Black Rook by Kelly Meade (Paranormal romance) – Review

Black Rook, Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1

By Kelly Meade

Available July 15th from Intermix

ISBN 9780698165441

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Penguin | BAM

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My Review

Brynn plucks up courage she doesn’t have to enter a loup garou town. The charmed pendant hanging around her neck helps as it covers her Magus smell. Because if the man she intends to stop from killing her father takes a whiff of her true scent, then she’s dead meat!

But killing a handsome loup on his turf to show to her demeaning father that she’s worthy to be called his daughter and save his life, proves to be a lot more difficult than she thought. Especially when she finds out first-hand that the loup are hardly animals, as she was brought up to believe, and definitely not the villains in an impending war that could lead to their extermination.

Rook is the third son of the run’s alpha, but as a black wolf he’s entitled to take his father’s place instead of his older brother who’s been training his entire life for leadership. Falling for a Magus and mating her will instantly banish any plans to become the leader. Does she mean that much to him and, most importantly, can he trust his enemy when his world is falling apart?

Although I’ve been on a paranormal hiatus lately, and I’m not a big werewolf fan, I enjoyed this book. Not much emphasis is laid on the actual shifting and animal form of the loup, but Kelly Meade manages to seep their human form with all the loup traits that give them their distinct behavior—from natural aggressiveness, distrust, loyalty and team-spirit to the acute sense of smell and the mouth-watering physique you’d expect of a loup garou.

Their physical differences from the Magi, the ancient, tall, slim and pale creatures, led to inevitable racism that turned to hatred when the loup numbers kept increasing. Without wanting to give away too much of the plot, the element of eugenics with a military intent, creating deadly killing machines, is part of the story and that in itself held great interest. Let’s just say that vampires are thought upon as pawns, but they develop their own lethal agenda.

Initially, the story was quite slow building as a number of characters with backstories had to be introduced, but the impending clash with the conflicts, twists and culminating drama towards the end compensates. There were parts especially where the vampires were involved that had me devouring the pages! Another aspect that’s worth mentioning is that the romance takes the back seat here. It’s slow and tentative with an explosive climax (pun intended) but it’s not the main driver in this multi-faceted story.

Clashing races, preternatural skills, power struggles, an intricate plot and a love that grows strong are the elements of this promising new series.

For a hearty excerpt, read the book’s first chapter as presented in my excerpts’ blog here.

Author Bio

Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, Freddy Krueger and “Fear Street” novels, Kelly Meade developed a love for all things paranormal at a very young age. The stealthy adolescent theft of a tattered paperback from her grandmother’s collection of Harlequins sparked an interest in romance that has continued to this day.

Black Rook is the first novel in her Cornerstone Run series, a paranormal romance trilogy from Berkley Intermix that also includes Gray Bishop and White Knight. It follows three loup garou brothers who will do anything to protect their town, their family, and the secret of their existence—and maybe fall in love in the process.

Writing as Kelly Meding, Three Days to Dead is the first book in her Dreg City urban fantasy series. The series follows Evangeline Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city’s goblins and vampires. Additional books in the series, As Lie the DeadAnother Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are available in both digital format and mass market paperback from Bantam. Book five, Requiem for the Dead, is available digitally through all platforms.

Trance begins the story of the grown-up children of the world’s slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance and Changeling are available now in both digital format and mass market paperback from Pocket Books. Tempest and Chimera are available in digital format only via Pocket Star. All four MetaWars books can also be purchased as a digital bundle.

LINKS

Website: http://www.kellymeding.com

Blog: http://chaostitan.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KellyMeding

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelly-Meding/84164375745

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kellymeding

Tumblr: http://kellymeade.tumblr.com

 

 

 

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Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins (Review)

Blurb

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire sucking the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs–not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.

My Review

When doctorate student and bride-to-be, Elle Dupree, comes home one Monday evening, the last thing she expects is to kill a vampire. She had good reason though: he sucked her fiancé dry.

The next thing Elle knows is that she’s on the fast track to become a vampire slayer. She joins a team of vampire hunters employed by her fiance’s boss who has his own dark agenda. But Elle is more worried about her ex’s agenda as it turns out he’s not entirely dead, and he drags her into a nocturnal, sickeningly alluring world of unnatural beauty and nauseating vices that can seriously mess with a human’s head … and blood pressure.

Margo Bond Collins does a great job in this action-packed urban fantasy. Her writing is lean, and nothing feels out of place. The upbeat tempo is kept throughout the book, and that helped me stomach the gory scenes because a couple of time they toyed with my limits.

In fact, that’s the element that surprised me and not in an all positive manner. The title and official blurb had prepared me for a vampiric read on the lighter side, but this one was gruesome at times. Elle turns into such a vampire hater, she even resorts to sadism. To be honest, I’m not so sure I sympathized with her aims. After all, the vampires really did not do anything they weren’t asked to do, and then she goes after them guns blazing so, naturally, they react the only way the can to defend their, well, existence. I do admit, though, that this could be subjective. Ahh, vampires: old loves die hard… (literally).

But apart from sort of rooting for the vamps instead of the heroine, I must say I enjoyed this read—especially the clever writing.

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About the Author

 

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

 

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Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366353-legally-undead

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