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.
Seduced by Blood is the fourth book in the Sweetblood series, and it’s the first book I’ve read in this series. In her introduction, Laurie London explains that each book in this series “stands alone.” And she’s right; I got right into this fun (and kind of racy) vampire tale. It took me a few pages to figure out what Sweetbloods are, but I got up to speed quickly. London explains all of the details of her story line while telling this story. I don’t always start a series at the beginning, because I just read what piques my interest when I read a story blurb. That leaves me feeling confused sometimes, but London’s story was easy to get into and run with.
As we all know by now, there are good vampires and evil vampires (you knew this, right?). Santiago and Roxy are the good kind of vampires, but they are both carrying around lots of emotional baggage. When they meet, there’s an instant attraction that neither one wants to deal with; after all, they are both kind of busy, and trying to protect humanity after all. Santiago’s a hard ass because he has to be, not wanting to be the type of vampire/man his father was. And Roxy is still struggling with the death of her fiance, and a mistake she made that…well, I won’t give any more away.
Roxy and Santiago dance around each other at first, then they must pretend to be lovers, and their relationship starts taking twists and turns, increasing the sexual tension between them as things around them get more dangerous. I like the way London keeps the tensions going in this story, as Roxy and Santiago start to trust one another and things heat up between them.
The sex scenes between Santiago and Roxy are fairly explicit. I would not say they are pornographic, but they are very direct and leave little to the imagination, so if this offends you please be warned. Santiago, Roxy, and all of the Guardians are fighting a war with the Darkbloods, and the danger they are all in kept my interest from the first page to the last.
Seduced by Blood is top-notch Harlequin vampire romance; I read it in one day, in between getting laundry and vacuuming done. Contemporary vampire fiction is lots of fun, in my book, because you never quite know what characteristics, what powers, the authors will give their vampires. We’ve come a long way from the days when vampires sucked blood at night and slept in coffins during the day. And London’s vampires have their own human-like characteristics, just like us “normal” folks do (like Santiago not wanting to have his father’s bad traits).
Laurie London lives in my neck of the woods, and I’m delighted she sets her stories in the Pacific Northwest. I’m going to get my hands on all the stories in her Sweetblood series (Bonded by Blood, Hidden by Blood, Embraced by Blood, A Vampire for Christmas, and Tempted by Blood). I’m giving Seduced by Blood 4 stars, a quick, fun and easy read that’s sexually explicit in parts and fun the whole way through.