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4.4 out of 5 stars
Blood Rights (House of Comarré)
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in the House of Comarre trilogy by Kristen Painter. The second book, Flesh and Blood, is supposed to release in Nov of 2011. The third book, Bad Blood, is scheduled to release a month later in December 2011. This was a great book. There are some very creative ideas in here and some great characters; it made for a wonderful and engaging story.

Chrysabelle has spent a hundred years serving as a Comarre to a high ranking vampire. On the eve of her test to escape service by combat; her master is killed. This leaves Chrysabelle free but she is also forced to flee since she is suspected of murdering her master. Now Chrysabelle is forced to try and blend in with the human world until she can clear her name. When Chrysabelle tries to get help she runs into Mal. Mal is a royal vampire who has been declared anathema. Mal and Chrysabelle don't get along well, but working together may be the only way they can both get what they want and clear Chrysabelle's name.

This was a very well done book. The world created is interesting. The book is set in the near future, 2060 I believe, most of the common things are recognizable but some of the technology has changed quite a bit. With the futuristic setting the book ends up being a pleasant blend of sci-fi, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and mystery.

The most intriguing part of the society Chrysabelle comes from is the House of Comarre. The House of Comarre has a lot of secrets, some you find out in this book but there is still a lot of mystery involving this group of individuals. The whole idea behind the Comarre is fascinating even at face value, but when you find out about all the mystery behind this House it becomes an even more fascinating and engaging idea.

The book is very well written, easy to read, and moves at a quick pace. The action scenes and romantic tension between characters is very well done. It was hard to put down and when I finished it I immediately wanted to read more.

The characters are wonderful; lots of mystery and dimension to all of them, even the side characters. Chrysabelle and Mel make great leads; they have great tough personalities, yet are complex. The banter between these two is wonderful and had me laughing out loud a few times. The romance between them is sweet, steamy at times, but never graphic. There are also a lot of relationships/romance going on between various side characters in this book; love seems to be a big driving force in the plot in general.

The mystery that Chrysabelle is trying to solve is set up nicely and very well done as well. The result of the mystery totally surprised me; I love it when I can't predict where the story is going to end up. The book ended at a good place; the main mystery is solved but Chrysabelle and friends will also have a bigger mystery to deal with in future books.

I also have to mention the cover, this has got to be one of the most stunning covers I have seen all year. When I saw this cover I had to read the book. I'd like a print of this cover to hang up in my house, it is just so darn beautiful.

Overall I really really enjoyed this book. The world is very interesting and creative; the mystery behind the House of Comarre absolutely sucked me it. The characters (even the side characters) are very engaging, likable, and fun to read about. The book is well-written, well paced and easy to read. I was really impressed with how Painter blends sci-fi, urban fantasy, romance, and mystery elements together to make an intriguing and engaging story. Pretty much everything in this book was well-balanced. There are some sensual scenes in the book but they never get too detailed or graphic, so older young adults could probably read this book (although the book is about adults, not sure about future books though). I really look forward to reading Flesh and Blood, I can't wait to see what happens next...and I don't have to wait very long either!

I would recommend this book to those of you who like urban fantasy with some romance or paranormal romance books.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will admit it, when I picked this book, it was all about the cover! I know we all say "don't judge a book by it's cover" but be honest . . . we do! And this cover is spectacular. It just jumped off the computer screen for me! It immediately filled me with a feeling of mystery and beauty - and I found it all in the pages of this book.

Blood Rights are set somewhere in the future but you will not find this reflected in any of the scenes in the book. The world feels very real and very now . . . It is also labelled as an Urban Fantasy (not a genre that I usually prefer) but I felt that everything was mostly about the characters. There is lots of action off course but you will not be disappointed with all the romantic tension between Chrysabelle and Malkolm.

This is the first book of The House of Comarre series and we are introduced to the world of the comarre. We are only allowed to see fleeting glimpses but what a world it is. It is such a new view of vampires and all their companions that I hope much more of this world will be revealed to us in the books to come. You will see vampires in a whole new light.

Chrysabelle has been comarre (or blood slave) to her patron for a hundred years. On the night that she hopes to be set free, he is found murdered and she becomes the number one suspect. She flees into the open world and into the arms of Malkolm, a vampire that has fallen from grace. But has she now run into the arms of even greater danger?

Malkolm is one of the most tortured souls that I have read in a long time - both physically and mentally. He has been cursed to kill all that he drinks from. His body and soul are covered by all his victims and sometimes they force their way out. Their voices are always present in his mind and he permanently has to cling to his own sanity.

For a large part of the book, Chrysabelle and Mal try to convince themselves that they do not need or want each other but it is a lost course. They are meant to be together, if only to stop the evil and power-hungry Tatiana from starting a war between mortals and the supernatural.

We also meet a lot of secondary characters - fae, shifters, vampires, fake comarre, ghosts and demons. I just loved the relationship between Doc (a cursed shifter) and Fi (a ghostly victim of Mal) that live with him in his disintegrating house.

Even though some parts of the book were a bit slow and the villain, Tatiana, a bit one-dimensional, it is a great opening book for the series. I would like to see what author, Kirsten Painter throws at us in the next books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2011
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was initially drawn to Blood Rights because of the breathtaking cover art - I preordered it immediately, unsure what to expect, but hoping to get a bit of enjoyment out of the story at least. This book far exceeded my expectations. What I found within its pages was a pulse pounding adventure story, with a good helping of mystery, with great world building, likeable characters, and a smoking hot romance.

~ Premise ~

Chrysabelle is one of the Comarre - a woman trained from childhood to be a companion, and blood source for vampires. Much like the geisha's the Comarre are taught to be graceful, gracious, learned, and well spoken, and are then auctioned off to the highest bidder - a patron from one of the great vampire noble houses.

When Chrysabelle finds her long time vampire patron dead, she is accused of his murder and the theft of a valuable artifact, and forced to flee into the human world. She is hunted for murder and theft, and for being what she is - a Comarre - a status symbol and source of pure, empowering blood. Beset upon at every turn, Chrysabelle enlists the aid of the oh so very sexy Malkolm - a outcast vampire noble, with a dark past. Together they work to untangle the complex weave of lies and politics surround her patron's death, and the importance of the artifact that the other nobles seem to covet so desperately.

~ World ~

While the world building in this book isn't breaking any new ground, it was very tight, creative, and well thought out. This story focuses primarily on the vampire world, and that of their blood slave servants, The Cromarre.

The author put a lot of work into creating the politics, magic, and structure of both her vampire houses, and the Comarre. Her fae are also very unique - I've never seen their like in fiction before.

~ Characters ~

Chrysabelle: Our protagonist - who sadly suffers from a bit of first-book awkwardness. Like so many urban fantasy heroines, Chrysabelle hasn't really settled in as a character. She's over 100 years old, trained to be a graceful, well spoken companion to the upper echelon of vampire society. I would expect her age and training to make her someone self-contained, wise, and socially savvy. What we get is a more standard sort of bad ass urban fantasy vixen with a bit of a temper, a tendency to flare up at people, and a "slice first ask questions later" mentality. Sound familiar? Yup she's like many other urban fantasy chic out there - which works and it's certainly an enjoyable archetype, it just doesn't make sense to me based on her age. I also didn't get a strong sense of her phycology - why she is the way she is. Her internal monolog didn't reveal enough. Because of this, I didn't feel as attached to her as a character. Things I did appreciate about her - she's open minded, loyal, protective of those she cares about. She doesn't turn her back on friends. I did actually come to like her, I just didn't feel close to her as a character. I expect this will change in later books - And the male lead, makes up for any lack I find in Crysabelle.

Malkolm: Now here is a truly swoon worthy vampire. He's an exiled noble, twice cursed, bearing the names of every victim he's ever killed tattooed on his body. He's haunted (literally) by the victims he's drained the life from. They follow him incorporeally haunting his days. He hears their voices in his head, an incessant madness urging him to kill. And yet, despite all this darkness, he is one of the most honorable and kind characters in this story. His internal monolog helps us know him, and love him. His past is very well fleshed out, and incredibly moving. I really loved his character.

There are a host of side characters that lighten or add depth to the story - Fi and Doc are loveable side kicks, but I never felt very close to them. Chrysabelle's aunt Maris was beautifully written and I ended up caring for her a great deal.

~ Plot ~

This story doesn't waste any time - there are few if any dead spots in the pace of the action. It is chalk full of adventure, and mystery, and even surprises. While reading this book I felt it was mostly an adventure story - I didn't look deep into the mysteries of the story or expect any surprises. But the end of the book packed not one but several big reveals that left me reeling. Well done, Ms Painter!

~ Romance ~

Ah the romance - thanks to Malkolm's hotness the romance in this story practically sizzles. He years for Chrysabelle but can't let himself have her - ensue angst, yearning, and violent passion. Yum!

~ Summary ~

This is a first book, and as such it's not flawless or 100% polished, but it's an amazing start to a series that promises to be fantastic. This book will draw you in, surprise you, and keep you reading late into the night. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely-wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers.

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré--a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

An unbelievable story honestly. Starts from the beginning with a mystery and ends fantastically.

I'm always wary when it comes to vampire books anymore. Twilight has killed my want to really peruse the field of vampire stories. But when I won this one I gave it a go. I couldn't put it down! I couldn't wait till I got to end of the story. But I must say I was quite disappointed when it did end.

The jumping around of the story was a bit confusing to be honest. The story changed different point of views several times but after I read a bit more I got pretty used to it all. The mystery behind the characters was quite fascinating. I did not expect the twist at the end of the story either. It wasn't just one, or two but three! The answer to the main reason why Chrysabelle is on the run is reveals and it blew me away. I literally pouted when the story was over. I can't wait to read the second book of the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BLOOD RIGHTS is one of those Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance mixes that really combines the best of both of those genres. Excellent nuanced worldbuilding set in Paradise City, but with a consuming romance that builds gradually and seductively though every chapter. Chrysabelle is a comarré, basically a geisha/slave to vampires, a hybrid human raised and prized for her pure blood. The culture of these comarré was riveting. The training, history, secrets, skills, etiquette, and symbiotic relationship with vampires was endlessly captivating. And it set up the star-crossed romance between Chrysabelle and the outcast vampire Malkolm perfectly.

Chrysabelle and Malkolm have the kind of relationship that you can't tear your eyes away from. Love and hate, desire and despair, rage and gentleness. There were so many volatile emotions flying between these two, and yet every single one was cultivated with such deliberate care and purpose that they felt completely honest and raw. It was just beautiful to experience. And as this it the first book in the series, their relationship promises to become even more explosive in the future. I lacked the same strong connection with some of the supporting characters, but not enough to really detract from my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic and unique debut.

Overall, BLOOD RIGHTS offers a fascinating and provocative new twist on human/vampire relationships. The world we are introduced to is both frightening and utterly addictive. After the cliffhanger ending, I'm salivating for the next book in the House of Comarré series called FLESH AND BLOOD which will be published in November, followed by BAD BLOOD in December.

Sexual Content:
Kissing. References to sex
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like other reviewers, I initially picked up this book because of the cover. Wow! This world of comarre and vampires is drawn in rich and lush colors. I was willing to be drawn into such an intriguing new world.

But... the escaped blood slave Chrysabelle spends almost all of her time in the book being angry. Natural given her situation, but not very appealing. Also, Chysabelle does some "mental" whining about missing the luxuries of her old life as a slave. Oh, the unfairness of freedom. She keeps insisting that she can handle any vampire in a fight, when it's clear that she can't. She wouldn't have had to sneak away from them if she could, right? I ended up not liking her very much.

Malkolm is much more likeable, but seems a little bit like a supporting character.

SPOILER WARNING!!!

And, then my major gripe. I know this book and these characters are going to be continued in another book. But, their whole "romance" in this book consisted of one or two "sort of" kisses? I don't think so.

I'm probably not buying the next in the series, unless I can get it used, very cheap. I do hold out some faint hope the sequel will be better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'm at 66% and want to quit, and really feel like it should be a 2 star review. However, I may come back to this book later, because I really wanted to love it based on the premise.(and awesome cover)I'm just so sick of the characters' internal dialogues being the same over and over. I would like more story and action, and less bemoaning. Yes, we know her blood is swelling but he might kill her if he drinks. Got it! Hoping the later books will be better paced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chrysabelle has been accused of murder and like the guilty she has run away. But she didn't do it! Now she'll need the help of an outcast, a vampire cursed with killing anyone he drinks from. After an unwanted bond is created, they'll have to work together to clear Chrysabelle's name and saver her aunt. Along the way they'll stumble onto a bigger plot, one that threatens to destroy the covenant that keeps the otherworld creatures from revealing themselves to the world. This fast pace thrilling story leaves no doubt that The House of Comarré trilogy has set off with a bang.

At first I didn't know what to make of Chrysabelle because the story sets off a bit slow, but as it progressed I was amazed by her. She just kept surprising me by how she was (personality wise), and by the extent of the skills she possessed. Even at the end she had a couple of aces up her sleeve that weren't fully explained. Makes you wonder just what else cormarré can do.

Mal is just my type of book boyfriend--tormented, messed up, heart encased in ice, but still redeemable and worthy of love. In Mal's case he really is tormented by the voices inside his head, part of a curse that attaches him to the spirits of his past victims. All the time he has to have a tight leash on the monster inside of him, and Chrysabelle's presence just shatters that. I absolutely loved the relationship that built between them, one part hate, three parts yummy tension and restrained desire.

There were many other characters as interesting as the main ones, but the villain wasn't one of them. I kept skipping her chapters. However the different races of otherworld creatures were pretty amazing. There were some very unusual fae, and some pretty scary ones. And if they weren't scary looking what they could do was sure scary. The ending was like a roller coaster ride, all thrilling twists and turns, and a bitter end only because the fun was over. I will tell you know, don't be surprised to find yourself ordering Flesh and Bone (House of Cormarré 2 seconds after you've finished Blood Rights. This is what I did too ;)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A daring novel in a book world full of vampire fiction, Blood Rights by Kristen Painter is a devilishly amusing read with plenty of action around every bend and a rich suspenseful plot line that will leave readers hanging on to every word and chapter heading.

Chrysabelle lives in a world full of vampires and gold. Raised and trained as a constant meal for her master vampire, the one that will choose her and buy her, Chrysabelle only knows the life of a Comarre. A life filled with exquisite blood that runs through her veins and vampires surrounding her. When her master vampire comes up dead, beheaded, but not ash, Chrysabelle is the first suspect. Without waiting for a verdict, Chrysabelle runs to her aunts house in New Florida and into a series of events that leave her not only changed, but full of a wanting she never expected.

In today's fiction, vampires run rampant through the streets of book isles everywhere, glittering, biting, sucking and grasping for the attention of every person who glances their way. In YA fiction, there is no shortage, so it is with great pains that each and every author who plows into the genre must face making their vampire and vampire world unique and beautiful. Kristen Painter has done just that. Blood Rights, a Gothic dystopian world where the comarré are inked in beautiful gold filigree, made to make their blood even more heavenly and pure to the vampires that would use them for the red that fills their veins, is distinctive with it's very own voice. Chrysabelle is one of the purest of comarré. Ranked highest among comarré, her filigree outranks all in number and design.

But, at over 100 years old, Chrysabelle does not want to be owned, she wants freedom. Mysterious and strong, Chrysabelle is a strong female protagonist who doesn't let anyone tell her what do do. She is arrogant and sometimes unwilling to part or compromise with what she wants, even at times when it seems that there is a better option. In this matter, we love Chrysabelle, but we also want to smack her upside the head. I blame this solely on the male protagonist of the book, Mal.

I'm not sure if it's because as readers we can see where the book is headed, but most likely it's because of the third person narration, and so we know what each character is thinking and all we want is for both Chrysabelle and Mal to stop dancing around each other and get to it. Of course, Ms. Painter loves to torture us as readers and to be honest, I don't mind because, really what would the fun be in any kind of HEA if there wasn't some pain along the way. Lucky for me, Mal is everything I love to read about and more. Tormented constantly by the voices of everyone he's ever killed, swimming around in his head, Mal is very brooding vampire. He may have once been a murdering fiend, but the voices have given him the gift of constant guilt and therefore a good reason to stop sucking the life out of everyone he meets. Delightfully anguished in one count, snarky and witty in another, he is well layered and graciously conflicting. I love him. He's enchanting, even while he debates with the monstrous voices within, of whether or not Chrysabelle would be better off if he killed her. Then again, I could just be a sucker for the sexy brooding vampire. On the other hand, I think the voices provide an evil sort of comedic relief.

Even more so than the main characters, the world building of Blood Rights is dark and different, creating a world that sets more than just setting, but also mood. Infiltrating ever corner of our imagination, New Florida and Romania's dark atmospheres and pungent smells and sounds darken the scene and enlighten our minds. And with the host of secondary characters running through the streets, it's a benevolent beauty of a thing to be able to see it all in my mind's eye.

Overall, Blood Rights is dark and intense, with characters that are well developed and wickedly layered. Ms Painter has successfully planted herself as a unique contender in the vampire world and I can only hope one day I can find myself some gold filigree. I give Blood Rights, the first in the series, a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of Young Adult, Vampire Fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chrysabelle is a Comarré, valued highly for her blood. Her kind produces a purer blood and they are used to feed vampire nobility. Once a Comarré is bought by a noble vampire that vampire becomes the Comarré's patron. When Chrysabelle's patron is murdered she is free from her service but she doesn't get long to rejoice. A nasty vampiress has a plan of her own and she has her eyes set on Chrysabelle. Now Chrysabelle is on the run trying to prove she didn't murder her patron and protect a mysterious ring from landing in the wrong hands.

Malkolm is a vampire destined to kill every mortal he bites and everyone he kills haunts his soul. Malkolm was cursed long ago to suffer unending torture. Voices of the dead constantly haunt his mind; so he no longer bites mortals but finds nourishment elsewhere. This leads him to his first run in with Chrysabelle. Mal is stunned by the young woman and wants to speak with her but before he gets the chance she runs away.

Little does Chrysabelle know that the very vamp she just ran from is the one she will need to save her own life and protect the mortal world from vicious evil. Chrysabelle and Mal reluctantly pair up to stop an evil duo. Will they find they are more compatible than they first thought or will this mission lead to their doom?

Kristen Painter's Blood Rights is to die for! Prepare to be seduced by the sensational fantasy world created in Blood Rights! Ms. Painter's characters are ingenious full of passion, tumult, wit, and courage! Chrysabelle is an enchanting woman with many hidden talents. She keeps her secrets close to her heart and prepares to use them when they will be most valuable. She fights with a fervor that legions are built on. Mal is a tortured soul who may punish himself more than the curse that doomed him. He skirts the line of good and evil making him devilishly seductive. Chrysabelle is the perfect light to balance his darkness. They may be the most scintillating couple I've read in quite some time.

Old world meets new world in Blood Rights. This provocative story weaves politics and the supernatural like they are common friends. I found myself dazzled by the interesting world created by Ms. Painter. I was shocked at how close I became to these brilliant characters. Blood Rights is a no holds barred thrill ride; start praying early because no one is safe in this ground-breaking knockout! I've been bitten by Blood Rights and I intend to go back for more. I'm counting down the days until book two in this stellar series arrives!

Miranda
For Joyfully Reviewed
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