Monday 1 December 2014

Beast Coast (A Carus Novel (Book 2)) by J.C. McKenzie

Title: Beast Coast
Author: J.C. McKenzie
Series: A Carus Novel (Book 2)
Read Type: eARC
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You can purchase a copy of this book from All Romance Ebooks | Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookStrand | Kobo | The Wild Rose Press
You can find out more about the author on J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | The Wild Rose Press | Amazon

Series Blurb
As a supernatural who checks off the "other" category on the government tax forms, Andrea "Andy" McNeilly's sole mandate as an Agent is to fix the mayhem caused by the creatures that go bump in the night, but her own life could use some repairs. When she's not dodging the manipulations of a power-hungry Master Vampire, she's wrangling up naughty supernaturals, coming to terms with her brutal past, or being wooed by two wickedly handsome men.

With a mix of Vampires, Witches, Weres, Demons and All-Other-Things-Weird constantly mucking up her life, Andy just wants to embrace her true nature and live happily ever after with her true mate. Problem is, there's no BandAid solution for the wreckage of her life.

Book Blurb
Sometimes the greatest danger comes from within…

When Master Vampire Lucien Delgatto threatens her potential mate Wick’s life, Shape Shifter Andrea “Andy” McNeilly will employ a den of witches, a bedazzled thong, and her ability to shift into multiple animals to meet his demands. She plans to keep Wick safe—even if she’s not speaking to him. Lucien’s unwelcomed control over Wick's life has thrown Andy into a whirlwind of emotions.

Though Wick vows to do whatever it takes to earn Andy’s forgiveness and win back her trust, it may be too late. This recent conflict awakens something within Andy, an animal she’s never learned to control. For hidden beneath all her forms is a beast whose anger and brutality rivals none.

And she’s pissed.

Author Bio

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Strong language: Occasional
Drugs: No
Violence: Yes
Sexual content: PG13, no graphic nudity

I received  free copy of this novel from the author in return for an unbiased review

Beast Coast is the second novel in the Carus series, continuing from where the last book left off. A paranormal adventure, wrapped in slightly messed up romance and a big honking mystery, the novel is non stop action. It is a fairly light hearted read, but carries a slightly darker, deeper side of self discovery for the protagonist, which I think melded well.

Facing a vampire in his home territory, with his retinue nearby is never  an enviable situation, yet this is where  Andy chooses to be as we open the story, in hope of finally paying her debt off to Lucien, the Vampire Master of the British Columbia Lower Mainland so she can regain control of her life. Things take a turn for the worst however, as Wick, the werewolf, she believed could be her new mate, is forced to hold her down while Lucien feeds and  makes a blood bond, effectively giving him control over her body and thoughts if he wishes. Unsure who to trust she flees and avoids Wick at all costs. Soon she has a mission from the SRD, giving her a diversion for her frustrations, but also putting her in the path of sexy, enigmatic Tristan, a were-leopard, with eyes for her.

The rollercoaster of her new life begins!

Written in the first person voice of Andrea "Andy" McNeilly, a shifter with multiple forms, this novel tells the story of her latest adventure, along with a deeper look into her past. This time we met more species of supes  and deepened knowledge of others, particularly vampires. For the most part Andy's voice is humorous, in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound, but has a darker side of desperation and loss just under the surface.

I particularly enjoyed reading the mysteries, trying to solve them before Andy (yes, I know when supes are involved it's nearly impossible, but a girl can try!) and getting a deeper look into all the things that live in that universe, things that even if they didn’t pop up this time we may get a chance to see in future books.

The interludes with the potential men in her life broke this up nicely, they both got steamy at times, but also had fun and showed more of their inner natures. This left me thoroughly divided on who she should mate, a vast difference from the first book where I assumed Wick was the guy for her. I did however have one problem with the romance, when the boys got together, even if danger was afoot, they really did turn into boys – jealous, self-important boys who were too busy chest beating over Andy to see what was going on around them. At times it made me want to kick them both out and go see the witches across the hall from her apartment!

When it all gets too much, Andy takes a break up in the mountains, where her animals truly thrive. I enjoyed seeing these in their full glory, getting time to learn more about how she works, without doing it while she fought off half the town!

Soon the mystery becomes serious with attacks on people, with both supes and humans suffering the consequences. Andy is forced to go way beyond what she's comfortable with, both as Lucien pulls her strings with his newly acquired bond, and her sense of duty overcomes her reluctance to do many things. It's exiting and tense, drawing the reader along for the ride as the big bad is revealed and Andy discovers a new side to herself.

The ending was exciting, but left many open doors, I look forward to seeing how these are used in future books. In particular I want to see how Andy's new knowledge of herself affects the choices she makes when it comes to who to follow or believe in.

The 411
Overall. I found this to be a fun, sexy adventure with a wide variety of supernatural creatures. The mysteries were intriguing and gave me clues to mull over as I read. I particularly liked Andy's self discovery and the cryptic elders teaching her.

I found the constant chest beating matches between her love interests became a bit too much at times, and didn't serve to increase my interest in one relationship or the other.

Overall I give this a 4.5 adjusted to a 4 for reviewing sites

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