Sep 22, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck (The Shadow Keepers #1)

Paranormal Romance
August 31 2010
Mass Market Paperback
416 pages
Bantam Books

Yummy Man – Lucius Dragos
Kick Ass Chick – Sara Constantine

From Goodreads
“Sara Constantine is one of the country’s most tenacious prosecuting attorneys—and she’s just secured a well-earned promotion. At first she’s thrilled. Then she finds out her new job involves prosecuting vampires and werewolves. And nothing prepares Sara for the shock she receives when she meets the first defendant she’ll be trying to put away: Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius Dragos kisses the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s only hoping to blend into the crowd and avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s following…and planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss to secure his cover ignites into a fierce hunger that leads to an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows Sara will do whatever it takes to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not the monster she thinks he is. And that might mean making the greatest sacrifice a vampire can make.”

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a little while know that I research books before I purchase them.  I check with my reliable bloggy friends and I check Goodreads.  That is mainly why I rate books a little high – I only buy books that I think I’ll really enjoy.  Well, I was at the bookstore last week and I had forgotten my trusty book planner at home.  You know, the one where I write all the books I want to read someday and all the release dates that I want to recall.  I decided that I was an independent woman of the 2010s and that I could pick my own damn book without having to rely on someone else telling me about it first.  I could totally do this!

Well, apparently I can’t… 🙁

I read the back of “When Blood Calls” by J.K Beck and it sounded as though it held great promise.  A new prosecutor (Sara) is recently thrust into the ‘dark side of the world’.  The first guy she must prove guilty is a man (sorry, vampire, Lucius) who she recently shared one hot and passionate night with and whom she can’t get out of her head.  (Who doesn’t like shared nights of explosive ecstasy with a side of astonishment in a police interrogation room?!)  And then there is the question…is he really guilty or is he just misunderstood?  All the makings for a really fun ride, right?

Unfortunately, I just didn’t mesh with the characters.  It’s not that we didn’t find out enough about them to feel for them.  I did feel sad when I learned that Sara’s father was murdered when she was only eight.  I even felt for Lucius when we learn his back story – no matter how horrific it was.  Sara is a strong woman who fights for justice.  She understands that sometimes criminals will get away with their crimes, but she is willing to do what she cans to prevent that from happening on her time.  Lucius is a member of the Alliance – a paranormal organization that deals justice when it feels the justice system has failed.  He is as alpha as they get, very protective of those close to him and very passionate about everything else.  Alone, they are alright.  Together, I just didn’t get it.  Yes, the scenes with the two of them together are written with lots of heat, but the heat just didn’t translate and the chemistry fell a little flat.

One of my favorite parts of a romance book are the exchanges between the hero and the heroine.  How you get to witness the beginnings of their relationship through dialogue and interaction.  For almost 200 pages, Sara and Lucius hardly interact at all.  There are some flashback scenes that bring you back to the time they were together before Sara knew what Lucius was and yes, those flashbacks are sizzling.  But waiting almost 200 pages before I got to see them together in a room other than in a prison questioning cell just didn’t help me feel their bond.  And even when they did join up, I couldn’t really feel why they were so hot for each other.  Why they were made for each other.

There are a lot of characters and I found that sometimes I was a little lost and that some characters were unnecessary.  The story was a little slow at times too.  Yes, everything sort of meshes at the end, but I would have needed a little meshing a little earlier on to truly enjoy the flow of the story.

I did enjoy how J.K. Beck described the paranormal’s justice system.  She has a background in law and you can tell.  The details are good and I like that there is a solid system in place to handle the night dwellers’ transgressions.  I even liked how the victims could be the ones to publicly execute the offenders.  That was pretty cool.

It wasn’t a terrible book.  I can’t say that I wondered why I wasted my time on it.  Parts of the story were muddled and I just didn’t feel enough for the characters or the story line to fall for this book.  The premise is fantastic.  It just, for me anyways, lacked a little on the execution.

2 stars

Books in The Shadow Keepers series –
When Blood Calls
When Pleasure Rules (September 28th 2010)
When Wicked Craves (October 26th 2010)



  1. Great review Julie…Maybe book two will be execute better..

    ..maybe not 😉

  2. Mandi – I really don’t think I’ll pick up the next one…unless it gets raving reviews! You know that darn peer-pressure! 😉

  3. Hmm this one did sound really promising, too bad it didn’t quite follow through. The hardest part for me is when I just can’t relate to or connect with the characters. It’s especially hard to connect with them if they hardly interact with one another:) Thanks for the honest review, I think I’ll pass on this one!

  4. This one does sound like it had a lot of promise-I probably would’ve picked it up as well. I hate when a book that looks really good ends up being a fail.

  5. Jenny – Character chemistry is everything to me, so I know what you mean. 🙂

    Buckeye Girl – Many people have really liked it though! Just goes to show you how one book affects each individual differently.

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