Title: Embraced by Blood
Author: Laurie London
Series: Sweetblood, #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HQN (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: June 21st, 2011
Source: eARC via 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.
I enjoyed this second book in the Sweetblood series much more than the first book, and I can really see that it’s starting to come into it’s own and improve, so that’s really exciting!
In this book, Alfonso (who is Dom’s brother) ends up needing to partner up with Lily in order to track down a Tracker that’s been kidnapped by the Darkbloods. Alfonso and Lily have a lot of history and while they’re both still very much in love, circumstances as they are Alfonso is trying to stay away from Lily for her own safety. He knows his past is about to come back to haunt (or maybe even kill) him and he doesn’t want Lily to get mixed up in the middle of it. In the meantime, Lily doesn’t understand why Alfonso keeps pushing her away when he appears to still want her.
So this was a lot better than the first book. It’s SO CLOSE to being a four star book for me. I struggled with what to give it. But because I struggled a bit with it, I decided to go with 3.5, but it was a close one!
I think a lot of it has to do with the action in this one. This had a lot more action (not a ton, but way more than the first book). Also, in the first book we didn’t really get into outside character introductions all that much because we were kind of locked up in Dom/Mackenzie’s world and we didn’t get much into the Agency. In this one, we get to meet quite a few new characters and future book potentials. I thought this added a lot more dimension to the book. Jackson, who’s book is next, even received a small POV here and there and that was good to get a glimpse at our next victim! lol
In addition, a few of the things that confused me about the dynamics of the world were explained a bit better in this one:
Primarily how in the world Dom could vapor. In the first book it just sort of happened and seemed thrown in there as an afterthought. But in this book, extra special abilities that some vampires gain due to a blood bond was better explained.
I also really liked both Alfonso and Lily. Being that their relationship has been going on for so long (on-and-off), the chemistry between them made sense and I really loved them as a couple. Alfonso is such a sweet guy and it was tough to watch him beat himself up over his past. But Lily was a really good person for him and I was happy about the big surprise we got regarding their relationship from the past.
Overall, this was a much better book than the first. I think this series is really picking up and I have a good feeling about it. I think Laurie London just needed to come into her own writing style and this world in general and I feel like that’s starting to happen. So I’m excited for the next book and the future books from all the “potentials” we met in this one!