Blood Feud, by Alyxandra Harvey (Walker and Company, 2010)

The vampire queen is dead, long live the new vampire queen. Helena Drake may be in charge following a brief, messy struggle, but the troubles aren’t over yet. The evil Lord Montmartre is still out there, and still eying the throne, and still determined to take it by kidnapping and wedding Helena’s daughter, Solange Drake. Luckily, the Drakes have Isabeau St. Croix, a resourceful young woman who survived the French Revolution before being transformed into a vampire and buried for centuries, on their side. Isabeau, now a fierce warrior known as a Hound, will do anything to protect her allies, especially if it means getting her revenge on the man who entombed her for two hundred years. With the dashing Logan Drake at her side, Isabeau must help foil the best-laid plans of Montmartre and his allies. And if Logan and Isabeau fall for one another along the way, well, no one’s about to object.

Alyxandra Harvey’s attention to detail, and ability to create complex, sympathetic characters, are what separate this book out from others of its ilk. In the small but growing field of “vampire princess books,” it’s characters like Isabeau and Logan, with their easy chemistry and genuine relationship, and supporting characters like Lucy (the token human and sassy stealer of scenes) who sell the story and make it shine. This is one series I always enjoy visiting.

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