Blood Gate (The Circle Book 2) Amy Lee Burgess
Blood Gate (The Circle Book 2) Amy Lee Burgess
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
At the end of the last book things had deteriorated badly between Claire and her Master Parker. He was the one to Turn her, and she’d been with him five years as his apprentice. From a wonderful first two weeks he’d then turned into a cruel and cold Master, one who was sarcastic and scathing about any of her attempts to please him. Only the sex between them seemed to work. Then she’d grown closer to Andre and Circle Master Oliver had made him her Master instead of Parker. They’ve has a fabulous few months with Andre being loving and supportive. Claire is Enhanced – able to read people’s and other vampires minds, and Andre is her Trigger, someone to assist her to learn to use her abilities. Things aren’t going well between Andre and Parker though – they were best friends until their big fallout forty years or so earlier, and they’ve become much worse, and the change of /master didn’t help. Circle Master Oliver steps in, makes changes once again and setting Parker back as Claire’s Master. He sends all three to sort out their differences at Edgewood, a huge country estate he owns. Strange things happen there though, placing all of them in danger of losing their lives…
Its another gripping, riveting read, bringing up shadows of the past and spiced up with sensual and erotic sex scenes. I really feel for Claire, she seems to have spent her life trying to get others to love her, and now she’s stuck between Andre and Parker. Andre loves her but has become a very different person at Edgewood, and Parker, though still sarcastic and temperamental does seem to be making improvements at times. Claire still has feelings for him, and wants them all to be happy but doesn’t know how to go about it. Clearly Oliver sent them there for a reason, he gave Claire a key and told her she’d know when to use it but she doesn’t even know what or where its for…He’s one of those enigmatic Vampires that always answers a question with another question, or a vague non specific answer…Poor Claire. I thought she’d found happiness with Andre at the end of the last book, but here his strange bondage games seem to be taking a sadistic turn and she’s worried about him. He’s always been open with her but has closed his mind off now, and she doesn’t know if that’s because she is now apprentice once again to Parker or if there’s something else. The dangers start mounting up, with strange things happening and Claire having very frightening nightmares, which is odd as vampires don’t dream. There’s a great deal going on that slowly becomes clearer, and the way Amy comes up with these scenes and plots amazes me. They make sense even though of course non of it is real. I need that kind of “if fantasy was real this could happen” format, and what I love is when an author uses talents and abilities that were evident much earlier in the story, not throw in some last minute new powers. To me that’s a cop out, doing the story and reader a disservice. Thankfully Amy never stoops to that, but works on building scenes set much earlier. I’ve noticed that in both these books and in the Wolf Within novels, and that’s part of why they are such a good read for me and bear re reading. These novels are much more openly sexual, the wolf series has sex of course but its alluded to more than openly described. Here its all on the page, from the first sensual moves to the lust and blood sharing that follows. Its a very graphic, erotic book, with sex between all the vampires, not just Master and Apprentice.
Stars: Great read, full five. I’m not sure if there are more books to follow, this one ends really neatly closing up the story of Claire, Andre and Parker that begun in the first book. Part of me would love to read more of the Circle vampires, and part of me feels this is just perfect as a two book deal….I though I’d made a mistake and notsigned up for this tour when I didn’t get the Arc within a couple of weeks so I bought the book…I needed to know what was happening!! I’m happy that Amy always provides a story for my keeper files to read again, so to me its worth spending money on. Then I got my ARC….so usual rider applies re ARC supplied via Book Plug Promotions but note that I also invested my own money in it knowing I’d love it.
I slammed open the cabinet and all but knocked three glasses off the shelf. The silverware drawer held nothing but spoons and corkscrews. Vampire kitchen. I scooped one of the corkscrews out and slammed it onto the table.
“My, we’re violent for a submissive little sex slave,” Parker said, and I swung at his head with my fist.
I pulled the punch before I connected with his fucking face. My fingers were clenched so tightly my nails dug into my palm. Appalled, I struggled to unball my fist. My tortured breathing was the only sound besides our combined heartbeats. Even Parker’s heartbeat was elevated, although he never lost his damned smirk.
“I am not a sex slave,” I whispered, wiping my bloody palm on my thigh. “It was the one time he tied me to the bed, and it was not debasing or abusive.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Parker advised. “Now either punch me or sit down. I thought you wanted to have a conversation. This is me talking about what I want to discuss.”
“Shit,” Andre muttered, rubbing at his face as if his head hurt.
“I’m her master. I don’t like the direction you two are taking.” Parker deftly uncorked the wine and filled the glasses.
“Are you trying to tell me you are forbidding us to indulge in a particular brand of sex because you don’t like it?” Andre took his glass, and for a moment, I thought he was going to throw it at Parker’s face. Instead, he took a sip. “Because I think that falls into the realm of none of your fucking business.”
“I knew you’d say that.” Parker sipped his own wine. “But her business is my business. That is the very definition of the master/apprentice relationship. Suck it if you don’t like it. You’re the idiot who gave her back to me. Now live with it.”
Andre clenched his jaw. “You pathetic bastard. You Turned her. And you tried to off yourself. Your blood bond with her is what made you her master again, not me. Stop trying to blame me for this.”
“Okay, fine. We agree to disagree about why she’s my apprentice again, but that doesn’t change the fact I still object to the BDSM sex games.”
“We cannot agree to disagree on a fucking fact!” Andre shouted. He grimaced, and when he spoke again, his tone was no less angry but not so strident. “Your blood binds her to you.”
“So what are you saying?” Parker talked loudly and slowly, as if to a person who was hard of hearing. “That you think this blood bond is making me jealous of your kinky sex sessions?”
“For starters, yes.” Andre’s mouth curled at the edges in the beginnings of a dangerous smile. “And once again, I am offering to let you be a part of it. So you can see for yourself how harmless it is.”
“Nice try.” Parker shook his head, his blue eyes gleaming. “I’m not interested into getting sucked into the black hole of your delusions that bondage is a healthy way to deal with your pasts. Because that’s the bullshit you’re going to try to hand me next, right? That somehow tying her up and beating her helps you get over your own abuse? And that she, in turn, by submitting to you—the person she loves and trusts most in the world—will also come to some startling self-realizations while being flogged and unable to fight back?”
“Maybe we just think it’s fun,” Andre snarled.
Parker’s laugh was distinctly unfriendly. “Oh Christ, and I’m a little old lady with Alzheimer’s who you can dupe without even trying. If you can’t even be honest with yourself, why the fuck should I be talking to you, let alone swallowing all your crap?”
“Your mind is closed,” Andre said.
“My mind is made up,” said Parker.
“Same difference.” Andre shoved his glass aside and looked at me. “You’re very silent. What do you think?”
“Sweetheart, this is your cue to spout the party line according to your Trigger.” Parker leaned across the table to tap my wrist, and I glared at him.
“I guess I can’t say anything, then. Which is par for the course anyway. Either I support you, or I support him, so I can’t win,” I said.
“Just tell me the truth of what you feel. I’ll listen.” Parker held my gaze with his.
For a moment, I actually believed he was telling me the truth, and more, that he wanted me to tell him exactly what I was thinking.
So I took a deep breath and answered him. “No matter what I do, I’ll disappoint one of you. And I don’t want to do that.”
“You’re always worried about the wrong thing,” Parker said. “How is it that you can’t understand that I would a thousand times rather be disappointed if you did something you believed in versus being pleased that you did something just because you thought that’s what I wanted you to do?”
Book one: Blood Gift review here https://jeanniezelos.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/blood-gift-the-circle-amy-lee-burgess/