Review: Tempted by Blood by Laurie London
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Blue spiked hair, leather, piercings in tantalizing places--Jackson Foss is the ultimate bad boy. He's also a Guardian, sworn to protect humanity from the Darkbloods, vampires that have gone rogue and believe that humans should be cattle. Jackson has always followed the path of the Guardians, but lately he feels his edge is slipping. He's consuming more energy, more blood... and just a hairs breath away from becoming the very thing he's been destroying for over a century.
Arianna is just a girl interested in the paranormal, ever since her mother was attacked and killed by moving shadows. She's on the trail of a missing teenagers in the Seattle area, but her search for information is about to get in her a load of trouble. Enter a gorgeous man with a dragon blade to the rescue. Arianna's not sure if she can trust Jackson, but as the two get closer things heat up. The only question left is can they save each other before the enemy in the dark finds her?
Jackson's description above is missing one thing-- muscles. When I picture this guy he's the ultimate bad boy that has a motorcycle, and naturally attracts the attention of every girl in the bar. He definitely lives up to the reputation, but London finishes the fantasy by giving Jackson a deep and tortured side to. He's definitely got demons fueling his inner fire, and is constantly on the edge. At first glance you think what the other Sweetblood characters do, he's only after a good time. When Arianna comes onto the scene everything changes. Suddenly he's caring about a human in ways he's never felt about anyone. She's got him dangling on a string, and Jackson doesn't like it.
Arianna fights the attraction pretty well. She's more focused on her mission to reveal the truth behind the things lurking in the dark, and protecting her family. I love this character because she's incredibly strong and takes actions that go against the typical female reaction. For example the woman sees a vampire and instead of screaming out in horror she whips out a camera phone and starts snapping photos. London's heroine's are typically made of sterner stuff, but Arianna impresses.
Story flow and pacing are beautiful as always and next to London's first Sweetblood novel, Bonded by Blood, Jackson's story is one of my favorites. The villains are always a delight, and there's a good dose of humor in all the right places... in a few words: My Little Pony. If you want to know why the mention of a child's toy made me giggle you'll just have to read. London is just as amazing at painting a realistic environment, extremely detailed and in tune with our current reality. The vampire mythos in her story is equally engaging, and I hope she'll publish a companion book with stories about the history of the Guardians and the Darkbloods someday.
Overall, Tempted by Blood is a great read. It's fast paced and the action is rampant-- in the bedroom and out of it. The characters have personalities and quirks that drive you to them. Plus, if you're a fan of the series then you won't want to miss previous character appearances. Now, I'll patiently anticipate the next book, which honestly can't come fast enough!