Saturday, February 27, 2016

Series Saturday Review: Hunter Series by Lexi Blake


I am a huge urban fantasy fan - I think I would name it my go-to genre if I had to choose only one. Unfortunately this genre is not as prevalent as the other romance subgenres so I am always scrounging around for a new series. Luckily, Lexi Blake has hit the nail on the head with the Thieves/Hunters series - I just hope the series continues on for a while. Most of my other favorite urban fantasy series have ended!

Ripper 
by Lexi Blake
Series:  Hunter #1 / Thieves #6
Pub. Date:  Jan. 20, 2015
Publisher:  DLZ Entertainment
Pages:  288


My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

A New Heroine Rises...

Kelsey Atwood is a private detective with a problem. She came from a family of hunters, growing up on the wrong side of the supernatural world. Tracking down bail jumpers and deadbeat dads may not make her a lot of friends, but it’s a lot safer than the life she turned her back on. She was hoping to escape from the nightmares of her past, but her latest case has brought them right back to her door.

A young woman has gone missing, and she didn’t go willingly. When Kelsey discovers that the girl is actually a shifter, she knows she should drop the case and walk away. But this shifter was a sweet kid, and she’s in serious trouble. More females are missing and the evidence points to a legendary killer. Bodies are piling up, and her case is becoming center stage for a conflict that could shatter the fragile peace between wolves and vampires.

As the hunt intensifies, she finds herself trapped between two men—Gray, a magnetic half-demon lawman, and the ancient vampire Marcus Vorenus. Both men call to her, but when a shocking secret about Kelsey’s family is revealed, it could ruin them all. To stop the killer, she will have to embrace the truth about who—and what—she truly is.


So the Hunters series is a bit of a spinoff, still in the same world as the Thieves, but focusing more on characters who were previously secondary.  (Except our heroine, she is brand new.)  It has been so long since I read the first five Thieves books, that it really took me to the start of Addict to remember exactly what happened in the earlier stories.

Ripper takes place about 10 years after Steal the Night, and the triad of Daniel/Zoey/Dev now have three thriving mischievous children.  Daniel Donovan is still the king of vampires, and Dev still runs the night club, Ether. Zoey played a bit of a backseat in this installment, but we did get a peak at Bris, the fertility god sharing Dev's body.

The new heroine emerging is Kelsey Atwood, who is somewhat in hiding as a private investigator. When I say she is in hiding, I mean she is in hiding from the reputation of her father, who hunted shapeshifters. Kelsey did not have a good childhood with this cold and brutal man, but luckily she has a very close relationship with her two brothers and mother. When Kelsey is pulled into an investigation into a missing doe shifter, instincts that she has been suppressing for ten years.

Kelsey runs head first (literally) into sexy Texas Ranger, Grayson Sloane, who also happens to be her brother's best friend. Something between the pair feels natural and right, and it seems their investigations are going in the same direction. Sloane was certainly an appealing hero, but there was an inkling that something wasn't quite right and it kept me from connecting with him fully. He was not a big player in previous books, so this is really our first look at his character.  However Kelsey also feels a very strong draw to ancient vampire, Marcus Vorenus.  Marcus is a favorite of mine since early on in the series, so I naturally felt a bigger draw to his character. Something about his loneliness and somewhat bleak outlook on his future struck a note with me and I really wanted him to find his HEA.

It was interesting to see Daniel come off as kind of the bad guy in this installment after all the hero-worship of him I was doing in earlier books. The action was steady and interesting, and tied into the previous storyline well.  The situation between Sloane and Kelsey was a bit heartbreaking, and I was left at odds at the end of the story, not knowing how to feel.  This caused me to go off my reading schedule and jump right into the next book, Addict.

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Addict 
by Lexi Blake
Series:  Hunter #2 / Thieves #7
Pub. Date:  Sept. 22, 2015
Publisher:  DLZ Entertainment
Pages:  308


My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

In order to destroy a legendary monster and save the royal family, Kelsey must make a deal with a devil…


When Kelsey Owens returns home to Dallas, she is a changed woman. After months of training with Marcus Vorenus , she has more control over her abilities. She’s ready to start her new job, even if it means dealing with the King of All Vampire and his partner, Devinshea Quinn. Her first assignment, however, will force her to face her past. Grayson Sloane is in trouble and she has to find him. 

With the help of Gray’s brother, a full empath demon, Kelsey tracks her one time lover down. Before she knows it, she’s pulled into Gray’s undercover operation in a demon sex club and sitting across from a Duke of Hell. Abbas Hiberna plans to use her city to test his new drug, Brimstone. It doesn’t just give supernatural creatures a high. It also leaves them vulnerable to demonic persuasion. 

When the king’s own men begin to turn against him, even the royal family is in danger. Keeping them safe will put Kelsey in the duke’s crosshairs and test her fledgling relationship with Marcus. With her new life crumbling around her, a dark secret about her former lover is revealed and Kelsey will have to choose between saving Gray Sloane and the revenge she’s waited a lifetime for.


Addict picks up three months after Ripper left off, where Kelsey and Marcus Vorenus have grown closer together during a stay in his hometown in Italy. Now they are heading back to face the music in Dallas, and maybe save the day.  I loved how close Kelsey and Marcus have grown together as I really wanted to see him happy.  But there is that pesky prophesy out there that he will one day find his perfect companion.  I don't know how I feel about this prophesy - I want Marcus to be happy, but I was hoping this was going to be it for him. The future is uncertain for sure, and that becomes very apparent in this installment of the series.

As soon as Kelsey and Marcus get back into Dallas, Kelsey is thrown into a situation rife with demonic bad tidings. Her former lover, Grayson Sloane, may be in trouble and Kelsey must seek him out at a new supernatural club, Brimstone. This puts Sloane and Kelsey working side by side again in dangerous situations. The action in this installment was a bit more fast-paced and there were several twists and turns that I was not expecting. Addict ties in nicely with past books, some villains re-emerge, and Kelsey learns more about her biological father, Lee Owens.

I am really digging the children in the series. Some are precocious, some mischievous, and some are very serious. Zack's daughter, who is scared of everything and can't quite pronounce Rs and Ls is cute as a button. The dynamic between Kelsey and Lee is sweet and shows her in a better light - that she is not all whacked out killer that everyone expected her to be.

I don't like this uncertain future for some of my favorite characters. We get several glimpses of possibilities through prophesy in Addict, some of which I liked, some I hated, and some left me feeling undecided. Luckily an additional book, Sleeper, is scheduled for release later this year. Hopefully I can snag an ARC because I am anxious to see what the future holds for Kelsey, Marcus, Sloane, and even Trent.

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Thieves / Hunter Series