Embraced by Blood by Laurie London
Harlequin (June 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; e-book: $6.99 (on sale for $5.59 at B&N)
Favorite Lines: “She expected his kiss to be more of a peck, but he shoved her against the wall of the stairs and his mouth came down over hers, stealing the breath from her lungs.” (p. 173, e-galley)
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—
Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet—a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires—makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again—until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together… and into an assassin’s snare.
Embraced by Blood is book two in Laura London’s Sweetblood series. It can be read as a stand alone, but characters from Bonded by Blood (book one) make appearances in the story. I recommend you read book one before reading Embraced by Blood because Lily and Alfonso are introduced in that book. Their relationship is touched upon and the rift between Alfonso and his brother is explored from his brother’s perspective.
Lily and Alfonso are both likeable characters. Neither have “Me-In-Charge” issues and neither is too stupid to live (TSTL). There is never any doubt that they want each other and will be great together. The problem is overcoming the past to find a future together. Despite nice characters the book is rather lackluster.
The most memorable part of the book is when the villain is first introduced. I thought he was going to be a major bad ass. Then he turned into a prima donna. It felt out of character for the disturbingly psychotic man who was shown in a menacing tone.
Those of you who dislike unrealistic endings will not be happy with this book. I can’t go into detail without giving major spoilers, but the family issues plaguing Lily and Alfonso are neatly resolved. The story felt contrived, but if you’re jonesing for a paranormal romance featuring vampires it is sufficient.
Overall: Embraced by Blood is an alright story. I don’t have strong positive or negative feelings toward it. It is a predictable addition to the paranormal romance genre.