Just when I think the paranormal romance world isn’t going serve up anything new here comes the Incomparable Ms. Roberts and her spin. Blood Brothers isn’t without some problems, but this is some good stuff. I will be waiting in line for the next one once I finish this review.
Over three centuries ago in the town of Hawkins Hollow, MD, a man named Giles Dent fought to take down the evil that inhabited the village. He passed his gifts on to a future generation, so that they might be able to continue the battle. But to three young boys camping at the local spooky spot in the woods 350 years later, a childish ritual to mark themselves blood brothers turns into a curse that follows them and their town for years. From their shared tenth birthday, every seven years, for seven nights the town of Hawkins Hollow is plagued with mass hysteria and violence. Only Caleb, Fox, and Gage have the abilities to try to stop demon that terrorizes this otherwise normal community.
Quinn Black is a writer known for her in depth analysis of unexplained phenomena. Hawkins Hollow and its mysteries intrigue her enough to contact one of the key players and request an interview. Caleb Hawkins agrees after checking her credentials, knowing a sharp, objective mind, might be just what he, Fox, and Gage need to figure out how to stop the Seven, as they term that hellish week, from returning in just a few months. Besides being intelligent, Quinn is spunky, cute and very attracted to hometown boy Cal. Cal returns the sentiment, but there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Quinn just might be a missing piece to this puzzle.
Ms. Roberts does many things right in the start of her new trilogy. The bond between the three men is especially nice. We see them grow from normal, everyday kids, excited over a clandestine camping trip to the men they have become. They are friends who also share a large burden, each handling the stress in different ways.
The thing that kept me hooked and not wanting to put the book down, is the mystery of the Seven and how and what is going to happen next. Bits and pieces about the past and the gifts that the boys received after that fateful night are doled out. Many questions are left unanswered and we don’t get anywhere near a resolution here making me doubly anxious to get my hands on the next in the series.
I’ll admit my love of reading started out in the land of Stephen King – whose name is dropped a few times in Blood Brothers. There are ghosts, demons, people with strange abilities, and just some general craziness going on in Hawkins Hollow. Being a horror buff, I can safely say that if romance doesn’t work out for Nora, she has a different avenue to go down. The early scene in Quinn’s bathroom still makes me shiver.
If I had to nail down a specific problem, I’d say it would be the lack of conflict between Cal and Quinn. She gives him a very half hearted “I can’t sleep with you…” that only lasts until he sends her a cute bouquet of funky tulips. Later in the book, Cal starts to imagine some limitations to their relationship, but they are knocked down fairly easy, too. And Quinn and Cal are already in sequel mode (too cute, already living their HEA, making those around them sick, etc…) halfway through the book. They might have been syrupy sweet at times, but they are a great couple and a great pair of lead characters. I’ll forgive them for not having too many emotional hang-ups that would keep them from sharing their love. And, frankly, the exciting plot more than makes up for the far too simple romance.
I confess that I haven’t read much of Nora Roberts and wouldn’t consider myself a true fan. Until now. Have I mentioned I can’t wait to get my hands on the second installment, The Hollow due out May 2008? Yeah, you can count me in the fan club. Blood Brothers totally won me over.