Book: Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell
Series: Maggie's Grove Book #1
Genre: Paranormal RomanceAvailable Formats: Ebook
Publication Date: April 11th, 2011How Did I Get This Book: For Review From NetgalleyFirst Line: “You know, my friend told me you were a witch, but I didn't know he meant it literally."Preview Book: On Google BooksDescription: A seduction-gone-wrong leaves vampire Parker Hollis with a new vegetarian lifestyle and on the run from a vengeful witch. Moving to small-town Maggie's Grove, Parker meets a redheaded dryad with green, leafy blood that draws him in a way he hasn't experienced in decades. His new neighbor smells divine, and it isn't long before craving gives in to need.
In a unique community of supernaturals, tree-loving outcast Amara Schwedler has never quite fit in. She's scarred by a traumatic incident and feared by the local townsfolk. She's convinced Parker will look elsewhere for a mate once he discovers she's not one of the O-positive set, and can't believe it when Parker finds her irresistible.
When the witch who's been plaguing Parker's life discovers the newfound attraction between Parker and Amara, she takes out her anger on the town. Can the supernaturals of Maggie's Grove accept Amara and band together in time to withstand the assaults of the enraged witch?
Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell is a rather unique paranormal romance. I don't believe I have ever read a book centered around a dryad character before. The closest supernatural character that I can relate it to, would be a tree nymph. I have to give Bell kudos for creativity, especially with the two main characters. Not only is Amara unique, but Bell manages to creative an unconventional vampire with Parker.
Parker Hollis is a vegetarian vampire; in the true sense of the word. He does not feed off of animal blood, he lives off of the “blood” of plants. This is initially what attracts him to Amara – her blood is literally plant blood.
The book was a fun, quick read that had some interesting plot points. That being said, I did have a few problems with the execution. I thought the idea of the book was top –notch, but the characters really weren’t fleshed out enough for my tastes. This made it difficult to care about the storyline, even though it was entertaining.
The pacing of the relationship between Amara and Parker practically moved at warp-speed. They skipping right over the entire courting process – they dive right into the "madly-in-love" stage. I like my paranormal romances to have a little build-up, instead of the characters tumbling straight into bed. I know it's ultimately a romance book, but there are other ways of showing romance than sex. I am certainly not a prude, I don't mind sex in books, but I would have liked to see the two characters form a personal connection as well as a physical one.
I thought that the idea of a supernatural community was quite interesting, but again, I did have an issue with it. It really bothered me how the community refused to accept Amara. I mean, come on, are you really telling me a town full of vampires, witches, ghosts, dryads and werewolves are going to point the “freak” finger? That doesn't fly well with me.
All in all, Blood of the Maple had a lot of things going for it, but it wasn't executed as well as it could have been. This book is incredibly unique and the storyline is interesting, but it did not live up to my expectations. That being said, it was enjoyable and I will read the rest of the series, it just isn't one of my favorites.
"He might be a vampire, hunter of the night and all-around badass, but a woman scorned was fucking scary."
"She fell into his lap, curling around him like a vine. His lap was full of jiggling, naked dryad. If it hadn't been for the agony radiating from his arm, he would have been one hell of a happy vampire."
"What the hell was wrong with these people? He hadn't met such hostility since he'd walked into a speakeasy nearly a century ago and flashed a fake badge."
"Next time I have a deathbed vision, ignore me. We'd get a warmer reception at the Vatican."