Sunday, July 14, 2013

Werewolves Be Damned by Stacey Kennedy: On My TBR list

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.

Title: Werewolves Be Damned (Magic & Mayhem #1)
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 267 pages
Release Date: April 2013
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-62266-104-6
Imprint: Edge

© 2013 Stacey Kennedy

The putrefied stench of death rushed through Nexi Jones’s nostrils as she scooted along the floor, cowering from the snarling wolf. Dark red stains saturated the beige carpet and crimson horror splattered the floral wallpaper in her living room.
A terrible combination of grief and fear rattled her, when suddenly, the air around the wolf shimmered. A frigid blast washed through her as if the trauma of seeing her slain parents and her own imminent death had leeched all of her warmth.
The wolf’s fur rippled as if by a harsh wind, yet no windows were open in her house. His features contorted and his gray fur shifted to a cocoa color. Then, in the wolf’s place stood a man, peering down at her with black eyes and shoulder-length dark hair.
Her mind had to have betrayed her—wolves didn’t change into denim-clad men in the blink of an eye. Hadn’t she seen a special on the Discovery Channel about the effects of trauma on the human imagination? Maybe the wolf-man was a weird manifestation of the horror of seeing her parents murdered in the kitchen.
Managing to get on her feet, she scrambled toward the front door. She took two steps before the man grabbed her at the nape and shoved her face-first to the floor. “Don’t fight.” His voice dipped low, resonating with danger. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“What the hell are you?” she gasped.
His grip on her neck loosened. Do you promise not to run?”
“Yes.” Her hands fisted. “I promise.”
The man shifted off her back and when he turned her over, she kneed him between the legs as hard as she could. He dropped to the side with a loud groan. She pushed off the floor and begged her legs to be quick.
“Help!” she screamed.
His footsteps thundered behind her. “You’re leaving me with no other choice.”
A splitting pain in the back of her skull stole her need to flee, sending her crashing to the floor. Through the pain threatening to smother her, deep yells, muted but obviously angry, trickled through and kept her conscious.
In her line of vision, she discovered paws.
Confused, she raised her pounding head off the carpet. The man had turned into a wolf again and he snarled, but not at her. He trained his predatory stare onto the two men charging into her living room. Men who happened to look like medieval warriors. Both were bare-chested, swords strapped to their backs, and clad in only dark leather kilts and black boots that stopped mid-calf.
One of them positioned himself in front of her and shielded her from the wolf, holding a hefty sword in his hand. He looked down at her, his piercing, light-green eyes blazing. “Don’t move. You’ll be safe.”
The other warrior circled the wolf, exuding controlled power. “Shift now. Answer for this savagery.” The wolf growled, curling his lip to display sharp teeth, and the warrior stepped forward for a clear attack. Then loud howls erupted in the foyer of her house.
Four more wolves charged into her living room, and Nexi leapt to her feet. Her only plan: getting the hell out of this nightmare and away from these freakish creatures. The entrance to the kitchen was behind her and with her fear washing away all thought, she made a beeline for the doorway.
The warrior who had stayed by her yelled, “No, Nexi! Stop!”
She had a split second to wonder how he knew her name and why these men were helping her before scary roars followed by thundering paws against the carpet sounded at her back. Just as she reached the kitchen’s doorway and spotted her adoptive father’s legs, sharp teeth bit painfully into her calf, sending her tumbling.
“Big mistake, wolf.” The green-eyed warrior sliced his blade through the wolf’s neck, spraying blood in the air.
Nexi scrambled back and bumped into the couch. “Holy fuck.”
In front of her, she spotted a brown wolf with a black stripe running along his head and over his snout. He took a quick look around, even his wolfish eyes portrayed alarm, then he ran from the room.
One escaped…
She turned to her left. The other warrior was battling a tan wolf as another gray wolf was prepping to pounce. In an instant, he jumped onto the warrior’s back, and they crashed into her coffee table, breaking it into pieces.
She looked from fight to fight and her mind struggled to catch up. The warriors fought with a speed and strength she had never seen before. No way could this be real. Her parents weren’t dead, wolves weren’t shifting into men, and there weren’t medieval-looking warriors in her living room. Doing the only thing she could, she shut her eyes and prayed that she’d survive.
Not a minute later, a warm hand touched under her knees and a strong arm wrapped around her back. “Are you all right?”
Nexi dared to open her eyes. “Are you out of your goddamned mind?” she snapped, overwhelmed by panic. “I’m anything but all right.”
With a gentle touch, the green-eyed warrior helped her to sit up, and she hissed as her wounds complained. When she took in the state of her living room, nothing made any sense. Before she shut her eyes there were wolves and blood. Now the house was empty except for her, the warriors, and her broken coffee table. “What? The wolves? Gone?”
The warrior tightened his arms around her. “We need to get you out of here.”
“Like hell.” She pushed away from him, her eyesight blurred. “You are…I don’t know what you are, but—” Yes, the men had helped her, but… “That wolf turned into a man…then into a wolf…”