Tempted by Blood

Tempted by Blood

by Laurie London

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459222885
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/01/2012
Series: Sweetblood Series , #3
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 542,139
File size: 357 KB

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 she saw the number of vehicles parked in the second driveway on the left, Arianna Wells tensed and almost turned her car around. She hated having an audience for these things. With her eyes forward, she drove past the house, then a dozen others in the neighborhood, and parked the old Cadillac under a streetlight around the corner. Out of habit, she scraped the wheel rims against the curb. Her father had loved this car and was so proud of himself when he gave it to her for her sixteenth birthday. Problem was, she'd been nineteen at the time and he'd mixed up her birthday with one of his many ex-girlfriends. Adding a new scratch when she was frustrated or pissed off always made her feel better. She shoved the transmission into Park and it lurched into a rough idle.

She stretched her arm over the seat and peered out the back windshield. Maybe that wasn't the right place. All the houses had the same mirror-image design, painted one of three colors with identical rows of box hedges lining the walkways. Roads to the left and right led to similar cul-de-sacs. Everything was confusingly similar. It'd be easy to turn down the wrong street and knock on the wrong door.

She pulled the address from the front pocket of her jeans and realized she still needed to change her shoes. She'd gone in to work today for an unscheduled meeting and hadn't thought about tonight until she was already at the office. Hopefully, she had a spare pair of boots in the trunk. If they went to the site of the disappearance, traipsing through wet bushes in flip-flops would really suck. From what she'd learned about getting to the Devil's Backbone, even wearing hiking boots, it wouldn't be easy.

She opened the folded scrap of paper: 4112 Maple Grove Avenue.

Yep, that was the right house. The one with all the cars.

She crumpled the scrap into a ball and threw it on the seat. Thanks to rush-hour traffic in Seattle, it had taken an extra hour to get here and she really didn't want to reschedule. The hems of her jeans were damp from running into the office and she was still chilled. She supposed she could've parked in her company's garage today, thus avoiding the rain and the wet sidewalks, but she didn't have a pass and paying forty bucks for a two-hour meeting was just wrong. She could have asked Carter, one of her coworkers, to hack into their building's property-management company and print her a parking pass, but unlike him she had principles. Although on a day like today, she wished she didn't.

She grabbed her phone, hit Redial, and a young man answered on the first ring.

"Look, Blake," she said, not bothering to hide her irritation. "I told you I don't do this with a bunch of people around."

"Is this Icy Shadows?"

He only knew her by her screen name and Arianna preferred to keep it that way.

"Yes, and don't tell me your mom is hosting her book club."

She heard the low murmur of male voices, a muffled curse, and she was pretty sure someone in the room with Blake said, "Do you see her yet?"

Good thing she'd parked around the corner.

"It's just me and the guys who were with me that night. That's all. I figured you'd want to talk to them, too."

What part of "I want to conduct this interview alone" didn't he understand?

Before agreeing to meet with him, she'd thoroughly checked out Blake's background, as she did with everyone she interviewed in person. He was a seventeen-year-old honor student at Cascadia High School, on the varsity tennis team, vice president of the French club. In a write-up in the local paper about some community service project, his marketing teacher had called him a leader.

Using her internet-sleuthing abilities—some people would call it stalking, but she preferred to call it due diligence—she'd tracked his movements online. She found his social-media pages, followed him to the few blogs he'd read, hers being the only one that didn't involve music, and she'd looked at dozens of pictures and videos. The few times he'd posted on her blog, he'd been respectful and articulate. The guy was who he said he was—a decent kid with a very interesting story that she was dying to hear in person.

But she knew nothing about his friends and she had her rules.

"We'll have to do this another time, then. Goodbye—"

"Wait. Wait. I'm really sorry, but they really want to meet the Icy Shadows from Paranormalish."

I'll bet.

"Sorry. I'm shy." Not really. Although she did hate crowds, she guarded her online identity with the finesse of someone navigating a minefield. Each movement, each next click could be disastrous.

If Xtark Software found out how she spent her free time, that she lied on her employment application about having a blog, she'd lose her job. The game company was anal when it came to its employees' use of social media, requiring everyone to turn over their computer passwords so company security officials could monitor their online activities. They worried about employees sharing too much and other companies stealing their proprietary secrets—as if someone in the graphics department would know anything about software design. But a blog run by any employee was a huge no-no. As far as she was concerned, however, it was no one's business but her own, and she preferred to keep it that way.

And then there was that business with her ex. When he'd found out about her blog, it had turned her life upside down.

She'd learned long ago that people thought her interest in unexplained phenomena was weird…crazy, even. Sitting on a cold metal chair at the Fremont area police precinct as a five-year-old, having no one believe her had taught her that. They'd tried to explain that shadows don't just come alive and kidnap people; a real person took her mother. They'd given her a stuffed animal to hold—Comfy Carl, they called him. She could still picture the bear with crisscrossed threads for eyes that smelled as if it'd spent months in the damp trunk of a patrol car. But she knew what she'd seen and a toy wasn't about to convince her otherwise.

At a young age, Arianna figured out pretty quickly that if she wanted to be taken seriously and keep a roof over her head, she'd better keep her interests to herself. The blog was her way of exploring topics she couldn't discuss out loud.

No, she couldn't risk Blake's friends finding out anything about her. It could show up later online somewhere, making it easier for Xtark to discover what she was doing. Conducting these sorts of things one-on-one lessened the chances of that happening.

"Okay, okay," Blake said. "I'll make them leave."

Arianna paused, her hand on the ignition, still not convinced she wanted to chance it.

"Pleeease?" His voice cracked midstream and he suddenly sounded younger, more vulnerable.

She knew her readers were dying to hear what happened that night at the Devil's Backbone, complete with pictures and videos. Ever since Blake posted that the captain of the football team never came back after visiting the site and a watered-down version hit the news outlets, her blog readers had been pestering her to interview him. Many of them had never seen pictures of the site of the old sanitarium, which had burned to the ground at the turn of the century. Situated on private property, it was rumored to be haunted, and kids snuck in late at night to party there. Blake claimed the missing boy had been with them when they visited the site that night. He'd posted on her blog that he was too scared to go with them, so he waited in the car. All of the kids returned except for one. Sure, they could've been drinking, but given the fact that it happened at the Devil's Backbone it was enough to pique her interest.

"A guy named George from another website has been emailing me, wanting to know what happened, but I'd rather talk to you."

She winced. "George from OSPRA?" That meant he'd been reading her blog.

The Olympic Society for Paranormal Research and Analysis had been relentlessly pursuing her since she started blogging, pressuring her to join their organization of crazies—vampire hunters, ghost hunters and alien-invasion enthusiasts. After she'd repeatedly turned them down and inadvertently scooped them on a few investigations, they got pissed off and someone tried hacking into her website. If it hadn't been for Carter, who beefed up her security settings, they'd have succeeded.

"Yeah, I think so."

Bastards. That was it. "Okay. I'll be there in fifteen minutes. But if even one of those cars is still parked out front, the interview is canceled. For good. Understand?"

Blake lowered his voice. "Is there any way my younger brother can stay? He was one of the guys with us that night, too, and has a totally different story than I do."

Did no one listen anymore? Was the spoken word that hard to understand? She let out an exasperated sigh and picked at a tear in the vinyl upholstery.

Interviewing one of the others who was there would give a good perspective to the article—make it even more compelling. George wouldn't be able to compete with that.

Blake was quiet on the other end of the line, waiting for her answer. She could almost hear his silent plea for help. Then it dawned on her. Maybe he was seeking validation from her so that his friends would know he wasn't making up the story. That all of this wasn't just a twisted joke or the product of an overactive imagination. Clearly, he had experienced something but no one believed him. A familiar pang tugged at her heart. She knew how it felt to witness something that wasn't possible. To be given a stuffed animal and a pat on the head because no one could figure out how to make you feel better.

She recalled the disapproving looks her great-aunt and -uncle had given her as they'd lamented that this preoccupation of hers was too deeply rooted in the satanic. After a few months, they'd given up and sent her to live with a string of foster families.

"Fine. Your brother can stay. But if I come back and get any inkling, any strange or nagging feeling that you lied to me, and your friends aren't gone—"

"I promise," he said hastily. "Just me and my brother."

"Okay. Fifteen minutes."

Before the line went dead, she heard him yelling at his friends to leave.

Customer Reviews

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Tempted by Blood 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
AngelaCarr More than 1 year ago
This review is also posted at Under the Cover Book Blog Laurie London delivered another great installment of the Sweet Blood Series. Ms. London’s world of the Vampire Guardians vs. the Dark Bloods continues and this book is no different from the rest, outright addictive. Jackson Foss has been one of my most anticipated characters. From the first time I met him in Book 1, Bonded by Blood, I knew there was more to him then just a plain brute. I remember him specifically when he helped Dom set up some road signs for Mckenzie and when he was flirting with Lilly in the Gym flexing his muscles. Jackson is a bad boy; this guy is very hot (hence the cover, whom I pictured the whole time reading this book), inked, well endowed and well accessorized.*cough*. Unfortunately, Jackson has gone to a point of reverting (blood addiction) and well, sh*t around him is falling apart. One of the Sweet Bloods he protected has somehow fallen into more danger than usual. Do you remember “Krystal with a K" from the previous book? She is one of the Sweet Bloods Jacks had rescued. I actually expected her to be our heroine. Boy, was I wrong. Arianna Wells is Krystal's cousin and guardian. She is also our hard headed, smart and very independent heroine. I like her. She's a straight shooter. She figures out what she wants and tries very hard to achieve or acquire it. She'a good for Jackson, someone who is not a push-over and will keep our hero in check. They meet in an unfortunate incident as both Arianna and Krystal were being attacked by Dark Bloods. Jackson protects them but his protection would need to go beyond his usual task. Their attraction was strong from the get go. But both had trust issues, not quite a love-hate relationship but hurdles with a "should-I-stay-should-I-go" syndrome. Although it was frustrating, it makes their love scenes super intense and leave you wanting more! And the ending was a tear jerking surprise. My only complain and note that this is a personal opinion; I felt certain parts of the book were a bit wordy and the parts I wanted more of were cut short. Nevertheless, I look forward to the next installment of this series. 
ABookwormsHaven on LibraryThing 30 days ago
I have been looking forward to this book since the first time we met Jackson! He really stood out for me in past novels and I relished the opportunity to be in his head. He is currently struggling with life because he fears her is reverting to the violent ways of his ancestors. He tries to play off his fear by letting others think he is a player, but really he is just getting energies from the women he meets and not much else. He battles control every day and worries that he is on the brink of becoming something truly terrifying.Arianna is a human who lost her mother to vampires at a young age and has never forgotten what happened. She only saw shadows when the attack happened, but she is convinced there is something paranormal connected to the event. She has grown up believing in the paranormal and runs a blog feeding into these beliefs. She is also watching after her cousin, Krystal, who unbeknownst to her is a sweet-blood. Arianna meets Jackson when he comes in to save Krystal from some Darkbloods trying to capture her.Since Jackson is used to women just falling at his feet, I liked that nothing really happened between him and Arianna for a while. Once they do finally get together it is hot, but I liked the slow build between them. I also adored how Jackson was trying so hard to make everything special for her and he did not want Arianna to feel like just another girl. He wanted things to be different with her. It was very sweet.I also loved that we got to see characters from past books come into play here. Laurie wove them into the plot perfectly. Characters we have come to know and love came back as critical influences in the plot not just useless cameos. It was nice to see Laurie use their strengths to move the plot forward and aid Jackson and Arianna in their journey.The threat of Darkblood is always running through the background, but the focus of the story really is on Jackson and Arianna, especially Jackson¿s journey to try and discover who he truly wants to be. I did like the danger that was there though and it did keep the story exciting. There were quite a few revelations about who is behind the Darkblood attacks and what they plan to do next and I will be interested to see that explored in future books.Overall, this is another fantastic addition to this series. I was looking forward to this book for quite some time and it definitely delivered! I loved Jackson and watching him go from a lost soul to someone who had someone who appreciated him for who he was. I am looking forward to the next book with Santiago which is due out later this year!
pollywannabook on LibraryThing 30 days ago
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyWhat I love about the worldbuilding in Laurie London¿s Sweetblood series is how accessible it is. It doesn¿t matter which book you start this series with, you¿ll be able to jump right in. And yet accessible doesn¿t mean ordinary. The vampire mythology is classic with a fresh and modern twist: human blood is like a drug to vampires. Some are more commonplace and less addictive than others. The most rare and highly sought after are called Sweet Bloods. They are basically human heroin x 10. Even the vampire police known as Guardians have fight themselves for control when in the presence of a Sweet Blood. Which of course makes falling in love with one a dangerous game of desire.There¿s a reason vampires are the ultimate paranormal romance heroes. They don¿t just want your body, they want your very life force. Hunger and desire are hopelessly tangled together and the result, at least in the Sweetblood series, is all the more satisfying for the blend. In TEMPTED BY BLOOD, the vampire hero is Jackson, a Guardian who is slowing slipping, his appetites becoming more and more insatiable like the Darkbloods he hunts. To hide his decent into darkness, Jackson has cultivated a reputation among the Guardian a serious manwhore. When he meets Arianna, a human with an obsession for the paranormal stemming from a childhood tragedy, his last thread of self-control snaps.If you¿ve read any of the previous Sweetblood books, you know how hot they are. Well TEMPTED BY BLOOD is scorching by comparison. Jackson is used to hiding his darker desires with sex, but with Arianna, he wants¿and takes¿both. Like I said, hot, hot, hot. While the solid writing and worldbuilding that first drew me to this series are consistently strong, I wasn¿t as taken with the characters and plot this time. Jackson was a suitably tortured character, but Arianna didn¿t come to life for me the way the previous heroines had. And the overall plot didn¿t feel as perilous or even as dangerous this time, I think that¿s due to the fact that I didn¿t build a connection with one of the important characters. That being said, this is still a good read. Imaginative and sensual, the Sweetblood paranormal romance series is one I keep going back to, so I¿m already looking forward to SEDUCED BY BLOOD when it releases in July.Sexual Content:Several graphic sex scenes
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after that it didnt capture my attention anymore, and i'm a huge fan of vamoire romance books!
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moonglitter76 More than 1 year ago
Tempted by blood is the 3rd book in Laurie London's 'Sweetblood' series. I have not read the other books in this series yet but I had no problem with reading this as a stand alone. Jackson is our Hero. He's an agent who feels that he may be reverting back to his darker side. To the way of his ancestors. Reverting back to the old ways would mean drinking from and killing his human hosts instead of taking sips from them and using some of their energies he needs to survive. He can feel himself losing control and he doesn't know how much longer he can hold out. Lately he needs to feed far too often. He hides this from his peers by making it look like he's using his many hosts for sex. He's got quite the reputation ;) Arianna secretly runs a blog called paranormalish. She started this blog to find and relate to others who believe in supernatural things. It's a way for her validate the things she's seen. It's comforting to know that she's not the only one who has experienced things that are not normal. She really cares about her readers and can relate to them and their stories. All Guardians are assigned to protect humans who are considered 'sweetbloods.' Arianna's cousin, Krystal happens to be on Jackson's list. He's saved her before and she reminds him of his little sister. When she is abducted right off the street by Darkbloods in front of Arianna, Jackson is their to save the night. Jackson and Arianna are very much drawn to each other. But each have their own reservations for wanting to hold back. Jackson finds himself feeling emotions that he never thought he'd feel. He becomes very protective and possessive of Arianna. To the point where he can't seem to control his temper in front of others. There is a lot of action, a little mystery and a bit of betrayal as Jackson and Arianna try to keep her cousin safe. They also need to find out who is leading the Darkbloods advances to revert all vampires to the old ways. The trust and romance build up beautifully throughout the book. The sex is passionate and H-O-T!! I will definitely be picking up the rest of the books in this series to read! This book was given to me by NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher for an honest review. Reviewer for WereVampsRomance. werevampsromance(dot)blogspot(dot)com/
rosebud8 More than 1 year ago
Great series! I've read all the books in the series so far. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far my favorite book of the series. The characters are very well developed. Could not put the book down! If you are looking for the perfect story...this is it. It has all the elements of a great paranormal romance. Surprisingly very funny. I can't remember how many times it had me burst out laughing. The love scenes will also not dissapoint you like many other books that just leave you hanging and waiting for more. Just Perfect! Can't wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is excellent. I could not stop reading it. I did not stop till I was finished.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
I love the Sweetblood series by Laurie London, and I have been waiting for London to tell Jackson Foss’ story from when he stole my heart in the first book, Bonded by Blood. Laurie London, who is a fantastic writer, answered all the mystery around Jackson. I always knew Jackson was really a sweetheart of a guy, even if he was the no commitment, playboy type. It just took the right woman, who wouldn't put up with Jackson's bad boy ways. Arianna Wells is haunted by her mother's death. When she was a little girl, she watched her mother die, but no one will believe her about the shadow that killed her mother. She starts a blog called Paranormalish to find her own answers to her mom's death. Arianna's teenage cousin, Krystal, who is living with Arianna, is a sweetblood. When the Darkbloods try to kidnap Krystal, Jackson ends up being the Guardian to protect Krystal, but now the question is, Who's going to protect Jackson's heart from Arianna, the one woman who will bring this fun lovin’ playboy to his knees. I love all the Guardian guys in the Sweetblood series, but Jackson is my favorite. Jackson is the bad boy all women want to tame. Laurie London shows that what I thought about Jackson being a shallow guy, he really is deep and complicated with a boyish heart, who has been hiding a secret. A secret that will destroy his life as a Guardian, and that’s the worst thing that can happen for Jackson. Tempted by Blood is Jackson's story in the Sweetblood series, and London has done her magic again in this novel with the hot, sexy guys of the Guardian Enforcer and the women who will bond with them by blood. I recommend Tempted by Blood as a must read.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
In this installment we learn about Guardian Jackson Foss. Known as a playboy by the team, we learn he is hiding a terrible secret. He has been having intense cravings from his dark side and he worries that he will lose control. These cravings only intensify when he meets spunky, Adrianna Wells. Jackson needs to protect her and her cousin from the Darkbloods. I loved Jackson, despite presenting as a player, he really has a heart of gold and deep seeded fears and feelings that torment him. Arianna awakens things in him he doesn’t understand. The chemistry between them was intense and the way they interacted and surprised each other had me giggling aloud. The storyline is fast paced and the other key characters add depth and believability to the plot. The whole good verse evil concept between these two branches of vampires while not a new concept was fascinating and had a few creative twists. London’s writing draws you quickly into the tale and keeps you till the last page……leaving you wanting more. I want to thank the author for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago