Blood Bound (Unbound Series #1)

Blood Bound (Unbound Series #1)

by Rachel Vincent

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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Overview

By blood, by word, by magic…

Most can't touch the power. But Liv Warren is special—a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

But when her friend's daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can't rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.

And more blood will be spilled before it's over…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778312550
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: An Unbound Novel , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 3.96(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.24(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent loves good chocolate, comfortable jeans, and serial commas. She’s older than she looks and younger than she feels, but is convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. Now absorbed in the dark, tangled loyalties of her UNBOUND world, as well as the travails of a teenage banshee in her SOUL SCREAMERS world, Rachel can be found online at www.rachelvincent.com or urbanfantasy.blogspot.com.

Read an Excerpt

"You sure it's him, Liv?" Booker swiped one hand over his sweaty, stubbly face as we stared at the lit window on the third floor. The apartment building was long and plain, like a cracker box on its side, and the moonless night only smeared the sides of the featureless building into the ambient darkness.

I nodded, shoving both cold–chapped hands into my jacket pockets. It was warm for early March, but still cold for me.

"How sure?"

I closed my eyes and clutched the blood–stiffened swatch of cloth in my right pocket, inhaling deeply through my nose, and the world exploded into a bouquet of scents. Relying on years of training, I sorted through them rapidly, mentally tossing aside those I couldn't use. The metal tang of several huge trash bins. The chemical bite of Booker's cologne. And the pervasive, ambient smells of life east of the river—motor oil, fried food, and sweat.

What was left, with those more obvious smells out of the way, was the trail I'd followed all over town, as much a feel as a true scent, and a virtual match to the blood sample in my pocket.

I am a Tracker. More specifically—and colloquially—I'm a bloodhound. Given a decent, recent sample of your blood, I can find you no matter where you hide. Officially, my range is about eighty miles—on the high end of average. Unofficially…well, let's just say I'm good at what I do. But not too good. Too much Skill will get you noticed. And I know better than to get noticed.

Booker cleared his throat and I opened my eyes to find myself staring up at the lit window again—the only tenant still awake. "Ninety–five percent. It's either him, or a close male relative, and that's the best you're gonna get with a dry blood sample," I said, as water dripped from a gutter somewhere to my left. "Tell Rawlinson I'll send him a bill."

Booker pulled his black ski cap over his ears. "He's not gonna like that,"

"I don't give a shit what he likes." I turned and walked back the way I'd come, listening as my steel–toed work boots echoed in the alley. I was exhausted and pissed off from being woken at two on a Friday morning, yet still pleased for the excuse to charge nearly double my usual rate. Office space in the south fork doesn't come cheap.

"Warren!" a deep voice barked from behind me, and I groaned beneath my breath. I turned slowly to see Adam Rawlinson step out from behind a rusty Dumpster, his dark hair, skin, and expensive wool coat blending into the thick shadows. No telling how long he'd been there. Watching. Listening.

Travelers—shadow–walkers—were notorious for shit like that. They can step into a shadow in their own homes and step out of another shadow across town a split–second later. You never know they're coming until they're already there. It's a convenient Skill—except when it's annoying as hell.

"Hey, Adam. Kinda late for a stroll, isn't it?" Especially considering that his home address was at least two tax brackets above the inner–city grime now clinging to the soles of his dress shoes. "What? You don't trust me?"

Rawlinson scowled, his frown exaggerated by deep shadows. "Ninety–five percent isn't good enough, Liv."

I shrugged, my arms crossed over my dark jacket. "You're not going to get a hundred percent certainty without a better blood sample or his full name to flesh out the scent."

He nodded; I wasn't telling him anything new. "But you'd know for sure if you had a current sample to compare it to, right? Something fresh?"

"I don't get my hands dirty anymore. You know that." I follow the blood scent, and I can Track by name if I have to. But that's where my job ends—no reason for me to be there when the action starts. My life was messy enough without adding blood spatter.

"Booker's here for the takedown. I just need you to get close enough for a positive ID," Rawlinson insisted. "We don't know his name, and we're not going to get a better blood sample. I played hell getting that one out of the evidence room as it is. This is personal, Liv."

Damn it. Booker was working without a partner and Adam Rawlinson had come out to see the show. This one was off the books. "Is this about Alisha?" Raw–linson's daughter had been killed in a carjacking the week before. He'd shown up for work the next day like nothing had happened. Like her death meant nothing to him.

Here was proof to the contrary. I was almost relieved.

His gaze never wavered. "The cops had a near miss, and one of them winged the bastard last night. The sample's from the passenger's seat he bled all over."

I exhaled, watching him closely. "Why do I get the feeling you're not going to turn this asshole in?" Raw–linson's operation had a rock–solid reputation. Official bounty–hunting in cooperation with bail bondsmen and the proper authorities, all on the up–and–up. He would turn in the target, collect a check for freelance services from the city, then pay the rest of his crew. Which used to include me.

But this time…

"Because you're a very smart girl." He started walking toward the building, and I followed reluctantly. "You know, I'd love to have you back on the crew full time."

"That's because your new Tracker couldn't find his own dick in the dark." I hesitated, and the night was quiet, but for our footsteps on cracked asphalt. "You know better than to start shit east of the river without a work order, Adam. What if someone sees you?"

"That's why you're here." He met my gaze, and I had to respect his honesty, even if it pissed me off. "Everyone knows you're working for Ruben Cavazos, so no one will think to report this, if you're with us."

"I work for myself!" And myself had to pay rent on a shitty apartment and a tiny office, repairs on a car saddled with more used parts than Frankenstein's monster, and interest and principle on student loans for a degree I'd never once put to use. "I freelance for Cavazos just like I freelance for you." And everyone knew that black hats paid better than white knights. "Having me with you isn't going to keep your feet cool while you walk through flames, Adam. You need to let the police handle this."

"We both know there's nothing they can do."

But that wasn't true. They could do plenty—but they wouldn't. Not as long as the courts refused to recognize Tracking as a legal form of identification and discovery. The world knew about us—the Skilled had been dragged into the spotlight almost thirty years ago—but the government had yet to officially recognize our existence. We were the biggest open secret in history. We had no rights and no protection under the law, beyond those afforded us as natural–born citizens.

What that meant in legal circles was that no government office could officially hire Binders to draft or seal contracts. Nor could they use evidence gathered via Trackers, like me. Everything involving the dozen or so Skilled abilities had to be unofficial consultations and contract work. And completely off the books.

What that meant in criminal circles was the gradual formation of the single most profitable—and ruthless— black market system in history. Because the government didn't officially recognize our Skills, they couldn't regulate or police them, which left a huge gap at the top of the power pyramid. A gap that had been filled by various Skilled crime syndicates across the world, but most notably—and locally—by rival black market kingpins Jake Tower and Ruben Cavazos, who—together—controlled more than two thirds of the city.

Think of my city like a giant peace sign, divided by the river. Everything east of the river is controlled by Cavazos, everything west of the river by Tower. And on the south side, cradled by the fork in the river, you can live, eat, and breathe without lining the pockets of either organization—but you'll do it at a much higher price, because those in the know who can will pay to avoid picking a side.

"Okay, look. Now that you've found him, you should just watch him until he makes a mistake, then go after him legally. Stick to what you're good at, Adam. Anything else would just be dripping blood into the shark tank."

"Wait for him to make a mistake?" Rawlinson demanded softly, and I nodded, already feeling guilty for the suggestion. "How long will that take, if it even happens? Coming in here once, with you, to take care of business—that's one thing. But if we loiter, just waiting for this bastard to commit another crime… Well, that's just not an option on the east side, is it?" His gaze pled with me, and I resisted the overwhelming urge to stare at the ground. "She was my daughter, Warren," Rawlinson said, and the rare glimpse of his raw pain, made me groan on the inside, even as I spoke the question I shouldn't have asked.

"What do you want me to do? Go in and prick his finger?" My hand clenched around the stiff cloth in my pocket.

"I don't care how you ID him. Just get close enough to tell for sure, and we'll handle the rest."

"That's going to cost you." Sympathizing with his pain didn't change my bottom line—freelancers don't get benefits, and I was currently without healthcare, a dangerous position to be in, considering my line of work.

"Fine. Bill me."

Against my better judgment, I led the way into the dark, quiet building with Rawlinson and Booker at my back. Most of the apartments were empty. Rumor had it the city planned to knock the eyesore down as soon as they managed to relocate the last six tenants—and convince Cavazos to sell the building. They probably had no idea there was a squatter on the third floor.

We crept silently up the stairs, the stiff bit of cloth clutched in my right hand, my fingers rubbing over and over the rough spot. I could feel him, so long as I was touching his blood. I could smell his sweat and taste his fear, both manifestations of the smear of psychic energy people leave behind with every drop of their blood.

For me, it's a little harder, working from only a name, but it can be done. And it's easiest with both a name and fresh blood. But that rarely happens. UnSkilled criminals are much more careful than the unSkilled general population, and in hiding from police forensics labs, they're inadvertently hiding from Trackers.

Even stupid criminals don't want to be found.

The door between the stairwell and the third floor hall was long gone, so we could see the light pouring from the crack beneath his door the moment we stepped onto the landing. The energy signature was stronger here, but no clearer. I was going to have to see the bastard to confirm his ID.

Damn it.

I snuck down the hall silently with Booker and Raw–linson on my heels until we stood in front of the lit apartment. I gestured for them to give me some space, and they stood to either side of the door, backs pressed against the grimy walls, out of sight from the occupant, unless he actually stepped into the hall.

Then I took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

When I'd worked for Rawlinson, I'd done both the Tracking and the takedown, and back then, I would have looked the part—harmless, vapid young woman who needed jumper cables, or a telephone, or a big, strong arm to open a jar of pickles. Anything to get close enough to Taser the target and collect a paycheck.

It's amazing what a few years' experience and the threat of mortal injury with no health insurance can do to change your perspective. Especially with the clock ticking in my ear and the certainty that I had no time to be incapacitated by injury.

Footsteps clomped toward me from inside the apartment and the door squealed open to reveal a tall, thick man with two days' growth on his chin and suspicion shining in his eyes. He was armed—the hand held behind his right thigh was a dead giveaway—probably with the gun that had killed Alisha Rawlinson.

"Hey, sorry to bother you so late, but—" I let my right arm fly, and my fist smashed into his nose.

The target gave a wet gurgle of surprise and pain, and swung his arm up, too stunned to actually aim his pistol as blood poured from his ruined face. I ducked below the gun and smashed his wrist into the door facing as hard as I could. Bone crunched. The target screamed again and his fist opened. The gun thumped to the floor and Booker kicked it down the hall.

I stepped back and let him take over, wiping the target's blood from my face with the tissue Rawlinson offered. "It's him." I handed the tissue back as Booker pounded the target into unconsciousness in the doorway. The rest of this floor was empty, and even if one of the few tenants heard something, they wouldn't come out to investigate. Not on this side of town. Not in the middle of the night.

Not if they had any wish to see daylight.

"Thank you, Liv," Rawlinson said, as Booker dragged the unconscious man into his apartment.

"Don't thank me. Pay me." I peeled off my blood–stained jacket and handed it to him. "And if this doesn't come clean, you owe me one just like it." Then I took off toward the stairwell without looking back, trying to ignore the repetitive thud of fist hitting flesh, echoing in the hall behind me.

On the street again, I exhaled, then glanced back at the building behind me. Silence, except for my own footsteps and the highway traffic two blocks away. True to his word, Rawlinson was keeping things quiet.

I crossed the road in a hurry, digging in my pocket for my keys, but froze when I spotted my car—and the man leaning against the hood. He was built of shadows, untouched by the streetlight on the corner, but I'd know that silhouette anywhere.

"Hey, Liv." Cameron Caballero stood, and the last six years without him suddenly seemed surreal, like I'd dreamed the whole thing, and now I'd finally woken up to the truth. To how my life should have gone.

But then a car engine started, stalled, then restarted in the distance, and my life—the gritty reality—snapped back into place like emotional whiplash, leaving me gasping for breath.

Him showing up like this again wasn't fair. But "fair" had never been less relevant.

"Not tonight, Cam." Mentally steeling myself, I clomped toward him and my car, assuming he'd move when I tried to unlock my door. But instead of sliding out of the way, he stood, inches away now, intentionally invading my personal space. I could step back, but that would be acknowledging that being so close to him still affected me. Or I could stand my ground and make him back down.

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Blood Bound 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought i wouldnt enjoy this book but in fact i lost sleep over this amazing tale! It had me laughing all the way and cursing out loud a truely amazing must read :)
marianne68 More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great plot, good writing and a story that will make you want to read more.
Olivia_B More than 1 year ago
As a big fan of the Shifter series, I was very excited to find that Rachel Vincent had a new series. Blood Bound is a great book, one that is hard to put down. The characters are interesting, the plot is ingenious, and the twists were just right. I think it would have been stronger if the POV hadn't shifted between the two main characters, but it was a good way to reveal the story since everyone was hiding secrets and harboring a decade's worth of back story. I'm certainly going to keep reading this series! 
Book_WhispererJO More than 1 year ago
As a dedicated fan of Vincent other series it was a no question that Blood Bound would be a must read. This debut reminded me a lot of Faith in the Shifters series; with a history of romance between the main characters it is easily to jump right into the story without a lot of detail. As the story progresses readers will learn the ins and outs of the characters while experiencing their powerful and intense journey. Blood Bound is an adult paranormal romance, and in comparison to her shifters series is seems to hold back, so of the intensity that I have come to expect. That being said I must also note the the potential is obvious, and I look for more in Shadow Bound. Unfortunately, I after concluding I discovered that book two is about Kori, rather than Liv and Cam, but after one book under belt I look for the comfort to display in the installments to come.
usagijihen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 stars!Note that this is a review for both books one and two, so it will be posted at both listings.I'd say I'm a casual fan of Vincent's work - I only skimmed the first two books of the "Alphas" series (it didn't hold too much interest for me), but I do really like the "Soul Screamers" series. Then I heard about this one, and decided to pick it up. And I'm really glad I did, because I think I can safely say that this series is some of her best work yet. The intensity and unflinching grittiness that begins in book one ("Blood Bound") continues with no middle book syndrome whatsoever. If you're just getting into the urban fantasy genre, I HIGHLY recommend the "Unbound" trilogy as it stands right now.It feels like Vincent has improved leaps and bounds when it comes to worldbuilding and character construction. The world, though small, blew me away in "Blood Bound" in it's tiny simplicity - there are the Skilled, those who have supernatural abilities that make them very desirable to certain parties, and the unSkilled - normal human beings. There are no shapeshifters or werewolves, and that alone in a paranormal story these days seems to be getting rarer and rarer. There's only the fear of one's blood being spilt - it can bind you to someone and make you do anything they want, whether you're aware of it or not. And then there's one career path - the US government will not acknowledge the Skilled even if they've been out of the collective social closet for over 30 years, so your job path is one of two things - you either freelance it and use your Skill that way, or you join the mob.What's wonderful about this worldbuilding is that there are so few choices and everything is very clearly defined and labeled, severely limiting the characters' behaviors and choices. This is great for putting one's characters under pressure and seeing what comes out of it - and what comes out of it, in both books, is nothing short of a story so good you're willing to lose good-sized chunks of sleep for each book.If you've read some of Vincent's other work, you know that she's really good at killing her darlings in order to really emotionally connect with the audience and have her characters really take wonderful journeys through their individual character arcs. She sets it all up beautifully in "Blood Bound", where both Kori and Cam have no choice but to obey conflicting orders and go through a ridiculous amount of pain in the process in order to accomplish what each person wants. Olivia is a wonderful heroine in the first book, but with "Shadow Bound", Kori has become my favorite for her sheer willpower to survive and protect her sister. The storyline that took up most of book one - that of the accidental BFFs Forever Pact - isn't really up at the forefront in book two. Book two deals with the fallout from the end of book one, which is directly linked to the Pact, though the Pact itself isn't really explicitly discussed. Book two is all Kori, and everything she's willing to do to keep going, keep surviving. There is no love triangle, there is only duty - duty to the syndicate that has tortured her, and duty to her family (and to a lesser part, to the teenage pact). Book two has some very triggery material - that of torture and rape - and I'd say that Vincent handled those PTSD flashbacks very appropriately. They weren't graphic, but they were just enough to make you realize how bad things got for Kori, and how much it took for her not to break into millions of pieces. It's hard to handle material like that in any book, and I think Vincent pulled it off very well and then made it loop back into the teenage pact where Olivia and Cam are asked for help, bringing us back full circle into what got everyone into this mess in the first place. It was beautifully outlined and written and everything tied up rather neatly. If this weren't a trilogy, I'd be convinced otherwise that this is the last book in this series. But it's not. And writing a series book t
Readaba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, I can say with absolute certainty that my worries were completely and utterly unfounded. Within the first few pages, I knew that this was the sort of urban fantasy that would sweep me off my feet. And sweep me off my feet it did! As I said, the first chapter told me that this would be the sort of book that I love but it took a couple more chapters until I was so caught up in the action that there was no way to extricate myself until I¿d finished the book.The synopsis is a little misleading. Everything mentioned in it does take place, yes, but the action is really kick-started by the murder of this same friend¿s husband, which precipitates the kidnapping of her child much later on in the story.Anne, the friend, and Liv have a contract along with two other friends that requires them to help in any way they can if it is asked of them. In the context of the novel, should they refuse to help their body will start to systematically shut down until the heart stops beating. Certainly far from a comfortable way to die.As Anne specifically asks Liv for help, there¿s not much Liv can do other than accept. When Anne expands this request that she work with Cam ¿ the man she¿s been avoiding due to a foretelling that they will kill each other ¿ Liv is catapulted into a world of syndicate secrets that she¿d done her very best to steer clear of all these years.I¿m not entirely sure that I bought the relationship between Liv and Cam. Obviously the romance was already there so there was no budding relationship. She walked out on him six years ago, though, and six years is a very long time to not move on from a three year relationship. Stukkm their interactions were often intense and leant a very different aspect to the book.The story is written in the first person and follow¿s both Liv and Cam¿s PoVs. I would have liked to have seen Cam¿s reaction to how things played out in the climax but the story stayed in Liv¿s PoV at that point. At first, I transferred this hope to getting this from him in the next book in the series but the sequel is going to follow Kori, another of the four friends contracted to help each other. Then again, maybe Kori¿s story will also showcase Cam and Liv a bit just as she featured in theirs. A girl can hope! I¿d say that Cam and Liv¿s story is far from over, though, so maybe things will come back to them in a future book. I certainly hope so.Occasionally, the characters were somewhat slow on the uptake. Not too-stupid-to-live slow, but slow nonetheless. I¿d find that I had pegged the next reveal as obvious but Liv or Cam (or both) would continue to blunder about in blissful ignorance until the obvious really would not be ignored anymore. When I see things like this, it makes me wonder whether I¿m sometimes just as slow when faced with the facts. I¿d guess that I probably am but it can still be frustrating in novels when the characters are blind to what¿s staring them right in the face. As I said, at least the characters weren¿t stupid ¿ just a bit slow at putting two and two together.The world that Rachel Vincent has dreamt up here is fascinating. There¿s no specific era or setting (other than it being in the US) but I¿m tempted to imagine it being in the near future somewhere near the East Coast. I don¿t know why, that¿s just where I situated it in my head.In this reality, certain people have what are called Skills and these Skills have led to the rise of two crimes bosses in ¿the City¿. It was very mafia-esque in this dog-eat-dog world where allegiances collide quite spectacularly at times. I love the idea that a tattoo on your arm could bind you so tightly to a syndicate that any attempt to go against your boss¿s orders would result in your body killing itself. Certainly a very bleak image of life though I have no doubts that this is what organised crime would become in such a world.I really enjoyed my foray into Liv¿s life and I hope that the series will return there in a future book. As it is, I¿m looking for
BookWhisperer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a dedicated fan of Vincent other series it was a no question that Blood Bound would be a must read. This debut reminded me a lot of Faith in the Shifters series; with a history of romance between the main characters it is easily to jump right into the story without a lot of detail. As the story progresses readers will learn the ins and outs of the characters while experiencing their powerful and intense journey. Blood Bound is an adult paranormal romance, and in comparison to her shifters series is seems to hold back, so of the intensity that I have come to expect. That being said I must also note the the potential is obvious, and I look for more in Shadow Bound. Unfortunately, I after concluding I discovered that book two is about Kori, rather than Liv and Cam, but after one book under belt I look for the comfort to display in the installments to come.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Rachel Vincent's Werecat series, although I found it frustrating at times. I also enjoy her YA "Soul Screamers" series. So I was excited to know she was releasing a new adult series starting with "Blood Bound". The world is unique and has rules unlike any I've read before so Vincent certainly gets points for her creativity. The basic story is about Liv who can track people through blood samples. She is forced to help find an old friend's child because of a pact they made with some other friends when they were children. Unfortunately in this world people have special 'skills' and one of their group was a Binder. This physical made a child's promise and unbreakable oath. Liv has to work with her ex-boyfriend Cam to find the child. Cam has a skill also. He can track and find people by their name. There is a reason why the two broke up years before and one of the mysteries readers start off trying to solve is finding out what happened out of the blue to make Liv leave Cam the night he was planning to propose to her. This world is very inventive in its set up. Besides having groups of people who have these skills, or special powers, the city is also divided into three areas. One is run by Ruben Cavazos and another by Jake Tower. A very small third area is mostly neutral. Ruben and Jake are like mafia bosses, controlling trade and underground activities. Both are dirty as they come. To survive in this world, most people have to side with one of the men or the other. There is much hostility between the two factions. This creates a very unstable, unique world for our characters. There are a tons of rules Cam and Liv have to play by. While this makes things pretty darn interesting it also was confusing to me as the reader for awhile as I came to terms with the logistics at play. As intriguing as all the action was, and there WAS a lot of action, the inter-play between the characters was what really had me invested in the novel. I don't think any of the characters were good or bad. The characters are all shades of gray. That actually served to make them feel real. The book reads very quickly and I actually NEEDED to find out how things ended up being resolved. Unfortunately the book ends with one heck of a cliffhanger. I think Rachel Vincent's writing has definitely tightened up over the last several years and she has always been excellent with building memorable characters. I recommend this book to urban fantasy lovers but I do caution them to hang on for a rough beginning as Vincent sets up the rules of the world. This wasn't the best book I have ever read but it was very good and I am determined to read the next one.
BreeReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More at theawesomemagicattic.blogspot.com, a YA Book Blog""I love you," he whispered and my heart ached like it would break in half. "You think we'll die if we stay together, but I've been dying slowly for the last six years. I'm taking my life back, Liv. Our life together. And this time, I'm not going to let you go.""I'm a HUGE fan the author's YA series, Soul Screamers, and now, her Adult novel, Blood Bound, as well.I think I read this book at least twice before sitting down to write the review. It wasn't that bad. It was that good. Blood Bound has everything: Drama (lots of it), action, suspense, humor, and steamy romance (lots of that, too).Told from two different POV's, the author explains a little more about the past, present, and future in each chapter. The characters really had some depth to them. There weren't any shallow characters in this book. There weren't really any 'bad guys' in this book either. Most of them were in-between, on borderline between 'good' and 'bad.' I found myself rooting for Cam, Liz, and their friends, and enjoying every page of it, starting from page one. The pages were filled with action, and there was never a dull moment. Everything from the characters to the plot was exciting. I absolutely loved this book.This book was funny, sad, and romantic. Upon finishing it, I was sad, and frustrated, but at the same time, also happy. I was sad because I wanted the story to keep going, happy because I found another book I really liked, and frustrated because it ended in another cliffhanger. This book is definitely recommended to anyone who reads Adult fiction.
HCross9820 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sir Walter Scott's quote "What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" came to mind when I read Blood Bound. Layers upon layers of lies and oaths bind this story together.In the Unbound world, you are bound by your word. Whether by blood or verbal oath, you are compelled to keep your promises. Going against your word can be hazardous to your health and even deadly. This world is filled with Skilled and un-Skilled humans. Most Skilled humans align themselves with one of two mob-type bosses, sometimes against their better judgment or even against their own will.Liv Warren's life isn't always her own. A school girl promise, has Liv using her Blood Tracking Skills to help a childhood friend against her will. Liv is also forced to team up with he oh-so-sexy x-boyfriend Cam. He¿s the one man she can¿t live without, but has to. She is also secretly bound to a syndicate that basically owns her body and mind.I absolutely loved the dynamic between Liv and Cam. They have a sexual tension that is so electric it jumps off the page. You can feel it in every word shared and even in every casual touch. I enjoyed uncovering their past while reading the story, it make me root for them more and more. Liv is strong both physically, mentally, and emotionally. She¿s willing to give everything for the people she cares about. She isn¿t a victim, like most modern female characters. You can¿t help but fall in love with her character. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, and cannot wait to read more about them in Rachel¿s Unbound upcoming books.In true Rachel Vincent fashion, the ending of Blood Bound left me aching for more. She writes the most dramatic endings, that leave you torn between throwing the book at the wall and selling your first born for an advanced copy of the next book.Rachel has an amazing knack for building unique fictional worlds. In a sea of carbon copy urban fantasy series, Blood Bound is a breath of fresh air. Her writing is both multifaceted and brilliant!Overall, Blood Bound is a dark and seductive thrill ride. I found myself getting pulled in the Rachel¿s Unbound world, and not wanting to leave. I enjoyed untangling the web that is Blood Bound! MY RATING:Plot: 5/5Setting: 5/5Writing: 4.5/5Originality of Plot: 5/5Characters Development: 4.5/5Ending: 4.5/5Cover Art: 4.5/5Likelihood to Recommend: 5/5Overall: 38/40 = 95%
pollywannabook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*NEW* Will you work for books? We are looking to add a blogger to ATUF. Fill out the applicationCheck out August's Hot Off The Press post with 82 new titles with covers, descriptions, & pre-order linksAll the Deadly Destinations prizes have been claimed Aug 15, 2011 Early 5bat! Review: Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent6:31 AM | by Abigail | | Edit Post*This title will be released on August 23, 2011*Title: Blood Bound Author: Rachel Vincent Series: Unbound #1 Cover Art: N/A Genre: Urban Fantasy Excerpt: Yes Source: Publisher Reviewed by: AbigailMass Market Paperback: 400 pagesPublisher: Mira (August 23, 2011)ISBN-10: 0778312550ISBN-13: 978-0778312550Sexual Content:Kissing. References to rape. References to sex slavery. Sexual assault. A couple sex scenes Rating:Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyI can¿t remember the last time I got this excited over an urban fantasy debut. I already knew that Rachel Vincent was a paranormal master thanks to her increasingly good paranormal YA Soul Screamers series and adept at injecting just the right amount of romance into urban fantasy in her Shifters series, but her new Unbound trilogy, which begins with BLOOD BOUND, promised a much darker, much grittier story that breaks way outside the box. And having now read it, she may have just set a new standard for the genre.Comprehensive and inventive worldbuilding, strong yet flawed characters, surprising and fast paced plot, and a dash of romance are what I always hope for in urban fantasy. BLOOD BOUND gave me all that and more. The worldbuilding is staggeringly good. After thirty years, the world¿s worst keep secret is that there are certain individuals who posses Skills. These can range from Trackers (those who can find people with just a name or a smear of blood), Binders (those who can broker magical contracts), Travelers (those who can cover any distance by moving between shadows), and several others. Since the government refuses to acknowledge Skilled individuals, organized crime has made excellent use of them. The details of this world are so finely nuanced and so well thought out that I¿d believe in a heartbeat that Rachel Vincent had been planning this series for decades.The main character is a blood Tracker. She works freelance for one of the nastier crime bosses in her city. Liv has a lot of secrets. Deep ones that have started to eat her soul by the time we meet her. She is sinking further and further in a pit of filth that she willingly entered and with each passing day, it becomes less likely that she¿ll ever get out. The phrase `hitting rock bottom¿ was made for characters like Liv Warren. Liv¿s co-narrator is Cam Cabrillo, the only man she ever loved. Cam is a name Tracker. He¿s been driving himself half mad trying to figure out why Liv left him six years ago. Cam has his own secrets and ties to a rival crime boss, but none of that matters when Liv¿s best friend from high school invokes a magical Binding that Liv can¿t ignore if she wants to live and Cam is the only one who can help her.I stopped counting after the third punch-you-in-the-gut shocker that was revealed in BLOOD BOUND, not because I suddenly saw them coming¿the entire book was one unbelievable yet totally believable scene after another¿but because I realized that I¿d have been better off counting the scenes that didn¿t steal my breath away. The romance is so well paced too. Cam and Liv have a lot resentment and stubbornness between the two of them, as well as secrets that Liv is keeping that are every bit as terrible as you suspect from her behavior, but once revealed, they shed an entirely different light on everything that has happened up until that point. I kept telling myself I¿d only read one more chapter and then I¿d quit for the night. I kept making that same bargain with myself until the very end of the book when suddenly it was light enough outside that I couldn¿t call it night anymore. But I don¿t even care that I¿m tired toda
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blood Bound is the beginning to a very interesting urban fantasy series. Liv Warren lives in a very dangerous world where the city is controlled by two different power houses and their leaders. Liv is a skilled blood tracker who tries to stay on the outside fringes of the city and live in the neutral zone. Unfortunately, her talents have brought her to the attention of both sides of the city, and a friend from childhood brings her in the midst of a heap of trouble. But the trouble really begins when her ex-lover Cam Cabellero shows up....Blood Bound was everything that a good urban fantasy should be. Vincent has created a unique, dangerous world that swept me away within the story. Liv lives in a city that is basically ruled by two "mob like" bosses who both want her skills under their control. These bosses use "binders" (another type of skill that certain individuals have) to bind people with prized skills to them to help keep them under their control. This caused a constant tension throughout the story that had me reading this book as fast as I could. Liv had a skill talent that was stronger than most which had me curious as to how it will play out in future books. And in typical Vincent style, the author kept me off balance as there were many surprising twists and turns that I definitely didn't expect throughout the book. I liked the idea that there were different skills that people could have and I am looking forward to learning more about these skills in future books. The whole world and storyline was such a unique concept. I just loved it! The ending of the book blew me out of the water. It took me by complete surprise and left me wanting more.All in all, this was a great addition to the urban fantasy genre and a great beginning to this series! This book was SO close to landing on my top 10 reads from last year.....and I can't wait to read the second book when it comes out. Highly recommended to fans of urban fantasy.Bottom Line: A must read for urban fantasy fans!Disclosure: I checked this one out at my local library!
HomeLoveBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to this book coming out since the moment Rachel Vincent announced there would be a new series. I'm not sure I knew what to expect or even if I cared what the book was about, all that mattered was Shifters was coming to an end and this new series meant I got to keep reading Rachel Vincent's words. It's funny that I didn't panic a little that the books had nothing to do with the typical supernatural creature, a big departure from the were world Vincent had already created, but I have never not liked anything I have read of Vincent's so I knew it was going to be good, thankfully it was.If I had to pick one thing as Vincent's best writing skill is she is great at world building. She never throws it all at the reader, she gives just enough a little at a time. I never feel confused by whatever world I enter when reading one of her books, and the same was true for this one. The concept was really interesting, everyone is human, but some of those humans are Skilled. It's kind of like magic with a weird twist, only some people have certain skills. Liv and Cam (main characters) being different forms of trackers, blood and names respectively. I don't know if the Skilled people would be nearly as interesting if they didn't live in a city that can only be described as mob controlled times 10. The difference is being in the mob is taken to the extreme because you can be bound to that organization by blood, meaning not fulfilling your contract means death.Talk about intense.Liv is a great lead character, she's broken to an extent but still fighting as hard as she can. She can dish it out and she can take it, as shown numerous times throughout the book. Cam is also broken to extent, losing Liv before the events take place. Them separating ultimately ends up with them being on two different sides of the city and in one way or another bound to a different syndicate. This certainly complicated every aspect of the plot.Liv and Cam come together for the first time in six years in order to do a favor for a mutual friend, a friend that Liv happens to be bound to help. The events that happen all happen very quickly, in the course of maybe a day and half. Books that move that fast almost always make me wonder how the following book is going to be, will it be months into the future, or will the main characters just live an insane month over the course of several books, makes me wonder how Vincent is going to handle the second book. I think one of my favorite things about this book is so many people within the book betray each other in so many different and sometimes terrible ways, and as a reader you want to hate those people and then you have to remind yourself, they did all those terrible things against their will. I have to admit being rather annoyed at some people and then being annoyed that I couldn't really fault any of these people for their actions, because they were compelled to do; especially since most of the characters in the book fought their bonds and found as many loop holes as they possibly could. Although towards the end on the "mob" bosses said something that stuck with me, that while people are just following orders they all entered into their bonds on their own, and everyone was responsible for their actions. As much as know some of the actions were done against their will, they all made the decision to give up their free will, so that has to be considered. I makes for quite a quandary when trying to decide if I like a character.I loved the book, like seriously loved this book, I literally had to resist the urge to read it a second time immediately after I finished reading it in one sitting the first time. I don't know why by Rachel Vincent's writing sucks me in more than any other author I have read. Her books are not just an enjoyable read, but they make me think. No one is ever perfect in any of the world's she creates, and it's those imperfections, both big and small that make me enjoy her characters
Eledri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a word? Wonderful. This book is a wonderful start to a new series. Rachel Vincent could probably write mindless ads and I would somehow be sucked in. I've read both her Shifters series and her YA Soul Screamers series and just like those I couldn't stop reading until I had the answers and I couldn't get them fast enough. That is always a plus when reading one of Vincent's books. It doesn't take long for you to be hooked. I loved the gritty and dark world she's created for these characters. It's a world where names hold true power, promises are binding oaths, and there really can be "monsters" appearing from the shadows. The characters themselves are easily likable. The main characters Liv Warren and Cam Caballero are intriguing. The flipping of viewpoints between the two gives insight to bigger questions that appear in their mutual story. There are so many layers to their lives it is hard not to want to be tangled up in the mayhem of their lives.I find books where I truly like the "villain" to be my favorites. This book is among those. The last few pages sealed that deal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kainshottie More than 1 year ago
It's been  little while since I have read any of Rachel Vincent's books, and I have been sitting on this one for a while. I am so glad that I finally had the chance to read it. It. Is. Amazing. I loved Rachel Vincent's Shifter series and I can say that I am going to be itching to get the rest of this one as well. The story is about Liv and Cam. They are two very special Skilled people. Skilled people are people with a special skill that normal humans do not have, kind of like the movie Push. Both Cam and Liv are called Trackers because they have to ability to find people using either their name or their blood. The range that their skills work vary, but since they are typically hired while the person is still in their range, everything works out. Well Liv and Cam were in love, so much so that Cam thought they would someday be husband and wife. Then one day Liv walks out on him with no explanation at all. The story takes place six years later. Cam has been keeping track of where Liv is and Liv has been trying to survive. The city they both live in is divided into three territories. One ruled by the gangster/criminal Jake Tower. Another ruled by the gangster/criminal Reuben Cavazos. The third is considered free, but you have to pay a lot of money to be able to remain unaffiliated. Liv has gotten herself mixed up with the Cavazos side of town, trying not to become someone she doesn't want to be. When Cam shows up on one of her jobs begging her to visit with an old friend, she knows that this is going to be nothing but bad news. She had no clue how bad it was really going to get.  Read more reviews at Identity Discovery Blog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnitaBlakeFan More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this new book from Rachel Vincent. The new world brings in a group of complex characters in a mafia type setting. Only this is even more difficult to get out of than even the mafia. You are bound by blood and cannot go against orders upon pain of a slow death. I was not a huge fan of the first person dialog from two different questions. I would prefer stories that have more than one point of view to be written in third person. At the beginning of each chapter you had to take a second to figure out who was talking. That is really my only complaint about the book, and it is not a big complaint. I love Rachel Vincent's work. Someone else wrote that she can do no wrong and I am inclined to agree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love
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