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.

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Review: Essenced – Landra’s Take

Rating: Yay

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Review:

Essenced opened with a less then climatic or action packed sequence, and definitely picks up on a slow build. This is a multiple character book and at the start keeping all the names straight was a bit of challenge, yet in most fantasy books a reader should be prepared for a plethora of characters.

The story is in a third person POV, which at times read a bit omniscient, but the blend between the two worked for me. If you’re a stickler for POV’s staying consistent through a story this may not be a book you want to pick up. The narratives and action keep things from wandering too far into internal, and I didn’t find an issue with this either. The main character the story focuses on, AJ, a sixteen year-old suddenly imbued with the power of a supernatural creature. She is the only one, besides her trainer Julius, who we get to dive into internal thought with. There are additional secondary character’s who get a little bit of time, but mainly it’s AJ.

The variety of supernatural creatures, personalities and funny moments made this book a delight to read. My favorite moment was when AJ and her fellow soldiers are gathered around the dinner table after a long day of training. Hijinks, confessions, sharing weaknesses, and a bunch of hilarious conversation ensues. I laughed out loud and even took a moment to pause and enjoy. It’s not often I read a book that makes me laugh or express a ton of a emotion. This book did.

For readers who love action, weapons, and the supernatural this book opens the doors to all three. Smith did a good job of showing plenty of action without losing my attention and seemed to be well versed on the types of training exercises and fighting equipment the characters experienced.

Of course nothing is tidy in the world of YA, and the story leaves off at a cliff hanger. I also ended the story with lots of questions, and I can only hope all of them get answered in the next story. The real action is coming in book 2, but when the lovely Connie L. Smith plans to release the next story is anyone’s guess.

Grab a copy of Essenced today at:

Amazon

Author Bio:

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to
music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

Find Connie on:
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
GoodReads
Website

Author Interview- Peter Dawes

And it’s time for another awesome author interview! I got a hold of Peter Dawes and he’s agreed to share a little more info about himself, his assassin vampire Flynn, and his series of books that seem to be putting the vamp back in vampire. Get rid of the glitter and embrace your dark side. Without further ado here’s Peter and his answers to my 5 questions.

1. In the first book we encounter witches and vampires, are there other supernatural creatures in Flynn’s universe?
Quite a few, actually. Even the witches, sorcerers, and vampires have different sects to them which are gradually revealed throughout the course of the books. In the next book especially we get the chance to meet another seer named Julian, as well as other members of the Supernatural Order. We also get the chance to meet the first true vampire dark magician.
2. There’s a ton of visual imagery in this book, especially with Flynn’s experiences around training and killing, have you thought about expanding to a graphic novel?
Funny you should mention! The last thing I had been doing prior to writing Flynn’s books was script writing with an independent comic studio. (I had created my own superhero, who I would love to give new life to sometime soon.) There is a large part of me who misses those days and would love a chance at penning a graphic novel, so you never know. Perhaps there might be a few black roses and some sequential art in my favorite assassin’s future.
3. I found the vampires to be extremely back and forth, never satisfied with anything. Was this intentional or just a writing follow through?
Sabrina’s coven especially are a brood of malcontents. It was not something I had the chance to get into much in EotS, since the book follows Flynn primarily, but I have a novella in the works told by one of Matthew Pritchard’s immortal children which casts more light into Sabrina and the vampires of the area. To spoil slightly, Sabrina has been embroiled in her powerplay for some time, and one of the cards she played regularly was building the population of her coven faster than any coven should be built. The result of this was a general negligence of the young vampires housed under her roof. Conversely, Matthew had been a fixture in Philadelphia since the mid-1800s and had a much different viewpoint on turning vampires. As a result, those vampires being targeted by Flynn were actually very confident, unapologetic immortals.
4. If you’re not Peter Dawes, then who’s the man behind these stories? Tell readers a bit about him?
*laughs* I am a parent, in a committed relationship with an extremely loving, supportive partner, and perhaps one of the kindest neurotics you might ever meet in person. I definitely have an artist’s soul, which makes it easy to identify with someone as tortured as Peter, so there are moments when my mood swings are impressively epic. But gods, do I love to write. This has been my form of self-expression ever since I was in middle school and I do not see that changing any time soon. Want to make me light up like a Christmas tree? Tell me you loved my characters. They are my “head children” and grant me that burst of pride when they are being complimented by another. 😉
5. Whens the next Vampire Flynn book due out and is there any other tales readers should know about?
Rebirth of the Seer has already been released and is available in both Kindle and paperback formats through Amazon.com. We plan on expanding it out to Smashwords, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble at the beginning of 2013. Fate of the Seer has a tentative release date of June, 2013, but we are seeing what we can do about making it available sooner. At the very least, we promise a few morsels to whet your appetites in-between.
Thank you again for the chance to review your book, and good luck in all your future endeavors. 
Thank you as well, Landra. I hope our paths might cross again soon. 🙂