I’m going to be honest: when I first read the title The Sweet Scent of Blood, I thought it was just too easy, since it’s a novel heavily laden with vampires. I thought this would mean a corny read. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Or happier that I was so wrong. Suzanne McLeod’s first Spellcrackers.com novel (I’m late to the party, but I will definitely catch up) is unique, adding its own London-centralized spin into the Urban Fantasy “canon.” It has its own tantalizing tidbits of fantasy lore and characters that sometimes, literally sizzle.
According to Amazon’s Product Detail:
Genevieve Taylor is a Sidhe, one of the noble fae, and she’s unusual, even in present-day London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with the human population. Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the M’ in magic – and that invariably leads to mischief, malice and – too often – murder. Spellcrackers.com is affiliated to the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. Genny also works as a volunteer at a clinic which treats victims of vampire attacks. Then there’s her extra-curricular activity, extracting vulnerable fae lured by the local fang gangs. Genny certainly doesn’t wants any closer involvement with the vampire community. But when Mr October, one of the hot calendar pin-up vamps, is accused of violently murdering his girlfriend, Genny’s called on to repay an old debt and prove his innocence. And that means consorting with some of the sexiest vamps in London! THE SWEET SCENT OF BLOOD is the first book of SPELLCRACKERS.COM, a sexy, sassy new series guaranteed to spice up your reading life!
As funny as it sounds, it did spice up my reading life. I haven’t been so absorbed in a long time. In fact, the rush I got from this book reminds me of my first time reading Guilty Pleasures, my first and one of my most favorite Urban Fantasy novels. The Sweet Scent of Blood is easily as sexy (if not more), and the kick-ass heroine Genny is a smart woman who doesn’t seem to understand backing down. I loved it! And I think a large portion of that is due to McLeod’s style. She deals her world out with a deft hand that makes the reading effortless and enjoyable. There’s a bit of history for our main characters, but you’re never bogged down by details; instead, you’re reeled further in due to the candor of our narrator.
All of the characters in McLeod’s novel were vivid additions to the book, creating a world that is as believable as it is amazing. Never in danger of info-overload, each character from one hot Satyr to a very defensive Brownie to a French vampire whose English is so rough he needs a translator is distinctly different, but they’re all also compelling, enjoyable members of the cast. I wouldn’t say that there was tons of growth where even the main characters are concerned, but it really doesn’t effect the book’s impact. McLeod has made vampires very hot again–like, re-read that scene three times hot.
The plot grew deliciously more twisted as it progressed. I appreciated that there weren’t just typically multiple reasons as far as why/when something happened, but there were really good reasons. And it all fit together in a way that I was never confused, just happy to have been there for the ride.
The settings were just as dynamic as the characters. That, or I just really love the idea of an elite club of vampires who send out invites via neat silver cards embedded with jewels of their calling. But that certainly wasn’t the only fantastic setting; they all were. And they were all relayed in detail that was not too specific, and not too vague, but just right. Just like the rest of the book, which is why I give it an A, 90 to be exact.
If you like Urban Fantasy in the least, if you’ve ever had a thing for vampires, if you’ve ever wondered if a satyr could be hot, then, this is the book for you. And you should buy it as soon as possible. You won’t regret it. Check out Suzanne McLeod’s site here where you can find out more about her, her books and how to get a hold of them.