|Be Mine Tonight (Brotherhood of Blood, Book 1)
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I am called Chapel . . .
For nearly six centuries I have roamed the night, a mortal man no longer. Would that I could undo the past -- when I entered the sanctuary of the Knights Templar to wrest from them the Holy Grail, only to discover the chalice I raised to my lips was not the sacred relic but a hellish cup of damnation. Now I shun the day and all things human, driven by an ungodly thirst. And yet...
Never have I known a maiden the like of Prudence Ryland, whose beauty and spirit awaken a heart I feared long cold and dead. But her young life is slipping away, and she also seeks the deliverance of the Grail -- unaware that the cost of her search could be her soul. I must help Prudence, for in six hundred years, no other woman has stirred my passions so. But dare I tender to my beloved that which she most desires -- the sensuous "gift" of forever that is both rapture and a curse: my immortal kiss?
- 3 1/2 stars; not as much a vampire story as it is a strong romance.....
Prudence Ryland is searching for the Holy Grail. Her reason is understandable- she has terminal cancer. She knows her time is running out and Pru is determined to live what life she has left to the utmost.
Severian de Fonce, known as Chapel since partaking of the Blood Grail, is a vampire who believes his soul is lost. Chapel now works for the Church to protect the world from obtaining the Blood Grail, which is currently under the care of his fellow vampire, Temple. Accompanied by Father Francis Molyneux, he arrives at the Ryland home only to find himself reluctantly enchanted by Pru. Unfortunately, Pru and her friend, Marcus Grey, are not the only ones searching for the Grails and soon they will have to contend with the Silver Palm, an order of mages named after Judas Iscariot's thirty pieces of silver. Meanwhile, Chapel will have to make some tough choices about his relationship with Pru; is life worth living if she is gone?
BE MINE TONIGHT is a deeply emotional and gut-wrenching love story. Despite being set in the year 1899 and including a different approach to vampirism, the real meat of this story is the relationship between Chapel and Pru. Their love transcends all boundaries and Kathryn Smith has done a fabulous job at creating such multidimensional characters.
The vampirism aspect of the story was well-written but a bit disappointing. While Chapel's struggle over whether to convert Pru evocates deep emotions, the actual story of the two Grails and a secret society is interesting but not fully fleshed out. There is a sequel in the works already and perhaps the details will become clearer in future books.
Kathryn Smith also has done an excellent job at researching cancer and its effect on the emotional status of those it touches. Interestingly enough, this reviewer believed cancer to be a relatively new disease but quickly learned that cancer has been a recognized disease for quite some time. Pru and her family truly epitomize many of the thoughts and actions that those suffering from cancer experience and Ms. Smith is to be commended for her poignant portrayal of the victims of this disease.
BE MINE TONIGHT is a book that will readers will either love or hate. Those looking for a touching love story will thoroughly enjoy it. However, readers looking for the next vampire blockbuster will be disappointed as Ms. Smith focuses more on the interaction of the characters than on the context surrounding their love.
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES...more info
- A darn good book
Lately, I've been fairly appalled at the dreck I find myself picking up. Maybe a book starts out well, or is by an author I've previously loved, but by halfway through I'm literally forcing myself to turn pages. (The newest Sherrilyn Kenyon sits half read on my desk - IN HARDCOVER!)
This story was fun, and enjoyable. You really can't expect much more from a romance. (Though it's nice to find more once in a great while.) I found myself wanting to know what happened next. I loved Prudence, though Chapel was just a teeny touch bland. I took away a star because I felt like the whole Order of the Silver Palm thing just drifted away. I know it's setting up the later books, but really I'd expect Chapel to have a little more interest in what was going on than reading the letters he got.
However, I gave that star back for placing the story in an unusual time period, 1899. I am so flipping sick of seeing Regencies and Midievals. Two thousand years of history people! MORE if you want to go even further back!...more info
- Wonderful Vampire Romance
I really liked this book. Pru is a young woman who is dying of cancer. Her quest for a cure makes her obsessed with finding the Holy Grail. It also brings her search to the attention of other people...some good...some bad. Chapel has been sent by the church to help. He had no idea he would find his salvation. The romance between Chapel and Pru was wonderfully written. ...more info
- Great Vamp Romance AND Well Written!
I have read a lot of vampire romance novels, and I can easily say this is one of the better written books I've come across in a long time. The grail lore slant is original and I found myself completely sucked into the story. Pru and Chapel are both believable and compelling. The motives that drive them seem real and you can't help but root for them.
Ms. Smith has an exceptional ability to create three-dimensional characters. Her strength is clearly her talent at bringing her character's personal struggles - morals, religious beliefs, personal experience, and heart - to the spotlight as she weaves an intriguing story. I could not put this book down. I am usually drawn to more urban, gritty story lines, but it's a rarity to find a book in this genre that is actually well written.
- Be Mine Tonight (Brotherhood of Blood) Book 1
Written so well i forgot i was reading. I could not put it down. Great romance, beautiful love story, and steamy foreplay! ...more info
- 5 Stars are not enough for this book
I'm not a vampire fan, but I do love historical romance and Be MIne Tonight is absolutely one of my top 10 favorites of all time. Pru and Chapel are grown up characters with grown up problems - she's searching for the holy grail as her last chance to stop the cancer that is slowly killing her; he's a 600+ year old vampire sent by the church to keep her from finding something infinitely more sinister. The dilemmas and choice each of them face are serious and hard and this book might seem like it would be a downer but it is also funny and exciting and so emotionally satisfying a read. The supporting characters are richly drawn and their concerns and love for the primary characters really add to the emotional punch. I don't usually cry over books but I did over this one and I stop people in the romance section of the bookstore and campaign for them to buy this book. ...more info
- AMAZING HISTORICAL - MEDIEVAL VAMPIRE
If you have never delved into Vampire romance - then this might be the book that gets you hooked to the historical Vampire Romance genre. The previous reviews tell you the story plot - so I will not go into the details of providing you with the story line. The setting of the book is very unusual - it starts in the Medieval Century - where a group of fearless Templar Knights have been ordered by their King to find the Holy Grail. They chance upon a cave where traps abound a-la Indiana Jones and they discover a Chalice that is "supposed" to be the Holy Grail.
All are transformed into Vampires as it is not the Holy Chalice - but one that provides you with immortality in the form of a Vampire, as it is a chalice left by the forces of evil.
Hence commences the story of all these Doomed Knights - these band of Templars that all have lived through centuries suffering the curse if the dammed - by being turned into creatures of the night. Each has gone their separate ways and each has a "nickname". This is the story of Chapel and Prue.
The sizzling paranormal story that follows is a great page turner and a very touching and deeply moving story.
The story jumps into the late 1800's where the heroine Prue, who is dying of cancer is looking for the Holy Grail at an excavation near her home - as she thinks that is the only hope she has left to live. Chapel has been sent by the church to prevent her from finding it. Their story is magical, great surrounding characters, even the evil ones are pretty good, the love scenes hot and the story will touch you to the core.
I am waiting with baited breath for the next installments and the story of each Templar Vampire. You will, like me suck up the book and be counting the minutes for the next book in the series.
Thanks Ms. Smith for such a great, engrossing read. Couldn't put it down!!!!
- Really good new series!
Honestly I picked this book up because the name of the series "Brotherhood of the Blood" made me think of the BDB series and I need something to help me pass the time till the next BDB book is released . I tried not to expect too much of this series so I wouldn't be disappointed which was completely unnecessary because this series doesn't have anything in common except a group of vampire warriors, the Brotherhood, with stupid names who have a whole bunch of issues . I also wasn't disappointed because this book was just great!
The first difference is that the vampires aren't born as vampires. In 1307 a group of six knights is send by their king to hunt down some Templars and claim the treasure those Templars are guarding . The "treasure" is the Blood Grail, the evil twin of the Holy Grail, and when the knights drink from it, it turns them into vampires . The vampire knights turn themselves over to the church in order to repent for their sins.
Around 600 years later, in 1899:
Prudence Ryland has cancer and she pretty much expects to die every day. She lives in Tintagel, King Arthurs birthplace, so it's not a far stretch for her to be accustomed with the Holy Grail tale. The Holy Grail is her only chance to live so she searches for it frantically. When she and her crew comes close to a old Templar ruin Father Molyneux and his friend Chapel - one of the six vampire-knights - are send from the church to help and monitor her search. Molyneux and Chapel fear that Pru will find the Blood Grail which one of the other vampire-knights is guarding at a secret place.
The love story between Pru and Chapel is very sweet and isn't overshadowed by the plot - which is something some people criticize about the BDB books. The love story here takes up at least 90% of the book and a lot of plot related things are still related to the love story . However, it's not really that steamy or passionate. But I would say it's normal considering that most historical don't have much bedroom action going on for almost ? of the book .
I also loved the mixture between historical and paranormal and while most paranormals are so focused on building their world and the whole plot stuff, it was nice to have a book that puts the romance first. The book is also not as dark and edgy which is nice for a change too. Sure, Chapel has his demons and struggles with the vampire curse but overall it's not a dark and violent story like many other vampire books .
I can't say much about the rest of the series yet but if the other books are somewhat similar to that one I'll have a new favorite series. I would give this book five stars!
- Good Ideas, Average Book
I actually hate giving this book 3 stars because I whole heartedly believe in the potential of the series. The world-building, the setting, the mythology use-it's all very intriguing. But this book fell short.
Chapel became a vampire when he drank from a mystical cup known as the Blood Grail, having mistaken it for the Holy Grail. Six hundred years later, in the year 1899, Pru Ryeland is searching for the Holy Grail in hopes of curing her terminal illness. Chapel fears that what she will actually find is the Blood Grail and that she will become cursed as he believes he is cursed. But as he begins to fall in love with Pru, his belief in his own soul-less nature is challenged.
The Best Parts:
The use of history and mythology is fun, interesting, and well put together. The time period and setting is rich and unique, and in fact is one of the few things that sets this book apart from other paranormal writings.
Chapel is a surprisingly sexy, if somewhat frustrating character. He is loyal, determined, and fun. His love for Pru is heartbreaking.
First of all, Pru's terminal illness is-it's never given an exact name, so I assume uterine cancer-the biggest plot point/conflict in the book. I am not at all making light of cancer but it's presence in the story is,dare I say, drawn out to the point of dull? We expect her to be saved, obviously, whether she finds the Holy Grail or becomes a vampire. But it takes THE ENTIRE BOOK. We are forced to watch Chapel hem, haw, and struggle with his own self-pity while the love of his life suffers unnecessary pain.
And Pru's cancer is a seriously painful one. I don't know how well Smith researched the disease but I happen to know from what I've witnessed that 1)Even early stage cancer patients are often exhausted, suffer from easy bruising, and tend to have compromised immune systems, and 2) The physical reality of advanced uterine cancer does not usually allow for any kind of comfortable sexual relationship. So the fact that Pru is so active right up until the very end is seriously problematic.
Despite all of this, I still have high hopes for the series. While I did not care for the terminal illness plot-line, I enjoyed Smith's style and imagination.
- Best Historical Vampire/Romance Around!!!!
I've been reading historical romance books since I could remember so when I decided to try a little different subject-that I've always been fascinated with since a child-I turned to vampires. The first vampire/romance book that I read was Christine Feehans 'Dark Lengend' it was so bad I didn't even bother finishing the book. I disliked it so much that I stopped reading vampire/romance novels altogether for a few years-until I came across 'Be Mine Tonight.' I decided to give it one more try and I couldn't have been more happier! From reading the first few pages I knew this book was going to make my Top 10 list of favorite books. It tells the story of of Prudence Ryland and Severian de Fonce AKA Chapel. Chapel is a knight who has been cursed w/ becoming a vampire after finding the Blood Grail, the exact opposite of the Holy Grail, instead of giving you everlasting youth it turns you into a vampire. Anyways, centuries later, Prudence is also searching for the Holy Grail b/c she has an illness that cannot be cured. Prudence falls in love with a Chapel and he helps her experience to live each day to the fullest and teaches her about passion-lots of passion! ;) The story is perfectly written, the characters are wonderfully delightful, and the ending is sad but amazingly delightful with Prudence and her illness-There is one part in the book that is so sad I had tears running down my cheeks!- You'll just have to read it to find out. The only tiny flaw could have been more clarification on the character of Temple. But other than that I highly recommend this book to any vampire/historical romance enthusiast. I hope there will be a sequel to the book to see if Chapel regroups w/ his commrades/vampire buddies. THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ-A++++ I loved it so much that I'm now a huge fan of Kathryn Smith and I'm going to buy and read every book she has ever written. ...more info
- Imagine Nicholas Cage in "City of Angels" with all that soulful....
...intensity and emotion and you've got a good sense of this story. Although well done, the pacing was a little slow
and virtually all the sensuality is saved for the last 20 pages or so. Part of the reason for that is our male lead spends 98% of the story agonizing over his spiritual place in eternity because he is either (choose one) blessed/cursed by his vampire state. The female lead, and basically everyone else, has no such concern, particularly when faced with a grisly, painful death by cancer. This inclusion of a "modern" disease plus other touches such as fast cars and cigarettes all create an intriguing contrast between the present setting of the story and the search for a Grail cup left by the Knights Templar 600 years earlier. Written to be the first of a new series, I think this will be the only book I will read simply because of the leisurely pace and lack of identity for the male lead. However, the character is brought to task for his lack of enjoying the time he was blessed with, but still he became an annoying whiner rather than an enjoyable character....more info
- Great book.. sexy, exciting, and lots of fun vampire bits
I've read some other vampire romance novels that didn't even come close to this one. I enjoyed this and her other vampire novel so much, I actually started looking for other vampire romance novels and was disappointed they weren't like hers.
She actually makes it seem exciting and sexy to be a vampire.. gives the vampire a personality and lots of cool abilities that can be used in exciting ways. Good back story, but also plenty of focus on the romance.. good balance.
I've read every single one of her books so far and have enjoyed them all tremendously. Smith's books are the only ones that I haven't added to my [...] account because I plan to read them all several more times!...more info
- Starts strong then became a bit farfetched
Chapel is a vampire. He became one when he drank from the Blood Grail believing it was the Holy Grail believing it would heal his injuries. While it did heal his injuries the price was becoming an immortal blood drinker. Chapel meets Prudence when she is searching for the Holy Grail in hopes of curing her cancer and saving her life, only he fears she's on the trail of the Blood Grail, instead.
I have to say this book was great for two-thirds of the story, then it started to become unrealistic. The sour turn begins with the character of Marcus who nearly gets everyone killed, isn't the least repentant and he doesn't even get a slap on the wrist after betraying everyone and being in cahoots with the bad guys. Only Chapel wants to rip his face off and he seems to get over it rather quickly. Add to that this punk suddenly can beat up a room full of men with the explanation he had fighting lessons as a child. This character truly reeks and the story would be great if he'd been deleted from it or if someone had rightfully killed him.
Also, one of the great things about the vampire mystique is that usually the vampire's true state is kept a secret. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone in the story knows Chapel is a vampire, and furthermore it's like everyone is in that old Dr. Pepper commercial going around singing,"I'm a Pepper. He's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too." Only replace vampire with Pepper. No one can seem to get why Chapel thinks turning Prudence into a vampire is a bad thing. Why Chapel feels he's cursed. It's like Chapel is the only sane character and he's surrounded but a bunch of morons who just don't get it.
The romance between Pru and Chapel also takes a nosedive when he's flying her to burlesque clubs and having sex with her on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Since other vampires that were turned at the same time as Chapel are mentioned, I'm assuming there will be novels featuring each one of them. One can only hope the punk-jerk Marcus doesn't make it into any of those novels. One can also hope the truth about their condition will be kept solely to the heroine and not have the news taken out in the newspaper that, "I'm a vampire" so every character won't be telling the vampire how lucky he is to be what he is....more info
- My First Paranormal Read
I was rather apprehensive about branching out into other aspects of the romance genre (being a primary Regency romance reader), but after reading much of Kathryn Smith's work, I decided to give this vampire novel a go. After having read it in one sitting, I'd have to really commend Smith's writing abilities, because I have never, EVER cried so much while reading a book. Many a time I found myself pausing just so the tears would go away and I can see the fine print again.
I liked the uniqueness of both the hero and heroine. Never have I crossed a pair where they were so completely genuine. Pru, despite the debilitating cancer growing inside her, manages to give Chapel the solace that he needed after so many years of hiding himself away from the world. And Chapel, although he could have been that alpha-male hero of so many other romance novels, goes the opposite direction. Don't get me wrong, he exudes strength and sensuality but his rather obvious vulnerability is what sets him apart. He gives his all to make Pru happy, and it was nice to see that he found a place where he really belonged. The story was rather fast-paced and it didn't irritate us with the drawn-out problems that might have ensued; the central story here is the romance.
I don't know what it is but Kathryn Smith has this innate ability to write where the emotions really do hit you, as though you were there experiencing it all. I can't say much for other vampire novels but if they were all like this one I would definitely go out and buy them all. Yet another great book by Ms. Smith, and I can't wait til Bishop's book in February....more info
- Not your typical Kathryn Smith historical.
Which, for me, is a shame. I liked many of her previous historicals and bought this one on the strength of her name and that past experience alone (I wasn't too atracted to the story line, but thought I'd give it a try). Lesson learned: just because you like one type of book by an author doesn't mean that you'll like a completely different line.
I wish her the best, I'm sure many other people will enjoy the new "vampire" slant in her writing, but, from now on, I'll pass. I can take "supernatural parallel reality" books along the line of Harry Potter, but a vampire subculture is just a little much--not to mention unpleasant. Blood-sucking fangs and romance are difficult for me to associate, for some reason.
(Although, for my tastes, it was a zero star book and an experience I don't plan to repeat (there are going to be sequels galore, I'm sure), I gave it aa couple stars because I'm sure that the author worked as hard on this one as she did on her other books--well drawn characters and emotions, defined plot line, etc. I just couldn't (and didn't want to) suspend reality to that extent.) ...more info
- This book rocks!!!
Kathryn Smith has written the first in her series The Brotherhood of the Blood....and I found her book to be both completely intriguing as well as moving...I couldn't put it down...and at times was so touched by the pathos and the hope that emerged that I cried...and the sensuality between Chapel and Pru was like nitrogen...hot hot hot!!! I highly recommend this book as well as the upcoming ones in this series to all discriminating readers...especially those that love "vampires"....more info
- Finally!! A Wonderful Romantic, Exciting and Sexy Love Story
I absolutely loved this book! Kathryn Smith joins the ranks of Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. R. Ward and Christine Feehan. Her "Blood Brothers" series is awesome. There are six (6) brothers and I cannot wait to read each one of their stories. Chapel(Severian De Fonce) is a 600 year old totured Vampire and Prudence(Name does not fit her at all) is a beautiful young woman dying of cancer. Of course Chapel can save her but he absolutely refuses to. This does not sit well with her family. And, amazingly due to a heroic act by Chapel when he saved every one of them, they ACCEPT his vampirism. This book is exciting and full of loving emotions. I cannot wait until February, 2007 when the second installment comes out....more info
- Satisfying and touching.
I rarely read vampire stories, but I'd previously read several of Kathryn Smith's Regency set books and enjoyed them all, so I took a chance on BE MINE TONIGHT. I am so glad I did. I was instantly swept into the story.
The characters are wonderful, people who will stick in your heart and your mind for a very long time. Prudence Ryland, a young woman doomed by cancer, is fighting her death sentence with every means she can find, including conducting an archaeological dig for the Holy Grail, which she believes might save her. Chapel, a vampire who has spent the past six hundred years attempting to atone for the evil things he has done, is sent by the church to monitor Prudence's dig. He is to prevent anyone drinking from the Blood Grail which is actually buried there, a cup that is far from holy, the cup that turned Chapel into the monstrosity he believes he is.
How Kathryn Smith manages to bring Prudence and Chapel together is a touching love story, one filled with suspense and pain and joy. And incidentally, a three hanky read....more info
- Vampire theme aside. ***spoilers***ahead.
I am a fan of vampire and paranormal romance. I picked this book up because I found the back cover blub interesting. This is my first Kathryn Smith novel. I liked the prologue and the premise of the retooling of the grail legend. As a fan of paranormal, I can suspend reality for the sake of fiction.
What I didn't like. Let me preface by saying that I am a nurse, former oncology nurse for 3 years. I found the story line of sex with advanced uterine? cervical? cancer distasteful. I could not get past the unpleasant images in my mind of oral sex. It was not sexy or romantic, it was icky. How I wish the author had chosen another form of terminal illness. Even brain or bone cancer. This is not to make less of female cancer, it was just my awareness of the physical reality of the symptoms.
I found myself skimming the rest of the book. I thought the hero was intriging. And the secondary characters interesting.
I apologise for offending anyone with the bluntness of my imagery. I may try another of this authors books, because her writing and characters were good. Maybe other novels are more "palatable".
- Very sad and painful to read.............
It was the saddest romance I have ever read. Granted the ending is predictable, but it was a sad journey. It lacked action and passion. There was romance, but not enough of the other two. What I found painful about this story was the main characters having sex as the heroine is suffering from advance uterine cancer, UGH! @. This was a story told in a very Victorian era sort of way. If you have read Kresley Cole or J.R. Ward, this series is nothing like them. I think I'll past....more info