This is my first double review, but I wanted to get my thoughts on both books down before UNHUMAN JOURNEY, the second book in the Kirsten O’Shea series, is released on JUNE 17!
It’s tough to do my usual review format for two books. The fact is that the two read really well together, like an epic urban fantasy. You can read the first one alone, but you’re going to be left hungry for more. If you’re anything like me, the time between books in a series is downright painful. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait with the Kirsten O’Shea series!
I’ve read Candace’s work before (see my review of Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club #7, GONZO), and I’ve become a fan. She’s a terrific lady who’s a lot of fun… and may be my brain twin. *ehem*
Book Titles: ONLY HUMAN/AN UNHUMAN JOURNEY
Author: Candace Blevins
Series: Kristen O’Shea #1 & #2
Category: Urban Fantasy/BDSM/ALL THE MONSTERS! YAY!
Main Characters: It’s an ensemble. Kirsten doesn’t have a “romantic” interest in the traditional sense.
Author’s Website: http://www.candaceblevins.com/
Release Date: 06/17/2015 & 06/17/2016
Source: Review copies provided by the author for an honest review
Rating: I’m giving the two books together FIVE BATTY MOONS!
ONLY HUMAN – Someone is abducting women and killing men in a way to get Kirsten O’Shea’s attention. Luckily, she has some formidable friends and allies in the supernatural world, and she isn’t without her own defenses, either.
A powerful master vampire romances her while the alpha werewolf flirts with her, and an ancient being who used to be worshiped as a god wants her dead, but Kirsten survives, even if she is Only Human.
UNHUMAN JOURNEY – There’s a war brewing between good and evil, and the chess pieces are being set…
Aaron has gone missing, and Mordecai has taken over Kirsten’s training. She’s learning by leaps and bounds under the god-of-old’s not-so-gentle tutelage, but with Nathan in charge of Drake Security during The Dragon King’s unplanned absence, everything is upside down.
The evil Celrau vampires were banned from creating new offspring, but they’ve bargained for permission to do so in the Underworld, where the Concilio has no authority. As part of their army-building, the Celrau vampires kidnap Kirsten and take her to the Underworld with the intention of making her one of them. Alone in another realm, Kirsten must form unexpected alliances to survive a most Unhuman Journey.
Join bestselling author Candace Blevins on a thrilling adventure into the critically acclaimed sequel to Only Human.
READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!
It’s no secret that I’m a freak for good urban fantasy. Kick ass human or semi-human heroines, sexy supernatural heroes (or vice versa), action, danger, and hopefully, LOTS of smexy-times! The more the better. In fact, the richer the mythology, the more species of creatures and the more magick involved, the better! Throw in some BDSM, and you’re talking my language!
Let’s just begin by saying I read both of these in a row without a break. While the basic universe is reminiscent of Anita Blake, not every creature Kirsten meets is instantly obsessed with her and ready to jump into bed (sometimes everybody all at once). A lot of the characters are fascinated by her, but there are reasons for that explained in the story. Kirsten is also a therapist and part-time consultant for Drake Security, a company run by, and full of various kinds of shapeshifters. (They’re slowly getting their own stories in the offshoot of the Kirsten O’Shea series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals), rather than a necromancer. She has a daughter, and acts as a big sister/guardian to a Chinese exchange student.
In other words, she has a life outside the supernaturals, and her objections to some of the activities she has to take part in with them actually ring true. (You might be able to tell that while I still LOVE the Anita Black series, they have seriously gone off the rails plot-wise.)
Kirsten is also a true masochist. I read a lot of BDSM (and write some), and you rarely see pure sadists or masochists. There’s a difference between kink and getting off on real pain — giving it or getting it. A lot of times when there is Sadomasochism in a story, it’s ugly, scary, or just raunchy in a non-entertaining sort of way. It’s difficult to find a balance. You also don’t very often see a submissive who is NOT one in the rest of their lives. Most BDSM characters tend to be lifestyle BDSM folks. Meaning they don’t leave it in the dungeon.
The Kirsten O’Shea series contains all the best of these. Being inside Kirsten’s head is surprisingly HOT, even though I’m not a masochist myself. There are some serious sex scenes in both of these books, ESPECIALLY UNHUMAN JOURNEY. I can’t name my favorite, since it’s a spoiler, but if I still read paperbacks, this scene would be the one that I folded the corners on and secretly read over and over again in the dark. If you know what I mean.
Half the kids reading this probably have no idea what I’m talking about. I guess now we mark our ebooks — which I did. HAWT.
For a story with so many characters and types of characters, the primaries are written with dimension and personality. I found myself involved with every one, curious and worried about what would happen next. Most of the guys in the book (including a not-so-good guy or two) are sexy as… well, let’s just say “anything,” since “hell,” might be a bit on the nose.
You know that feeling when you read the most current book in an ongoing series, and you’re upset that the new one won’t come out for a while? (Diana Gabaldon and George -R.R. Martin fans especially know how THAT feels!) Well, I read two books in this series back-to-back, and now I’m DOUBLY chomping a the bit for the next one! COME ON, CANDACE!
At least in the meantime, I can catch up on the other Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club books that I haven’t read, as well as the other sister series to Kirsten O’Shea, The Chattanooga Paranormals. Plus, you now, all the review books I have to read, and my writing, and… oy.)
I’m giving this terrific pair of books FIVE ELATED BATTY MOONS!