by Stacey Kennedy
Series: Magic & Mayhem #2
Pub. Date: May 19, 2015
In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.
Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.
Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.
This book takes place 3-4 months after the end of Werewolves Be Damned, where Nexi and crew defeated Lazarus and his evil werewolf minions. I am happy to report that Nexi seems to have matured over our 4 month hiatus and no longer seems to be running off on her own with some cockamamie idea. She has also stopped pushing Kyden away and is instead jumping his bones (or thinking of jumping his bones) at every opportunity. Kyden remains our gentleman warrior, but his alpha male protective tendencies have grown where Nexi is concerned. He keeps trying to keep her out of the action, which is causing some friction between the couple. They are going through their growing pains and settling into their relationship.
My favorite secondary characters for this series, Valor and Briggs, were largely absent from this installment except for a short section at the end. I really hope to see more Valor in the future - or perhaps a spinoff series for him and his beta. We meet new secondary characters in the form of vampire mistresses - one seemingly good and one a huge beyotch. Not sure how they will figure in the story in the future, but I liked Thalia well enough to keep around. Nexi finds a new protector in this book, and I hope Willow sticks around through the rest of the series... I love the talking animal type characters in these type of books.
I liked this installment a bit more than the first book of the series, mainly because Nexi improved as a character. The action and mystery was pretty much on par with the first book, and a bit similar albeit with different characters (instead of a vamp with werewolf minions, we had a witch with vamp minions). I did feel like the culmination of the battle was a bit anti-climactic and somewhat unexplained as to this mysterious stranger. It looks like we are being set up to have a possible love triangle in the next book between Magnus, Nexi and Kyden. I hope not - I do not want to see any more relationship drama in this series.
Overall, this was a good continuation of the story, but I am still waiting for it to "wow" me. I would like more backstory on all of the characters, more details, and more couple time between Nexi and Kyden. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars / 3 flames.
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Stacey Kennedy is the USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less traveled, and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion—always staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she’s not on Mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter, and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, and Sons of Anarchy.
Magic & Mayhem Series
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