Sin and Sorrow by Marion Croslydon

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☆••*´¨`*•.☆•• 2.5-stars ☆••*´¨`*•.☆••

Synopsis:

O-negative is Marie Aberdein’s favorite treat and she hates herself for it.
But she hates the MacLeod Vampire Hunters even more. They stole everything from her. Twice. The first time, on the night of the Battle of Culloden, the Hunter killed her husband and their child. Marie has survived the last two centuries hidden away with the man she calls Father, keeping their vow never to feed from humans. But the latest Hunter—the direct descendant of her husband’s murderer—doesn’t care about their good intentions. All he wants is for their ashes to blow away in the wind, so he tracks them down and burns the only family she has left.
Payback is long overdue. Marie has escaped the MacLeods’ clutches and she intends to make this lease of life count. Merely digging her fangs into the Hunter won’t do. She’ll take everything he holds dear, starting with his heir, History undergrad and rugby-playing Gabriel. Once she has Gabriel in the palm of her hand, she’ll rip out the boy’s heart. And make his father watch.
Only Gabe is more angel than demon. His heart is warm, his soul loyal. He makes Marie feel like the girl she has never had the chance to be. A girl who wants to laugh, flirt, and be kissed. But allowing their love to kindle will clash against the beliefs that make them who they are. When Gabriel becomes the next Hunter at twenty-one, Marie will be one of the creatures he is destined to slaughter. And loving him means giving up her vendetta against his father—something she won’t do.

Sin and Sorrow is a New Adult paranormal romance set at St. Andrews University in modern-day Scotland.

Review:

I was very intrigued by the synopsis of Sin and Sorrow by Marion Croslydon.  The love the premise of a vampire created in Scotland during the uprising who is looking to exact revenge for her family two hundred years later.  There are so many rich possibilities when Culloden is used as a cover-up for vanquishing Scotland of its vampires.  How could you not be hooked by the come-on line of the author’s synopsis:

O-negative is Marie Aberdein’s favorite treat and she hates herself for it.”?

There are an amazing number of characters in the relatively short book.  Marie, the lead character and story narrator, was turned in 1746 when she is about to die from birthing complications.  She tolerates her meager existence by plotting to avenge her husband’s death.  Her life has been defined by resentment and the possibility of revenge. She should have been physically angry and singularly focused.  She fizzles as a vengeful widow, and her physical weakness makes it all but impossible for her to follow through on any of her plans.

Gabriel comes from a long line of vampire hunters.  Clan MacLeod are known for their ruthlessness in ridding the world of the filthy bloodsuckers.  Gabriel never doubted his family’s heritage as vampire hunters until his cousin, Tobias, shares his beliefs on how Gabriel’s mother really died.  That seed of doubt makes Gabriel question everything he assumed about his family and his future.   Gabriel should be a strong, sexy, dominant male, but I found him rather dull.

Lizzie is Marie’s classmate in medical school.  She is also Gabriel’s sister which makes her a convenient friend for Marie who needs access to Gabriel to exact her revenge.  Lizzie is not developed much, and the character is used to promote new relationships (Marie and Gabriel for example).

Lawrence is a “Stramos” which is Croslydon’s version of an original vampire.  He has lusted for Marie for centuries.  He vacillates between wanting to take care of Marie and wanting to destroy her (as in, “if I can’t have you no one can”).  He doesn’t have a lot of follow through when his indignation leads him to threaten Marie and the people she loves.

Nathaniel MacLeod is the patriarch of Clan MacLeod and the chief vampire hunter.  He ruthlessly leads his clansmen to rid the world of vampires.  He is a brusque, commanding man who sees the world in black and white; to him, there are no shades of grey.

I found the plot to be rather slow.  There is a great deal of story set up as Marie tells the reader her history and why she wants revenge against Clan Macleod, the famed vampire hunters.  There is also a great deal of the story devoted to Marie planning how she will execute her revenge.  I was hoping for stealth, cunning and a building sense of dread as Marie executed her plan. However, when the action does start to take off, the storyline seems to take a detour.  Marie becomes weak and unfocused, a victim of Lawrence’s games; she is just another simpering girl in love with Gabriel MacLeod.   In some instances, one might call this a twist or a turn, but the divergence from Marie’s lifelong goal felt more like the author didn’t have an overall plan for the story.  Potential conflicts were resolved too easily, and the resolution did not always feel plausible.  Lawrence, one of the antagonists, could have been a stellar, evil foe, but his centuries-long love sickness for Marie leads him to cave when his ultimatums are not met.  Life-long beliefs held by Gabriel and Lizzie about vampires are suddenly non-issues as they fall in love with or are enthralled by Marie and Lawrence respectively.

Sin and Sorrow ends with some closure and happiness for Gabriel and Marie, and Lizzie and Lawrence are left at large.  I imagine that Croslydon plans to revisit their story in a future book.  Overall, Sin and Sorrow was an okay read (2- 2.5 stars); the premise has a lot of unrealized potential.  I didn’t hate Sins and Sorrow, but I couldn’t get excited about the lackluster characters and soft, meandering plot.

Goodreads

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