Blood Rule (Dirty Blood #4)
by Heather Hildenbrand
Release Date: 8/6/13
Genre: Paranormal (kinda older) YA
That’s how many hybrids survived the Hunter attack in the woods after I revived them with an injection of my blood. That’s how many followed me home to Frederick Falls. And that’s how many were now mentally linked to me through a blood bond.
Two days. Three valium. Fourteen hours of sleep.
That’s what it took to realize I wasn’t losing my mind as a result of the noise in my own head.
That’s how many days have passed since I almost killed Alex. That’s how many days I’ve sat by his bedside, waiting for him to wake up. To ease the guilt, to understand his betrayal, to remember the exact shade of brown in his eyes.
That’s my chances of skating by with Gordon Steppe and the Hunter Council. They want me for questioning. I’m afraid what’ll happen if I give them answers.
My Rating: 4 1/2 Coffee Cups!!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series. The entire thing. Each book literally just gets better and better. If you haven't read any of it yet and this is your cup of tea then go pick up the first book now! It's FREE ON AMAZON for goodness sakes!! So you have no excuse. Anywho, back to this installment of awesomeness.
This takes place (as the blurb says) 16 days after the Hunter attack in the woods at the end of the last book Blood Bond. 16 days after all 46 of the surviving hybrids with a little extra Tara in them are now psychically bound to her. She is Alpha in the pack and taking on the leader role she always adamantly opposed. But she has George, Chris, Fee and Jack and even the Hunters/treaty members Cambria and Cord. And Wes. Especially Wes. Unlike in the previous books Wes and Tara work as a partnership. They work along side one another rather than trying to protect each other. It was a really nice thing to see. Especially when they are pretty much going to be facing A LOT of angry all of them against the hybrids. People like the amazingly evil Gordon Steppe, who essentially steps his douchebaggery up a notch in this book. He takes the council's ear and essentially turns them all against not only the hybrids, but wolves in general, attempting to effectively end the treaty.
Between Gordon and the hybrids (who are beginning to get a little restless)
Tara has a lot on her plate. But the one thing that is weighing more heavily than anything else is the guilt she feels for what happened to Alex during the attack. He has not regained consciousness. She knows logically that it is not her fault, but he is still one of her best friends and despite having chosen Wes, she is still in love with Alex (albeit to a lesser degree), and he is there because she attacked him and then tried to use her blood to save him. Same as she did with George, same as she did with the hybrids.
This book is action packed. Grandma is kick ass, Chris I am liking more and more, George is seriously becoming one of my favorite characters and even Tara's mom finally begins to understand and accept the situation everyone is in. Throw in a bit of (much needed) comic relief from Derek, Cambria and George and this book is an awesome addition to the series. But I can't end this without virtually shaking my fist at Heather Hildenbrand for that ending!! Gahh!! I can't wait for the next one!
Listening to headphones at maximum volume with your back turned to the doorway is a fantastic way to get the crap scared out of you. Cambria had said those exact words this morning when she’d come up behind me and I’d dropped an entire gallon of milk on my kitchen floor. I’d scowled at her before putting the earbuds back in while I mopped the spill. I hadn’t removed them again since.
In my tent reflecting on that incident, a hand closed over my shoulder. I screamed. In one violent move, I scrambled to my feet, ripped the headphones free and chucked them aside, and swung out with my fist.
Wes jerked back in time to avoid getting punched.
“Geez. It’s only me,” he said, throwing up his hands.
I relaxed. “Sorry. You scared me.”
“Obviously.” He was fighting a grin—and losing. I stuck my tongue out.
He stood in front of me wearing nothing but a pair of jersey shorts, the drawstring untied. They were a little long but they fit around his hips. In a really yummy sort of way. My heart tripped over itself in my attempt to breathe evenly. “Where’d you find those?”
“George’s, I think. I’ll put them back when I leave.”
I backed up so Wes could fit into the small square of canvas that was mine in this chaotic communal space of woods the hybrids shared. He reached back and closed the flap. The moment we were hidden from view, he pulled me into his arms and sank onto the pile of blankets so that I fell into his lap.
His mouth found mine in the middle of my laughter. “What is this for?”
“I haven’t seen you since yesterday. I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” I returned his kisses and wrapped my arms around his neck, enjoying his bare arms pressing against me.
We rarely shared moments like this anymore. Privacy was nonexistent. Nowhere, no matter how secluded, was without interruption. As proof, my cheeks flamed with the growing awareness in my mind. I jumped when the mental voice became audible.
“Gross, you guys. Get a room.”
Wes pulled free and glared at George in the doorway. “This one was working fine until you showed up.”
“You act like I wasn’t here the whole time.” George pointed at his temple. From outside the tent, I heard someone snicker.
“Shut up, Derek,” Wes said, but that made him laugh harder.
“George, you need a life,” I said.
Sweat from his run dripping down his temple, George mopped his brow with a towel. “Don’t hate me because I choose a different method of calorie-burning.”
“We’re not the haters,” Wes muttered. I pretended not to hear.
George and Derek had taken up running on two legs right around the time they’d realized neither was faster than the other on four paws. They’d invited me along but I declined every time. No way was I getting in the midst of all that testosterone.
“You’re mad I’m better at this than you are,” I shot back.
“Oooh.” Derek elbowed George in the ribs. “She would know, right?”
“Whatever.” George abruptly retreated only to reappear once more. “Dude,” he said, staring at Wes. “Are you wearing my shorts?”
George grinned like he’d figured out the punch line of a really good joke. “Guess you’ve got all my hand-me-downs now.”
Wes picked up a bottle of water and sent it hurtling through the air, but George was already gone. The sound of his and Derek’s laughter faded as they went.
The sound of my own laughter startled me. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done that. I sobered quickly, my amusement fading as I remembered all the reasons I had not to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Wes asked, oblivious to my mood shift.
“The look on your face,” I said. “If looks could kill …”
“You shouldn’t be laughing. Your ex-boyfriend called you a hand-me-down. It was an insult.”
I shrugged. “He wanted to outwit you. He doesn’t really think that.”
“How do you—? Never mind.”
I pointed to my own temple. “Exactly. So, lighten up.”
“Forgive me if I get a little touchy that I spend most days with the other guys you’ve kissed.”
Guys. He’d said guys. Plural. Were we finally going to have this talk?
I sat back. “Where is this coming from? It’s George. You know there’s nothing between us.”
“This bond is not nothing. I can’t even kiss you without him knowing. I might as well be kissing him.”
It was an old argument with no solution. While I knew it was a point of contention with us, I was determined to not fight about it. Not today. “Um, that would be awkward. Then he’d have my hand-me-downs.”
Wes pursed his lips. “You’re hilarious.”
I poked him in the ribs and his glare dissolved into an unwilling smile.
“I do what I can,” I said, relieved he’d chosen to let it go.
I trailed kisses down the side of his face and his smile widened. When I got to his jaw, he turned his head so our lips met. I drew him closer and held on, letting the heat creep in. I still sensed frustration under the surface but I knew I couldn’t extinguish it completely. The bond bothered him as much as it bothered me—maybe more. Unless it was broken, there was no getting rid of his frustration, not entirely.
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Tidbits on the Author:
Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she's not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she's lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.
Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she'd grab is her DVR player.
Heather is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released. For a complete list of titles and author bios, visit www.accendopress.com.
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Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHildenbrandsFanPage
Heather is giving away signed paperback copies of Dirty Blood, Cold Blood, and Blood Bond (books #1-3 in the series), a $20 Amazon Gift Card, and signed swag! This giveaway is international.