Series: Magic and Mayhem Book #2
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Blurb: Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.
Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.
Thoughts: This is the second book in this series, following Werewolves Be Damned which I also read and reviewed almost two years ago. With that being said, a lot of time has passed since then – and I’ve read a ton of books in the meantime – but many of the same issues I had with book one are still evident in this second book. I was still expecting to be able to pick up this book and not be lost or confused as to what was going on. Needless to say, I forgot how confusing things were on the first go round….again, it seems as if you are already expected to know all the details behind this world and how it works, and that point is hammered home even more so in this second book. If anything, I was even more confused than with book one – and while there was a character guide/reference, and a synopsis, etc. included that is meant to help guide you through this world, I simply feel like I would have had a better connection as a reader with both the story and the characters if this information could be woven more throughout the story. I want the author’s words to make me feel like I have been pulled into that world – that I am a part of it – not like I’m doing homework!
There also was just more of a disconnect with this book and these characters, compared to the previous one. I believe a lot of that has to do with the fact that you are expected to already have that connection with these characters, to already be invested in their lives and in the story, that not much is dedicated to ‘wooing’ the reader into it. Even having read the first one, you kind of still want to feel that reconnection with the characters…. instead it just sort of fell flat for me. Particularly since (for the most part), the characters didn’t quite feel the same to me as they did in Werewolves Be Damned. In many ways, I felt like I was reading about new characters, which only seemed to add to the frustration I felt when I was reading – overall, it really left me struggling to maintain any sort of connection to the characters here at all.
Bottom line though – I definitely don’t see this one as a stand alone title.
You can read my review on the first book in the series here: Review for Book #1 – Werewolves Be Damned