Book Review: Tainted Heart (Mi Corazon Sangrante Book 2) by Melissa Graves

It's been a year since they started dating, but with Brian so busy working as a vampire doctor and part-time researcher and Kyle so busy with school and a newfound social life, their relationship becomes strained. But when anti-vampire activists start putting more effort into their fight against the vampires, more than just Brian and Kyle's relationship could be in danger.

Book Review: Tainted Heart (Mi Corazon Sangrante Book 2) by Melissa Graves | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, lgbt, m/m, vampires
Title: Tainted Heart
Book Number: Book 2 of TBA
Pages: 244
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Once again, Melissa Graves has excelled at writing one of the most realistic relationships I’ve ever read about. As much as I loved the adorable-ness last time, I also loved the struggles this time. In real life, relationships aren’t all fireworks and perfection, and the problems in them aren’t all big drama. Relationship problems are often subtle and insidious, and healthy long-term relationships take a conscious effort—couples have to continually choose each other. So it made me really happy to see all this addressed in the book.

Of course it also made me really tense, worrying about whether Brian and Kyle would continue to choose each other, but that was just another great thing because I like that kind of tension and emotion in books.

Another realistic thing I liked was the vampire integration into human society. I’ve never read a book that delved into the social issues of vampires quite in the way this one did. There was prejudice, protests outside blood clinics, talk of segregation, etc., included in a way that worked side-by-side with the relationship aspect of the story.

And oh my goodness, I talked about this in my review of the first book but I’m going to talk about it again—THE WAY THIS AUTHOR DESCRIBES VAMPIRE BITING IS GLORIOUS. It’s so sexy and intimate and amazing, just how I like it!

Since I also talked about the sex scenes in my last review, I might as well talk about those again too because there were a lot of them, and they were just as sexy, amazingly well-written, and meaningful, but they were also INTENSE. With Brian’s increasing desire for pain and the tumult of their relationship and lives that made them need the release and intimacy more than ever… the biting got especially rough, though still enjoyable for the characters, and I was literally feeling overwhelmed with all the physical and emotional feelings just reading about it.

(But I also kind of really loved that not only was actual safe sex taken care of, they also always made sure they had first aid kits for the bite wounds. It’s just another way the author used the context of vampires to address relevant, real-life topics, like safety and consent.)

The only issue I had was the same one I had last time. There were a lot of scenes that were connected to the overall story but not connected directly to one another, so there were a lot of time skips, which made things feel a little disjointed at times and lacking in urgency. But the scenes themselves were good, and the sense of urgency did pick up near the end.

Overall, this was another great book with lots of amazing vampire-y goodness and a wonderfully realistic relationship!


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  1. Angela @ Simply Angela

    Time skips can be a bit annoying. I read one book and it seemed like every chapter opened x-amount of weeks later. I struggle to feel connected to the book when that happens.

    I love that this book shows the realistic problems of a relationship. It’s not always cupcakes and rainbows, they take work and when an author actually shows that it makes the book feel more realistic.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, time skips create distance between the reader and the characters, but luckily the scenes themselves were still good enough for me to feel for these characters. It’s just that it could’ve been *even better*, I think, you know?

      Exactly! I feel like I never come across books like this in which realistic, subtle problems are shown and the author shows a long-term relationship. Most books just show characters falling in love and then that’s where the story ends, so I loved this.

  2. Lola

    It’s great when an author can write relationships realistically. This reminds me a bit of your discussion posts about how you want to see more different kind of relationships as nto every relation is the same? Sounds like the author managed to do that in this book. And yes I agree that relationships not always have big drama, it sometimes seems be all or nothing in books and those smaller issues can be great to see too and see how the couple deals with them.

    And it sounds interesting how this book deals with vampires getting integrated into society, most books seem to take place before or after that stage and it’s probably fun to see the change in action. I haven’t read a vampire book in a while, but I usually enjoyed the biting scenes if an author chooses to write them.

    And that’s neat the author also focuses on them having safe sex and first aid kits for the bites. I like it when characters have safe and responsible sex and clean up. It’s always a bit icky when that topic isn’t mentioned and you’re wondering if they are having safe sex or not.

    That’s too bad about the jumps and skips, but it sounds like you really enjoyed this book besides that! Great review and I enjoyed reading your thoughts about this book and now I want to pick up a vampire book soon. I still have one vampire book for review I think.

    1. Kristen Burns

      This is kind of timely since I just did that post on relationship, isn’t it? But yeah, I LOVED that the author made the relationship problems so realistic. And I don’t know if I’ve ever read any other books are long-term relationships, books that showed the couple continuing the relationship. It seems all the books I’ve read stopped soon after the characters fell in love and were just in the honeymoon phase.

      The vampire integration was interesting to read about. And biting scenes are like my favorite thing about vampire books, haha, and I love seeing how different authors write them, so it makes me happy when they’re done well.

      Right? Sometimes books just don’t mention anything about safe sex because they think it’s, like, “unsexy,” but that’s ridiculous and bothersome. It actually made me smile to see these character grabbing their first aid kit on the way to the bedroom or whatever and then patching each other up.

      Yeah, it’s not like the time skips ruined the book, I just think it could’ve been even better if they were handled a little better. I don’t know if you ever read M/M, but if you do, you might actually like this series since it’s not to graphic or anything I don’t think.

      1. Lola

        Yes so many books end as soon as they get together or when they are still firmly in love. I would love to see more books deal with the developing of their relationship afterwards. Coincidentally I am currently reading a book that does that, it’s by SJ Pajonas and she often has their character relationships go on longer and show more then just the getting together part. Just one more thing i like about her books.

        I find it unsexy when it isn’t mentioned if they use protection and have safe sex as then I keep thinking about it. I think showing the care to patch up those wounds like these characters do sounds like a great way to show the characters really care about each other.

        I don’t mind reading M/M books, but it just seems I don’t encounter them as often and rarely pick them up. I’ll add the first book in this series to my to-read list as I am pretty sure I will enjoy the relationship part in this book and you make me really curious about it.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Exactly, to both your first and second paragraphs lol. I would also like more books that show the progression of the relationship, and that’s great that SJ Pajonas does that as well. And I so agree that showing how they patch each other up does show how much they care. Not that I would really classify this as BDSM (there was pain, obviously, but that was mostly from the biting), but that’s what seems to be lacking in so many of these so-called BDSM books out there. It shows that even when characters get rough or whatever, it’s still all about safety and respect and consent.

          You’ll have to let me know what you think if you read it!

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    So I’m sorry the time skips were still present. I can see where that’d interrupt the flow of the story. BUT all the other goody-goodness of this story makes up for it, yeah? Kristen, I so want to read this series. I love your description of how Graves incorporates vampires into society and all that they have to deal with in being a part of it. It seems there’d be some parallels in current society and I love it when an author draws those. And I also like that Graves describes how Brian and Kyle work at keeping their relationship strong…or not. That *is* the way relationships work. It *is* work and sometimes there is slacking from one or both parties. So I like that their relationship is so realistic. AND THEN, there’s the biting and the sex. Man. Yes, I seriously want to read this series. Thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, yeah, it was definitely still a great read, even with the time skips. She does do a great job of using the context of vampires to draw parallels, both in society and in relationships, so that was something I found interesting.

      And yes! Lola pointed out that this was kind a timely review since I was just talking about wanting more realistic and a variety of relationships. Their relationship was definitely my favorite part. And of course I loved the biting. I always love the biting 😉 I think you will really like this series!