by Laurie London
Series: Sweetblood #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
The second novel in London's dark, sensual vampire paranormal Sweetblood series. 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 the second novel in Laurie London’s Sweetblood series. I first got into this series when Laurie asked me to review the third book in the series and I absolutely loved it. While reading it, I purchased books one and two for my Nook Tablet. Above you will see the links to both of those reviews. London’s books have some key elements that I love in paranormal romances; suspense, an awesome plot and swoon-worthy heroes. All of her books can be read as standalone since each deal with a particular couple. To fully appreciate the fight against the Darkbloods, I recommend reading them in order.
Embraced by Blood picks up sometime after book one ended. The novel focuses on Alfonso Serrano. He was agency tracker, Lily DeGraff’s, informant in the first novel, Bonded by Blood. He is slowly healing from his wounds and has separated himself from his family and Lily. While undercover in the Darkbloods organization he was forced to give a blood oath, and now they know he survived the blast that killed their leader. He is a hunted man, and will not put those he loves at risk. He is laying low and trying to replicate his childhood home on a cliff by the shore. Only when he is working with his hands can he forget all that he has lost. One night while out looking for a light snack, (a little o-positive) he runs across Darkbloods and learns about a computer game and a huge party offering Sweetblood. (This is a rare blood type that is highly addictive) Later, at the hardware store, he runs into the agency’s Regional Commander, Tristan Santiago. Santiago wants him to come back to the agency. They are short-handed with Alfonso’s brother Dom out of the country and the Darkbloods are causing problems. He refuses but advises Santiago about what he has discovered. When Santiago informs him that Lily is back with her daughter, his fears go into overdrive. The Darkbloods are looking for trackers to find Sweetbloods and Lily is the best there is. He begins following her and her trainee partner. When he is satisfied that she is protected, he slinks back to his home, and thoughts of Lily fill his mind. What he doesn’t know is that Lily is having problems tracking and she fears that her days in the agency may be coming to an end. The tale that unfolds is action-packed and kept me captivated.
I love the characters London has created. Alfonso is swoon-worthy, loyal and misunderstood. I found myself rooting for him from page one. Lily is sharp and independent. The thought of losing her skills makes her unsure of herself and her identity. Alfonso’s rejection cut her to the core, and yet she still wants him. Santiago has issues, but never doubts Alfonso. If only Alfonso’s brother could see; that all he has ever wanted is family. The romance is hot and at times quite steamy. London has a knack for creating sizzling love scenes that are mostly implied.
The world-building is fascinating and focus on good vs evil. The Agency is sworn to protect humans and keep vampires hidden from them. The Darkbloods want to rule the world and view humans as nothing more than dinner. The cast of agency hunters and their partners intertwine in each of the novels, and I connected with them. I am excited about whose story will be told next.
I highly recommend Embraced by Blood and all the books in the Sweetblood series to fans of paranormal romance and suspense. All of these books are available in eBook and paper. Laurie London is on my auto-order list.
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