The Warlock's SecretRating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Last week, Joyfully Jay began a three week review of the Supernatural Bounty Hunters series by R.J. Scott. This week our focus is on volumes three and four, The Warlock’s Secret and The Demon’s Blood.

Following the events in The Guilty Werewolf, Joseph created a portal to get inside Glitnir with Micah and Levi to retrieve the vampire “book of days,” a journal created centuries before that keeps a record of significant vampire events, including proof of Micah’s innocence, or so they hope. When the group is discovered, Joseph re-opened the portal and made sure Levi and Micah got away, but trapped by magic, Joseph was not able to escape Glitnir.  The journal is just that, a small book, but what it contains is the most surprising thing, and will determine the fate of Glitnir, the Second Kingdom, and the success of the resistance.

While in captivity, Joseph is brutally tortured, with both physical and psychological methods, by counsellor Peitrol Ludvik. Near death, Joseph is rescued by Phin who takes him back to the small group to recover, but his injuries are severe, Joseph’s magic has been fractured by the torture, and there is only one way Phin can save Joseph, but if he fails, they both die.

Since they were younger, Phin has always loved Joseph, but upon discovering that Joseph would be marrying Ethan, Phin told Joseph that he was in love with Asher, a blood demon. When the truth comes out, Joseph and Phin finally give in to their need for each other, a need for intimacy, and to complete the sexual connection that has been brewing for years.  It is one they believed could never happen due to each other’s love for another, along with their teachings that two magical beings in a sexual relationship would wreak havoc and reign destruction on the land.

First off, I need to warn you that we are expected to make a few leaps at the beginning of the third installment in the Supernatural Bounty Hunters series. Please be patient, the pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place as the story progresses. The Warlock’s Secret is a pivotal part of the series and is chock full of information and foreshadowing for the upcoming installments.

We have heard so much about Joseph so far and now we get to know him better. Joseph and Phin appear to hate each other and resort to name calling and physical threats. Sounds a hell of a lot like elementary school to me, which was kind of funny.  With all of the tension and the antagonism between Joseph and Phin, it is no wonder they can’t stand to be around each other for long.  I just could not understand how Phin could not notice Joseph’s absence for three days when Joseph, Levi, and Micah went to Glitner. Yes, they fought, and Phin was avoiding Joseph, but three days?

Joseph’s use of the term “it’s electric” at one point felt anachronistic, as nowhere else have we heard references to modern technologies. There were also a few minor editing issues and continuity blips, nothing major, just enough to make me stop and look again, and as mentioned earlier, the flow was confusing for the first couple of chapters.

The Warlock’s Secret is a critical installment in the Supernatural Bounty Hunters series, full of key pieces of information and revelations that keep the continuing saga moving at a brisk pace.

The Demon's BloodRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Orophin Tiwele (Phin), heir to the Elven Throne, and Simeon Blue, cat shifter, are asked to travel home to the Second Kingdom to enlist the support of the elves and cat shifters for the resistance. Phin left the Second Kingdom years before as a protest for the lack of blood demon equality, and was subsequently disinherited by his father, the King, who is now dying. Phin believes that his half brother, Asher, a blood demon/elf hybrid should be the new King and unite the Second Kingdom, yet Asher feels that Phin would make the better King upon their father’s death. King Garrick has named Phin’s second cousin, Delsaran, as heir to the throne, an elf with an even greater dislike of blood demons than the current King.

Simeon and Asher feel an instant connection upon first meeting. Simeon and his cat are all about the sexy blood demon but Asher refuses to have anything to do with the cat shifter. The King’s illness is not due to natural causes and once Phin intervenes, Phin tentatively reconciles with his father and informs the King that Asher is his eldest son, conceived out-of-wedlock with a blood demon. The King, realizing the truth, chooses a new heir from his two remaining children and in the process of the power transfer, passes away. Now the heir to the Elven throne and Simeon need to win the shifters over to the side of the resistance, assuming Simeon and his brother, Jason, leader of the shifter guild can let go of their animosity towards each other.

Now that the King is dead and a new heir has been chosen, will Delsaran concede defeat? Can Simeon set aside his personal issues with Jason and secure the support of the cat shifters? So many things hang in the balance for the resistance. Reuniting the Second Kingdom with Glitnir would create the Third Kingdom with the ultimate goal of equality for all citizens.

The Demon’s Blood starts off perfectly, a quest for two of the resistance’s inner circle, as well as a closer look at the Second Kingdom, home to elves, cat shifters, and the notorious blood demons. I enjoyed watching the interaction between Simeon and Asher. Simeon is worried about his and his cat’s near instant attraction to Asher, and although Asher is also attracted to the tall, built cat, he refuses to have anything to do with Simeon. In the meantime, Asher and Simeon bicker and insult each other, reminding me of an elementary school crush. Surprisingly, Asher is the one who finally takes the first step and inquires about the status of his and Simeon’s relationship. Is it going somewhere? This is exactly the question Simeon was asking himself.

Asher is already viewed as a leader in the Second Kingdom blood demon equal rights movement, but he is scared that his parentage will be discovered and that he will be killed by order of his father, the King. We learn much about blood demons in this installment, they are not the “Grr argh” evil beasties that other species believe them to be. This begs the question, in The Guilty Werewolf, why did Asher attack the group in the mountains? The explanation was touched on but not fleshed out.

This installment far surpassed The Warlock’s Secret in terms of style and flow, and I look forward to seeing what happens to this group, as the tension regarding the upcoming conflict between Glitnir and resistance is starting to really take shape. Next week we will look at the final two books in the Supernatural Bounty Hunters, The Incubus Agenda and The Third Kingdom.

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