ORDER A COPY: Blessed By a Demon’s Mark (Kat Redding)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: December 31, 2012
Paperback: 280 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Kat Redding’s life is dangerous enough when she’s hunting the rogue vampires who prey on Pureblood humans. But now that Kat is thinking of getting out of the killing business, she’s faced with a slew of new problems. Like the demon Beligral, who offers help at an escalating cost, and the werewolf cult with whom she’s entwined professionally and personally. And then there’s Countess Baset—the terrifying vampire who wants Kat to become her personal assassin.
It’s no wonder that Kat has been seeking refuge in the mysterious town known as Delai, a place where she can shed her Lady Death persona and live a life that’s as close to normal as she’s ever known. But even in this haven, something feels askew. Delai is a little too serene. And the more she discovers, the more Kat realizes that the only choice left to her is not whether to do battle, but which side she’ll risk her life to defend.
Kat Redding has been hiding out in the Town of Delia for the last few months. She is tired of her life surrounded by death and killing and just wanted to bask in the feeling of peace she feels in Delia, even if she knows deep down there is something wrong with the Town. But it is time to go back and can feel Ethan’s demon calling her back to pay the price of the promise she made. The problem is when you run away from your life with no word to anyone, the world moves on without you especially when they all think you are dead.
Which was probably for the best because more than just her friends have been waiting for Kat to return. There is a Major Vampire House looking for revenge against Lady Death and they have been rather vehement in their questioning of her friends. There are drawback to having a reputation like “Lady Death” whenever vampires and werewolves show up dead, they believe Kat is responsible. Countess Baset believes that Kat is responsible for the death of her lover and she won’t stop ‘til she finds Kat.
Whether it is Kat’s time in Delia messing with her or the pain that her friends have moved on with their lives without her, but Kat isn’t thinking straight. Not when she is decides to let everyone know she’s back, in a big way, by feeding quite publically in the area run by Count Mephisto, a major Vampire Royal, and not when she decides to take on Countess Baset by herself.
Kat needs to get her head on straight before she gets herself killed and her actions are taken out on the few people she truly cares about.
This story shows that it is not good to be a friend of Kat Redding. I thought the story was very frustrating in the beginning. I don’t know if it was Kat’s time is Delia, Levi’s blood deprivation program to cure Kat’s vampire problem, or just leftover trauma following her brother’s death messing with her had, but she does some really stupid things in this story, most of which affect her friends. She is also very angry and nasty toward the only people who truly care about her; including Jonathan, the werewolf leader of the Luna Cult, who is my personal hero. I love Jonathan. So that probably pissed me off most of all. (If she gets Jonathan killed, I am finished.)
But where Kat was a killer who used her skills and cunning to attack and destroy the smaller Vampire Houses, she acts a little unstable in this story, running hot and cold with her friends, declaring that they are trying to control her, while getting herself into some bad situations where she has to bargain her soul and her freedom.
Although she starts acting more level headed by the end of the story, the damage has been done. Kat has been backed in the corner by several major players due to her dumbass actions which are going to be significant impact on not only her future, but those of her friends.
I am also hoping that Kat Redding is not getting a case of Sookie Stackhouse Syndrome where every supernatural creature wants her. Although Jonathan has definite feelings for her and we know the other werewolf leader has also declared he wants to mate with her so together they can rule the area (*bwahahaha*) , it came off that more than just those two are making moony eyes at Kat. Please don’t go there!
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
“Don’t you start in on me, too.”
He held his hands up. He was holding something in his left hand.
I felt myself soften without meaning to. The coat looked just like the one I’d worn for years. I’d managed to lose both of my old coats while dealing with the mess my brother had caused.
Jonathan saw me looking and a small smile quirked the corners of his mouth. “I thought you might like a new one.” He glanced at the coat on the table. “It appears you have not replaced your other, so it seems the gift is warranted.” His gaze traveled back to me. “I’ve waited a long time to give this to you.”
For some reason, that made me angry. Just seeing Jonathan made memories of my brother flood into my head. I couldn’t stop blaming him for Thomas’s death. He’d been there and hadn’t been able to do anything to stop it.
“Keep it.” I said. “I don’t need it.”
Jonathan looked hurt. He lowered his hands and gave me such a pained look, I almost felt guilty for turning away his gift.
“Look.” I said, trying to keep most of the anger out of my voice. “Tell me why you’re here and then get the fuck out of my house. And take your maimed wolf with you.”
Jeremy flinched, and I could tell I’d hurt him almost as bad as I’d hurt Jonathan, maybe more. Why was I being such a bitch when all they were trying to do was help?
Jonathan’s jaw stiffened as if he was fighting off the urge to say something less than respectful. He managed to compose himself before speaking.
“I wanted to make sure you were okay,” he said. “When Jeremy called and said you were back, I didn’t know what to think. I was really starting to believe you might be dead.”
I glanced at the young wolf. He quickly looked away, face flaming. Ethan stepped protectively near him and glared at me.
What the fuck? Ethan used to be scared of the Luna Cult wolves, had even warned me against them more than once. And now he was defending one of them? Things had really changed since I’d been gone.
I hate change.
“You’ve seen I’m okay,” I said, shifting my attention back to Jonathan. “Now go.” I tried to walk past him, but he refused to move out of my way.
“No,” Jonathan said. “You’re not okay.”
“Who gave you the right to decide how I’m doing?’
“No one,” he said. “But I can see it in your eyes, hear it in your words. Something is very wrong with you and I only want to help.”
My hands balled into fists and I stepped closer to the Luna Cult Denmaster, seriously invading his space. “Nothing is wrong with me. It’s everyone around me that’s pissing me off. I’m tired of everyone telling me to hide, to run away. I never should have come back if that’s the way you’re all going to act.”
“Then why did you?”
Anger flared and I had to fight really hard to keep from lashing out. I should have listened to Ethan before when he’d warned me against the Cult. Now here I was with them in my house and they’d seemingly swayed him to their side. I was losing control of my own life.
Jonathan glanced over his shoulder, apparently unconcerned with my nearness. “I’d like to talk to her alone,” he said.
Both Jeremy and Ethan turned and headed for the stairs without hesitation. Ethan glanced back once, giving me a pleading look as if asking me to cooperate, before vanishing down the stairs.
“Shut up and listen to me for a minute,” Jonathan said turning back to face me. His eyes flared yellow and I took a step back, snapping my mouth closed. I’d never seen him this angry before without some severe provocation.
“You have no right to talk to any of us like this,” he said. “I’d almost forgotten how stubborn you could be.”
“I…” This time I trailed off on my own.
“Ethan is supposed to be your friend and you left him to fend for himself. Jeremy lost his arm in an effort to help your brother. He thinks he is useless now, thinks the world has no place for a ‘maimed wolf,’ as you so eloquently put it. I gave him a reason to live, and I will not let you throw that away because you are too stubborn to see we are all here trying to help.”
Guilt crept in past all my anger and confusion. I felt like a fool for lashing out so quickly. Just because I didn’t like what they were saying didn’t mean I should ignore them. They were only concerned for my well-being.
Then why did it feel like they were trying to control me?
ORDER A COPY: Tainted Night, Tainted Blood (Kat Redding)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: July 3, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Kat Redding is a vampire with a job to do—wiping out the vamps and werewolves who prey on Pureblood humans. Someone has to do it…as long as that someone is her. But suddenly Kat, also known as Lady Death, has competition, and it’s causing problems. Vampire houses and werewolf clans alike are blaming her for a spate of gruesome murders, and Kat needs to figure out who’s really responsible before she becomes the next target…
On the hunt, she forms an uneasy alliance with both the Luna Cult and a powerful rogue werewolf. But the truths Kat’s uncovering—about her enemies and her few remaining confidantes—are far from comforting. And when the chance comes to leave her life of vengeance behind, Kat must decide whether her real motive lies in protecting the innocent, or sating her own fierce hungers.
***NOTE: THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS HERE!!***
In this continuing series, Kat Redding, also known in the supernatural world as Lady Death, finds out that someone is running around the city killing vampires and werewolves with a sword, and although it is not Kat’s style to kill random individuals, rumors are circulating that Lady Death is responsible for these new slayings.
Kat is again approached by Jonathan Alucard, the werewolf alpha of the Luna Cult, to help catch the killer before more weres are killed and to keep the werewolves from going after Kat. Kat is not overly excited to again be involved with the Luna Cult since they were all almost killed the last time they worked together. More importantly, Kat is more than a little unhappy to find Jonathan standing on her doorstep. Normally Kat would kill anyone who knows where she lives, but she can’t seem to work up the desire to hurt Jonathan. Jonathan also wants her to work with werewolf, Adrian Davis, the Alpha who took over the former vampire house. Adrian is still very interested in mating with Kat and he has been having her followed to keep an eye on her, both for his own interests and to make sure she is not the killer. Kat’s feelings still haven’t changed about Adrian and she’d much rather kill him and done with him than play nice and work together to find the killer.
In hunting for the killer, Kat stumbles first onto a human religious cult known as The Left Hand, who hunt the werewolves and vampires, and although they are only human, they are quite dangerous. She also comes upon a bizarre Town known as Delai, where the residents didn’t seem to be cowering in the night in fear of the predators that lurk in the dark. There she meets Levi, the Mayor of the Town, and although he knows that Kat is a vampire, he seems to want her to settle in with them.
When Kat accidently comes upon the killers, she is shocked to learn that it is a group of Tainted, humans who have been tainted with both werewolf and vampire blood, a mix of blood which usually just leads to madness. These tainted are working together as a team and she is nearly killed trying to take them down. The worst shock of all is that the leader of this Tainted Army is Kat’s brother, Thomas, who was Tainted with both werewolf and vampire blood at the same time Kat was turned vampire, and who Kat thought was long dead.
Kat doesn’t know if his leadership is due to his extensive training with Kat prior to their capture, or is Thomas beginning to remember who he was. Now Kat is willing to risk anything and everyone she cares about to save her brother from what he has become. She is even willing to enlist the help of Ethan’s demon in order to bring him back.
I was again quickly drawn in to the world created by E.S. Moore and sped through this story. Kat is still very unwilling or unable to fully trust anyone, not even human Ethan who is her helper in her fight against the evil that prowls the night. Although this is in the realm of Urban Fantasy and not paranormal romance, I was quite happy to see a little more growing between Kat and Jonathan. (I have my own little crush on Jonathan ;) ).
BUT I have to say that the ending has me pretty crazed and more than a little pissed off, and I am trying to reserve judgment until I read the next story since I am certain there must be some very important plot set up happening here.
The Town of Delai gives off a very Twilight Zone feel or something out of a Stephen King novel, the kind of Town you drive in to, but you can never return from. You just know that something is wrong. I see from the preview pages from the next novel at the end of the book that we will be returning to Delia, so I will again reserve any judgment on this part of the story until we get a chance to see where we will be going.
Although I want to jump into the story and kick some Lady Death butt myself, I will definitely be picking up a copy of Blessed by a Demon’s Mark due out in January 2013 to see where the story leads.
See our interview with author E.S. Moore for more about the Kat Redding series.
“I know you don’t like visitors,” Jonathan said. He looked uncomfortable sitting at the table. He kept lacing and unlacing his fingers as if he wasn’t quite sure what to do with his hands.
“No shit.” I placed the gun on the table, the barrel aimed right at him. I kept my hand on it to let him know how much I didn’t like having people show up unannounced at my doorstep.
“I wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t important.”
“Okay,” I said. “Then speak.”
He sighed and ran his fingers trough the hair on the left side of his head. He looked much better than he did the last time I had seen him. It had been at The Bloody Stake, and he’d still been suffering the result of our semi-successful joint run against House Tremaine. The limp was gone and all his wounds appeared to be healed, though that could be deceiving.
Jonathan was a sorcerer, which allowed him to hide what he wanted to hide. He claimed he could only cast glamours, but I refused to believe it. Any sorcerer who wanted to live would claim they could do very little. Anyone stronger was sought out and killed.
Jonathan used his glamours to keep the Luna Cult Den hidden. He was able to hide the Den, making the old library on the Ohio State campus look run-down and abandoned from the outside. On the inside, it was anything but.
He’d used his glamour on me once as well, making me appear as a Luna Cult member so we could infiltrate House Tremaine together. It had worked, to a point. I hadn’t been able to keep myself from killing a few wolves along the way, which, in turn, gave us away when Adrian Davis sniffed me out.
Before I met him, Jonathan had kept his face hidden with a dark hood aided by a glamour that made his face all shadows and darkness. Only recently had he started using his magic to hide the damage done to his face, reconstructing it so that anyone looking at him wouldn’t cringe.
The slightest hint of guilt crept into me. I’d been the one who’d ruined his face. He was once a member of House Valentino, a House I had taken down after they had turned me into a vampire. My blade had cut a large chunk of his skull off, leaving him mutilated and near death. He survived and had a change of heart, choosing to turn against his vampire masters and fight for the liberation of the werewolf.
Yeah, I wasn’t so sure why I was siding with him either.
Jonathan looked up at me and a sadness came into his eyes. “I was wondering if I would ever see you again,” He said. “I thought we had gotten past our differences and could at least be friends.”
I frowned. “Is that what this is about?”
“No,” he admitted. “But I needed to get it out. I dislike the thought of you risking your life alone when you could have my help.”
He rubbed at his forehead like a headache was coming on. “Things would be much easier if we could learn to work together. This animosity between us need not exist. Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so far gone if you had come to me.”
I frowned even harder. “What’s happened?”
He licked his lips and brushed off his jacket, though there was nothing on it. He looked downright nervous, and it was making my trigger finger itch.
I moved my head away from the gun just in case. I would probably feel bad if I killed him because he sneezed at the wrong moment.
ORDER A COPY: To Walk the Night
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publishing Date: January 3, 2012
Paperback: 300 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Even a vampire has to face her inner demons…
Kat Redding is the very thing she hunts: a vampire, thirsting for blood, capable of killing any creature unlucky enough to get in her path. The difference is, Kat kills her own kind in order to protect human Purebloods. She’s good at what she does. Good enough to earn the nickname Lady Death—and the enmity of every bloodthirsty being around. But now a vampire Count is intent on merging his House with a werewolf cult to create a force of terrifying power.
Kat can’t allow that to happen. Even if it means taking on a den of weres and a vampire more ruthless than any she’s encountered before. She has the weapons, the skill, and a few allies. But that may not be enough to eliminate the Count before her own dark nature rises to the surface—and costs her whatever is left of her humanity…
Kat Redding is a vampire that hunts vampires. This is the time after the Uprising, when vampires and werewolves made their presence known and declared themselves rulers of the night and the humans (Purebloods) began to hide in their homes after dark. Kat has made it her mission to destroy the Vampire Houses who prey on those foolish or desperate enough to be out after dark.
Now the Luna Cult, worshipers of werewolves, want Kat’s help to destroy the power hungry House Tremaine and free their leader being held by the vampire House. Although there is nothing Kat enjoys more than taking down the vampires, she is concerned if she can really trust a monster to guard her back.
In this new Urban Fantasy, E.S. Moore shows us a world where children aren’t the only ones who should be afraid of the dark. Unlike many of the stories where supernaturals exist quietly protecting humans from other supernatural threats, in this world Vampire Houses dominate the night, using werewolves as their guard dogs, and any Purebloods (a/k/a humans) found wandering the night are fair game, kept as slaves and used for blood and sex.
Like most first books in a series, it was a little slowing going in the beginning as we set up the background of our heroine and the city around her, but once we got into the story it really picked up.
There are more than enough dangling story lines to keep me interested in reading the next book which comes out in July 2012.
Received ARC courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you.
Jonathan stood and walked around his desk. He stopped all of five feet away from me and I still couldn’t see his face. “I should probably explain something to you first,” he said. “The more you know going in, the more likely you are to understand why I came to you. There are certain things you should know, things best shown to you rather than told.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said. Something about Jonathan’s tone had me on edge, but I managed to keep my cool. So far, aside from Pablo’s attitude and Nathan’s angry demeanor, no one had really shown me much in the way of hostility.
Jonathan glanced over to his two associates and nodded ever so slightly. Both Nathan and Gregory sat down, though Nathan did so much slower, as if he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. The tension level in the room rose tenfold, and I desperately wanted to know what was going on before I accidently shot someone.
“Would you care to take a seat?” Jonathan asked, motioning toward one of the recliners. It was black and leather and looked really comfortable.
“No thanks,” I said. “I’m fine just where I am.”
Jonathan bowed his head in acquiescence before speaking. “I though you might say that. I take it some of the rumors about you are true. It’s probably why I haven’t seen Joshua since he was sent to deliver my message.” His tone hardened. “I assume he is dead.”
My hand slowly fell to my waist. I didn’t draw, but I wanted to be ready. I didn’t like where the conversation was heading.
Nathan started to rise, but Jonathan waved him back down. The big man hesitated, his frown deepening, before settling back down on the couch.
“He broke in to my house.”
Jonathan leaned back against his desk and sighed. “I should have expected it, really. Joshua is an impulsive man. He was to deliver the note and leave before anyone knew he was there. I should have realized he would want to see you himself.”
I glanced at Nathan before answering. The big man was glowering, but he didn’t seem like he was getting ready to fight. Yet.
“I didn’t want to do it,” I said. “But I don’t like people knowing where I live, which brings me back to my question. How did you know where to find me?”
“It wasn’t easy, honestly. Even though I knew who you were, you had moved to a new location before I could act on my knowledge. It made tracking you down that much more difficult.”
I clenched my fist. How long had this guy known about me? “How?” It was all I could think to say.
“You made a mistake,” Jonathan said. “It happened a long time ago, back before you were as well equipped as you are now Back before you had made a name for yourself.”
I stared at him, unsure what to make of the statement. What kind of mistake had I made, other than getting myself captured once? I was always careful, even back when I was young and stupid.
Jonathan stood silent for a long moment before speaking again. “I was your mistake,” he said. His hands slowly rose to the hood concealing his face and slide it slowly back from his head. There was a shimmer, as if the air around his head was disturbed by some unfelt wave of heat; then his features came into focus.