Blood and Steel

A Love Story

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
251 Pages
Reviewed on 08/19/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J.T. has written science fiction and fantasy for over 20 years and has had works published in several magazines. He has traveled all over the world researching different countries and their customs. He has been active in Medieval re-creation and has done extensive research in ancient civilizations and cultures. He is an avid fan of military history both ancient and modern. He is a voracious reader and enjoys multiple genres including Science Fiction, Fantasy, and some romance. He enjoys cooking and develops his own recipes. He is a true renaissance man.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Blood and Steel: A Love Story is an urban fantasy novel written by James Buckley. Dr. Rick Smythe was a psychologist working with the Los Angeles County Department of Health and Human Services by night, but currently his real work lay in working with the Shadow to capture the leader of the rogue vampires who were decimating the local homeless population. His coworker, Saria de la Rosa, a social worker, was as committed as he was to helping the disadvantaged, and she moonlighted at a halfway house for teens. While both were aware of the complications that an office relationship could entail, each of them felt a powerful attraction to the other; one that they finally agreed to give in to and see where it led. But they each had secrets that could either tear apart their new relationship or make it stronger than ever.

James Buckley’s urban fantasy novel, Blood and Steel: A Love Story, is a fast-paced and enthralling psychological thriller. Buckley’s story is original and well-plotted, and his characters are credible and finely honed. I particularly enjoyed the historical aspects of Saria’s heritage and enjoyed those portions of the story that related to her past life and present relations in the old country. I also enjoyed the elements of mystery and intrigue that are present in the descriptions of Rick’s Shadow organization. Buckley’s story is well written, and the action scenes are realistic and exciting to follow. I enjoyed reading Blood and Steel and highly recommend it.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Saria has spent many years paying the price for an adolescent mistake, but she’s not the only one. Ever since Nickolea managed to trick her all those years ago, he’s managed to wreak havoc on the entire country and beyond. Even worse, there’s no telling what else he has planned as more of his devious schemes come to light. For Rick, the world of vampires is one that he lives directly alongside, because his role as the Shadow means that he must work to rid the world of the rogues that seek to destroy it, but there’s more to it than that. For Rick, it’s personal, and when he discovers that his beloved Saria is a vampire and, even more, that she is responsible for much of the pain, what could happen next? Will they be able to stop the rogues and Nickolea from fulfilling their ultimate destiny in Blood and Steel?

If you’re looking for action, adventure and romance, then you’ve come to the right place. Saria and Rick have plenty of all three of those things going on and they’re not the only ones. You’ll find yourself drawn into the romance, but also wondering just what is going to happen next because there are twists and turns at every corner. Even the bad guys are going to draw you in until you may not be sure which side you’re actually rooting for. After all, it’s hard to know just who is really going to succeed at any time. Defeating Nickolea and his army, especially with the secret weapon that he’s been creating, is going to be harder than anyone could have imagined, and there’s no telling what might happen to your favorite character in Blood and Steel by JT Buckley.

Stefan Vucak

In Blood & Steel by James Buckley, Saria is living in Romania with her adoptive vampire parents, and has fallen in love with their servant, Nickolea. She turns him into a vampire so that he could live forever with her. When they reach America, he reveals that the only reason he pretended to love her was to be turned into a vampire. His attempt to kill her fails, and Saria chastises herself for falling in love with him. Dr. Rick Smythe is a leader of hunters exterminating rogue vampires. With Saria as his assistant, he is working for the Los Angeles social services department, helping the needy. He likes her, but pretends that he does not believe that vampires exist. Over dinner at his place, Saria promises herself that he would be hers. Nickolea has formed a band of rogue vampires determined to make humanity serve them. The attraction between Saria and Rick becomes too powerful to ignore. Risk is poisoned during an attack, and to save him, Saria turns him into a vampire. This triggers a final confrontation with Nickolea.

Blood & Steel is not a usual vampire story, where good and evil are clearly defined and battle for supremacy. James Buckley weaves an interesting variation where a group of vampires is ‘good’, and a controlling Enclave eliminates rogue elements among them. This is an entertaining novel with several unusual twists, and I liked the evolving emotional interplay between Rick and Saria. I liked how the story developed, and the author has a flowing writing style that is easy to read. Die-hard readers of vampire stories will find Blood & Steel exciting, even if the book does not have any real scary bits. However, there is enough swordplay, fights, and beheadings to make readers keep turning pages.