Review: Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi

Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi (Blood Coven #4)
Mari Mancusi's website here.

Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (January 5, 2010)
Paperback: 230 pages
Buy: {amazon}, {b&n}, {borders}, {book depository}
Summary: from {goodreads}
Sunny McDonald is in the ultimate forbidden relationship. Her boyfriend Magnus is a vampire, and the leader of the Blood Coven. Their differences have never been an issue, until now…
When the Blood Coven decides that Magnus needs a mate to be his co-ruler, Sunny’s humanity puts her out of the running. The Coven’s chosen candidate is Jane Johnson, a magna cum laude graduate of Oxford University who just happens to look like a vampiric celebutante.
Sunny is suspicious of a Rhodes Scholar who can’t answer the most basic poly-sci questions, but Magnus brushes it off as petty jealousy. Still, when the Blood Coven goes to Las Vegas for a vampire convention—where Magnus and Jane’s bonding ceremony will be the main event—Sunny and her sister Rayne secretly tag along. And Sunny’s not going home before she learns the truth about Jane. Because not everything stays in Vegas—especially bad blood…


My Thoughts: What's a girl to do when her boyfriend suddenly needs to run off to Vegas with another girl? Sunny knows that better than anyone when her vampire boyfriend and Blood Coven leader, Magnus, gets hot-and-steamy (Sunny suspects) with a girl specially picked by the Blood Coven to be his blood mate, one who's going to be turned into a vampire in a few days so she can forever rule by Magnus's side. And it certainly doesn't help that this girl, Jane, is supermodel gorgeous and supposedly has a brain the size of Oxford. But something doesn't quite add up, other than her jeaously, so Sunny secretly follows Magnus to Vegas to see what's up... and maybe save her boyfriend's life.

Before moving on to my thoughts, I want to say that I have NOT read the previous Blood Coven novels, and due to that, I probably missed some character development that happened in the previous novels. On the other hand, I can say first-hand that Mari Mancusi skillfully introduced me to the world of the Blood Coven and I was able to quickly grasp the concepts. This review will also be solely focused on Bad Blood without any influence from previous books.

Bad Blood was my first time reading any book in the Blood Coven series, and I was plesantly... surprised? content? I didn't exactly know what to expect, though I thought I would have connected more with Rayne, who emphathizes more with the "dark side." And, no, it's not because of their cookies. However, I actually connected more with Sunny, Rayne's twin sister. Sunny seems like the typical, optimistic fictional blonde, but in reality she's strong and fairly independent. She was a lot more relatable to me than Rayne because Sunny showed human fear but still managed to pull herself through it, while Rayne just seemed confident and more than a little pissed at the world. I thought Rayne was okay, still understandable as a person, but I just didn't feel that connection with her. Either way, I enjoyed the sarcastic banter between the two; there was a solid love-hate relationship going on here, which I could totally relate to given my own sister.

Mari Mancusi's pretty up-to-date, and I liked all the little pieces of pop culture she managed to throw in there. Those tidbits ranged from Katy Perry's "envy-inducing curves" to Hannah Montana and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). Plus, Final Fantasy equals total love. (Or maybe I'm just a geek.) Either way, the setting was definitely 21st century and made the story and characeters come alive just that little bit more... and a tiny, okay, major portion of why I liked the references were that they were simply amusing, understandable, and made me smile.

Other than the light, fun jokes and good-humored jabs, there was some intense action, romance, and family problems. Basically: nobody's perfect and someone's going to have to pick up the pieces. There were some crazy vampire politics going on here and Sunny and Magnus's relationship greatly suffered because of it. Like my feelings with Rayne, or lack thereof, I don't really have an opinion of Magnus because he just simply isn't there a lot, which is also one of his and Sunny's major problems. I was a little dissapointed with his lack of trust in Sunny though. From a superficial viewpoint, Magnus sounds pretty hot, and I loudly appluad Sunny for not immediately succumbing to his charms all the time, a common fault among pretty boys. Can't say I blame anyone for melting, but hold some semblance of sense together, please!

Finally, the ending. I don't want to ruin it, so all I'm going to say is: WOAH. Total cliffhanger! It was totally out-of-the-blue, but I can't wait to see where Mari Mancusi takes it.

Romance: Sweet, light smatterings. Hm, two boys vying for Sunny's attention. Is it starting to sounds like heartbreak? Nooo, because I love Jayden.
Cover: 4.0 -- So pretty! I love the revamp, with the gorgeous pictures and swirls.
Writing: 4.0
Characters: 3.5
Plot: 3.5

Bottom Line: Bad Blood was a fast-paced, light but enjoyable read with a bit of mystery, romance, action, and danger. If you're looking for a short read with all of the above, you won't be dissapointed with Bad Blood, or dare I say the entire Blood Coven series? Not at the absolute top of my list, but I'll definitely be looking out for future books in the Blood Coven series! :)

Thank you to Caitlin from Berkley Publishing for the copy.