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In Hiro’s world, youkai are a supernatural story used to scare children into obedience, and to keep men out of back alleys and brothels. Until Sakurai Hideyoshi walks through his door with a fantastical tale of a samurai who had killed a thousand men and drank the blood of his enemies, a man that lived in darkness but sought beauty to keep it at bay.

A story both terrifying and romantic…and completely ridiculous.

Unless it is true.

Convinced something softer lurks behind Hideyoshi’s hard mask, Hiro follows him home. And discovers the story is real.
Only instead of the blood of his enemies, it is innocent blood taken.

Hideyoshi tells him never to return. Yet after Hiro’s mother is mortally wounded, Hiro runs back to the one being he knows with the power to save her. When Hideyoshi can’t, Hiro begs him for the next best thing: the power to avenge her.

As Hiro becomes youkai, he faces a new threat, something darker, older, and far more dangerous. With Hideyoshi at his side, Hiro must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice--and what he’s willing to do--to protect this new life before he loses everything for a second time.

250 pages, Paperback

First published May 4, 2021

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Courtney Maguire

6 books42 followers

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Turner.
Author 10 books324 followers
June 21, 2021
Courtney Maguire delivers another winner with Blood Pact, the stunning follow-up to Bloodlaced in the Youkai Bloodlines series. Blood Pact is the perfect blend of fantasy, historical fiction, and romance, with its lush settings, supernatural lore, and fascinating characters. Every piece of the story is so evocative and emotional, one of those books that just breathes with life. Hiro and Hideyoshi are both unforgettable, their story at turns sad and heartfelt. It's such a treat to get lost in Courtney Maguire's worlds, and I can't wait to see what she weaves next.
Profile Image for Merissa (Archaeolibrarian).
3,480 reviews97 followers
May 7, 2021
BLOOD PACT is the second book in the Youkai Bloodlines series, and we start off with Hiro. He is a geisha, taken in from the street, and now a man of renown because of his voice. When a local thug takes offense at Hiro entertaining a samurai, Hiro's world is torn apart.

This isn't a romance story, per se. It is diving into the world of the mythological, fantastical, horrible. Hide would do anything for Hiro, apart from show it! And Hiro has enough heart for both of them. Even Asagi recognises that. Yes, they are in here too, but I don't think life has treated them kindly since last we met. I do so want a HEA for them, back with their maker.

Although this is book two, as Hiro puts it, this is only the beginning. I love where the story is going, plus the character development and supporting cast. You end up with more questions than answers, and it's just perfect for this series. This book is long enough to sink your teeth into (!), and is perfectly paced, giving you action and then a time of rest. Diving into cultural mythology is a bonus for me.

A fantastic addition to the series and absolutely recommended by me. I can't wait to see what happens next.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Profile Image for Dena Akbar.
563 reviews66 followers
March 29, 2021
It is a really good book and it is really interesting.
Profile Image for E.M. Hamill.
Author 9 books88 followers
June 21, 2021
4.5 stars!
I read Bloodlaced last year and it was one of those surprise delights you come across that knock your socks off. I really loved it, so I was hoping I’d get a chance to read the second Youkai Bloodlines novel. I enjoyed Blood Pact as well! It helps to be familiar with the world, but this story stands on its own.
Hiro is geisha, an entertainer by trade, with a singing voice that enchants his patrons. His fame draws the attention of a samurai, famed swordsman Sakurai Hideyoshi. There are undeniable sparks between the two but geisha are not prostitutes, and it is forbidden for Hiro to sleep with his guests. But he soon discovers there is more to this handsome, powerful samurai than meets the eye: the besotted Hiro follows him home one night and discovers Hideyoshi is youkai, a supernatural being who feeds on the blood of the innocent.
However, one of Hiro’s jealous clients takes note of Hiro’s growing infatuation with the samurai and refuses to take no for an answer. Tragedy befalls his household at the brutal hands of the man and grieving Hiro demands from Hideyoshi the means to take his vengeance. Hideyoshi binds their lives together with a blood promise and gives him the curse and gift of being youkai.
Hiro’s entire world changes as he learns what it means to be youkai and meets others like them. His happiness begins to depend upon Hideyoshi’s rare tenderness. As his affection for Hideyoshi grows, a sinister plot creeps in which threatens all the youkai in Edo, and Hiro must act before he loses everything he has come to care for in his new life.
I have to admit that I was confused for the first couple of chapters—it begins very much like Bloodlaced, with gentle courtesans and brutal clients. I almost thought I’d mistakenly opened the first book, but that’s where the similarity ends. It soon became apparent that this is a very different story despite its similar introduction, and I completely enjoyed the ride.
The relationship between Hiro and Hideyoshi is one of balance. Hideyoshi’s tendency to react as a soldier and draw his katana is tempered by Hiro’s cooler head and still-compassionate soul. The two complete each other, and their relationship is sexual but more frequently, comforting.
I was excited to see Asagi from Bloodlaced play an important role in this story, although their life has clearly not been easy and it’s a more jaded, sarcastic individual we meet here. The youkai in Edo have their own society and it’s very cool to see Hiro less isolated than Asagi was in the first book. Hiro and his maker are a different flavor of youkai from Asagi, which is still a little cloudy but becoming clearer as this world grows and we become more familiar with it.
I am definitely looking forward to more in this world should the opportunity arise. The author’s solid anchor in imperial Japan and its supernatural beings make this vampire love story feel fresh and new. Be sure to pick up both Bloodlaced and Blood Pact, because they are both quick reads and totally worth the effort.
Profile Image for Nicki Markus.
Author 63 books264 followers
May 17, 2021
Blood Pact is the second book in the Youkai Bloodlines series; however, in this installment we meet new characters Hiro and Hideyoshi. Hiro was an engaging lead and I got behind him right from the first chapter. I enjoyed seeing the way his relationship with Hideyoshi developed, first while he was human and then again once he'd become youkai too. The story was well paced and it nicely balanced romance and steamy elements with darker themes. The ending left me keen to read on in the series, and I am interested to see where Maguire will take the characters next. For those looking for a fresh take on vampires, Youkai Bloodlines has a lot to offer. This book gets a solid 4 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,470 reviews424 followers
July 8, 2021
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

Blood Pact is the second in the Youkai Bloodlines series. I think Blood Pact can be read as a stand alone, but you’ll appreciate it more if you start with Bloodlaced.

I think in some ways I enjoyed Blood Pact more than its predecessor. The story felt more defined and purpose driven and certainly Hiro was a compelling protagonist. His bond with Hideyoshi doesn’t always seem fully developed, but I think a part of that stems from how many changes both characters go through during the book.

The author doesn’t shy away from the darker side of who and what Hiro and Hide are. They’re monsters and they do monstrous things, but neither of them has completely sacrificed the last of their humanity. That kept them from becoming so alien that I could no longer connect with their struggle to survive.

Read Sue’s review in its entirety here.

Profile Image for Elaine White.
Author 41 books236 followers
September 12, 2021
Copy received through Netgalley


Blood Pact (Youkai Bloodlines, 02) – Courtney Maguire
302 Pages
1st person POV, one character
Content Warning: demons, violence, gore, blood exchange, vampires

Blood Pact is the second book in the Youkai Bloodlines, which promises more books in the future. While I was disappointed in Book 1, Book 2 proved to be all the things I'd hoped for in Book 1 but never got. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Blood Pact makes a BETTER first book in the series.

Not only does this book fully explore the Youkai storyline and mythology, in a way that gives you an insight into what the world entails. There was very little, to no, worldbuilding of this in Book 1, and though Asagi – the main character from Book 1 – makes an appearance here, it's not so important that you would need to read Book 1 to understand their character. In fact, I barely recognised Asagi from the character that I loved, then learned to hate, in Book 1.



Hiro is our protagonist, and he's a geisha in a small okiya, where he plays the role of companion and singer. I had never heard of male geisha before, but I did a quick research and found that it was originally mostly, if not always, men who played the role of drinking companion, tea server and general entertainer at geisha houses. Hiro's role as geisha was nicely explored, in an organic way, that allowed us to learn what a male geisha was and wasn't expected to do in service. He was in no way a slave, as Asagi had been, but an orphan taken in and loved by the owner of the okiya, protected and cared for by the entire family of geisha workers.

At heart, Hiro is a cynic who believes he'll never find love, and he's never really craved it until he meets Sakurai.

Sakurai Hideyoshi is a lone Samurai with intense loyalty to his daimyo (his lord), and is at the end of a journey with his daimyo when he encounters Hiro. Told of a man who could make hearts weep, he travels to the okiya to see Hiro, and it's an instant connection. He stays, and returns, to see Hiro sing. Mysterious, closed-off, and contained, Sakurai is quite similar to how Yutaka began in Book 1. He's a professional soldier, a swordsman, and hides his feelings for Hiro.

As a professional swordsman, Hideyoshi hasn't left room in his life for emotions, but that all changes when he meets Hiro. He has no choice but to feel, even if he forces himself to hide it behind a wall.

Together, these two have off-the-charts chemistry. Something I'd been missing in Book 1. It was raw, intense and instant. From Hideyoshi's eyes, to Hiro's voice, there was always something going on between them. An exchange of electricity. At times, Hiro was the only one to openly express these feelings, but when Hideyoshi finally caved, it was well worth waiting for. He was very much an Alpha male, but with a softer, vulnerable side, and a past that made it hard to let softer feelings show. While this was Hiro's first experience of love, or relationships, he threw himself head-first into his bond with Hideyoshi, basking in the connection. Soaking up every scrap of affection Hideyoshi showed.

When a client gets too possessive of Hiro – the runner of a protection racket holding the daimyo to ransom – Hideyoshi wades in like a silent knight-in-shining-armour to save Hiro. Possessive, protective, and intensely jealous. When Hiro's world falls apart, he relies on Hideyoshi to give him some semblance of structure, home, and love. Unlike Book 1, Hiro begs to be made into Youkai, to enact his revenge. Something I thought should have happened in Book 1.

Here, Hiro is strong enough to see the truth of Hideyoshi – that he's Youkai, a monster, a demon – and not just accept it, but find strength in it. He accepts the terms of being made, accepts that he'll become a monster. And, even when regret comes along, he finds the strength to accept that it was his choice, made for his own reasons, and he can't regret the choice once made.

I utterly loved that Hiro's gift was his voice – both as a human, a geisha, and as a Youkai. The way that was woven into the story was lovely, and kept him true to his character all throughout the novel. He never changed as a character or in personality, but he GREW. Which was a huge difference to how Asagi changed throughout Book 1. Because, here Hiro went from a little helpless to growing into someone who gained freedom, independence, love and strength.
Hiro has all the fire, logic, grudging understanding of his choice and fate, that I wish Asagi had when they'd changed. I think this was partly because of who he was at his core, but also because Hideyoshi was a much clearer teacher. In Book 1, Mahiro tried to teach Asagi, but they were so adamant to maintain a victim they wouldn't allow it. Here, Hiro is eager to learn, willing to do as Hideyoshi instructs, and even when it's hard, he works to become someone who is strong, maintaining a constant loyalty to Hideyoshi.
Hiro is trusting, accepting, and open to anything Hideyoshi wants to teach him. Though he sometimes revels in the life of a Youkai, he also accepts that animals feed/hunt other animals to survive, and that's how he maintains as much of his humanity as he can. He accepts that Youkai are beasts locked within the minds of humans, and that there are certain things necessary evils required to tame the beast.

Though Hiro can be headstrong, Hideyoshi is the perfect counterbalance, personality wise. He's strong, detached, cold and calm at all times. He demands that, if Hiro is going to be Youkai, he'll live the life properly. From the start, he teaches Hiro how to be Youkai – kill, don't leave witnesses, be gentle, don't be cruel, and learn to be strong. He teaches Hiro how to fight as a human, as a Samurai, and gives him the information needed to survive the world of Youkai, humans and Hunters. Not only teaching him the limits and flexibilities of being Youkai, but how to protect himself, how to mentally prepare himself for the inevitable death and resurrection, and how to form a life he wants to return to.

Though the Youkai storyline didn't officially start until 17%, it was MUCH earlier than Book 1, which meant it gave us plenty of time for Hideyoshi to teach Hiro – and the reader – the necessary worldbuilding of what being Youkai meant. This was something I found SERIOUSLY lacking in Book 1, which is why I think this book makes a better foundation story. It tells you everything that I found lacking/missing in Book 1, but which is vital to the series development.

Asagi does make an appearance, at 41%. However, though he appears, there's no timeline to tell us how long it's been since the end of Book 1. There is no mention of Mahiro, Yutaka or anyone else Asagi was supposed to be with. But, Hideyoshi calls Asagi a snake – which was jarring, at first, because it tells us that Asagi has somehow, suddenly become a villain. A vicious, cold, controlling Youkai, who tries to control all Youkai with their ability to provide a name. Just as Mahiro did for Asagi, they've begun using the Arakawa name Mahiro gave them to hold leverage over Youkai.
I had a real problem with Asagi's character, again. I came to hate them, by the end of Book 1, but seeing them here just reinforces that feeling. The old Asagi would never have heard Hiro was a geisha and sneeringly deemed him a whore, so disgusted and dismissive of him. This Asagi is cruel and judgmental, controlling and arrogant. Despite sneering at Hiro, suggesting Hiro wants to become King of Youkai, it comes across that Asagi already thought they held that position, and it's clear in the way they behave. Sadly, their behaviour here reinforces the dislike from Book 1.
What disappointed me was that Asagi keeps all of his food-sources alive, effectively enslaving them to him, emotionally. Despite having been a slave, and being adamant that they're family not slaves, I agree with Hideyoshi, that being compelled and enthralled to provide blood to them, and almost in love with them because of the bond, is as good as slavery. Especially when he (presumably, from his actions in Book 1) includes children in his 'family'. The only good thing about it is that it provides a counterbalance to Hideyoshi's decision to kill all donors/victims.

Thankfully, Hiro and Hideyoshi were shining lights in the book, detracting from the bitter taste Asagi's appearances left. Both Hiro and Hideyoshi make mistakes throughout the novel, but neither are afraid to admit it. They both see the error of their ways, at some point, acknowledge it, and try to correct those mistakes or at least admit they should be better.
No matter what they face, they stick together at all times, strong and supportive. They love fiercely but in an almost subtle way, where it's contained and private. They feed off each other's energy and are a constant support for each other.



There are far less issues with this book than there were with Book 1. I almost felt like the author had noticed the same issues I found, and worked to address them. There was far less modern slang, which meant I could submerge myself in the historical period far easier.

I still found it laborious to keep skipping back and forth between the glossary, when it wasn't clear within the text what the word stood for. There were also instances where a word or phrase appeared in the novel, but appeared different in the glossary, or instances where the Japanese term was instantly followed by the English meaning, which made little sense – e.g. “Shitsureishimasu” appeared in the book as one word, but in the glossary as two. Also, “Kikentai no ichi. Sword, soul, and body are one.” appeared in the novel, when the English words are listed in the glossary as the exact meaning of the Japanese phrase. This felt unnecessary. Either choose to use the glossary, or just use the English terms, if you prefer, but make a choice.

At 60%, there was a small formatting issue, where there were a few empty lines between paragraphs, for no reason I could see. It wasn't a scene change, and it seemed like an accidental addition.

There was a very clear animosity between Hideyoshi and Asagi, but it was never explained why or how that came around. It was hinted that there was a long history between them, perhaps that Asagi may have been his maker, but it was never cleared up, leaving a huge plot hole. Considering there were many plot holes in Book 1, that I hoped would be solved in this book but weren't, it may be another one of those unanswered questions that are never resolved.

I was a bit annoyed there was no timeline. There's nothing to tell us what separates this book from Book 1. Is it 1, 5, 20, or 50 years later? There's no indication, because the only character from Book 1 who makes an appearance is Asagi, who is effectively an immortal Youkai. Despite claiming he'd return to Mahiro, neither he nor Yutaka make an appearance, which doesn't help orientate us in the timeline.

The chemistry here was more akin to the “deep and profound love” that was promised, but never delivered in Book 1. I FELT every moment, from when Sakurai and Hiro first met.
As they begin a relationship, Hiro takes to calling Sakurai by his first name – Hideyoshi – or shortening it to 'Hide'. But, that was often confusing, when reading. Hide and Hiro are so similar – the same size and shape – that it became difficult to separate the mentions, at times.



I'm glad I took the risk of reading Book 2, after being disappointed by Book 1. This is everything that I wanted Book 1 to be, but wasn't. Honestly, if I'd never read Book 1, I don't feel like it would have made any difference. I might even have enjoyed this book more because I wouldn't have come with expectations made by Book 1. Blood Pact actually made for a much stronger first book in the series, giving us all the background, worldbuilding and chemistry that was missing from Book 1.
Here, we're introduced to WHAT the Youkai are, what their limits, advantages are and how many there are. We're shown the history and extent of the Hunters, of what they do, why and what it means for the Youkai. We're also given proper insight into how the Youkai and Hunters interact with each other.

I feel sorry for the people who felt as I did about Book 1, and didn't take the risk of reading this book, because it is far superior in terms of plotting, execution, and consistency. But, honestly, if I hadn't already been approved by Netgalley, even I might not have bothered continuing. Whereas, now, I'm tempted to try Book 3, because Book 2 really proved so much stronger than Book 1. The story had some flaws, as did Book 1, but it also resolved issues that I'd found fault with in that book.

HOWEVER, I want to add a note for the author/publisher, because it annoys me.
I find it frustrating that there are TEN pages of advertising throughout the novel. Twice, for the SAME book. SIX pages of a preview for that book, which is the same one previewed in Book 1. I also find it strange that they're dedicating so much space to an MF story, in an MM book.
It annoys me, because there are things I wanted to see resolved in this book, as well as Book 1, which would have made better use of those sixteen pages. It also left me hopeful, at 93%, that there was more story to come, except when I turned the page it was suddenly finished.


Favourite Quotes

“The world is full of ugly things, Hiro. Sometimes it helps to be in the presence of something beautiful.”

“In those moments, it was as if I knew him. Knew him in a more profound way than he could ever express. I tasted his bitterness, his regret, his deep loneliness. I saw the man behind the hard mask, the one he'd worn for so long it had grown into his skin.”
Profile Image for Sadonna.
2,572 reviews41 followers
May 18, 2021
4.5 stars

This review and much more can be found at Love Bytes Reviews

Hiro is a geisha. He was taken in as a street orphan by the proprietor of the establishment and has grown up as her son in all but blood. He is beautiful and well-trained with a singing voice that many come to hear, from near and far. But when he becomes the prize in a dirty fight between the local thug who collects “protection” money from his mother and the Samurai customer, Hideyoshi, who has captured his heart, things get deadly. And when his mother is threatened, he seeks Yoshi’s help and discovers a terrible secret. Hideyoshi sends him away telling him never to return.

When Hiro’s mother lay dying, he is consumed with guilt and even more so, anger. He returns to Hideyoshi demanding that he help him avenge his mother’s death. Yoshi asks him if he knows what he’s really asking for and Hiro assures him he does and demands to be remade. But when he does avenge his mother, he feels something besides satisfaction. And thus begins his new life with the man who has drawn him in unlike any he’s ever met.

Things are not smooth in Hiro’s new life. He and Hideyoshi face many enemies – almost immediately. They return to Edo, but not without damage. And while they settle into their new life, it becomes clear that they cannot rest, but must be vigilant. And Hiro needs a lot of training as he’s never fought anyone in his life. But Hideyoshi is an experienced teacher and he turns Hiro into a competent fighter. But the danger they face – both from within their ranks and outside – will take everything they have and they will have to face it together as a team.

This series! So intriguing. I was expecting a lot more of Asagi, the main character from the previous book, Bloodlaced. But instead, the MC is Yoshi – a secondary character from that book who has now been turned to youkai and is a powerful samarai. When he meets Hiro, working as a geisha, he feels calm – he enjoys the beauty of Hiro and his singing. But Hiro’s infatuation with the man who seems to relax in his presence becomes his undoing. This push/pull relationship gets both of them into a lot of trouble – repeatedly. I was surprised when Asagi finally entered the picture again – much differently than I would have assumed. The continuing through line of the Hunters made for an interesting dynamic between and among the youkai, Hideyoshi, Hiro and Asagi, as well as the enigmatic Kyo.

This story has romantic elements, but is less a romance than a study of the good and evil and men do and what they are willing to do and sacrifice for the ones they love. I’m hoping there will be more books in this series, because it’s a fascinating world and premise. As I said with the first book, this isn’t normally the kind of book I would read, but I’ve become invested in this world and these characters. Recommended particularly for those who are interested in the Japanese take on these vampires.
Profile Image for Kbsblogging and reviews .
347 reviews15 followers
May 11, 2021
Wow blood pact was a great read. This is the second book to the youkai bloodline series.
I love this author written style.
This is courtney best yet.
Hiro as grown-up. He's not had it easy, devoured this book in one sitting.
Can't wait to read what courtney writes next.
Find out what happens to the main characters then pick up your copy today.
Profile Image for Juniper.
2,272 reviews16 followers
May 5, 2021
4.5 stars

This is an easy book to get caught up in-- it tells a story that is dark, engrossing, and romantic at times, horrifying at others. The world building is painstakingly immersive and the visual descriptions make vivid every last garment fold and drop of blood. There are plenty of monumental themes at play: what does it mean to be a monster? What does love look like when it's not an ideal but instead a reality built by two imperfect people? What's worth fighting and dying (or living) for? The characters are so richly drawn and complex that you'll end up desperately invested in their answers to these questions, and their story, while well begun, has a long way to go yet, so I'm hopeful for a sequel that will expand their new lives and further the overall plot arc, which is still chock full of peril and antagonists.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Worrell.
Author 14 books112 followers
May 4, 2021
Initially sad that my favorite character wasn't present in this one (no spoilers) I quickly fell in love with Hiro and Yoshi. I'm bouncing in my seat over the fact that there are more books to come. Maguire's books are delicious and hard to put down, so I can't wait for the next installment(s).
Profile Image for Maryann Kafka.
616 reviews12 followers
January 21, 2022
“Blood Pact” is a novel that follows Hiro and Hideyoshi and what is for them who live the immortality of a Youkai.

Hiro is a geisha. He lives and entertains in the okiya. He was found as a baby by Okaasan and the okiya is the only home he knows. The okiya was one of the most finest in Shimabara, the Kyoto geisha district. Some of the most beautiful and respected courtesans lived there. Besides Hiros appearance of mixed heritage, he is special when he sings, he mesmerizes man or woman. Unfortunately, his voice attracts Yamaguchi Tojirou.

Yamaguchi Tojirou is head of the local tekiya, claiming to keep the street of Kyoto safe, but they are nothing but thugs, extorting high rents from businesses. One thing Yamaguichi want’s for himself is Hiro.

Late one evening Hiro is requested by a mysterious guest who has just arrived from Edo. The rumors of the samurai warrior, Sakurai Hideyoshi, are very disturbing. Rumors are: he has killed thousands of men, drinks their blood and has traded his soul to a demon for immortality. Hiro still attends to Hideyoshi regardless and sings for him. Hideyoshi immediately feels how special Hiro is. As time goes on they have a special connection. But hatred and jealousy brings tragedy to the okiya and Okaasan.

When Hiro seeks revenge against Yamaguichi, he has nowhere to turn except for Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi gives Hiro a choice. Once the choice is made Hiro struggles at times with being a Youkai.

Even though they retain their humanity, the relationship between Hiro and Hideyoshi is very fragile. HIro needs the love and affection that Hideyoshi continues to bury.

Danger and destruction of the Youkai, begins to grow. Hiro and Hideyoshi will have to be on their guard. Now, there are Hunters and can they trust: Asagi or Kyo?

Courtney Maguire has impressed me with “Youkai Bloodlines” series. “Blood Pact” is book two and it became a page-turner. This is the only time I will mention “vampires” there’s very little similarities. Youkai are a very different breed. The storyline is dark themed, with plenty of fast paced action, danger, suspense and it does get very gory. There’s also those heart-felt romantic moments and the balance and bond that grows between Hiro and Hideyoshi. Because the story is Hiros POV, Hideyoshi is somewhat of a mystery and he became my favorite character. There is more to him and I’m
excited to see what develops.

The story itself is very well-written, with beautiful descriptions of places and sites of Japan. It’s a blend of myth, historical facts and many Japanese terms. My only issue with this book is the “Glossary of Japanese Terms”, it should have been at the front and the first thing to be read, it’s majorly important.
“Blood Bound” is book three in the “Youkai Bloodlines” series by Courtney Maguire and I’m excited to see where it takes Hiro and Hideyoshi!
Profile Image for Lady Readalot.
234 reviews5 followers
January 31, 2022
Mesmerising ancient world read

Blood Pact is the second book in the Youkai Bloodlines series by Courtney Maguire.

In book two we meet Hiro, a Geisha with a renown singing voice. His beauty, voice and musicianship draws many admirers, including the town thug, Yamaguchi, who views Hiro as his own.

One night he sings for a guest, a brooding Samurai, Sakurai Hideyoshi, who instantly takes Hiro’s breath away. Fascinated by the enigmatic Hideyoshi, he hears rumours that he has killed a thousand of his enemies with his katana, and drank their blood. Curious he follows him back home to investigate (stalks him) and indeed to his shock, sees Hideyoshi draining the life from a woman.

When Hiro’s mother is mortally injured by Yamaguchi, he begs Hideyoshi to turn his mother to save her. Hideyoshi refuses, so Hiro asks to be turned so he can avenge his mother. In being turned he becomes connected to Hideyoshi forever.

There is something mesmerising about the world in the Youkai Bloodlines. Ancient Japan with its traditions, and formalities, juxtaposed beauty and happiness against harshness and sadness. Hiro is light and love, he views the world through artistic eyes. But as a new threat looms that may take out the Youkai we see him transform into a warrior. I was thrilled to see Asagi make an appearance in this story, again, and found myself wanting to know more about his history with Hideyoshi.

Hideyoshi is the silent stoic type, whose actions speak more than words. His love for Hide is as timeless as their immortality. He is maker, teacher, protector and lover- if you were turned into a vampire, you’d definitely want him in your forever corner.

If you love:
🧛‍♂️Paranormal stories with a historical setting
🏳️‍🌈MM romance
🇯🇵Fascinating culture within the story (Inclusive of Japanese glossary)
💜Soul Mates

Then this story will tick all those boxes for you.

Story - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️its another 5 star hit for me - i may be a little obsessed with this world now after book 2

Smut- 🌶🌶 moderate level

⚠️Violence, sex scene, blood and gore, death
Profile Image for Gabriella Lucia.
28 reviews
May 7, 2021
Maguire gives us an interesting world filled with demons (literal and figurative), revenge, loss, and love but most importantly, characters finding their sense of self despite the hardships of life. Blood Pact brings Hiro and Hideyoshi into the front of a building mystery; a hidden battle between demons and hunters, and the struggle to survive with a seemingly ever growing enemy - an enemy that is of their own making.

What I enjoy about this series is the way in which the transformation into a demon is not idolized or lightened to be fantastical - there is a weight that persists behind every second following that decision, and that weight is continually emphasized.

For fans of manga or graphic novels, Blood Pact reads in a similar way by introducing characters and relationships, and learning individual stories. Eventually building up to her larger overarching storyline, Maguire is showcasing the real start of our journey in Blood Pact.
Profile Image for Melissa Polk.
Author 8 books45 followers
March 23, 2022
I don't even know how to go about reviewing this book. It was so good. No, better than good. Phenomenal.
Courtney Maguire has this way of.. utterly captivating me with her writing. From the beginning, I fell in love with Hiro. He is sunshine and hope and potential. Yes, and naivete and optimism and.. look, he's just the best, okay? And then came Hideyoshi. Gruff, silent, protective Hide. Hiro could have battered himself bloody against Hide's emotional walls, but instead.. he accepted and loved and appreciated Hide for what he was. And Hide reciprocated in the ways he was able to. Their relationship is.. just everything. Watching them together--arguing, touching hands, forgiving--it was the best.
Now, throw into that a complicated conflict that draws them into a mess of violence and diplomacy? So here for it. I can't wait to see what happens. The end of this book has left me very glad I already own book 3. Just saying.
1,651 reviews4 followers
May 18, 2021
A really fascinating read and worth the indulgence.

Hiro's life as a geisha is anything but simple. Once an orphan- he was taken in, trained and given a place to use his widely known singing voice.

His life takes a very dark turn. He's sent away by Hideyoshi after a fight breaks out between his mother and a dangerous customer.
After his mother's death, he seeks help to avenger her from none other than, Hideyoshi. Only things aren't as cut and dry. One killing will never be enough.

Hiro isn't ready to face these choices. Yet the effects are immediate. Hideyoshi and Hiro against an unknown number of enemies.

The power and lust of a vampire- unlike anything he's ever known. All decisions have consequences.

**I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.**
Profile Image for Tali.
41 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2021
Wow blood pact was a great read. This is the second book in the youkai bloodline series.
I love this author written style but feel it can be tweaked a bit but not sure how yet. But still enjoyable to read
Hiro as grown-up. He's not had it easy, devoured this book in one sitting.
Can't wait to read what courtney writes next.
Thanks netgalley and the publishers for the arc
Profile Image for Books  Shelf.
277 reviews20 followers
October 3, 2021
Blood Pact by Courtney Maguire is a dark, captivating story that I couldn't put down. The descriptions impressed me - they were vivid and I could feel for the characters. The characters were very well developed and interesting. I will read other books by this author. I recommend it.
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