Title: Blood in the Sand Book 2 – sequel to Blood Howl
Author: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Buy Link:Blood in the Sand
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance / Adventure
Length: 350 pages
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Explosive Egyptian adventures for audacious Jed and the delightful Redford who light up the book to the detriment of other characters.
Sanguis Noctis Book Two
When David, an old contact and sometimes friend, hires Jed Walker to look into a series of seemingly unrelated disappearances in Cairo, Jed jumps at the chance to show his partner, Redford Reed, more of the world he’s been missing. David’s boyfriend, supernatural expert and resident stuffy professor Victor Rathbone, joins them in their journey to Egypt, which holds many more dangers and mysteries than Jed ever expected. Hidden natures resurface, relationships collide, and instincts are stretched to their breaking point. What seems to be a simple case turns out to be anything but.
David may have called for help, but he has his own suspicions about who’s behind the kidnappings—suspicions that, along with clashing personalities, make getting to the bottom of the mystery difficult. While Jed and Redford grow more intimate and trusting with each new obstacle in their path, David and Victor struggle not to lose their trust in each other in the face of their differences. As the four close in on the kidnappers, David is forced to face the one thing more dangerous than the mastermind behind the disappearances: himself.
The main characters, crazy mercenary soldier Jed and the sweet werewolf Redford, make this book work for me. I loved the first story of how they met- Blood Howl, which I happily reviewed. However the strengths and weaknesses there, were I felt repeated to some extent here. Nevertheless I enjoyed the development of this somewhat incongruous relationship. The details of their oddly domestic life amidst the chaos of a soldier of fortune lifestyle complete with guns, grenades and a spoilt rotten cat were very appealing.
The ever growing tenderness and, to be honest, occasional downright sentimentality, is balanced by some good tension as Red tries to understand his new hybrid wolf instincts and how they manifest themselves. He is a gorgeous character, his naive lack of world experience is still used to add some humour, as when he has his head stuck out of the car window enthusiastically following his nose. His strong protective and growingly possessive adoration of Jed is totally believable. Likewise Jed has been understandably changed by his love for Redford, even while remaining essentially the same outrageous extrovert which makes him such in your face fun. Together they have sexual heat and playfulness but also real intimacy.
Occasionally, Redford would just press himself close and hook his chin over Jed’s shoulder, like he was reassuring himself that Jed was still whole and alive.
When this Egyptian jaunt concentrated on them I thought the book came alive. I found the paranormal adventure plot less successful, it felt rather dragged out and not very convincing. This may have come from David as I didn’t feel he added any originality to his role. His companion Victor was more interesting, but he also felt rather a stereotype as a tweed wearing, tea drinking academic. I wasn’t convinced that their relationship was merely that of fondness, at some moments it felt rather dramatically like more. The juxtaposition of the two dissimilar relationships in the closeness of the shared hotel suite served to cleverly highlight the changes that were happening. Consequently the conclusions that were reached, both with David and Victor’s relationship and that of the main plot seemed unconvincing to me. However that might also be because I’m not thrilled at the thought of another book concentrating on the vagaries of David’s past, present and future love life. Once again I found the villain rather lacking anything but self importance.
I enjoyed this full blooded romp in the sand of Egypt, but only when I could concentrate on Jed and Redford, I was much less engaged by David and his problems. I am looking forward to the next instalment in the series, which hopefully will leave David with a less prominent part.