Review: Hot Blooded by Kendall Grey

Thriller/suspense  w/ erotic & supernatural elements

Rating: HOLY CRAP YAY.

 

I might be a little bit of a Kendall Grey fangirl. I’m not going to lie about it. Ever since we reviewed Inhale a couple years ago, I’ve been on the bandwagon, and it’s been a crazy ride. Just when I thought she’d reached the pinnacle with her Hard Rock Harlots series, she goes and gives me Hot Blooded.

This is not a love story. Not even close. The main characters, Blake and Keahilani are good people who do very bad things for the people they love. Their family. ‘Ohana.

The importance of family is central to the story. The risks that both Blake and Keahilani take are solely to benefit the people they consider family, and though they start falling for each other—and have lots of dangerous, kinky, crazy, violent sex along the way—they both know that family comes first. When Kea’s fledgling drug empire is threatened by Blake’s boss, she manages to push her attraction to the paohe aside to deal with the bigger issues at hand. But Kea’s problems are bigger than someone encroaching on her territory, and they’re coming from a place she least expects.

Kendall adds an extra layer through journal entries written by Kea’s mother as a teenager, then later as an adult mother of three children. They’re about when she met the future father of her children, and the ups and serious, serious downs, and the layer of crazy they add to the entire mix is both vital and sometimes overwhelming. Though Kea and Blake take the spotlight most of the time, Kendall rounds out the entire family from both deceased parents to Kea’s brothers.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is how heavily Hawaiian culture permeates every single page. Between the Alana family’s love of surfing to the explosive (no pun intended) imagery of Pele and quite a bit of mythology, Kendall’s love of the culture is incredibly evident, and it makes the entire book that much richer.

And let me tell you, the twists and turns this book takes are pretty shocking. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what would happen next and how many more times I’d be wrong about what I expected to happen. Hot Blooded is a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat and sometimes dangles you off the edge of a cliff, but it’s an exhilaration you won’t want to end, even after you read the last page. I’m more than ready for book two of this series.

Advertisements

Author Journey – Kendall Grey

So excited to have one of my favorite authors PERIOD on the blog today! In case you’re new to the blog, or your memory is . . . about as good as mine, Kendall’s novel Inhale received YAY ratings from both Landra and me, so it’s a good ‘un.

And here’s her journey.

Take it away, Kendall!

 

Every writer—published or not—has story to tell about her “journey.” Here’s mine in easy-to-digest bullet points, pre-chewed for your convenience:

1. I read TWILIGHT and decided I should write a book. How many times have you heard that one before? 😉

2. I wrote a book and thought it was totally badass. All my friends agreed.

3. I queried agents and editors. I quickly learned my book was not, in fact, badass. Rather, it was just plain bad.

4. I screamed, cried, cursed my friends for lying to me, and tore out my hair. Oh, the misery! Oh, the depths of despair!

5. I blew my nose and started looking for solutions to my bad book problem. I joined some writer groups and found a critique partner.

6. I revised the book with my CP’s help.

7. I sent it out again. More rejection. More wailing. More mourning and gnashing of teeth.

8. I joined a specialty group of fantasy writers and got more feedback. I revised the book again.

9. I entered contests and failed miserably at them. More revision ensued.

10. I got a big nibble from my dream agent after winning a critique from her. She asked me to revise and resubmit.

11. More contest entries. I finaled in a few and won 1st place in one.

12. At the husband’s insistence, I decided that if my dream agent said no again, I would self-publish. It had been 3 years. Enough of this crap.

13. After 40+ rejections, more than 10 contest finals, thirteen major rewrites, and four years of blood, sweat, and tears, I self-published INHALE in 2012. I vowed to donate all profits from that book and the rest of the trilogy to programs that educate people about whales.

14. Great! I was finally published. But I wasn’t selling very many books, so no profits for the whales. Damn it.

15. Back to square one with a new twist. How do you get noticed when you’re buried under a million other authors who are all vying for the same audience?  (When you figure it out, let me know.)

16. I used all sorts of marketing ploys to attract potential readers. Most of them didn’t work. So I wrote another book and published it.

17.  Yada, yada, yada…Same shit, different book, but sales increased once I had a book in the back catalogue.

18. I published my third book in January and wrote my first donation check for $5,000 to Whale Camp. I guess maybe I have sold a few books after all. 🙂

Most days I don’t feel like I know any more now than I did four years ago. One thing I do know, however, is that the more you publish, the more books you sell. That’s a fact. So, I’m back to plotting and planning my next series, taking what I’ve learned from the awesome writer friends who’ve helped along the way, and putting my creativity to work.

Number one lesson learned: The destination isn’t nearly as important as the journey.

Thank you for joining us again, Kendall. We love having you grace our blog.

All of Kendall’s stuff is available through:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: Inhale – Landra’s Take

Rating: Yay!

Love is a transcending emotion, crossing dozens of barriers—for Dr. Zoe Morgan it’s true, she loves whales and is slowly falling for the man haunting her dreams. She calls him Perfect because naturally he is there for her whenever she needs him, and willing to give her whatever she wants. When Zoe’s dream lover suddenly requests her help in a coming battle that’s more than a simple nightmare she can’t resist returning the favor.

For Gavin Cassidy, rock star and Sentinel protector of the Dreaming, Zoe is his muse. Of course he comes when she needs him, it’s his job to protect and discover her purpose. He’s just as affected by Zoe physically as he is bound to watch over her. With the battle set to begin, and Zoe holding a key component, Gavin is doing his best to keep his personal feelings out of the mix. Either way saving the day or losing means they can’t be together.

Alright, so my little synopsis is more about the romance then the action, but romance took up a huge chunk of this book. The wonderful thing is Grey magically weaves the action in and around the romance. It’s a wild ride with music, parties, battles, and plenty of vibrancy!  The world Grey has created is engaging and holds a bit of personal desire for me because who wouldn’t want to be able to wield one of the four elements?  I think it would be awesome!

The characters of Gavin and Zoe are well developed, and in fact the whole cast is interesting. I know that a book is worth reading when I love all the characters, this is one of those stories! Villains are devious to the core, especially Scarlett and Sinnder. I honestly wanted to pummel Scarlett’s face in a couple of times; for a Fyre elemental she sure can inspire some rage. Essentially each character’s element is brought forth when you read about them.

A couple things to point this book involves some head hopping, but transitions are seamless. The most challenging part is getting comfortable with the Grey’s Just Breathe terminology. Everything is explained at the beginning but it doesn’t hurt to have the dictionary for the terminology on Grey’s website saved to favorites. Another caught off guard moment is the amount of profanity. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of cursing, and I don’t think Grey has overdone anything. Her characters love to use words appropriately, but for those not accustomed here is a fair warning. The profanity doesn’t detract from the reading in the least. It’s a part of the experience.

Overall, Inhale is a refreshing urban fantasy that takes a course away from the typical fare of shifters, vampires, angels, etc. available. If you want something new, that will keep you up all night, and put a gorgeous face with a voice from Oz in your head then Inhale is the one to buy!