***I received an EXCLUSIVE copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review of it. The opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
The Vow by Laura Daleo is a vampire paranormal novel about a young woman named Claire who comes home to find her parents murdered and her brother missing. When she comes home from college to spend a little time at home after the finals instead of being greeted by her parents she finds them absent from picking her up at the airport. So when she gets a cab home she is greeted by the sight of nosey neighbors watching the scene unfold of police investigating her home where the dead bodies of her parents lay and to find out that her younger brother JJ has seemingly disappeared. By the looks of the scene it appears as though vampires have broken The Vow and have begun to feed on humans once again but if so…where is her brother? And what does that mean for all humans?
When you first start reading The Vow you are given The Vow that vampires take in connection to no longer feeding from humans. It immediately grips you and makes you want to learn more about the Vow itself and whether vampires are actually breaking it and why. The story is very engaging as we go along with Claire as she struggles to discover what has happened to her parents and why this happened to them and to discover what happened to her brother, get him back and try to continue on with life as best she can. But her days are filled with trouble as she decides to do her own investigating into the vampires hoping to find one who will lead her to her parents killer(s). But’s just really not that simple.
I honestly really enjoyed this book and liked Claire from the beginning but as the story progresses she begins to become…annoying. She continuously puts herself in danger by going and dealing with vampires on her own knowing that they can read her thoughts and thus manipulate her. Now I know that I would do just about anything to seek justice for my loved ones if they were brutally killed but I would not put my own life at risk especially after one close encounter with a lying vampire but yet she pursues and pursues. Thankfully her friendship and quickly developing love/romance with a vampire named Conner keeps her from being killed as well as the well timed intervention of a Detective Reynolds a couple of times as well. But it just gets annoying when she continues to repeat the same actions over and over again.
This is a really interesting book and has quite a few twists and turns that you just don’t see coming but that’s what really makes it a good read. I really found it hard to put it down to go do other things or even sleep because I wanted to know what was going to happen next and to learn the truth behind what happened to Claire’s parents and her brother. Let me tell you…it’s worth the read. There are a few small errors throughout this book but they are not that bad to detract from my enjoyment of it overall. I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Looking for a good vampire novel with a twist? Pick this book up. You’ll definitely enjoy.
* Sep 11, 2016 Angel (The Book Spot) rated it it was amazing. Review to follow once im fully awake and my brain is at full function after coffee.......
I was kindly gifted this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
To start with i really enjoyed reading this book. The story was well paced and flowed perfectly.
This story will draw you in from the first page. I enjoyed Claire finding herself.
The book is named after a pact that was formed over a hundred years ago where the Vampires agreed to not hunt and kill the humans and the humans to not hunt and kill the Vampires. It worked well..... Till now!
Claire comes home from college to find her parents home surrounded by police. Shortly thereafter she discovers that her parents are dead and her brother JJ is missing. Needing answers she volunteers at The Vampire Centre. Her goal is to interrogate the Vampires.
Claire came across as rather naive at first as she's always putting herself in danger in a bid to find out the truth. But her opps moments i think were down to her having slayer blood in her veins. Like curiosity killed the cat kind of thing.
Connor is a charmer and was sweet but i felt i need more from him he just seemed kind of lost like a third wheel or something. Then the next thing i know he's declaring his love for Claire.
Claire turned in a right ole sluth trying to find the killers of her parents and her missing brother JJ.
Some surprising twists and turns and i knew it moments. Would have been nice if there was a little romance before the declaration of "I love You" But that's personal choice as i like a little romance with my reading. This is a very good Fantasy/Murder/Mystery.
I found myself hoping to find out more on Nate and Parker to and was gutted when it became apparent i wasn't going to.
I would't say this ended on a cliff hanger but just when things were all coming together it did end. Leaving me with a few questions. So i do hope there is going to be a follow on to this book.
I need to know what happened to JJ?
What is with the Formulas?
What this Society is?
What direction are Connor and Claire heading?
What is the importance of the Letter?
And just who is Doctor Phelps? Because there is way more to her than we're lead to believe....
Book two pretty please....
* Sep 14, 2016 Dianne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal-romance, vampires, own, suspense, author-requested-review
A world where the vampires are out of the coffin and part of life? A truce was made long ago between humans and the vampires, no more sucking the blood of the living and no staking of the undead, sounds fair, right? Thank you Laura Daleo for a fabulous and fresh twist on our favorite creatures that go bump in the night! Too bad someone decided to break the rules. Settle in and prepare for The Vow and all of its twists, turns, and suspense as one human vows to find the vampire that drained her parents.
When the world’s most punctual parents failed to pick her up from the airport, Claire taxied her way home to discover her world turned inside out when she learns her parents have been murdered. The cause? Exsanguination, their blood was drained by someone with fangs and her brother, JJ was missing.
Alone, with no idea what to do or where to go, Claire takes to doing her own detective work when the police procedures seem too slow, with too many rules to follow. From volunteering in a Vampire Center where vamps line up to get blood by the bag, to naively accepting meetings with vampires, Claire puts her life on the line in her quest and desperation to find her brother.
What she didn’t expect to find was a vampire she could trust, one that would look out for her and even help her in her quest. Breaking laws was not an obstacle for either of them. But feeling more than camaraderie can be pretty scary.
Let go of reality, forget the rules, ignore that detective show you love, Laura Daleo is in charge and from start to finish, what Claire will do to find her brother and justice for her parents will resonate perfectly. Claire is headstrong, a little out of her league, but determined and wants justice served, but are the parents she knew and loved more than who they seemed to be?
Ms. Daleo has some major talent going on here and it shines through like the North Star. Shocking revelations, heartbreaking moments and characters that make you either love them or hate them, this tapestry of words from Laura Daleo is a fabulous read from start to finish!
I received this copy from Laura Daleo in exchange for my honest review.
* Sep 17, 2016 Joetta Spurling rated it it was amazing
I'm an independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock. I was given this copy for my honest review. I give 5 stars.
This book takes place in a world where vampires and humans have made a vow to stop the killing. There has been to much on both sides. But some, vampires and humans, don't agree with this vow. They like the old ways.
Claire Matthews is stuck at the airport. Her parents were to pick her but they haven't shown up. She has called them and even her brother. Now she has given up on them and has taken a cab home. That is when her life is turned upside down. Why are the cops at her house? What has happened?
Claire finds help in her search for answers in the most unusual of place. Can she trust Connor not just to help her find the answers to her parents death but with her heart.
I liked this look into the world of vampires. It was a nice twist to the story. I would recommend this book to YA and up and to anyone that likes vampire books.
* Amanda (kanksbooklife)
Sep 25, 2016 Amanda (kanksbooklife) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016, netgalley-reviewed
*Provided by NetGalley for an honest review*
The vampire vow is being broken by none other than a human! Claire is home for vacation from college and comes to find cops at family home. Welcome home, please identify your dead parents…. Her suspenseful quest to find her parents murderer and locate her missing brother kept me guessing all the way to the end. I was sucked in from the very first page. I loved the new take on the vampire culture and the vow, leading to vampire centers where they get their blood through transfusion was a new one for me. Even though there’s a top of the line detective on the case, Claire will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery.
I felt a bit cut off at the end of the book, not enough to say a cliff hanger was there, but enough to have questions lingering. I just want to know what happens to them all in the next year …
* Sep 24, 2016Miranda (MirandasBookBlog) rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Shelves: vampire, 2016
Kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted @ Miranda's Book Blog
It's been awhile since I've read a murder mystery. From the very start Claire is thrown into a world of tragedy and turmoil. Finding her parents brutally murdered then to top it off her brother is missing. I ended up reading this one in pretty much one sitting. This story pulled me in from start to finish!
The beginning was a tad bit slow but the pace of both the plot and the character development progressed very nicely. I would say once the story was set, after the first chapter the pace was perfect!
There is a bit of romance in this one and I loved the realistic way in which their relationship grew. Claire meets Connor whom I adored from the first time we get to meet him! Now I would say that the romance is definitely more in the background in this one, but it was perfect for the story.
* Sep 30, 2016 Silvia rated it really liked it
I recived a free copy of the vow in exchange of an honest review:
A paranormal vampire story that grips you from page 1. Claire is a young woman who is willing to go through hell if she needs to in order to discover who and why her parents were killed, Claire is a lovable character but oh so annoying at the same time!!but how to blame her when she just need to know no matter what..
And then you have sweet sexy Connor a vampire that keeps Claire from dying on her restless seek for the true.
What I loved about The Vow is the whole idea about vampires and human living together and the fact that Ms Daleo likes to play with your mind and when you think you have all figure it out then comes some twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end..
What I hated is not to know... I still have so many questions, what about Claire and Connor? the story really end here??
If you are a sucker for vampire books you need to read this book!
* Oct 13, 2016 Donna Fernstrom rated it really liked it
Young adult vampire mystery/mild romance. An easy read, with some twists and turns to the plot to liven things up.
The good: I actually couldn't guess the ending to this one. The mystery stayed a mystery, with a lot of blind alleys along the way.
The not-so-good: Bland characters. Not much to make this book stand out from the pack.
Oct 20, 2016 Barb (Boxermommyreads) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-horror-challenge, 2016
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started this book but it turned out to be a perfect read for the Halloween season. Claire has just finished finals and is coming home for summer break. She immediately thinks something is wrong because her always reliable parents do not show up at airport to pick her up. Claire catches a taxi home to find police and emergency cars and personnel everywhere and soon learns her parents have been brutality murdered and her teenage brother J.J. is missing. Since the Vow, basically a peace agreement and legal pact, was made between vampires and humans over 130 years ago allowing vampires to live among humans, there is reason for concern when her parents suffer from numerous bites and have been completely drained of all their blood. Although Detective Reynolds has promised Claire he will get to the bottom of the crime and locate her brother, Claire cannot wait and starts an investigation of her own.
Although many would classify this as a paranormal romance, I think it's strength lies in the mystery waiting to be solved. Claire takes many steps to locate J.J. and her parents killer and there were a few twists and turns along the way which I didn't see coming. The book is extremely fast paced and there are quite a few interesting characters for the reader to meet along the way. I want to commend Daleo for not creating a dreaded "love triangle" which sometimes rears its ugly head in paranormal romance books. Also, the relationship that forms isn't really of the "insta-love" nature although I think most readers can see it coming almost right from the beginning. My only real issue with "The Vow" is Claire. I realize she is young and she wants to discover what happened to her family, but the girl made stupid move after stupid move and I'm surprised she made it out of the book alive! I kept waiting for Claire to get a clue but she must suffer from some undiagnosed impulsivity disorder.
I have to admit that while it's probably not a popular opinion, I am in love with Gabriel. He is mean, crude and has no need for humans in his life but I just KNOW there is a heart in there somewhere. I only hope Daleo considers exploring Gabriel in a future book - a girl can hope. Overall, if you enjoy vampire books and don't mind a little romance (minus triangles and insta-love) then you should probably snag a copy of "The Vow." I've said it before regarding Daleo's books and I'll say it again - I respect vampires that don't sparkle!
Nov 01, 2016 Maia Silverdagger rated it it was amazing
One of the best vampire books I've ever read! I was completely under the author's spell from the very first page and found myself quite unable to tear myself away from this gripping book! Full of intrigue, we meet Beth, who's always had a mysterious and loving mist visiting her nightly. On a turbulent night, she meets vampire Phillipe and believes he is finally her mist in physical form. As she delves into the vampire world, she soon discovers there's much much more at stake and must face her past, present and future before she can resolve her love triangle. Full of mystery, intrigue, love, loss, deceit, and a world she never knew existed, this book took me on a roller coaster of palpable emotions and I truly felt for the characters as if they were real people. The writing was beautifully done with vivid descriptions that really set the mood, causing exquisite pictures in my mind as I read along. There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end that made me gasp in anticipation and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the sequel! This is an absolute must read for any vampire lover or paranormal romance fan!
Nov 01, 2016 Maia Silverdagger rated it it was amazing
Yet another absolutely amazing vamp book to follow the first! Picking up 5 agonizing years after the first book ended, we meet a more mature and emotionally weathered Beth as she pines for her lost love while still trying to make things work with Philippe. Drinking herself into a stupor with both blood and wine, she tries to cope with her daily life and mend her torn heart. After a huge surprise at a gala thrown to cheer her up, she must finally choose who to love and is out for vengeance against those who wronged her. Teaming up with the most powerful vampire gods and a feared fire demon, they travel to London where her past comes back to haunt her in a wholly unexpected way. The emotions ran high again in this book as Beth battles with loss, love, undecisiveness, betrayal and trying to find a glimpse of happiness in all the fog. The descriptions were absolutely exquisite and I could just about hear the blood splatter in some scenes. The journey into the realm of the vampire gods again was amazing and a certain ritual at the end had my heart pounding and aching in sympathy and excitement! This series is absolutely amazing and I just can't wait to see what the author may bring in the future! Rivaling Anne Rice, these books are absolutely original, absorbing and amazing! A definite must read for any vamp lover, paranormal romance fan or thriller lovers!
- Nov 09, 2016 Maia Silverdagger rated it it was amazing
- A stunningly captivating paranormal murder mystery! Set in an alternate time where vampires are accepted in the normal world under a vow that humans and vampires do not harm each other and vampires go to "blood banks" to get intravenous feeding instead of feasting on unwary humans. After Claire's parents are horrifically slaughtered, all the clues point to an unknown vampire as the murderer, and her brother JJ is missing. Claire believes the detectives aren't gaining enough ground on the case, so she is forced to befriend a vampire and goes sleuthing herself. Avoiding a persistent detective, she journeys into the dark underground world of vampirism and finds out some stunning secrets about her family's past while searching for her missing brother.
With tons of excitement, plot twists and quite a few unforeseen events that will punch you in the stomach and leave you breathless, this book was one amazing ride that will not let you go for a second! Completely original, the characters and intricate settings are completely believable and will completely suck you in. This book is a new take on vampires, as they exist with humans and has both good and bad vamps for you to love and despise. The characters were well built with palpable emotions and you get to really feel a connection with Claire. There's horrific times, stunning times, tender new love and even some hilarious yet macabre moments that left me thrillingly delighted. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book and am left thinking about it days after finishing it! If you want to try a new flavor of vampire fiction or murder mystery, this book would be perfect for you!
Nov 14, 2016Megan rated it really liked it
I thought this book was great… lots of fun to read and very creative. Describing it is a hard task! All sorts of interesting characters, and a terrific mix of fantasy, adventure, romance, and complex relationships. Although I did think the beginning started off kind of slow until I got more of a feel about this new world and the characters and their backgrounds, once things got moving along I really got into it. I liked that it was so descriptive that we can really put ourselves inside Beth’s perspective. Fabulous narrative prose and the dialogue and conversations with the characters were very authentic. Great chemistry with her and Amon (yum) and while there is some getting used to the story in the beginning, just hang in there as it makes sense soon. Recommend for dark fantasy/romance fans who want a complex, yet engaging literary read. Looking forward to reading more from Laura Daleo!
Nov 14, 2016 Megan rated it it was amazing
I was very impressed with how simply and effortlessly Laura Daleo can tell this addicting, multi-layered story with well-developed world building and great characters and still manage to make vamps fresh! Problem with so many of these types of books that I find is that they really are just ‘unbelievable’, or worse, just a retelling of the same tired plots. But even with the fantastical storyline we are all in, hooked on every scene, as the world building always follows its rules which is so important in books like this. Really liked the mix of ‘paranormal-meets-normal’ (vampires and humans co-existing in modern times), a mystery (who killed Claire’s parents), lots of danger and high stakes drama, and of course a romance. It has it all! I like Daleo’s writing style, very descriptive and passionate. An engaging and intoxicating read all through to the end that feels familiar enough to fit well in the genre, but fresh enough to keep us interested. Love the ending – it wraps up well and I love that it is a standalone (not a part of any series it would appear). But I can’t wait to read more from Laura Daleo in the future! Recommend for fans of YA and NA dark fantasy/ paranormal romance.
Nov 15, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it
"The Vow” by Laura Daleo is a really good read with an interesting concept and some of the best narrative and prose I’ve come across in a long while….. And just when I thought I was done with vampires forever and had read every possible angle they could take. Make no mistake, there are plenty of subplots happening here, At times I almost felt like it was too much, although the author describes it very well, and I know it’s instrumental to the overall storyline and with what is happening with the main characters. It’s just sometimes seemed like overkill when I would’ve preferred to maybe see a deeper emotional relationship build between the characters instead. There are so many characters that come and go and at to me it just feels like ‘name soup’ where they are paper thin and pretty much indistinguishable from one another. But I enjoyed the complex storyline and Daleo writes with great energy that whisks us along. The thing that struck me the most was just how genuine and authentic it all came across… like how young adults and ‘creatures’ would really talk and act…. In a frighteningly good way. Curious to see if there will be more books like this and where they will go. The ending seems to perhaps leave room open for more from them, but I don’t really see any mention. Wraps up very well on its own though. Daleo doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here, but she does deliver quite a fun and entertaining ride for fans of suspenseful paranormal romance.
Nov 15, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it
I read a lot of paranormal/fantasy books, so this is a genre I’m familiar with. I’d just finished another book of Laura Daleo’s and really enjoyed it (“The Vow” – check it out), so I was curious to see how she would deliver in this one, “Bound by Blood”. Ms. Daleo is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that she genuinely impressed me with her thorough world-building and sheer creativeness and inventiveness on many levels. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is felt here as well), when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace from the norm! After some time of getting acclimated to the storyline, (this is a continuation of an earlier book) I was definitely hooked. Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. Love watching the dynamic with Beth and Amon develop, and feel her struggle with Philippe. I finished in just a few sittings, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I enjoyed the ending and now I feel like I really need to read “Immortal Kiss” so that I can get all the backstory!! Recommend for fans of new-adult paranormal romance.
Nov 16, 2016 Steph Coleman rated it it was amazing
"Bound by Blood” is the first book I’ve read from Laura Daleo, but it came highly recommended from a person whose opinion I trust. Not only was I not disappointed, I was even more impressed with it than I’d expected to be! I loved Daleo’s storytelling abilities and style of writing—the distinctive ‘voice’ that you just can’t fake. You either have it or you don’t. It is so simple and easy to read, but each sentence and page packs so much emotion and imagery that you really get a bang for your buck. “Bound by Blood” is an intoxicating work of creativity, passion, sensuality, internal conflict, and imagination. It stretches the boundaries for this type of fiction in new ways that really impressed me. I read paranormal and fantasy all the time, (and a lot of vamp fiction) but this one stood out to me as being exceptionally beautifully written and feeling fresh and original. I finished it in three days which is practically a record for me because I’m a slow reader with not much time. But I couldn’t put it down! I was happy with the ending, but I really wish there were more! Recommend for older readers and fans of YA and NA paranormal.
Nov 16, 2016 Steph Coleman rated it really liked it
"The Vow” by Laura Daleo was such a great find! This is the second book of hers I’ve read now and I’m so happy I discovered this author. I like that I can really lose myself in the story and with the fascinating characters that are relatable, and not cookie cutter or perfect. But flawed and real. Daleo’s writing is very descriptive and I felt like I was really inside this unique world she created. I liked that it wasn’t just another formulaic vampire story… original, I thought, but at the same time comfortingly familiar. My only beef was that it felt like it took too long to really get going (even though there is good, crazy action at the beginning) for there to be the tension needed to really hook us in to having to keep reading. At times I thought some of the narrative went on a bit too long (too much ‘telling’ and excessive wordiness bordering on ‘purple prose’ at times) and there were some minor editing things I noticed. But despite that I really enjoyed these characters and losing myself in this world for a few nights. The conversations and dialogue were authentic for the age group (so important!) and the ending was bittersweet and made me happy. And no cliffhanger, thank goodness! Can’t wait to read the next book from Laura Daleo soon. Definitely recommend for fans of mystery/ paranormal & romance.
Nov 20, 2016 Jenna rated it really liked it
"The Vow” by Laura Daleo takes us on a thrilling, sexy, supernatural journey. The beginning starts off with a shocking event with college student Claire discovering her murdered parents’ bodies, and the suspects are vampires who have possibly broken “The Vow”- a centuries old ‘peace treaty’ between humans and vampires (who are part of modern day society), and the way the story unfolds and how everything is connected pulls you in and takes you to another world where day and night collide. I have to say I really liked reading this and like the author’s writing style a lot and even though there are some disturbing elements, and many of the scenes are pretty fantastical, there is a level of believability there that makes reading these books a magical, rewarding, almost surreal experience. As I read tons of paranormal novels I already had the bar set pretty high in my mind for this one and I wasn’t at all disappointed at all. I think I even liked this one a bit more than normal--- I enjoyed the real world/fantasy world blend but still had that strong magical/paranormal element that is so much fun and wasn’t predictable. And I never really knew what characters I could trust or not so that kept me on my toes. While it’s not perfect (could use some better proofing and trimming of some unnecessary dialogue or descriptions) I thought the story as a whole was pretty great and I’m happy to have read it and will recommend it to fans of New Adult fiction, romance, fantasy, and paranormal.