Title: Blood of the Maple
Author: Dana Marie Bell
Series: Maggie’s Grove #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Pub. Date: April 2011
Source: Net Galley
Genre: Paranormal/Paranormal Romance/Supernatural/Fantasy/Romance
From Goodreads: A seduction-gone-wrong leaves vampire Parker Hollis with a new vegetarian lifestyle and on the run from a vengeful witch. Moving to small-town Maggie’s Grove, Parker meets a redheaded dryad with green, leafy blood that draws him in a way he hasn’t experienced in decades. His new neighbor smells divine, and it isn’t long before craving gives in to need.
In a unique community of supernaturals, tree-loving outcast Amara Schwedler has never quite fit in. She’s scarred by a traumatic incident and feared by the local townsfolk. She’s convinced Parker will look elsewhere for a mate once he discovers she’s not one of the O-positive set, and can’t believe it when Parker finds her irresistible.
When the witch who’s been plaguing Parker’s life discovers the newfound attraction between Parker and Amara, she takes out her anger on the town. Can the supernaturals of Maggie’s Grove accept Amara and band together in time to withstand the assaults of the enraged witch?
My Reveries and Ramblings: I had such a hard time rating this book. There were so many things I really liked about this book, but at the same time there were plenty of things that I didn’t like. Blood of the Maple is about a playboy vampire, Parker, who moves to Maggie’s Grove with his best friend and ghost, Greg. Maggie’s Grove is one of the only, if not the only, towns in the US that is completely supernatural. Shortly after arriving, Parker meets Amara, a powerful dryad who lives next door. They fall in love, but their relationship, and the town, is threatened by Parker’s ex, an obsessive crazy witch who has been following Parker for years.
Amara is a really powerful dryad who was raised by a kind woman. For reasons unknown to Amara, but revealed later in the book, the townspeople avoid her. When they are not ignoring her, they are outwardly horrible to her. Even though most of Maggie’s Grove hates her, she has a few friends, but she is still very lonely. Amara spends most of her time in her garden and conversing with her tree.
After escaping from his ex, who was trying to make it so he could only drink from her blood, so they will be together forever, Parker is stuck drinking plant-like blood. Before Amara, Greg would make a smoothie with a few drops of his blood mixed with certain plants. After Greg dies and becomes a ghost, they move to Maggie’s Grove, where Parker falls in love with Amara and the final showdown with his ex takes place.
Maggie’s Grove is such a quant town. It’s like a supernatural version of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Everyone knows everyone. The beings that inhabit Maggie’s Grove are shapeshifters, vampires, psychics, witches, dryads, etc. When Parker’s ex threatens the town to get to Parker, everyone comes together to fight her.
I loved the fresh take on the supernatural. The problems I had with this book had to do with all the random sex scenes. Some were appropriately placed but I felt that others were just unneeded. Yes, I know this is a paranormal romance-stressing the romance, but still. Having said that, I still liked this book and will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out.