Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 2010
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5
Gabriel Jordan has lived on the streets most of his life. His only source of income is the occasional jobs taking photographs for a private detective. Gabriel only gets offered the worse jobs that no one else wants and he gets paid practically nothing. As a result, he is barely surviving but he has no other choice. One night Gabriel is standing out in the freezing cold waiting to catch a cheating spouse in the act when he sees something far more interesting instead. Gabriel sees a man jump out a window but instead of falling he floats harmlessly to the ground.
Dr. Aleksei Tennant is shocked but intrigued when he is seen by a young man as he jumps out of an apartment window. Gabriel should not be able to see him. When Gabriel proves resistant to his magic, Aleksei is intrigued enough to invite him home. Gabriel has peaked his curiosity and he is determined to find out why his magic doesn’t work on the other man the way it should.
Gabriel goes home with Tennant despite his misgivings about him. Tennant begins teaching him about the magical world. Tennant is an expert at opening portals that connect many hidden worlds to this one. As they spend time together a friendship begins to form between them. When Aleksei reveals that he is investigating a series of murders Gabriel is determined to help, even though he risks revealing how important Aleksei has become to him.
TAINTED BLOOD by Sam C. Leonhard is a novel that reminded me why I love reading. I was hooked from the first page and I could not put this book down. The world building is creative and richly detailed. I was enchanted by the idea of hidden worlds that exist along side this one, worlds where many different kinds of supernatural creatures live. Humans know about these worlds but they are terrified. Anyone suspected of having the blood of a paranormal creature is persecuted. This world sparked my imagination and felt very believable to me.
Gabriel is an admirable and captivating character. He’s had a hard and lonely life living on the streets. As a young child he was often ignored by his foster parents. He has no idea what its like to be loved or cared for. When he meets Tennant he is understandably wary but as he gets to know the other man he finally learns what its like to have a friend. Aleksei is a unique and extremely intriguing character. He is intense and mysterious. For much of the novel I wasn’t completely sure he could be trusted. Although, it is obvious he cares for Gabriel he also has his own agenda. There is something different about Gabriel and he is determined to discover what it is. Their relationship is somewhat unconventional but very touching.
TAINTED BLOOD also contains an absorbing mystery. Someone is brutally killing people with a mixed heritage. The mystery investigation is well plotted out and held my interest. The murders are chilling. The mystery is interwoven with Gabriel and Tennant’s story in a very realistic and exciting way. The ending of the story leaves room for a sequel. There is still more to discover about Gabriel. I hope I will have the opportunity to visit these characters and their world again.