Title: Seduced by Blood
Author: Laurie London
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 24th, 2012
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two vampire coalitions: Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors…
Hot-blooded and hard-edged, Tristan Santiago has an uncanny ability to see beneath the surface-a power that serves him well as the Guardians’ region commander. But when a deadly plot against his fellow vampires is uncovered, he must turn to the one woman he can’t read: the beautiful yet mysterious Roxanne Reynolds, whose sensual presence soothes his tormented memories. Roxy had put love before duty once before, with devastating results. But to root out a dangerous traitor in their midst, she must put her faith in Santiago, the one man skilled enough to break through her defenses. Posing as lovers, Santiago and Roxy work side by side-and discover a powerful craving that threatens to consume them both…
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: This series is one that I come to love very quickly. The characters have grown on me as the series has progressed and I love the world that Laurie has created! This book focuses on Santiago who is the no-nonsense taking region commander of the Guardians. His men love him, but he is not a warm and fuzzy kind of guy. He curses like a sailor, does not take excuses and always puts the well-being of the guardians above anything else. His is the story I have been waiting for because I knew whoever he ended up with was going to have to stand up to him and I could not wait to see that happen.
The woman who finally brings Santiago to his knees is Roxy Reynolds, a woman who has been burned by love before and keeps herself at a distance from people now because of that past experience. She does not fear Santiago like others do though and does not let his macho exterior fool her. He has had a particular bad tantrum when she walks in a thinks:
“His chest continued to rise and fall, the muscles in his arms bulging, reminding her of a bull in an arena ready to charge. Only she wasn’t scared. She’d always felt sorry for the bulls.”
The banter between the two of them was my favorite element of this book. They have such opposite viewpoints on many things in life which lead to a clash in opinion often. I love how Roxy did not just bend to what Santiago wanted and stood up for herself and what she believed in. Though these two were different in many ways they were a great couple. Roxy remarks:
“Apart, they seemed so different, but together…Well they just worked.”
On paper the two of them seem so wrong for one another, but opposites often attract and that was the case with Santiago and Roxy. When they are forced to pose as a couple is when the real fun between them began.
Laura continues to bring back characters from previous books and weaves them seamlessly into the plot. They are not back just so we can see where they are now, but the updates we get on their life flow into the plot naturally. It is nice to see where all those familiar faces are now and how each of them has progressed in their relationship without it feeling like an information dump. This leads into my point of reading order. Yes, you could read each of these stories as standalone novels, but I would discourage it. Both heroes and villains from previous books appear in this novel and while you could follow the overall plot, some of the side plots might be confusing if you have not read the entire series. Plus they are all really good and worth reading anyways!
As for the villain, Ventra, she is one sick vampire. One of her many hobbies include collecting bones of other vampires and sweetbloods to make into different pieces of art for her home. Yeah, like I said, sick! But as far as villains go she is excellent! She caused quite a few problems for Jackson in the previous book and since many of her plots were foiled she is bitter and seeking revenge. She will literally stop at nothing to get what she wants and no plan is too evil for her. She is easy to hate and I am not sure how Laurie can spend so much time in her head. She describes her so thoroughly and many times when I read what she’d done I would shudder. She continues to be a complex character and fantastic villain in this series.
Overall, Seduced by Blood is another stellar novel by Laurie. She keeps getting better with each book and I am in love with the Guardians. The ending of this book has left quite a few things up in the air and I am especially interested to see how the fate of one particular guardian turns out. I cannot say too much without ruining the story, but I am sure once you read Seduced by Blood you will know exactly who I am talking about. I am anxious to see whose book will be next!
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this book through NetGalley.