Series: Sweetblood #2
Author: Laurie London
Publisher: HQN Books
Published: June 21, 2011
My Copy: NetGalley
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.
Going in to this book I was slightly worried that it’d be just more of the same. Laurie London’s vampire world is definitely interesting but it’s hard to keep a Paranormal Romance series fresh. I was pleasantly surprised by Embraced by Blood. I’ll even go as far as to say that I liked this book even more than Bonded by Blood. Alfonso and Lily are such great characters that it’s nearly impossible not to get swept away in their love story. This novel has just the right mix of romance vs action.
Lily and Alfonso’s chemistry as a couple and their charisma as individuals made this book for me. I enjoyed the pace at which these two rekindle their flame. On one side, there’s Lily the scorned lover. On the other, there’s Alfonso who’s trying to protect his beloved by lying to her (yeah, because that usually works out so well). This vamp couple didn’t reunite until halfway through the book. Which in my opinion, was just perfect! It gave them ample amount of time to clear the air and to set the record straight as to who did what and why. Their personalities are also very different. Miss DeGraff is a do-it-by-the-book type of girl while Serrano is the brute, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants type. Needless to say, their views on how to get a job done differ greatly! I knew what the ending for these two would be early on but if the book had finished any other way I think I would have been disappointed. So no harm done there.
Aside from the main romantic plot line there are several other smaller ones that really helped to make this novel into a well-rounded read. There’s the Darkbloods’ newest evil scheme, the hostility between the Serrano brother’s and many other bits and pieces that incorporate characters from the first book. I also liked the way that London brought readers up to speed on the Sweetblood series. It wasn’t overwhelming nor did it consist of regurgitated lines from Bonded by Blood. Well done!
The main villain, Alfonso’s blood assassin, kept the suspense levels on high throughout the novel. I liked the idea that he’s the best of the best, part of an elite group of killers. He’s creepy, conniving and just downright evil. My only complaint is the way in which he was bested. I expected an intense all out brawl between him and Serrano. I was happy that Lily got her two cents in at the end but I could have done with a little more violence.
The first book of this series was good but this one is better! Reading Bonded by Blood before this one is not essential. It’ll provide you with extra background info on some of the side characters but this novel stands well on its own. The romance side will leave you feeling weak in the knees at first but that’s short-lived because Laurie London cranks up the heat in record time. You’ll be feeling things in a few other body parts sooner rather than later! Embraced by Blood is a great addition to the Paranormal Romance genre and this series should be added to your must-read list. I’m eager to hear Jackson’s tale in book three! A smart-ass romance novel? This I have to see!
Amazon / The Book Depository / Read Excerpt
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.
When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.
1 signed copy of Embraced by Blood and 1 set of Sweetblood Trading Cards to one winner.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada
Very thorough and helpful review. I’m glad it’s a stand alone entry to the series as I’ve not yet had the chance to read the first book. Thanks so much for the post.
I’d love to win the signed copy and the beautiful trading cards.
Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
I would love to be entered!
Please enter me! This books sounds fantastic!
This book sounds amazing!
Excellent giveaway! I’ve seen this one around and have been wanting to read it…so maybe I’ll win it!
I want this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com
I loved this book it was even better than Bonded by Blood. would love to win the trading cards.
Wow, the book sounds awesome and would love to win, Thank you for the giveaway.
Sounds great. Please count me in the giveaway.
Count me in!
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com
You know, that cover just does not seem romantic to me. At all. It’s like he’s ready to tear out her throat.
Lupines and Lunatics
This sounds like a good book!
Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!
bacchus76 at myself dot com
hi Carmel! a great and very thorough review. thanks for sharing your thoughts and for hosting the giveaway! count me in! c”,)
This book was great, I loved it and the first one. Wicked awesome giveaway!!
Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction 🙂
Awesome review Carmel!
Totally agree with you and I just gave this the same rating LOL
and we have read exactly the same amount of books this year so far hehe
well, I only add it to my read shelf on GR when I have reviewed it, but Im at 53 in the GR challenge too =P
Great giveaway! Enter please 🙂 🙂
Thanks so much!!
Thanks so much for the giveaway and the helpful review. I LOVE books that have action as well as romance. I’d really like to read Embraced by Blood. Especially since it’s a stand alone book that part of a series! =D
Please enter me in the contest!
This is a great review!!! I really wanna read this book!!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!! 🙂
This book sounds fabulous! Thanks for the giveaway!
Can’t wait to read this book! Please count me in.
marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com
This sounds so good can’t wait to read this one! Thank you so much what a great giveaway! Im a GFC follower/latishajean
This looks fun!
headlessfowl at gmail dot com
Looks like a good book
jennlovesed14 at gmail