Tainted Blood - Sam C. Leonhard Twenty-seven year old Gabriel Jordan has had it hard. Directly after his birth, his drug - addicted mother dumped him into a trash bin. His beloved grandmother took him in, but she turned mad when he was still little, condemning him to a childhood with a variety of foster parents who didn't seem to care for him, hardly could remember his name and always returned him to the orphanage. He lives on the streets, keeps a low profile since he has no ID, and catches unfaithful spouses or cheating employees with his camera for a living, earning barely enough to keep him going. While watching the window of a young woman on a particularly cold winter's day, he sees a man floating down to earth from there. Unlike most other people, the runewise Dr. Tennant notices Gabriel. He tries to get Gabriel to forget about him using a rune, but is intrigued when Gabriel shakes off the effects of the rune with remarkable ease. Tennant wants to learn more about the strange young man, and since it happens to be Christmas Day, he invites Gabriel into his house. That's how a tender friendship builds between Gabriel and Tennant, which gradually turns into more. The tentative love between the men is badly tested when a series of murders occur. Not humans, but only people of the Otherworld who created "tainted blood", offspring with humans, are killed. But then one of Gabriels few friends, "tainted blood" himself, is murdered. Gabriel and Tennant come closer to the killer than they ever intended, and maybe closer than their love can stand. This urban fantasy was entertaining to read, although it often resorted to stereotypes. The human world is separated from seventeen other worlds populated with the usual vampires and shapeshifters, but also with more unusual creatures like mermaids, fae, centaurs, tree-nymphs some of which are not so very often found in other fantasy stories. Humans fear the nonhuman creatures and tend to kill the ones they notice, so the nonhumans keep a low profile in the human world. Most humans are aware there is magic, but since humans can't master it, it is prohibited. Magic is mostly used for disguises or for traveling between the worlds, spells are worked through runes. I found some scenes, some character's motivations awfully far fetched, even for a fantasy book - particularly Ronai's. Then again, the man is crazy as a bat, others might not be bothered by his illogical reasoning Gabriel and Tennant were loveable characters and inherently consistent. I liked particularly their different voices, with Tennant using more formular, Gabriel more modern language, as fits their respective experience of life. But sometimes, they were just so thick it called for some serious head-smacking. The author could have shown more mercy to two presumably bright minded men instead of taking refuge in a magical curse to put them into bed together, by example. Recommended for fantasy fans who don't mind having their logic stretched a bit, and for those who enjoy a sweet romantic fairytale laced with traces of darkness.