Keira Kelly is one of the younger members of her Clan. That's Clan with a capital C. These paranormals have been around for centuries in all different shapes and varieties. Keira has yet to go through her Change, the time in their lives when that particular Clan member comes in possession of their powers and what they will be for the rest of their existence. Keira's six older brothers and father are all shapeshifters so Keira believes that's the direction she'll go.
Several years in the past when Keira returned from England an emotional mess she discovers that the rest of her Clan isn't in the tiny town of Rio Seco in the Texas Hill Country were she left them. She refuses to relocate to Vancouver, BC, CA like everyone else and the edict has come down from the matriarch (read ruler) of the Clan her great grandmother, Gigi. If she refuses to relocate then she will be in charge of taking care of (making sure he keeps out of trouble) her entirely human cousin Marty. It could be worse, at least her best friend of 30 years Bea is still in Rio Seco.
Everything's been up and down with Marty over the years which basically means that Keira gives him money to bail his ass out of a crack every few months. Lately Keira's been having nightmares (visions?) seeing her cousin brutally murdered. On top of all of this her former lover, the quite married Sheriff Carlton Larson is sniffing about Keira trying to reignite an old flame. Oh, and then there's Keira's old acquaintance from London Adam Walker who happens to be the new owner of the big local ranch, The Wild Moon Resort, about to reopen on the outskirts of Rio Seco.
Keira's more then willing to get to know Adam Walker better until she believes that Adam may be connected to all of the strange happens going on in Rio Seco.
To me, there should be a new category called Paranormal Mystery because all the best Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance I’ve read have a great mystery running through them tying the story together. Matters of the Blood is no exception to that. Plus, it’s a really terrific one. Considering that Maria Lima’s first published story was nominated for an Agatha Award this comes as no great shock to me. Not to mention the fact that Ms. Lima’s a true talent at weaving subplots throughout Matters of the Blood that get picked up in subsequent books.
Speaking of her talents, Ms. Lima is also a first rate on at making her her non-human characters completely human with all of our strengths and failings. Doesn’t matter if you’re 37-year-old Keira or her 1200+-year-old brother Tucker. Making both her female and male characters almost vibrate off the page with charm, sensuality and sexuality really makes the story spark as well. This isn’t often for me, but my favourite non-lead character is Keira’s brother Tucker. Either by conscious design or just from him being larger than life, Tucker has a penchant for taking over almost every scene he’s in.
Generally I’m not such a fan of a slow starter, but Matters of the Blood is a slow starter in the way a good roller coaster is with all the pitches and rolls that comes with it. You may find yourself wanting more of Keira’s back-story at the end of Matters of the Blood, but I believe that’s done by design. You will know that all of the promises and clues that Ms. Lima drops in Matters of the Blood will be picked up again and fulfilled in subsequent novels.
All in all Maria Lima makes me break two of my longest standing rules since I’ve started this blog: I never give a first time author nor do I give the first in a series 4 stars. Matters of the Blood joyfully reminded me that rules are meant to be broken.
Matters of the Blood receives a Classic rating of 4 out of 4 stars from me. This one is a must have and if 9 out of 10 of you do not pick up the 2nd in the Blood Lines saga, Blood Bargin, I’ll be tremendously surprised.
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