slavic studies and works at the Basarvian Consulate, she gives tours and plays chess with the Prinz of Basarvia and apparently is clueless about what is really going on at the consulate and who these people really are which made two of us because what I read left me wanting more and just the few sample chapters left me hungry for answers. Well now I was able to read the full book and my first impression of the book was right on, it lived up to everything I hoped for and more.

Calan is clueless about what goes on in the consulate and is totally clueless about the people who live there. When she is told that her friend Miri would be indebted to the Rabia (Yelena) for a minor error she is outraged and tells her boss Nicholas that as an American she cannot be enslaved even for a short period of time. Unfortunately since they are on foreign soil and the consulate operates on their own set of rules there is nothing Calan can do. She is even more incensed when she discovers that Nicholas could have taken Miri’s place. With no choice she refuses to allow Miri a mother with a small child to serve and be gone for a month she offers her to take her place, and she does.

The Rabia accepts Calan and the next thing she knows she is chained to the floor. It is Sloan the Prinz who comes to her rescue and takes her on as his slave. As Calan’s chess partner he has the right and now she will serve Sloan for two months as his slave. The first thing he does is bite her neck and drink her blood finally revealing what Calan was clueless about, the Basarvian’s are vampires.

Now Calan-Syn is bonded to Sloan for the time of her service and Sloan must follow expected custom on how to treat a slave. She has to wear a collar, she has to obey him totally and when offered to others for her blood she has to wordlessly agree. In spite of everything she can’t keep herself from being attracted to the very man who owns her for two months. As if things weren’t awkward enough it gets worse when they have to travel to Basarvia where she will be on display for all the vampires and where the slightest wrong move could be costly.

I don’t want to go into too much about this book and accidentally give anything away but I will say that this was a very unique take on vampires and it had nothing to do with killing people and taking their blood it was more political and power driven. Calan proves to be stronger than anyone could have expected and she proves to be a challenge to Sloan and the others. Her relationship with Sloan is something I won’t reveal but it is quite worth reading about.

All I can say about this book is WOW, It held me from the start, actually it had me from the first time I was sent a few chapters to read. Sometimes you read a book that leaves you wanting more, this is one of those times. As soon as I started this book I knew I had read about it before and to me that is the sign of a great book because it was as if I had read those few chapters just today that was how clear it was in my mind. There is no cliffhanger but you are left knowing that there is more left to tell.