Warning: Cliffhanger (Yet another mid scene break)
It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain.
Her newly found mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge, and Jessica is positive she can save him.
But being the only female werewolf in town comes with its own set of rules and powers… if only she understood them.
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.
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…
“Did you just hit me? With a rock? What do you think I am? A fucking squirrel?”
“Lady, you’re no squirrel, but you certainly have some anger issues to work on.”
I still enjoyed myself reading this, though I can see why many would not. This book suffers from middle child syndrome in the worst way (even though there are 6 books, the first three still feel like a trilogy). Middle book, middle plot. This could have easily been a novella, but it is stretched to be a full book.
Part of the reason why it is a full book is because no one ever stays on point. Everything distracts them. This is the ADHD equivalent of a novel. The whole point of the book is to save Roarke because Jessica knows something bad will happen to him, and soon, if she doesn’t. So why do they keep getting distracted by everything else along the way? And by the way, yes, it does take the entire book to get him back.
Why does it take the whole book? Because of this forest of horrors they have to go through! It is interesting, I’ll give it that. There is so much random things stuffed in this forest to kill them it does make it pretty interesting. Even if you could have reduced this section. It does serve as a great world building exercise. It introduces a lot of random things that are part of this world.
Though it does mean that sometimes, Carlson makes up the most ridiculous line of excuses in the world to make something work exactly the way she wants it to. The “but why?” line of questioning happens a few times. It is always used to make something fit, regardless of any other, better solutions. It feels like the author is trying to convince herself more than she is trying to convince the readers.
There is a secondary plot running throughout this book that started to get on my nerves though. Mostly it got on my nerves because it went on for so long, so many times, and kept popping up at the most random of times. Jessica is trying to convince Ray, the human cop that accidentally saw one of them change, that he should be on their side, while simultaneously trying to convince everyone else that humans shouldn’t be killed just because they saw something, that they’re people, too! It just keeps happening.
This book started off on the wrong foot, though. After the cliffhanger in the middle of a scene in Full Blooded, Hot Blooded starts in the middle of an entirely different scene. A scene that confused me. Yet it ended with the random person throwing out a random line that SURPRISE! is a massive part of finding out what Jessica is. Which, of course, is the biggest mystery to solve in this series right now.
There was something that only annoyed me towards the end of the book, once I noticed it. Jessica is the only one who does anything in the book, really. She drives everyone, she solves everything, she fixes everything they manage to get into. She is the leader. This isn’t uncommon in urban fantasy, it is actually pretty common, and it isn’t what annoyed me. No, what annoyed me is that everyone surrounding her is male, and everyone surrounding her wants to protect her, or make her leave this journey that she rightfully needs to take. Every time she talks to her father, it is him telling her to have the others protect her or turn around. Her brother is constantly trying to get them to turn around. Yet, Jessica is the only one that is doing anything, and she appears to be immune to everything (because she is so overpowered it is incredible). It was pretty frustrating.
The ending was over quickly. For as long as they spent in the forest of horrors, they spent as little time fighting Selene. However, Hot Blooded actually had some resolution, compared to Full Blooded. This felt more of a full story, even if it was extended past what I wanted. I still wanted more with the mate we have yet to see in anything other than desire on Jessica’s part. I wanted a fight that was more than a bitchslap fest. I really didn’t want that demon business at the end. Just one damn thing after another in this series.
Yet still, after all that, I liked it. It reminds me of urban fantasy that I like.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Jessica McClain series page!