Hidden and Thicker Than Blood – Shalini Boland

“Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune, she inherits a house, she inherits a cellar full of danger.

Eighteen-year-old Alexandre lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.

For each of them, life is finally starting. Little do they know it is closer to ending. Something lies buried which should have been forgotten. A Pandora’s Box that was meant to stay shut. But Madison and Alexandre have never been any good at following the rules. They are about to find everything they’ve ever desired and everything that could destroy them. 

Falling in love has never been so dangerous.”

I was lucky enough to win an e-copy of both books from a giveaway on Jera’s Jamboree.

This book is set in 1881 and the modern-day, I was very intrigued as to how the two would intertwine and this made me want to read on to find out.

At this point I enjoyed the modern-day parts the most – Maddy and Ben were fresh and real, they had been through a lot in their short lives so I felt really pleased for them when a surprise revelation changes everything.  In 1881 Alexandre and his family are investigating an old legend which takes them to a heart-poundingly scary place deep underground.

I found that this book took a while to fully capture my interest, it felt like I spent a long time waiting for the vampires to make an appearance.  I was about half way through the book before this happened, but when it did it was so worth the wait because this is when it became eerie and chilling.  This is also when I began to see how the two different times would link together.

Something I really enjoyed about this story is how the end of each chapter had its own little cliffhanger, this made it very difficult to stop reading and by the end I couldn’t get enough so I was eager to make a start on the second book.

Aelia lives in 6th century Byzantium. She is sixteen years old and her life is about to change forever. She doesn’t yet know it, but she holds the fate of thousands in her hands and her actions will echo across the centuries.

Fourteen hundred years later the lives of Madison and Alexandre are once again plunged into danger. To save Madison, Alexandre is forced back to a world he thought was dead and buried. But time is running out. 

The chase is on…”

The action started early on in this book and switches between 575 AD and the present day. We discover more about the history of the vampires and the truth behind the cave legends.  The introduction of Aelia was very interesting for me – her story was fascinating and I spent my time trying to figure out how she fitted into the story.  I also noticed similarities between her and Maddy’s characters, they both seemed very strong-willed and courageous.

When Maddy finds herself in trouble it begins a chain of events that threatens the comfortable life they have built for themselves.  I was concerned for Alexandre throughout this because of his protectiveness towards Maddy, I was afraid he would become careless and let his emotions get the better of him.

One of the things I really liked about these books was that I was unable to predict what would happen next, this meant that I experienced many surprises and I found this quite refreshing.  It also made the scary moments even more heart-pounding because I didn’t know how everything would turn out.

After an interesting cliffhanger ending I can definitely see more danger for these characters in the future and I’m very much looking forward to the next instalment to see how, or if, they manage to overcome it.

These are fascinating and unpredictable books with many exciting twists and turns.

To find out more about Shalini Boland visit her blog here.