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Review: Blood Bound

Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent is the first book in her new adult series that was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback formats. The eBooks are available for pre-order and will be released on September 1, 2011.

Published by Mira, an imprint of Harlequin, the print edition is 400 pages.

Goodreads description:

By blood, by word, by magic…

Most can’t touch the power. But Liv Warren is special – a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

But when her friend’s daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can’t rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.

And more blood will be spilled before it’s over…

***

Never tell anyone your full name. Never leave behind a drop of your blood. Because if you do, they will find you.

Always keep the lights on. Banish every shadow. Because no locked door can keep them out.

The Skilled have been around for years, and those who are the most powerful are bound to one of the two powerful crime families that control the city.

So, unless you are extremely careful, incredibly lucky or exceedingly wealthy, they can see you, they can track you, they can instantly travel to wherever you are, they can blind you and they can bind you.

***

What an incredibly imaginative, richly developed, dark, gritty and deadly world Rachel Vincent has created in Blood Bound, the first book in her new paranormal series.

Blood Bound instantly transports readers into this action-packed and danger-filled story where the Skilled, with just a name or a sample of blood, can track someone. With just a shadow, can travel instantly from place to place, or with a word, can forever lock someone into an agreement they may never have wanted.

While the Government refuses to recognize their abilities, the syndicates use them to gain the advantage. For years, these two powerful families have divided the city – Jake Towers controls the West and Ruben Cavazos, the East. Only the really wealthy or the incredibly lucky don’t have to show their allegiance to either.

But being Skilled, and as good as Liv Warren was, meant that being unbound couldn’t last. Eventually she would have to choose sides or the choice would be made for her. And even if she wouldn’t have to pay the price for her indecision, someone else would. Most likely someone she cared about.

When Liv is forced to accept an old friend’s plea to use her abilities as a Tracker to find whoever murdered her friend’s husband and assassinate him, she had no idea just how complicated things would become. With a fresh blood sample, the job should have been a simple one for someone with her Skill.

But her past quickly becomes her present when she is asked to work alongside the man who was once the love of her life. The man she walked out on with no notice or explanation. The man she has tried desperately to stay away from. Cam Caballero, the man she still loved, even after six years apart.

As Liv and Cam search for the killer and try to figure out why someone would want to harm an unskilled, unbound family man, they become ensnared in an even bigger mystery. One that is more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

And when truths are revealed and secrets from the past are uncovered, the pieces to this puzzle slowly begin to fit together. But getting the answers they need may cost one of them their lives.

Blood Bound is an intense, riveting and irresistibly seductive novel in this new series, with a whirlwind pace, tension that continues to build, and a story that reveals itself to be much more complex than first meets the eye.

This story is set in a world where the undercurrent of violence is ever-present. Where the dark and seedy underworld is in control and there is nowhere safe to hide. Author Rachel Vincent has created an exciting, dark and sexy urban fantasy novel that is part mystery and part crime drama, with an intricate plot that reveals itself layer by layer as the story progresses.

Blood Bound is an absolute must read and has everything that fans of the author have come to expect – twists and turns, surprises around every corner, electrifying chemistry between the characters and a build-up to an ending that will leave readers wanting more.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=6]. Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

I don’t even think I can find the right words to describe just how madly in love I am with this new series. Blood Bound is just so unbelievably awesome. It grabbed hold of me and refused to let go. Not like I wanted it to.

And when it dropped me after the last line on the last page I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. So now I have to live in torment until Shadow Bound comes out to find out what happens next.

There are so many things I want to talk about – about Liv and Cam, about their past, the secrets, the lies, and especially what it means to be bound – but I can’t say a word. Every single time I try I end up revealing something huge.

If I had a redacting pen, this page would be filled with line after line of cross-outs.

So, I’m left with no option but to talk about how much I love Liv and Cam.

Blood Bound is told from a dual perspective – Liv’s and Cam’s. I got to see things from both their points of view and that thrilled me to no end. I wasn’t sure at first, as I hadn’t gotten to know Liv well enough at the beginning, and I thought that splitting the views would make me less connected with her.

At the start, it was hard to see past her tough exterior, where Cam’s emotions were an open book. But Liv began to open up and that shell did crack just a little. Enough to make me love her as much as I was able to instantly love Cam.

Liv is seriously fierce and she is not one to take things lying down, that’s for sure. She’s extremely protective and loyal, but she isn’t so hardened that she is unlikable. Being a blood Tracker is a pretty wicked Skill to have, a little bit creepy, yeah, but overall really cool. And the way she deals with Cavazos is seriously bad-a**. She is definitely my kind of heroine.

What is there to say about Cam? Sure, he is delectable, but his devotion to Liv makes him one of the most perfect heroes I’ve ever met. Yes, he may have kept one or two secrets, but so did Liv. And the lengths he’s willing to go just to be in her life… Well, I can’t talk about those. But just the fact that he will risk almost anything, will fight the…oh can’t talk about those either.

Cam is undeniably sexy, strong and brave, ready to put his own life at risk, and perfectly balances Liv’s pessimism with his optimism. Even in this dark and dangerous world they live in.

I went into this book with a mix of high expectations and trepidation. I’ve read the author’s young adult series and it’s in my top five. I knew I’d love the author’s writing style because I couldn’t imagine that changing just because this was a book for adults. But I hadn’t read her adult series, which I know is extremely popular.

I have always been slightly wary of adult books in this genre. As much as I love paranormal books with an urban setting, some of the adult books are really more romance novel with a hint of the paranormal than paranormal books with a love story.

This wasn’t one of those. At all. I was really crazy to be worried in the first place, looking back. That’s just not how this author writes. The story was the driving force – the murder, the missing girl, the complex plot that comes together so perfectly in the end.

Yes, there was that delicious tension between the two main characters, and it was definitely way more sexy than any young adult book I’ve read from this author. The characters were in their late twenties after all. But it wasn’t a book filled with pages of lusty hook-ups, scantily-clad women and leering…okay maybe there was some leering involved…men.

There was definitely some heat, but nothing eye-popping, and violence, but they live in a city run by two criminal enterprises, what else is to be expected?

Did I love this book? Yes. Will I follow this series to the very end? No question. Am I chomping at the bit to read the Shifters series? Heck yeah. One thing’s for sure, Rachel Vincent has definitely made me want to try out some more adult books by my favorite authors.

Since I clearly had a lot to say, even when I thought I couldn’t say anything at all, I will just leave off with the fact that my expectations were left in the dust. This went so far beyond them. And as far as my wariness? It disappeared at the start of the fourth paragraph.

To read Chapter One from the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

***

UPDATE: Book trailer for Blood Bound:

This review is based on an ARC I received from the author in exchange for my honest review. The ARC for review was 445 pages.

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