Review: All That Bleeds by Kimberly Frost

Publication Date: January 3rd, 2012
Berkely Sensation
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
 RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
They should never have met…

In a glittering community in the Colorado Rockies called the Etherlin, the descendants of the ancient muses live behind a wall that separates them from the dangerous creatures that crave them.

Alissa North is inspiration made flesh, so she should never have met Merrick, a deadly half-vampire enforcer, but when they do meet, the connection is instantaneous, and an illicit flirtation is born. He sends her secret gifts. She writes him secret letters.

The long-distance friendship was never supposed to go any farther. But when she is kidnapped and thrown briefly into his world, everything changes. Now Alissa realizes he’s the only person she can trust, and Merrick finds he’ll do anything to protect her, even risk his life by crossing the wall.

As both worlds close in on them, Alissa knows that getting caught with Merrick could cost her everything she’s ever cared about, but giving him up proves harder than she ever imagined.

Five years ago, Merrick saved Alissa’s life and those of her kind from a demon on a killing rampage. Their connection was instantaneous. Ever since then, Alissa developed a respect for him regardless of what he was – a powerful enforcer whose main goal is to rid the world of demons and wayward vampires. Theirs was a clandestine relationship that could ruin her chances of bearing the Wreathe if exposed. Alissa wouldn’t care so much for the crown had it not been for her father who seemed to have lost his mental capacities since her mother was found hanging from the rafters. She’s resolved that the Wreathe could help restore her father from his old self. But this means that there could be no relationship between her and Merrick. Easier said than done…especially when Alissa found herself kidnapped and being snacked on by another vampire. A muse’s blood is not only delectable but could sustain a vampire longer than normal. Merrick would do anything to protect her even to glamor himself with magic and place himself in a position where his life would always be at stake. As the vote for the Wreathe gets closer, Alissa’s restless need to know the circumstances of her mother’s apparent suicide puts her own life in peril and pushes her closer to Merrick.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did simply because Paranormal Romance is a genre that I have a hard time getting into. As much as I love J.R.Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon, I’m happy that their series are sometimes a year apart between publications. And in any case, I could’ve sworn All That Bleeds was a Paranormal YA, and of course, I was wrong. It didn’t matter anyway because once I started reading this, it was difficult to stop. The plot has an unputdownable quality in spite of the grievances I will state below.

While I loved the premise of this paranormal fare, I couldn’t say the same for the characters. I just don’t think that there was enough development done on Alissa and Merrick. Alissa was a bit perplexing. Her character was that of a perfect creation; beautiful, compassionate and thoroughly devoted to her father and to her role as a…well, a muse. But I found her to be lacking in grit – chutzpah, something that I’m not overly fond of in my heroines. She can be pretty determined and at times, even conniving when it comes to the welfares of both Merrick and her father but I just wish that she was consistent. I cannot stand that Dimitri and Grant were pulling the wool over her head and she seem oblivious about it all. But I also understand that no character ever written is perfect so a flaw here and there is acceptable.

As for Merrick, let’s just say that aside from the fangs and the incredible strenght he possess, the man wasn’t much of a typical vampire. He doesn’t burn in the sun, he just…uhm…fall into a heavy sleep. I don’t ever remember him craving blood or did he ever hold his breath because Alissa smelled too appetizing. All in all, his skills were a bit on the interchangeable side and really not that convincing as a vampire. Come to think of it, I don’t ever remember him drinking blood…or did I miss that somehow?

I do love the other characters in this book, however. I’m looking forward to reading more about Cerise and Lysander (the fallen angel). They had a brief encounter in this book that scored uhm…7 out of 10 on the heat scale. Their story is next so I’m plenty pumped 🙂 Incidentally, I just saw the cover and wowza. That is all.

This is a promising paranormal series which combines all the elements characteristic of the genre. Action, folklores with a twist, legends and some pretty hot and heavy love scenes. If all the aforementioned awesomeness is your cup of tea, then you might want to get a copy. As for me, this book was not entirely disappointing, it just didn’t exactly hit the spot, ya know? But I’m on the lookout for Lysander’s story, that’s for sure!

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