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Embraced By Blood (2011)

Embraced by Blood (2011)
4.02 of 5 Votes: 3
0373775865 (ISBN13: 9780373775866)
HQN Books
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Embraced By Blood (2011)
Embraced By Blood (2011)

About book: Setting: Bellingham Bay; Casa en las Colinas (House in the Hills); Theme:Love; protection; self forgiveness; enhanced powers; Characters:Darkblood Alliance vs Governing Council – Darkbloods want to subjugate humans and rule the world, taking blood indiscriminately even to death of human, torture (silver, sun, sweetblood madness) vs Governing Council – to police the vampires, to eliminate the Darkbloods – with use of Guardians and Trackers.Alfonso Serrano – old vampire; wild and rebellious in youth; fell in with the Darkbloods for the freedom of it, not the politics, but pushed into taking the Oath (which comes with a Blood promise – his blood to saturate a cloth, put in a box, and given to a trained tracker/assassin so that if one betrays the Alliance, they and their loved ones will be executed). He did not like what the Alliance was doing, tried to get out… and was tortured, and a sweetblood human he cared for was brought to him when the hunger was high and he drained her… and his family rejected him as they saw him addicted to sweetblood. Then he began to work as a double agent, providing information to the Council – with Lily as his handler the last dozen years. And passion flared between them hot and high. He participated in the death of the Overlord, and took advantage of it looking like he died in the same fire… but when he realized the Blood Assassin was after him, he told Lily (by phone) that he could not be with her (leading her to believe he wasn’t in love with her). He has been hiding, laying false tracks, and is building a recreation of his home from the old world – perhaps to gain his brother’s belief that those things did have meaning for him. He hurt his knee and is not at 100%.Dom and MacKenzie –His brother will not talk with him, even after learning of his double agent status, but he always inquired after him to others … and his lifemate MacKenzie has a relationship with Alfonso, and is trying to encourage her husband to take another look. Because of their enhanced power, now that MacKenzie is changed and his lifemate, Dom can become smoke and move around.Lily DeGraff – The best Tracker – she can catch a hint of a smell and track it down. She is also a champion martial arts performer and teacher. Her parents married for expediency and pushing her into the same (with Steven – especially when she came up pregnant by him)… but when he cheats on her, and his lifestyle is too loose for her she leaves… tries it a 2nd time with him after Alfonso breaks it off… but realizes she can’t do that. Her daughter stays with her parents on the protected reservation when she is working. She is training other Trackers in the field, but her own senses are fuzzy, kinda hit and miss.Zoe – her daughter, strong willed and stubborn as her mother… learning to play piano, and has a recital coming up. Alfonso came to her before he broke up with her in the middle of the night (he teleported, but was too drunk to remember)… then she started in with Steve, and thought that Zoe was Steven’s daughter… but in fact, she is Alfonso’s daughter.Kip Castile –Lily’s trainee… after they successfully locate a sweetblood and save her, she decides to walk back and he takes her car… and is kidnapped (they were looking to take Lily). It takes Lily and Alfonso 2 nights to find him, and he almost had taken the life of a sweetblood, but she stops him in time. Alfonso is able to give him the moral support he needs to recover – and at least he wasn’t with them long enough to form an addiction.Jackson – A guardian – edgy – seems to be close to blood lust – but sublimates with sex… he is there to help them, and I suspect he is the next book.Steven Hastings –Lily’s lover & thought to be her daughter’s father… he is an accountant, bored with his job, envious of the excitement of the Guardian’s life (as he tells Alfonso in the steam room), but he isn’t really brave enough to really do that… a spoiled boy.Christoph Rejavik – Blood assassin, Order of the Red Sword. Came after Alfonso once… and is after him again…. And figures out that Lily is important to him.Ventra Capelli – Trying to prove herself to the Alliance by developing new recruitment & sweetblood extraction protocols. She is recruiting through a bloody vampire online game… and inviting prospectives to an island off Oregan for a festival (along with humans for them to feed from) and to auction off sweetbloods for a fee, and winner claims the sweetblood in a glass room for all to see, and she wants to snag Lily – a Guardian tracker, make her dependent on sweetblood and to do their will, and locate more sweetbloods for them to exploit.Region Commander Tristan Santiago – has full faith in Alfonso, knowing his full story and his role as double agent, and wants him as a Guardian, in spite of resistance from his brother. Summary:On a college campus, where Alfonso has gone for his monthly mouthful of blood, he comes across 2 Darkbloods – and before killing them finds out that a big recruiting bonanza is in coming via the video game and that they are looking to take a Tracker. Alfonso reports it to Santiago, and decides he needs to keep an eye on Lily. When her partner is taken, he partners up with her to locate him – not trusting her safety to anyone else. They dance the dance of ‘you hurt me’, ‘I can’t go another minute without touching you’, ‘what does he/she really feel?’, ‘I can’t keep my hands (and lips) off of her’ game… he eases her, and her abilities strengthen… he can’t imagine being without her, though with the assassin, he won’t risk her. He finally tells her the truth (afraid it will scare her away forever, hopeful that she can still love him – guess which one she takes).They rescue Kip, take him to his house for the day, then to the complex for her mother’s treatment… her mother regenerates Alfonso’s knee… he agrees to go after the Darkblood’s party… They get there… Christof is there… he leaves in a helicopter but leaves a picture of Lily and Zoe – he makes sure Zoe is safe (teleports), goes back to Lily to tell her to go somewhere safe while he deals with Christof , he teleports out, Lily gets a team together – and Dom joins her with MacKenzie pushing him – she tracks Christof, he has captured and is torturing Alfonso… Dom is the first one in (with his smoke/transport ability)… and rescue Alfonso – and killing Cristof.It ends with Dom & Mac’s baby’s christening, and Lily, Alfonso, and Zoe invited up to be the godparents – his brother embraces him. ahhhhMemorable scenes: Alfonso and Zoe – she is practicing piano while waiting for mom, and Alfonso overhears her, and she is making the same mistake over and over… he goes to her and gently instructs her, builds her confidence, and gives her the pendant Lily had given him to give her luck. When he realizes the Blood Assassin knows about Zoe, his body simply teleports to her (something he couldn’t do before – but due to bond with Lily)… in the middle of her recital – so he is there to compliment her – and then insure her and her grandparent’s go into hiding. The second in the Sweetblood series featuring Alfonso and Lilly. I enjoyed this book probably even more than the first. I love the tortured hero who needs redemption and Alfonso is just that. I also liked Lilly who seemed so confident on the outside but was so vulnerable on the inside. Each suffered from "disapproving" fathers and thought they could never get that much desired approval. There were some parts that I found unclear such as why the blood assassin got involved in the whole Wilding Night fiasco and let himself be tempted to such an overwhelming extent by SweetBlood or the exact order of events in Alfonso's descent into the DarkBloods. But overall, I loved the book.
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Enjoyed the developement of the characters.
liked the characters and the plot.
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