4.5 stars -- I am pretty open to reading all kinds of books, but I haven't read all that much paranormal romance, so I was glad to have the opportunity to review Bonded by Blood for my blog. I read the excerpt on Laurie London's site, and was drawn into the story almost immediately... I wanted to know who Mackenzie was, what her story was, who this mysterious injured man was... Intriguing!
Once I started, I found I couldn't stop. Bonded by Blood was very readable, and the pace was great. I didn't put this book down very often after I started reading it, and when I did, my mind was drawn back to it again and again, wondering what was happening to them, who they were, and what was going on around them while I wasn't looking. I love when this feeling happens, because then I know that the characters in a book aren't just 2D creations on a page, but are real, well-written characters that I can identify with and care about. And I did care about Dom and Mackenzie. Both intrigued me, and as their lives continually crossed paths, and as each of their histories were revealed and the links between them shown, I was drawn into their lives and felt that the connection between them was tangible.
Their relationship was great as well. I loved the way that they interacted with each other, and the tension and suspense was palpable. Kenzie's history makes it hard for her to commit herself, and Dom being what he is (a predator, really) he feels he should stay away from her for her own protection. But they are drawn to each other, and Dom has the further complicated issue of protecting her from Darkbloods as well as himself. So naturally, things reach a breaking point in the tension between Dom and Kenzie, and ohmygoodness when it does... get out your fans, ladies. It's steamy.
I enjoyed the progression of their relationship, and how each seemed to open up due to it. I love how Kenzie's deep-seated tension and need to control everything in her life, which is understandable given the circumstances, eases up, and she is able to relax and let go when she is with Dom. I also like the fact that she has a similar effect on Dom in that his anger and desire for revenge are softened around her. I felt like this was less a change in personalities, and more an effect of their bonding and connection and understanding with each other.
I loved the world that London created here, where vampires are real and live amongst humans while still remaining secret. I immensely enjoyed the modernity of the story, how vampires have adapted and adjusted to changes in the world around them, welcoming scientific and technological advances and discoveries. I also thought that it was interesting how the Darkbloods embraced scientific methods to further their aims, while still keeping the old world mentality about what it is to be a vampire. I wish that the Darkbloods had a little more face-time in the book, and that more of their ideals and goals were examined, but maybe this will be coming in the next book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait for the next in the series, which is out later this year.
Stay tuned in just a few minutes for an interview with Laurie London. She's generously offered to give away a free signed copy of Bonded By Blood!