Blood Chills (Blood Hunters #5) by Marie Treanor

Blood Chills (Blood Hunters) - Marie Treanor

After fighting alongside of the ancient vampire Saloman and being present at the birth of his child, it's time for Cyn to return to her life in New York with her merry band of unsanctioned hunters. It's not long before Cyn's group is tasked to investigate the deaths of humans in her childhood neighbourhood. Though all of the evidence points to Bela, Cyn's instincts are telling her to trust the vampire and become his ally. The problem is that Bela wants more than her trust and though her mind rejects the possibility of being with a vampire, her body has other ideas.

Essentially, Blood Chills is a paranormal romance. The relationship follows the typical pattern of boy meets girl and they don't like each other, followed by the couple getting together before a misunderstanding drives them apart. Of course, the couple then has a reconciliation and the readers are treated to the exceedingly predictable HEA. I will, however, give Treanor credit for stretching out the romance between Cyn and Bella so that they were not declaring undying love after knowing each other for a ridiculously short period of time.

Though much of the series was fixated on the budding romance between Cyn and Bela, Treanor did manage to include an interesting story line. For a good section of the book, she managed to keep me guessing as to who the antagonist was and what his motivations were. As much as this is paranormal romance, the plot could have stood on it's own without it, particularly because Treanor continues to enlarge her world and relate more about vampire lore with each book.

That said, Blood Chills was still highly trope laden. Cyn is verbally clear on several occasions that she does not want to be touched but Bela, of course, ignores this because he can smell her lust.

The implication was clear and heated her tormented body unbearably.His lips, a curiously attractive half smile. On a murderous monster who'd almost killed her friend. Rudy could still die."You disgust me," she whispered.
He considered her as if he had no intention of removing himself in the foreseeable future."Not entirely true.Vampires can smell arousal,you know.  Yours is sweet and powerful. Like your blood."
"And humans are much, much more than chemical reactions.Get off me you self-satisfied prick"
He blinked, his lips parting in something close to shock.
Shit, now he's mad. So not clever, Cyn...
The vampire threw back his head and laughed.  The deep rumbling was oddly infectious and yet made her shiver for no reason she wanted to understand. But although he eased some of his weight off of her, he didn't release her hands.  Looked at in the right way- and she was pretty desperate her- this was a good thing. It meant he acknowledged that she could still damage him. (pg. 32-33)

Cyn rejects Bela for large sections of the book and he keeps pushing himself upon her until she finally gives in. This is supposed to be sexy? This is a supposed foundation for a HEA?  A man who thinks "no" simply means try harder until you get a yes? This is rape culture at it's finest and should never be mistaken for romance, or seduction. Cyn even goes as far as to try to kill Bela several times but he sees it as foreplay and certainly not rejection. More importantly, why does Bella consider that she should let go of her "free will" (pg 67) to engage in sex with Bela?  In the end, sex becomes something Bela does to Cyn and not something they do to pleasure each other; it's an act of dominance.



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