Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent

blood bound

The basics

Title: Blood Bound

Author:

Series: Unbound #1

- Blood Bound (2011)
- Shadow Bound (2012)
- Oath Bound (2013)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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.

in short

Liv is out to find Cavazos’ long lost son, only it turns out that the son is a daughter – Hadley. Not only that, she is the daughter of one of Liv’s childhood friends – Noelle (initially though to be Annika). Noelle set everything up from the beginning as she is a Seer, and she wanted her daughter to be protected by her best friends. Tower is abducting Skilled people and taking their blood, and injecting that blood into normal people to temporarily give them powers. Tower kills Hadley’s adoptive father, Shen, which puts this whole thing into motion. Tower then abducts Hadley with the help of Kori, so Liv teams up with Cam and Cavazos to get her back. They do so, and then Cam and Liv get bound to Cavazos for seven and a half years each. Wonderful.

what went down

  • Liv Warren is a Tracker in a city that is divided into three. Vincent describes the city’s layout as a peace sign – one side of the city is ruled by the Tower syndicate, and the other is ruled by the Cavazos syndicate. The bottom section of the city is the “free” zone.
  • Liv’s childhood friend, Annika, visits her, along with Liv’s ex-boyfriend Cam. Annika asks for Liv’s help finding her husband’s murderer, and due to a childhood blood oath that they made (along with two other friends, Kori and Noelle) Liv is forced to comply or slowly die. Annika also wants Liv to work with Cam, because he’s also a really good Tracker.
  • Flashback to six years ago: Cam and Liv are together and attending a New Year’s Eve party. Cam is planning an epic proposal, but while he’s setting things up, Liv talks to someone and all of a sudden she gets very upset. She breaks up with Cam and they don’t see each other again until the present.
  • Liv reports to Ruben Cavazos, as it turns out she is bound to him. Annika and Cam didn’t see the binding mark because it’s on her thigh rather than her arm. She’s under contract with Cavazos right now because she promised to find someone for him. Needless to say, Cavazos’ wife hates Liv because of Cavazos’ interest in her.
  • Liv and Cam track the blood and cross over to Tower’s side of the city. While they’re in the murderer’s apartment, a Tower grunt called Nick comes along and accuses Liv of working for Cavazos. Cam hits him for being rude. Cam shows Liv his own arm, and it turns out he is bound to Tower, which means the two of them can’t work or be seen together.
  • The murderer’s name is Eric Hunter, but it’s really odd because the Skill factor (my own term) in his blood seems to be weakening. He also went to the E.R., which is not a thing that Skilled people do because of the mandatory blood testing that goes on in hospitals.
  • Cam takes Liv to see a computer genius called Van, who was once bound to Cavazos as a sex slave. Van finds Eric Hunter’s name and bank details and stuff. It seems as though Tower has employed Hunter to kill Shen, Annika’s deceased husband.
  • Cam and Liv go to Hunter’s apartment and break the door down. Hunter is really weird and doesn’t really understand much about binding or Skills, which is odd since Liv thought he was a Tracker. Turns out that his blood has no trace of a Skill now. Hunter shoots Liv in the arm so Cam shoots him.
  • Liv figures out that Hunter was injected with a Skilled person’s blood to temporarily give him Tracking abilities. She also realises that Hunter wasn’t actually after Shen – he was after Hadley, Annika’s daughter. Annika doesn’t know who Hadley’s father is (it’s not Shen) but Liv suspects that Tower wants Hadley dead because of her heritage.
  • Cam wonders if Hadley is his daughter since he slept with Annika at the party after Liv left.
  • Cam and Liv go back to Cam’s apartment on the west side, and he tends to her bullet wound. They get a bit cosy and Cam sees the binding mark on Liv’s thigh. Oops. Liv explains that she joined up with Cavazos to save Cam, who Cavazos was after for a good while. In exchange, Liv has to find Cavazos’ missing son using only a first name.
  • People find Annika and Hadley so they go on the run again. This time they come to Cam’s place.
  • With the help of Kori, the fourth childhood friend of Liv’s, Cam and Annika go to Liv’s fancy apartment which belongs to Cavazos. Kori is then meant to take Hadley along too and Liv intends to follow and have Cavazos’ men follow her, meaning there’s added protection. But Kori is bound to Tower, and so her loyalty to him outweighs her loyalty to Annika and Liv as they didn’t ask for her help. Kori did try to warn them that she was the one picking up people for the Skills IV thing but alas.
  • Liv gets to the apartment and they figure out that Hadley is actually Noelle’s daughter. Noelle was a Seer, and she gave Hadley to Annika when she was a baby. Annika changed Hadley’s age and pretended to have given birth to her. They then figure out, by using a photo, that Hadley is actually Cavazos’ child. And she’s not a boy, like Cavazos thought.
  • They call Cavazos over because they need his help, and Liv needs to tell him because this was what her mission was in the first place. It turns out that Noelle set all of this up from the very beginning, going as far back as making the actual contract when they were twelve, perhaps even further.
  • Cavazos agrees to help, after much anger and frustration.
  • Cam and Annika go out looking for Hadley and it turns out that she’s being kept at Tower’s personal residence.
  • They get hold of Kori, who assures them that Hadley is alive and well. They tie Kori up, and Cam goes into another room so that he doesn’t know what’s going on.
  • Michaela, Cavazos’ wife, is a Traveller. She takes Liv, Annika, and Cavazos to the Tower residence and they get in through a dark room.

how did it end?

They find Hadley, and Cavazos finally meets his long lost child. It’s kind of sweet, if you forget that Cavazos is a horrible, horrible person. Unfortunately, Tower rang Cam’s new phone as Kori gave him the number, and Cam and Kori come to aid Tower. There’s a shootout, and Liv gets shot in the stomach and almost killed. Everyone gets away, though, as Jake Tower is shot and knocked out, meaning Cam and Kori can help again. Liv wakes up four days later to find that Annika and Hadley are going home, where they will be getting 24/7 security, and Cam is now bound to Cavazos for fifteen years. Cavazos bought out Cam’s contract and of course Liv doesn’t want him to go through this alone so she takes Cavazos’ offer of taking up half of Cam’s time. So they’re both bound to him for seven and a half years and it’s going to be terrible.

anything else

Trackers – Trackers can track people using blood (the fresher the better) or their full names. Liv and Cam are Trackers.
Readers – Readers are able to tell when people are lying. This can’t be switched off. Annika is a Reader.
Binders – Binders, well, bind people. If you need to make a contract then you had better get a Binder to seal it with blood. This is why Liv and her childhood friends are in such a predicament.
Seers – Seers see the future. Obviously.
Travellers – Travellers can travel through shadows. They step into the shadows in one place and come out instantaneously in another.
Jammers – Hide Skilled people’s energy so they’re untraceable.
Blinders – Darken rooms and hallways and certain spots for easy Travelling.

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