Blood Debt, written by Nancy Straight, is about a young woman named Camille who learns her father’s name upon her mother’s death, and we follow her journey as she learns her true identity as a mythical creature. Although she’s in her early twenties, this book reads like a young adult novel. Due to their heritage, the creatures follow strict dating guidelines and live with their parents until late in life.
I’ll start with the pros: I’ve never read a book about Centaurs, and I enjoyed how the author created a society of them living secretly among us. That part of the story kept my attention, and I wanted to learn more. There was a lot of mystery, and I wanted to keep reading to get the answers. Although the point of view occasionally shifted from the main character, I did not find it distracting, and I believe it helped the story.
Now for the cons: I really only found one, but it was a big one for me. The main character didn’t seem like the type to need a guy and thought she was independent when it came to her love life, but then she went into lust/love at first sight. It was strong, too. She saw a guy and really didn’t talk to him. He was completely off limits, yet the next day when they’re alone for the first time, they can’t keep their hands off each other and go into a make out fest that would destroy both of their lives. They didn’t even know each other! The author even used the word lust in her description of the scene. I totally lost all respect for the main character, and although she felt lots of guilt, I found her weak minded after that–no matter how much the author wanted me to believe she was strong and independent when it came to men. I continued reading, hoping for a magical explanation for their uncontrollable lust at first sight, but that wasn’t the case. It truly was lust at first sight that soon turned into love–yet they barely knew each other.
With that said, I continued until the end and even started the next book in the series, but I consider the romance portion a backstory that highly annoys me. I’m into the Centaurs, but the shallow romance is bothersome.
Since I go by Goodreads when it comes to ratings, I give this book three stars. It was okay, but I doubt I’ll finish the series. This book is marketed for all ages, and although there’s only mild cursing and no sex scenes, I can’t recommend it to teens. The romance is completely controlled by lust, and I don’t see any depth to the relationship. Also, there’s a scene where the guy (in his twenties, never been on a date, and strongly believes in sex after marriage) bought a skimpy gown for her to wear when they innocently slept together. One minute the two of them can’t stop kissing, while the next minute, they’re half naked in a bed together, yet they can easily stop kissing to go to sleep. If the guy didn’t believe in sex until after marriage and he’d never even been on a date with a woman, how did he get so comfortable buying her a skimpy gown? He also planned to refrain from sex while they slept together, so why put her in the skimpy gown? And I don’t care if you’re a married man or a righteous preacher, if you’re in bed with a half naked woman you completely lust after, it’s going to be difficult to stop making out to go to sleep. That’s not just something you can flip a switch on, and I always tell my girls not to put themselves into troublesome situations. The author put two people in a troublesome situation and made it look like it’s easy to stop and go to sleep. She went from can’t keep their hands off each other in a highly lustful make out scene to them innocently falling asleep half naked in each other’s arms. She didn’t even touch on the physical struggles that would cause.