Apr 23, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain #2)

hotblooded4 star

Urban Fantasy
April 23 2013
Trade Paperback
320 pages
Orbit
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Jessica McClain

From Goodreads –
It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain.

Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge — but Jessica is playing for keeps.

Because she’s the only female werewolf in town…it comes with its own set of rules…and powers.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.

All in a day’s work for a girl.

The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties…

———-

Hot Blooded is the second installment in Amanda Carlson’s Jessica McClain series.  If you are in the mood for a book that reads at a leisurely pace and where the action is nothing more than someone taking an unhurried stroll along the beach on their way to Starbucks, this is not the book for you.  Holy cow once this book starts it just doesn’t stop!

In the last book Jessica’s mate Rourke was kidnapped by a Selene, a crazy goddess.  I am being kind with ‘crazy’ by the way as she has fallen off her rocker ages ago.  Hot Blooded is the story of Jessica’s journey as she goes to rescue her man.  There are hints at other things happening, such as other Packs threatening the area and side characters being built up for bigger and brighter things, but the main plot is Jessica’s journey to kick Selene’s ass.

Jessica is the first and only ever female werewolf.  There is a tiny little something about her that makes me want to shake her sometimes but what that is exactly I can’t say.  Other than that, I love her.  She is strong and smart but she is also a bit of a lost puppy (hee hee pun).  Being the only one of her kind, she has no one who has been in her shoes and who can help her.  That means that some of her decision are kooky and some are fantastic.  It’s a trial and error and I think that makes her more relatable and human.  She has an ‘every woman’ feel to her that I enjoy.

I like how we not only get to know Jessica by simply reading her but also getting to know her via her wolf.  I love how Amanda writes her wolves – how they are almost separate from the person.  Let me tell you, Jessica’s wolf is a strong headed beast and watching Jessica ‘tame’ her is fantastic.  It shows us a level of control we would not otherwise see from Jessica.  Also, Jessica’s powers are completely crazy.  They are still coming to the surface it’s fun when a new ‘trick’ comes out.  I am very curious to see how far Amanda takes those powers in the next book.

While we’re talking characters, let’s chat about the others who impressed me in this book.

Danny and Tyler.  What is not to like here?  Tyler is Jessica’s brother and Danny is his best friend.  I love these two guys, how they are with each other and how they are with Jessica.  They bring a great dynamic to the series and add a really fun element to this book.

Neomie is a vampire on ‘loan’ from the vampire queen and what a surprise she turned out to be.  She’s freakin’ amazing!  And the little side plot that involves her is very interesting.  I am looking forward to see where Amanda takes her in the next book.

Rourke.  I still like and think he is one yummy piece of meat, but I really wish there was more Rourke/Jessica time in this installment.  I don’t mean “bow chica wow wow” time (although that wouldn’t hurt *wink*)  I am talking about quality ‘couple getting to know each other and in turn we are getting to know them too’ time.  I see great potential in this coupling but we are yet to see these two together on the page for any significant amount of time.  I really hope they are together for most of the next book because I am starting to need more proof that they truly belong together.

There are two things that sort of rubbed me the wrong way a bit in this book.  The first is Ray.  Why.  Is.  He.  There?!  I am assuming that there is some big reason that Amanda is building towards but right now, and in the first book, I didn’t see it.  In fact, he’s just annoying to me.  He’s doesn’t even come across as a decent guy!  I don’t understand why Jessica is so attached to him.  I get that some of her actions when it comes to him shows us that she is a very giving and forgiving person but there are so many other ways that could have been shared.  In fact, there were many other examples of this in the book.  What I am trying to say is that if Ray’s ‘reason for being’ doesn’t become clear in the next book I will be quite frustrated.

My other irk is probably going to make you scratch your head as I already mentioned it as one of the things I enjoyed about this book but here it is:  the go go go.  The go go go itself is cool; it’s just that it is caused by constant obstacles.  Almost 150 pages of obstacles.  Jessica is headed to save Rourke with Ray, Neomie, Eamon (Neomie’s brother), Tyler and Danny and she encounters obstacle after obstacle after obstacle.  Bat things to a giant demon thing to zombie goats…the list goes on and on.  And as exciting as that is, after a while it’s a bit much.  I found myself just wanting Jessica to reach her ultimate destination so we can get on with the story.

Now to a really great thing: the way the book ends.  I’m talking the last fifty pages or so.  From when Jessica finally confronts Selene to when they get back home.  The twist that waits for Jessica and crew when they get back…Holy Cow!  I never saw that coming!  It really makes you wish the next book, Cold Blooded, was releasing before October 8th 2013.

This is a terrific series with the potential to be a great series.  The characters are memorable and well written.  The books are quick and fun.  If you like shapeshifter urban fantasy books you should give this series a try.  As for Hot Blooded, it is a ride and a half.  And if you are like me and find yourself thinking ‘get there and kick her ass already’, just remember that the wait is well worth it.  The last bit of this book will excite you and surprise you.  And it will leave you wanting more.

4 stars

Books in the Jessica McClain series –
Full Blooded
Hot Blooded
Cold Blooded

Be sure to check back tomorrow because Amanda will be here talking about most people’s second most important pastime:  television.

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  1. Want want want 😀

  2. Yay! it was a really great new novel and It was nice to have Ray and Neomie. But I agree with you I would love to understand what he’ll do.

  3. blodeuedd – Get it get it get it 😉

    melliane – I feel we’ll know more about Ray in the next book. I think it’s time we understood better lol

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