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 surfacea skill 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 sideand discover a powerful craving that threatens to consume them both .
About the Author
Laurie London grew up near Seattle, Washington, and graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Business Administration. After working as a programmer/tester and as an underwriter for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie now writes from her home in the Puget Sound area where she lives with her husband, two children, her faithful dog, and her horse.
Read an Excerpt
When Roxanne Reynolds rounded the corner in her rental car, the last thing she expected to see in the headlights was a half-naked man stumbling on the side of the road.
She slammed on her brakes, pulled the car to the shoulder and fumbled to find the emergency flasher switch. Not only was this section of the Sea to Sky highway a terrible place to stop, but it wasn't exactly somewhere a sane person would be taking a walk, especially after midnight.
With his shirt ripped down the front and one of the sleeves missing, the man held up a hand to shield his face from the glare.
Her first thought was that he'd been involved in a car accident. But when she noticed he wasn't wearing shoes, she nixed that conclusion. Maybe a wild animal had attacked him. Given how remote this area wasthe last town she passed had to be ten miles backit wouldn't be too hard to imagine. She wasn't certain what sorts of predators lived in this part of British Columbia, but surely a bear or a mountain lion would be capable of taking down a full-grown man.
She found the switch and jumped from the car. But when she got her first big whiff of the cool night air, she knew instantly that it wasn't an animal.
Although some would argue that a vampire was an animal.
The sweet smell of the man's blood assaulted her senses, making her gums ache as her fangs prepared to drop. Running toward him, she automatically shut down her body's natural instincts to his very rare and highly addictive bloodtype and the sensation dissipated. Given her work as a scent tracker, she'd followed the trail of many sweetbloods, but unlike most vampires, she could control how they affected her without much difficulty.
The guy stumbled and fell to his knees just as she got to him, his legs clearly unable to support his weight any longer. He must have been running on pure adrenaline.
"Are you okay?" she asked, pulling him back to his feet. "What happened to you?" She'd come all the way from Florida to help out a friend, but this seriously wasn't how she'd expected her stint in the Northwest to begin.
Blood splatters covered what was left of his long-sleeved shirt, scratches crisscrossed his exposed skinincluding his scruffy, somewhat pimply faceand an IV line dangled from a piece of tape on his arm. The fact that he was young, barely out of his teenage years, didn't surprise her. Sweetbloods rarely made it past the age of twenty, thirty at the outside, before a vampire somewhere came across them. The Darkblood Alliance made buckets of money selling vials of Sweet on the vampire black market. With just one taste, even those who had never killed a human before were likely to get carried away. A fact she knew firsthand but wished she didn't.
"They tried to kill me," he choked, leaning heavily on her arm.
She didn't need to ask whoshe had a pretty damn good idea who'd do something like this. "Where were you being held? How far away?"
"I don't know. It feels like I've been running forever." He put his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. "A few kilometers on the other side of the creek.. just past those trees." Without looking, he stabbed a thumb over his shoulder.
Thick, old-growth forest pressed in on them from both sides of the highway. Unaccustomed to trees this tall and roads this twisty, she felt claustrophobic not being able to see long distances around her.
"I'm so dizzy they took a lot of blood." He pressed a fist to his forehead and his body swayed slightly. She held his arm tighter to steady him. "I know this is going to sound crazy but they they were vampires." His gaze darted around wildly as if he expected them to pop out from the woods or drop from the trees.
That didn't surprise her in the slightest. She was half-tempted to track his captors herself, but that would mean the young man would have to stay here by himself. After what he'd just been through, she couldn't in good conscience do that to him, even if his memory would get wiped later.
"Okay, in the car. Let's get you out of here."
Other than the residual smell on the man's clothes, she didn't detect any active Darkblood odor in the immediate vicinity, but that could change in the blink of an eye. Maybe they hadn't discovered their prisoner was gone yet. If they had, they'd have quickly shadow-moved in the darkness, easily following the sweetblood scent, and retrieved him. Best to get out of here now.
"I'm serious," he said forcefully, as if she didn't believe him. His teeth chattered and his hands shook. "They kidnapped m-m-me in Vancouver and brought me up here. They had fangs black eyes even their whites were black."
Darkbloods for sure, then, and not some random rogue who got carried away when he ran into a sweet-blood. A vampire's eyes would turn black over time when they only consumed blood. She put her arm around him, trying to comfort him as she steered him to the car. He was going into shock and he needed medical attention. If only there was a blanket in the car to keep him warm, but all she had were a few light jackets in her suitcase. She took off her hoodie and wrapped it around his shoulders, trying not to think about how insanely cold she was. "What's your name?"
"Well, Mason, I believe you."
His eyes widened. "You you do? You're not just saying that?"
"Nope." And then, because she didn't want to sound patronizing, she added, "I know it's a fact because I've seen this before." She wasn't about to tell him she was a vampire and that she'd rescued lots of sweetbloods, including one an old lover had almost killed. The truth was necessary only up to a point. "Now come on."
Unarmed and most likely outnumbered because Darkbloods worked in pairs, she wasn't eager to confront the enemy if they stepped out of the darkness right now.
She helped Mason into the passenger seat, careful not to touch or focus on the bruises and scratches that ran up and down his arms. It was best to avoid contact with any of his blood, whether she trusted herself or not. "You're going to be just fine. I promise."
The medical staff at region headquarters would see that he was healthy before returning him to his normal life, the memory of his ordeal wiped from his head, and their agents could deal with the Darkblood situation themselves.
A pair of headlights pierced the darkness. Just her luck. They had company. Positioning herself between the young man and the roadway, she tried to block him from view. The last thing she needed was more human witnesses.
A red pickup slowed down and a man with a ball cap stared out at her. When she noticed the circular insignia on the side, her breath caught in her throat.
Cascade Search and Rescue.
Great. What were the chances that they'd simply drive past if they thought someone needed help? And what if they were actually out looking for this guy?
On the drive up here, she vaguely remembered hearing a radio bulletin about two hikers who'd failed to report back to their Whistler hotel, prompting authorities to organize a search. Maybe these guys were headed up there.
She smiled and gave a cheery wave to signify everything was okay. Manipulating the memory of one human who'd had an encounter with vampires was one thing, but multiple humans? Not only was she not skilled enough to perform a group mind wipe, but given that she hadn't taken any blood in days, most likely she didn't have the energy needed to perform one.
"Thank God, the authorities," Mason said. "Someone needs to go after those monsters who tried to kill me before they do this to someone else."
"I agree." The authorities, yes, but not the human variety.
Darkbloods often brought human prey back to their dens, where they drained their blood and disposed of the bodies. Given the IV line, that clearly was what they'd been doing to Mason. He was lucky to have gotten out of there, especially considering he was a sweetblood. But it was odd they'd locate their den in this remote area and in the same vicinity as the region office. This wasn't exactly a good place for an illegal blood siphoning operation and it was far from their clientele, who tended to stick close to larger cities where there were more humans to feed from.
Also, Darkbloods in northern areas weren't normally as brash or bold as they were down South. Because ultraviolet light in the Pacific Northwest was low for most of the year, the energy in the human blood supply wasn't as volatile. This in turn led to a less aggressive nature in the small vampire population who fed from them, including Darkbloods.
At least, that's how it worked in theory. She'd never been far north enough to experience it for herself.
Mason's hands couldn't fasten the seat belt, so she snapped it for him. But before she could jog around to the driver's side, she noticed that the red truck had eased off the road in front of them and turned around.
Damn. Her stomach sank like a pair of concrete shoes. They were coming to help.
Whatever happened to humans who didn't want to get involved? The kind of people who could watch a mugging from a balcony and not call the police. The kind who would hide behind a Dumpster, either too scared or too indifferent to come to the aid of a dying man who had helped them. It was just her luck that the truck was not being driven by that kind of person. An image of a similar situation many years ago stirred in her mind, but that one didn't involve humans. Cowardliness and apathy were common traits in both races.
But then she considered the flip side. The problem with being too concerned was that you could get sucked into doing something you hadn't planned, which, ironically, was what had brought her here in the first place.
Her friend and former student, Lily DeGraff, had told her about a pre-wedding trip she was going to take with her fiance and daughtera trip that would have to be postponed because of her work with the Agency, the enforcement arm of the Governing Council.
Alfonso, her future groom, was excited to show them his ancestral home in the Hill Country of Spain as well as reconnect with his sister to invite her to the wedding this summer. Lily had dreaded telling Alfonso they'd need to change their plans.
As she listened to Lily's predicament, Roxy had recalled the last time she'd been in Spain. She'd also gone with a man she loved, but she didn't mention anything about it to Lily at the time. Some memories were best left in the past. No one had known the truth about Ian. Not their coworkers in the Agency, not his friends. Only his mother knew, and Roxy had vowed not to tell another soul. If the truth got out, it would've destroyed his family.
"He's going to be so disappointed," Lily had confided. "He's been looking forward to this trip for a long time. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it up to him."
Though Roxy had never met Lily's region commander before, Tristan Santiago had a reputation for being a hard-ass and totally inflexible. Maybe that was the issue. He wouldn't give Lily the time off. Roxy had worked with men like him, men who enjoyed their authority and weren't afraid to use it. Lily's commander needed to understand that he couldn't keep treating his people this way. Technically, Lily didn't actually work for himshe provided tracking services to his region. He couldn't expect to
"No, it's not that," Lily had said when Roxy voiced her opinion. "Santiago would probably let me go if I asked. I mistakenly scheduled myself to teach a Tracker Academy prep-class and my students are counting on me."
Hearing the unhappiness in her friend's voice, Roxy had thought once more about her own long-ago trip. The beautiful countryside. The gracious people. The food. The vibrant energy.
So she'd offered to teach the class in Lily's place.
Getting involved did have its price, she thought now, and she sure as hell was paying for it. A dog barked inside the red truck as a man climbed out. Must be a canine search and rescue team. Good. She related better to people who liked animals.
She rubbed the onyx pendant around her neck, a habit she had when she needed a little luck. God, it was arctic-cold up here, especially without that thin sweatshirt. When had she last seen her breath fog in front of her face like this? If she had known she'd be outside, she'd have worn something warmer like a heavy parka, ten pairs of wool socks, sheepskin boots, fuzzy mittens
"What seems to be the trouble?" the man called, adjusting his ball cap as he approached. Mr. Search and Rescue wore jeans, cowboy boots and one of those quilted flannel shirts that acted like a coat. Clearly, a local who was used to the weather.
"Just picking up a guy who ran out of gas." She rubbed her bare arms, trying to get warm.
"Out of gas? From what we could see when we drove past, we thought a bear had mauled him. You know, they have a serious black bear problem up here."
"Yes, I've heard that." Not really, but she didn't want him to go into a lengthy explanation about animal/ human interactions. She just wanted to be on her way with as little conversation as possible.
"So, he's okay?"
"Yeah, he's" Something pricked the veil of her awareness and she jerked her head to the left. Something way off in the distance through the trees. A slight breeze ruffled her hair as her tracker senses stretched into the night like an arrow shot from a bow. Although the scents here were much different from those back home, there was no mistaking this stench.
Darkbloods. Two of them. Somewhere deep in the forest.
From the strength of the smell, she estimated they were a mile or two away. If they were shadow-moving, she wouldn't have much time.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Seduced by Blood is the 4th installment of the SweetBlood series and Ms. London did not disappoint. She continues to create this world with swoon-worthy heroes you cannot avoid but to wish they were your own and heroines who have traits you wish you had. The war between the Guardians and the Dark Bloods continues. Innocents with sweet blood kidnapped, tormented and used to feed blood addictions. However, there are pressing issues of the recent attacks on the headquarters and failed missions leading the guardians to think there is a traitor amongst them. Solving this problem will be top priority as they cannot afford lose anyone or have anymore injured colleagues. I like the idea that none of them are perfect and the possibility of conspiracy or a spy amongst them makes it more realistic and believable (Not that they are not real, because they are). J I have waited a long time to hear Tristan Santiago’s story and is every bit of what I expected. Region Commander of the Guardians, Santiago is handsome but a hard-ass, temperamental, grumpy, used to getting his way and way over-bearing. However, what I did not expect was a sweet and tender side, and that is exactly what he was when he was with Roxy. Call it fate but her arrival to the facility was perfect timing. As a retired Guardian and now a professor, Roxanne Reynolds is supposed to cover for Lily DeGraff teaching/training new trackers. Instead, she will go under cover with Santiago to find the traitor posing as lovers. And wow, pretending to be a couple can bring on just the right amount of jealousy, possessiveness and sexual tension that will bring them to their knees, and maybe even love one another. Santiago is ever the domineering male and Roxy definitely is not a push over leading woman. I knew I loved Santiago from the start but I did not expect is to like Roxy. She was a snob in the start but she ended up easy to like. She wasn’t whiney, didn’t play games and she is a kick ass heroine for sure. Oh, their coming together was awesome and I may say, pretty damn hot. The banter between them was funny as heck and they fit perfectly as a couple. Ms. London did a wonderful job pairing them up as she did with the previous books from the series. * ARC provided by Netgalley
Santiago is amazing with his hotheaded ways and loyal dedication to his team. It's about time true love has finally snatched him up. Love the Sweet Blood series, cant wait for the next one
4.25stars L...I...A...R Self involved northwest region commander Tristan Santiago is convinced he knows all there is to know about tracker extraordinaire Roxy Reynolds on loan from the Florida office after a brief glance over an altercation scene. Doesn’t she know he doesn’t need her help? Roxy on the other hand is convinced Santiago is yes another male who can’t accept help from a female and vows to stay as far away from him as possible. Of course things don’t go the way as planned in the final entry of the Sweetblood series. We’ve peeked at Santiago in some of the earlier entries but he doesn’t fare so well in the initial chapters of his own star turn. Once he and Roxy realize that they need to work together to eliminate the threat to the Guardians he becomes the Santiago we have grown to love throughout the series. While not the typical strong woman portrayed in PNR works, Roxy stood out to me because she was atypical her strength seemed to lie in the intangible strengths that are so typically prevalent in women. While a good entry and definitely within the Sweetblood series this one didn’t feel as strong. Though there are no other Sweetbloods on the horizon (for now), this doesn’t feel as if it is the end of the series, it feels more like a middle installment. For those who aren’t familiar with the series, the books can be read out of order – there will be references to the overall relationship arc but you’re given enough information to not spoil your enjoyment of any book or novella in the series.
Thanks to the publisher, Harlequin, and NetGalley for the chance to read this early! This is the fourth book in the Sweetblood series by Laurie London. I haven’t read the others and I felt that although this book could be considered a stand-alone there were a ton of characters with histories I felt detached from – I recommend you read them all…especially of they are as great as this installment. Fueled rage over a shattering betrayal, the Horseshoe Bay Guardians' Region commander, Tristan Santiago has pledged his life to the war against the Darkbloods. He will let nothing stand in his way of discovering the traitor—least of all the beautiful yet mysterious temporary tracker teacher, Roxanne Reynolds, whose sensual presence soothes his tormented memories. The relationship, make that fake relationship, defiantly starts off rough…they can’t seem to tolerate each other. The banter is brutal…yet foreplay. Eventually Roxy finds she is powerless to resist Tristan’s touch, even as she is struggling to discover the truth behind the death of her former lover. And now she must choose: leave Tristan’s region, go back to her –boring- life or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion, infinite pleasures of the flesh but, has made it clear commitment isn’t feasible.
“Seduced by Blood” is just that you are pulled in right away and so seduced that you will not want to put this book down. I absolutely love the stories were opposites attract and they realize later down the road they fell in love right in the beginning. London has an amazing way allowing her characters to grow solo as well as together while they try to figure things out. As well as her use of words to allow the reader feel the emotions of her characters and put themselves into the action. Now, if you want to see how Santiago and Roxy come together and find out who the threat is, then pick up a copy of this book and find someplace to hide because believe me you wont want to be interrupted.
This a really great series if you like vampire novels. But read it in order so you won't get lost. You won't be disappointed. I hope she comes out with another series, and this one never ends.
I LOVE the Sweetblood Series! However, I think the first 2 books were a bit better. I'd say they were a 4&3/4 to 5 star rating. This one, while a great read with in depth characters in my opinion isn't as much of a page turner/dire need to continue up until the end in one sitting. It is still a page turner but, it was just lacking that "grab you & won't let go" fast paced, heart racing what's next of the first 2 books. With that said, I'd still read it again & I think the Sweetblood Series is top notch & rivals even the best PNR series! A definate read for sure if you're into PNR or Vampire Romance in general. Ms. London has created vampires & plots unlike any other author.
I fell in love w Roxy n Santiago. There whirl wind relationship made the story so enjoyable to read. Ms. London is one of the best PNR author. Loved everything she wrote. Highly recommended it. :)
As an experienced tracker and teacher, Roxanne Reynolds is on loan to the Northwest region when her friend and fellow tracker, Lily goes on vacation with her new fiancé. She thought it would be a quick and easy assignment. Just helping out her friend. When several Darkblood operations start going bad and his agents are getting hurt, Tristan Santiago fears that he has a traitor in his organization feeding information to the Darkbloods. He will do anything to uncover the traitor and save his agents, including pretending to be lovers with Roxy Reynolds so that he can bring her to the Regional Conference. Roxy has an ability to know if someone is lying and her laid back personality makes people want to talk to her. Although her laid back attitude makes her the polar opposite of the overbearing and overstressed Santiago, the attraction between the two can’t be ignored and soon there is no longer any need to pretend to be lovers. But when the mission is over, will Santiago be able to convince Roxy to stay with him, or will her heart forever be lost to her dead fiancé? This series just keeps getting better and better. I enjoyed the first few books, getting into the intricacies of this series, and meeting all of the main characters, but I truly enjoyed the dynamics of Tristan Santiago, the Region Chief of the Northwest, a man used to having his every decision obeyed, and Roxanne Reynolds, experienced tracker and teacher, on loan from the Florida office, who didn’t feel the obligated to follow every order from Santiago. He didn’t know how to handle it or her for that matter, and of course, the off-the-chart attraction between the two was incredible. These stories so far involved a vampire/guardian and a human who had to be introduced to the fact that vampires did in fact exist, etc., etc. In this story, both Santiago and Roxy were vampires so we could jump right into things with no setting up the background and then working past the fact my new boyfriend was a vampire drama. The Darkblood leader is cold-hearted and very cunning and the only reason she has not done more damage in the Seattle area is the fact that thankfully her henchmen are idiots. She makes a great Black Queen to Santiago’s White King.
Seduced by Blood is my favorite book in The Sweetblood Series. I loved it! This wonderful story has a great plot with the perfect amount of action and romance. There is so much going on – A Sweetblood is kidnapped, there is a mole within the Guardians and two damaged vampires are thrown together to find the traitor. Tristan and Roxy have to go undercover and pretend to have a relationship. Roxy knows she is attracted to Tristan while he loves/hates how she doesn’t jump at his commands like everyone else does. The chemistry between these two is hot and complex due to the demons from their past. Seduced by Blood is one of those books you don’t want to put down. I know this for a fact, I needed to go to bed but I just had to read one more chapter. I ended up falling asleep with it in my hands!
Seduced by Blood by Laurie London Sweetblood Series Book 4 Tristan Santiago is the region commander of the Guardians in the Pacific Northwest. He is the tough guy that expects to be obeyed the minute he speaks, or maybe even sooner. When things are going wrong in his area it looks like they may have a traitor in the midst. On top of that Roxanne Reynolds just arrived from Florida and something about her has disrupted his line of thought. His guys think he needs to use this Tracker to go undercover with him….as lovers….to find the culprit. Roxy is helping her friend Lily out by filling in for her. Her ulterior motive is to search for the person who killed Ian O’Grady. She don’t like Santiago and isn’t going to put up with him telling her what to do. When he tells her about the undercover operation she sees it as a door to help with her search for the killer. What neither of them expected was that the act could become reality. This is the fourth book in the Sweetbloods series and they are written as stand alone. Being the characters from the previous books are in this one as well it seems it would be best to read them all for the whole picture. There are three books and also Enchanted by the Blood which is book 2.5 and in Vampire for Christmas Anthology. The book is full of action and adventure and it includes glimpses of the other characters along with the main ones. Sweetbloods are humans with a blood so sweet it becomes addictive and the Darkbloods are the vampires who live on human blood alone. *Sexual situations **Received through NetGalley for review
Seduced by Blood is the fourth book in The Sweetblood Series. It follows the stories of Roxy Reynolds who is a teacher for the Tracker Academy in Florida. A close friend of hers and former student, Lilly DeGraff, calls for a favor and she travels to Seattle, Washington to teach for her while she goes on a pre-wedding trip with her fiancé and daughter. Once she arrives at the Guardian Regional Office, a serious attack on Guardian Enforcers brings to light the possibility that there is a traitor in their ranks. Roxy is talked into pretending to be the lover of the extremely handsome, but overbearing Regional Commander, Tristan Santiago. She instantly finds him attractive and can’t seem to keep her distance from him not matter how hard she tries. Tristan Santiago’s reaction to Roxy leaves him breathless. He is hard core, autocratic style of leader who expects those around him to follow and obey his every word. Roxy is just not that kind of lady and stands up to be at every turn. He both loves it and hates it. He is instantly drawn to her finding her attractive and heroic. They work together to solve the mystery of who the traitor is. Their pretend relationship soon turns hot and the sexual tension remains high throughout this book. They both have demons to exorcize from their pasts so that they can heal and move forward. I absolutely loved this book. The romance is so tender between Roxy and Santiago. The love pours out into you as you read this book. There is plenty of action between the Guardians and the Darkbloods. There is loving and humorous banter between the two of them so is so funny I laughed out loud. I love the fact that their weapons have names. Santiago’s blade is called Misery. I couldn’t stop until I had finished it. I just had to know what was going to happen to them. I highly recommend this book and the three others in the series. Laurie London is an extremely talented writer. She is very expressive and it makes reading her books like watching a movie. The story flows so well. I hadn’t even realized it was 1:30 in the morning when I finished it. I couldn’t even go to bed until I could write this review so that I could tell everyone how great this book is. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up. You’ll be enormously pleased that you did.
3 STARS This is the last of four books in the series but the first one I have read. It does feel like a stand alone but I feel that if I had read the other 3 books and see their story line continued would be richer. Thier are a lot of sex scenes in the story. Tristan Santiago the region commander likes everyone to jump when he says jump. But thier is a new tracker in town to teach other trackers and Roxy Reynolds does not jump but walks away from his orders. Roxy has come to teach the class so that Lily the one who was supposed to teach can go on a pre-wedding trip. On the way thier she sees a wounded stranger out in the boondocks so she stops to help and realize he was attacked by dark bloods for all his sweet blood. Before she can help him get away two rangers come and then 2 dark bloods so Roxy unarmed calls for help. Tristan has judged her by her tattooes and just wants her to go away, but ends up needing her help to find the trator who is causing his men to get hurt. Roxy goes undercover as his girl friend and thinks it way to cozy fast. The Head dark blood in that area is a strong smart female who you love to hate. Laurie has strong female characters who are tuff and sexy. Even some of the humans females are brave. The male characters run the gamit some you want to slap and some you want to kiss. If you love books with lots of sex and fighting you will like Seduced by Blood. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. 07/24/2012 PUB Harlequin HarlequinHQN