Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Werewolves Be Damned (Magic & Mayhem #1) by Stacey Kennedy

Book coverWerewolves Be Damned (Magic & Mayhem #1) by Stacey Kennedy
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame

Nexi Jones—part witch, part guardian, and wannabe kick-ass warrior—can’t throw a punch or conjure the simplest magic. But that doesn’t stop her from hunting the werewolves who slaughtered her human family. She’ll have her revenge, but only if Kyden, the elite guardian, would get the hell out of her way.

Kyden can’t decide if Nexi wants to get herself killed or if she just has no clue what she’s doing. But her father made it clear: keep Nexi safe…or else. Of course, the more Nexi runs toward revenge, the more she needs Kyden’s aid, and as she grows into her power and confidence, so does his desire to protect her. The only problem? She’d rather he dropped dead.

But when a vampire paints a bull's-eye on Nexi’s back, she’s hard-pressed to deny Kyden and the help he’s offering. Even if it means getting her revenge will be a little bit harder. At least it will still be as sweet.

I had a misconception when I started reading this book. I thought it was about werewolves because of the title. Then when I met Briggs, I thought he was going to be the love interest and the hero, only to find out that he's not (major disappointment there, he's sexy!). After that, I thought I was reading a paranormal rather than an urban fantasy and feeling rather grateful that I only had one book to put up with Nexi. I was wrong there too.

I disliked Nexi right off the bat because she was an angry, vengeful heroine and those sorts of heroines just don't sit well with me. I understand what motivates her and drives her for it but I don't connect with angry characters and all the anger and negative emotions that it generates. I also don't like the fact that she is constantly thinking the worst of Kyden. Even when he shows her his tender and softer side, she misjudges him and treats him badly. He certainly does not need that, especially considering his intentions. On top of that, she's incredibly self absorbed and self centered. She even at one point in the book admits it to herself. She does become less self absorbed later in the book, but it's much later in the book, and she does become more tolerable. I don't dislike her nearly as much by the end of the book and I certainly hope she becomes more likable in the next book because I don't think I could take multiple books of the Nexi in this particular story. It is just too painful to contemplate. Others might see her anger, disrespect and insubordination as a kind of strength, but I think there is better strength in the lack of all this negativity. I am sorry though for the loss that she had to endure and I cried at one particular loss.

Now, Kyden... where do I even start. This book is all about Kyden for me. He's so super yummy and alpha. I love that he realises early on that Nexi is it for him. I love that he tries to woo her and shows her his tender and caring side. I also loved when he finally decided, stuff this, and went all alpha caveman on her. I spent most of the book picturing after his naked, sweaty, glistening chest. Go Google Stuart Reardon in a kilt. You'll get what I mean. Hot damn!

I realised when I got to the end of the book that all of the parts of the book that I highlighted were all about Kyden. Here are some of my favorites:

"He hadn't anticipated how hard this moment would be for him. A pull between the side of him wanting to protect her and the other that wanted to support her."

"Gazing at her with heady emotion in his eyes, he handled her body like he dealt with everything else in his life, with care, but also with arrogance. Every slide of his body against hers marked her as if he stamped himself on her soul."

Overall, I would say this is a good introduction into the world that Ms Kennedy is building for the series and an enjoyable book. We see the world building through Nexi's eyes, which unfolds through her ignorance and her confusion as things are explained to her in this new world that she is living in. It's not an easy journey for her, but then she doesn't make it easy for herself either.

I think that I am feeling much more sanguine about this book towards the end than I was at the beginning. About halfway through the book, I was thinking, oh hell no, I'm not reading another book with her in it, but now I'm thinking that I might, especially if it means that we get more of the yummy Kyden. I want to see lots more of him and I hope he doesn't get shoved into a secondary position as the story focuses on Nexi's development of her kick-assery as is the case with most urban fantasies. Kyden is what makes this series worth reading for me.

On to the next book ...

View all my reviews

About the author

auSTACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the CLUB SIN series. Growing up, Stacey's mind wandered the path less traveled and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion - staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she's not on mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you'll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy.

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

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  1. I want more Valor and Briggs. I would really like to see them have a book or a spinoff or something.

    1. I loved Valor and Briggs. Especially Valor. I love that uber powerful, uber sexy werewolf.