The last time we heard from Underwood and Flinch in Resurrection, Flinch discovered he has no choice in being Underwood’s guardian. He also can’t stop Underwood from killing people. In Underwood and Flinch: Bonded In Blood by Mike Bennett, the story picks up right after the first one ended.
With David and Lord Underwood both knowing where each other stand, Underwood decides to find out what the local nightlife of Almacena is like. They go to a bar, owned by friends of Lydia, and Underwood sets his sights on the wife of the bar’s co-owner, Michelle. Underwood wants a new mate, but things are not that easy as David and Lydia do not approve of his choice.
To make matters worse, the Russian mafia is hunting down the owners of the bar and Michelle’s husband does not want to give up his wife. Also, Lydia has plans of her own to get Underwood to make her and the other members of the Black Circle into vampires, even if she has to trick her master to do it. There is also the question of whether David can handle the job of being Underwood’s guardian.
That’s not all you get in Bonded In Blood. This book also talks about how Underwood became affiliated with Flinch. His origin story starts in the early 18th century and explains how Underwood was forced to become a pirate and how his escape attempt lead him to become a vampire. The story shifts seamlessly from the present to the past and then back to the present.
Mike Bennett has a great story here and the book was hard to put down. I think what I liked best about the book was how it worked as drama, horror, action and comedy. I loved when Underwood starts talking about butts and also when Underwood starts dancing to Motorhead with Michelle.
There were also some great horror scenes such as when four pirates are being stalked by something in the dead of the night and when Underwood looses his cool in a strip club. Mike Bennett adds a lot of different ingredients to his story and it works well even if you’re not a horror fan. There were also some great fight scenes throughout the book and the story itself is very deep.
This story also looks at the theme of redemption, loyalty, love, and friendship. You get to see Underwood and Flinch’s relationship change throughout the book and even when they don’t see eye to eye, they still work great together. Even some of the minor characters in Bonded In Blood get some great scenes. One part where the Russian Mafia shows up at Michelle’s bar is memorable and there is a scene where even though both Michelle and her husband are under Underwood’s influence, they still manage to show their love for each other.
The only thing that bothered me a little was the ending. It made sense and kept true to the themes of the book, but there was one loose end that needed to be tied up. There are more books scheduled in the Underwood and Flinch series and I hope Mike Bennett does as good with the next book as he did on the first two. Bonded In Blood is a good example of how great vampire fiction can be. Even if you don’t like vampires, you will find something to like here.