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Monday, August 30, 2010

ARC Review: JK Beck - When Blood Calls

Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-4402-4577-3
ISBN-10: 0-4402-4577-X
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book 1 in the Shadow Keepers series
Main Characters: Sara Constantine & Lucius Dragos
For Sale At: Book Depository Store

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion - until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. 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 kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he's hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he's planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away - unless he can convince her that he's not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Paranormal Romance genre is going into a new direction and JK Beck is one of the leading ladies in doing so. Combine the booming Paranormal Romance Novels with the popularity of police law enforcement series on TV and you find a mixture that thrills the reader with suspense and love.

This was what first came to mind when I closed this book after reading it. I was a bit ‘warrior-band-of-brother-exhausted’ and JK Beck has blown new life into my love for reading about vampire’s, werewolves, demons and everything not so common to the human world.

At first it took me some getting used to the pace, world build up, and where this story was taking me, but once I went way down under and got settled into division 6 – PEC (Preternatural Enforcement Coalition), a whole new world of Paranormal Investigation’s, DA’s and their own Judicial System opened up to me, making my heartbeat rise and my longing to read on grow with each page I turned.

Straight away we’re thrown into a murder scene, which on the surface seems a slam-dunk arrest, but turns out to be a lot more complicated that it was at face-value.

Sara is a prosecutor and after her promotion is thrown into the paranormal world, she’s an honest woman, seeking out justice and not feeling ruled with the fact she had to prosecute someone for a crime they might have done according to the evidence on the surface. I found it a bit difficult to connect with her as a character at the start, but as the story progresses I felt she opened up more and more.

Lucius is a centuries old vampire, and within this series, vampire’s struggle with their inner daemon who is seeking blood/souls to feed of and have a craving need for violence. When I came across him the first time he didn’t come across as a straight forward villain to me, more like a rogue out loose in the paranormal world, with a big sense of responsibility, but not feeling sorry for the things he has to do (as an assassin for the Alliance), which aren’t quite so legal or by the book. What I found so great about him was that he didn’t apologize for it. It was either accept him for who he is, flaws and all, or don’t accept him and have it that way, but either way was fine with him. I absolutely loved that!

The love for each other was a built up from a one night stand and like an instant thing, and I would have loved to have seen more pages used for their actual love-relationship but there are only so much pages in a novel to write up. Throughout their encounters it is clear that there is more than just passion for each other so it was a believable development within this story.

Both Sara and Luke are brought into this story with baggage from the past to solve or lay to rest, making them characters that grow along in this story and in their encounters. Their past however, do make cause for obstacles and these could have gone awry leading their own life within the story, but JK Beck knows how to handle it and guide it into a great plotline.

Throughout this first installment in the Shadow Keepers series, quite a few secondary characters come to pass, all complex with a variety of paranormal powers, and I sincerely hope that in the next installments these characters will get a part as well or even their own story. The world build up was really well done, as well. It took some time getting into it, as it is very different from what I was used to reading, but once a bit more settled into the terminology and way of life, it all falls into place. It is definitely a world I want to continue reading about!

Some of the plotlines were predictable, but I didn’t see the major plotline coming, making this read a thrilling one until the end. Towards the end all small and big plotlines were completed leaving me satisfied as a reader. Though there was a point where I got a bit uncomfortable with reading on, which might be a break-point for some readers, I thought it great of JK Beck to not avoid this and use it in her story as it did have a purpose to things IMHO.

Quote of one of my favorite characters in this novel-Tucker-I just love his humor:
She peered at his shield and ID, then met his eyes, her own filled with confusion. "Homeland Security?"
She stared him down. "Are you shitting me?"
"No, ma’am," Tucker said. "We at Homeland Security do not have a sense of humor of which we’re aware."

This is definitely a strong, compelling and intriguing start of a new series, and I for one am looking forward to being taken back to the PEC and their paranormal investigations!


VampFanGirl said...

Great review Natascha!

Glad to read that the lack of romance page time didn't sway you from a four star rating. I'm definitely looking forward to this series.

Natascha said...

I am looking forward to see where this world will take us as well. And I'm glad to now the next two are going to be release soon so we wouldn't have to wait too long ;-)

Leontine said...

I loved reading your review Natascha!! I've got all of them on pre-order and look forward to dive in to this world even if the romance is playing a minor role in this book. I can't wait to meet Lucius, I love a man who is unapologetic for his flaws *grin*

Natascha said...

@Leontine You would definitely love him methinks ;-) You won't regret having them on pre-order!!!

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1 star: Too many flaws and not worthy of your time.

2 stars: An average story with no surprises.

3 stars: An interesting and entertaining story.

4 stars: A riveting and gripping reading experience.

5 stars: A story that is the ultimate reader's high and very addictive.

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