by Laurie London
Series: Sweetblood #1
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she's cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her….
Bonded by Blood is the first novel in the Sweetblood, paranormal romance series by author Laurie London. This dark adult-fiction offers romance, mystery, sexy vampires and a struggle between good and evil. London’s tale grabbed me from page one and I enjoyed the ride.
In the Sweetblood series, we have two groups of vampires. There are vampires who live among the humans. They follow society’s rules and drink donor blood. The second group known as the Darkbloods believe in the old ways. Where killing and turning humans is their right. The Agency is a military type vampire unit established to protect the humans and keep the vampires existence a secret. Recently the agency has noticed an increase in activity among the Darkbloods and has sent units to investigate. One of their goals is to protect humans nicknamed “sweetbloods”. These humans have particularly sweet blood, which can make a vampire lose himself. They often end up killing the human and the blood gives them a high. Eventually, the vampire becomes addicted craving more and more sweet blood. The agency notices an increase in the illegal sale of sweet blood and believes the Darkbloods are behind it.
While on a mission, agent Dominic is shot with silver bullets. He manages to hide in a dark cemetery before sunrise. Photographer and biker chick, Mackenzie-Foster Shaw believes she has found the perfect location for a film project. She jumps off her bike and begins taking photos. As she moves through the cemetery she thinks she hears someone moaning, “Help me’. Suddenly she stumbles upon Dominic, half hidden in a pile of leaves. At first, he thinks he will borrow her phone to get help, but then he smells her – a Sweetblood. He tells her to run, but Mackenzie wants to help, she bends down to look at his wounds……………..the next thing she remembers is waking up with a headache in her own bed. Dominic is back at the agency but is concerned for Mackenzie. He wants to make sure the darkbloods can’t find her. He finds himself thinking about her.. a lot. The tale that London tells, unfolds at a dizzying pace and I loved every suspenseful, steamy, intoxicating, minute of it.
London creates characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I really liked Mackenzie, she is grounded, responsible, and talented. She rides a motorcycle, teaches art and works as a scout for films. She can be kick-ass and has a witty sense of humor. A family curse has kept her from getting too close to anyone. There were a few scenes where her behavior had me giggling. Dominic is a tortured soul, who is determined to seek vengeance. He has suffered great loss and despite the tough guy exterior, he is really a romantic at heart. He is protective, loyal, smart and uber sexy. We meet some of the other vampires in the agency and I look forward to reading their stories. London has given them all unique personalities and I was drawn to each of them. The romance between Mackenzie and Dominic was hot and intense. I loved the banter between them, and how Mackenzie goes from fearing him to trusting him with her life. I must warn my more delicate readers, that while this is a mainstream romance it can get pretty steamy.
The tale itself was intense and believable. I love how London gave us Dominic’s back-story and weaved it into the present making the tale more suspenseful. There were scenes that had my heart racing, as I wondered how Dominic and Mackenzie would survive. There is a villain to hate, and a traitor to feel sorry for. London provides details and characters that give this tale endless possibility as a series. I like that while the tale of Good vs. Evil will continue, Dominic and Mackenzie’s tale is complete.
I highly recommend Bonded by Blood to fans of paranormal romance and suspense. Next month I will be reviewing book two of the Sweetblood series, Embraced by Blood. Bonded by Blood and the rest of the books in this series are available in both paper and eBook formats. Laurie London is on my auto-buy list.
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