Bloodlines (Sanguis Noctis #3), Robin Saxon, Alex Kidwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Paranormal – Shifters, Series
Length: 440 Pages
Note that if you have not read Blood in the Sand, book two in the Sanguis Noctis series, and you wish to, I suggest avoiding this review. There are spoilers listed and after having that particular book almost spoiled for me (by an author no less) I do not wish to do the same to others. I have tried to keep spoilers in regards to Bloodlines out but some may have slipped through. Keep that in mind before reading.
Blurb: Mercenary Jed Walker and his reclusive boyfriend, Redford Reed, are all set for a much-needed trip—nothing but sand, fish, sun, and drinks with those tiny umbrellas in them—when Victor Rathbone shows up with an acquaintance in tow.
Randall Lewis pleads for their help in finding a cure for his brother Anthony’s rare disease. Jed, Redford, and Victor join the Lewises as they set out to find the Gray Lady, legendary leader of the largest wolf pack in existence, who may be able to help. What they don’t expect is to find themselves caught up in her pack’s struggles with local human hunters or a growing conflict among the supernatural communities.
Jed is abruptly faced with what it means to be human in a world rife with the supernatural, and the challenges keep piling up: fear that his way of life is hurting his Redford, sparks flying between the half-blood Victor and wolf Randall, the impending threat of hunters, and the quickly approaching war that could kill them all. All things considered, Jed wishes fishing was the only thing he had to look forward to.
Everyone has an all-time favorite couple from the books they’ve read. Mine has been Jed Walker and Redford (aka Red) Reed since the day I was introduced to them. I fell in love with both of them in Blood Howl and that love hasn’t waned since. Jed is a bad ass mercenary who will do any type of job if the money is right. He is also the ultimate cat lady to his beloved cat Knievel, and this balances his bad boy image in a humorous way. He is 100% devoted to his man, Red. Red, a half-blood werewolf, was living a horrible, closed-in life before Jed came into his life and their story, while continued later in Blood in the Sand and Bloodlines, begins in Blood Howl. The two have gone through hell and back and are finally on the verge of doing something they’ve been wanting to do for awhile – take a much-needed fishing vacation. They are literally minutes away from packing up Knievel and fishing gear and shutting off the phones to get away for awhile when there is an unwelcome knock on the door. On the other side are Victor Rathbone and Randall Lewis.
Victor and Randall were introduced in Blood in the Sand. Victor was the boyfriend? lover? playmate? of David who hired Jed to investigate kidnappings in Cairo. Randall was one of those kidnapped and rescued from a group of vampires. Victor is a half-blood medusa. He is cursed with the ability to see a person’s past, present and future by looking into their eyes. Randall is a full-blooded werewolf. They visit Jed and Red in order to hopefully get help for Randall’s older brother Anthony, who has Canine Parkinson’s disease. The hope is that with Red’s history (told in the first two books) that he can help the Lewis family (that includes another brother Edwin) find an elusive werewolf, The Gray Lady. The Gray Lady is the oldest one of their kind and the leader of the pack that Randall’s parents ran from many, many years before. She is also Anthony’s only hope for survival as modern, human medicine can not treat him. Losing Anthony is not an option for Randall and Edwin and if it means showing up with their tails between their legs (so to speak) and begging, they are not above that.
The moment the story of Anthony comes out, Jed knows there will not be a vacation in his and Red’s immediate future. After a meeting with Anthony and Edwin, it is decided that they will all (Victor included) make the trip to find the elusive wolf and her pack. Only when they arrive, there are other issues that arise. Hunters are methodically kidnapping and killing wolves in the woods and this turns into more than just getting help for Anthony. As Jed and the others work to find the man or woman behind the hunters, Jed is also watching Red in his wolf element for the first time in his life. This brings up insecurities for the normally strong Jed. Has he held Redford back by having him live with him in his apartment? Shouldn’t wolves be allowed to run – to be free? This causes problems when Redford is forced to kill to survive. It brings up other issues for the two men that must be addressed or everything they’ve worked for will disappear. I admit to getting a little teary a couple of times as they worked to figure things out between them. I mentioned Jed and Red being my favorite couple of all-time so my heart broke a bit while watching them try to work through their issues.
Then there are Victor and Randall. Randall has had a crush on Victor since Victor played a part in his rescue in Cairo. Both are (to use Jed’s words) nerdy. Victor is a wealthy professor/author and Randall is extremely intelligent and well-read. All he’s ever wanted to do was go to college and get an education. He had hopes of maybe being a student of Victor’s someday but those dreams were pushed aside when Anthony got sick. However, his crush on Victor remained. Also, Victor and David had just had a rather difficult break-up and Victor is having a difficult time reconciling who he is after that relationship. Randall’s worry over Anthony and Edwin, on top of Victor, forces him to make difficult decisions that will affect where they may or may not go as a couple in the future.
The secondary characters are some of my favorites ever. Anthony has taken care of his brothers since he himself was a child. Watching him as his illness progressed and his frustration was written extremely well. He has always been the father/mother/brother of the family and to watch him start losing his abilities broke my heart. Then there is Edwin, the younger brother. I am head over heels in love with Edwin. He’s twenty and written as a fun-loving, typical person of that age. He loves playing with the other wolves of the pack and he is not able to sit around for long. He has to be (in wolf form) running around in the woods. If it’s raining? No problem. He’ll do it inside whatever building he is in. He is a treat and I cannot wait to read his story someday. The Gray Lady was interesting. That’s the best word I can come up with to describe her. She cares only for her wolves and her pack and makes it clear that humans are lesser beings, something that does not go over well for Jed – the only human of the bunch.
This book is several stories at once. There is the ongoing relationship of Jed and Red. Victor and Randall start to come together only to pull away again and again. There is the issue with the hunters and the pack but most importantly, there is Anthony’s illness. There are also issues with the past that both Randall and Victor must overcome in order to have any type of relationship in the future.
Even with the serious subjects covered, there is a lot of humor in this book. Jed is hilarious. But to see him melt when Red so much as gets a scratch? Definite “aww” moments. As different as they are, they are perfect together. Victor and Randall as well, though I am reserving judgment on them until the next book. I like them both but I can see them having a difficult road ahead of them before they will have what Jed and Redford have.
“If Red said he wanted the moon, I’d ride Buzz fucking Aldrin up there and get it myself,” he told Victor in a calm tone, arms folded. “He wants an ocean? I’ll flood the streets until he can swim. Impossible’s got nothing to do with it…”
Jed chased a lot of monsters. Real now, and the all-too-human kind. He’d been a monster; he still was sometimes. He was brash and he was bold, and he never flinched. He never backed down. Redford was the one goddamn thing that made him feel safe.
There’s not much more I can say without flat-out giving the story away so I will stop here. Suffice it to say that it is an outstanding book and a great addition to the Sanguis Noctis series. There is a cliffhanger ending and one I expected and was waiting on. While it concerns me to see where the authors are going with that particular part of the story, I have no doubt that I will enjoy it as much as I have the first three books. There is a lot left undone and more questions than answers in some cases. I am fine with that as I know they will all be addressed in future books. I will be eagerly awaiting every new book in this series.
If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. However, they are not always traditional and they may or may not end with the HEA one expects and hopes for. This was the case in Blood in the Sand but anyone reading that book knew that the story could not have ended any other way. I wavered between 4.5 and 5 stars as I am usually funny about giving 5 stars to a book in a series that leaves so much undone. While typing this, I knew I could rate it no less than a full five. It was an excellent book and left me wanting more.
There is a lot of seriousness but I laughed out loud at Jed’s humor or humor aimed at him.
The last time he’d gotten an unsolicited hug, his pockets had been picked cleaner than Tom Cruise’s straight genes.
“Princess, you done puking your guts out yet?” Ah, the dulcet tones of an irritated Journey Walker. “As fun as it is to escort you to your fainting couch, Scarlett, if we want to hit the halfway point we need to keep moving.”
“What was that show you liked so much, princess? The Everyone Hug and Dance and Sing and Twill Fairy Story?”
“ASSFUCKING DONKEY balls in a fucking sewer.“
Turned out, everyone he knew still thought vampires sparkled and werewolves were in London.
“Jed,” Victor said delicately, “I’m not going to say that you’re a slut, but you’ve had more balls in your mouth than the Hungry, Hungry Hippos.”
Another great read by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell.
You can find my Goodreads reviews for Blood Howl and Blood in the Sand at the following links:
This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.