Review: Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

Embraced by Blood (Sweetblood, #2)

Embraced by Blood by Laurie London (Sweetblood #2) 
Paranormal Romance
June 21, 2011
Paperback
HQN

Reviewed by Mandi

In this series there are good and bad vampires. The good guys are with The Agency. The bad guys are with The Alliance. There are those who have Sweetblood running through their veins (most are unaware) that the bad Darkbloods thrive upon and the Agency is there to protect the innocents.

We are first introduced to Alfonso in Bonded by Blood, book one in the Sweetblood series. We learn that while he appears to be working with the Alliance, he was really there as a double agent. Although not everyone knows this, especially his brother Dom who has disowned him. But it is more complicated because to keep his cover, he had to take a blood oath, swearing loyalty to the Darkbloods. As part of that ritual, a little bit of his blood is held onto by a keeper, an assassin of sorts who can track him down if there is ever a need. Well, that time is now.

Alfonso fakes his death and is out of the Darkblood control, even cutting off contact with The Agency tracker, Lily. They had quite a love affair going, but once Alfonso left the Darkbloods, he fears that any contact with her will be cause for the assassin who is after him to do her harm. But now the Alliance is kidnapping trackers to use them for their own cruel methods. Although Alfonso and Lily have a huge distance between them, he can’t stand the thought of her being taken by the Alliance so he agrees to help.

I just don’t know how I feel about this book. I liked it, but it was slow and predictable. The kind of book where I read the last page and said – that was an okay book. Nothing to run to tell my friends about, but it was still a story I had an okay time reading. Alfonso has had a hard time with being inducted into the bad Alliance group, and although feeding information to the good guys, mentally he has to deal with the repercussions. He has lost loved ones because of this and is desperate to keep Lily safe, so he has stayed away from her. But he is even more desperate to be her bodyguard when he learns the Darkbloods are taking trackers. Their relationship comes pretty easy in this one. They do have a history – I think it would have been a little more fun if Alfonso had more demons, or more of a darker side that they had to work through before progressing with Lily.

Lily has troubles of her own because her tracker skills are waning. She feels it is the only way she can prove herself to others is by having excellent tracking skills and now they are not working and she doesn’t know why. I feel like this is a big set up in the book, but then nothing ever comes of it. I kept waiting for the big moment where this is addressed, but it never came.

The bad guy, is just mediocre for me too. I wanted him a little more evil. I also don’t fall for the new abilities that sprout up once there is a blood exchange between the hero and heroine. The same thing happened in the first book and it just feels like too easy of a fix when the action gets tough. 

Jackson’s book is next and he has always been the more fun, silly character. I’m not sure if I will read his book. I think I will wait for other reviews before deciding whether to give it a shot.

Rating: C

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