Cold Bloodedby Amanda Carlson
Jessica McClain is on the run... again.
Finally reunited with Rourke, Jessica arrives home to find that her best friend has been kidnapped, her father has vanished, and the supernatural Sects -- witches, demons, and sorcerers --- don't even have the courtesy to wait until
Magic, mayhem and madness explode in this third installment in the Jessica McClain series.
Jessica McClain is on the run... again.
Finally reunited with Rourke, Jessica arrives home to find that her best friend has been kidnapped, her father has vanished, and the supernatural Sects -- witches, demons, and sorcerers --- don't even have the courtesy to wait until she is unpacked to attack.
Now, mastering her powers as the sole female werewolf might not be enough to save them. Thrown together in a shaky truce with the Vampire Queen, Jessica must show all the different Sects what the true meaning of "the enemy of my enemy" is or her father will die...
"The third installment of Carlson's urban fantasy deepens the complications Jessica faces as she represents the beginning of change to the supernatural community. Series fans should enjoy Carlson's fresh take on lycanthropy."Library Journal
"Amanda Carlson's Full Blooded is full of all good things: danger, excitement, an original, LIKEABLE heroine and some great mythological mayhem."New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Chance
"Amanda Carlson's debut novel is a fast paced tale with a cliffhanger ending that left me panting for more. Full Blooded left me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover."New York Times Bestselling Author Faith Hunter
"A wild, wolfy ride that will have you howling for more!"Kristen Painter, author of Blood Rights
"Rising star Carlson is rapidly building a rich world filled with intrigue, betrayal and hidden prophecy; all in all, this series second is a magnificent showing."RT Book Reviews (Top Pick) on Hot Blooded
As the first female werewolf in a supernatural species in which previously only males had been able to make the transformation to wolf form, Jessica McClain is the focus of attention for nearly every supernatural in North America. When her best friend, a witch named Marcy, is kidnapped, Jessica and her bonded mate Rourke look for help from the local coven. Instead, they get caught up in a mad flight to New Orleans, following the advice of an oracle to seek assistance from that city's vampires—help that will save the life of Jessica's father, leader of the largest Pack in North America. VERDICT The third installment of Carlson's urban fantasy (Full Blooded; Hot Blooded) deepens the complications Jessica faces as she represents the beginning of change to the supernatural community. Series fans should enjoy Carlson's fresh take on lycanthropy.
Read an Excerpt
By Amanda Carlson
OrbitCopyright © 2013 Amanda Carlson
All rights reserved.
"Get down!" Tallulah Talbot, the most powerful witch in the country, grabbed on to my arm and hurled us both into the bushes. Seconds later an explosion hit with the force of a meteor. I shielded my face and body as rocks peppered down around us. Once it stopped, I rolled over and opened my eyes, coughing and spitting out dirt as I rose to my knees.
I squinted through the brush. "Do you see what I'm seeing?" I pointed to a crater the size of a city bus in the middle of my office parking lot. The noise had rocked my eardrums, but other than that I was fine. I stood, dusting off my clothes. Tally was already up next to me. "What kind of an explosion was that?"
It had come out of the blue.
Before she could respond, Rourke was in front of me. He had several holes in his shirt, but the small wounds had already closed. He hauled me out of the bushes, his big hands encircling my waist. "Jessica, are you all right?" His gave me a long once-over.
"I'm fine." I placed a palm on his warm chest. Touching him calmed me and I needed it. After the ordeal we'd just gone through battling Selene, I was still on edge. The Lunar Goddess had put up quite a fight, but in the end I had managed to defeat her immortality long enough to send her to the Underworld. The low growl in Rourke's chest made my fingers tremble. He was as agitated as I was. Five minutes without someone trying to kill me would've gone an extremely long way.
"That wasn't a normal bomb." Rourke turned toward the parking lot. "Look at the damage. That hole has to be fifteen feet deep and just as wide."
"It was a Mask Orb." Tally emerged out of the brush behind us, readjusting her skullcap. She was dressed in all black, her white hair neatly tucked away, and at five feet tall with zero chest, she channeled a twelve-year-old boy, not an all-powerful spell caster. "It searches out a target and explodes once it finds its mark. It's an old sorcerer standby. Those guys only have a few tricks up their sleeves, so they tend to use them tirelessly." She smirked. "The Mask Orbs are impossible to detect until two seconds before they detonate, when they give off a tiny pfft of air. It's a flaw in their spell. You just became the luckiest people alive, because I have a built-in detector on me at all times." She patted her backside.
Tyler ran up, followed by Danny and Nick. They were all in one piece. Thank goodness supernaturals had preternatural speed, because most supes couldn't regenerate from the damage of an explosion.
When Tally had yelled, everyone had moved.
"We need to get out of here," Tyler said as he started to herd us forward. "The Humvee is armored. We can take it back to the Safe House and figure out our next move. I'm not waiting for another one of those things to explode."
"If there was another one, it would've gone off already," Tally said. "A Mask Orb is left as a calling card. It was meant to go off right when you arrived." She nodded toward me, because we all knew it had my name all over it. "But the chunderheads must have activated it by the front entrance, so it took time to find you. Which, considering everything, was a very lucky break." She bent over and dusted debris off her jeans. "But now that it's been detonated, they know you're here, so lingering isn't advisable."
I glanced around at the group. We were all assembled behind my office building. We'd just learned that James Graham, my father's second-in-command, whom we'd thought had gone rogue, had taken off after Marcy Talbot, my secretary and Tally's niece. According to Tally, Marcy had been recently abducted by sorcerers, the ones behind the new gaping crater in my parking lot. There was no reason to argue with Tally's logic about who was behind the kidnapping. She clearly knew what she was talking about, especially if she had a Mask Orb detector embedded in her ass.
"Well, we're certainly not sticking around to see if they show up," Tyler said. "So like I said, let's get out of here."
"Agreed," Nick added. "It's best if we leave quickly."
There were no arguments. We started moving toward our vehicle, passing by the huge hole as we went. It was a very specific area of damage, and other than things being pelted by falling debris, nothing else was touched. Cars were still parked in their spaces, riding on the edge of the crater. Humans were going to scratch their heads when they saw this. I'd never had a run-in with any sorcerers, so I wasn't sure how they operated, but it appeared to be along the lines of blow something up and ask questions later.
We walked toward the yellow Humvee, which illuminated the night like an awful phosphorus specter. It hadn't been damaged by the blast at all, which was a total shame. Dents and bruises could only improve it. "Once we arrive at the Safe House, we can lay out a plan to get Marcy back," I said as I turned to make my way around the vehicle. But before I could take a step, Tally snatched me by the shoulder, yanking me backward.
I stumbled but recovered quickly.
"You and I are not going to your Safe House."
She was incredibly strong for five feet of skinny witch.
Rourke, Danny, and Tyler all moved forward to intercede.
"Stop." I held up my hand, keeping my eyes pinned on Tally. "I refuse to handle this with violence." I was tired. We'd driven all night. I'd just been in an epic battle with a deranged Goddess, followed by an encounter with a Demon Lord, who had informed me I had a court date in the Underworld to face crimes I'd inadvertently committed. Fighting with the witches would be counterproductive to both my health and to our case, which was to get Marcy back unharmed.
She was my best friend and I was willing to do whatever it took, including keeping the peace with an angry witch.
Rourke eased up reluctantly, sensing my mood. He was a strong alpha, and I knew it was going to be tough for him to follow my lead, especially after so many years on his own. But for now, his willingness to try was appreciated. My wolf barked her approval in my mind. Tyler and Danny were still poised and ready to spring, their blood and anxiety jumping in my veins as we all glared at each other. Danny had recently sworn a pledge to me, making me his Alpha, and his duty to protect me at all costs blinded him to good judgment, especially in this high-stress environment. I tried to send out a calming vibe, but I had no idea how to do anything remotely Alpha-like or if it would even work.
Tally stood completely unfazed by our show of aggression.
Instead, her stony gaze bored a hole straight into my soul. She crossed her arms, waiting. "Three minutes ago we all could've been blown to smithereens." I obliged her by continuing, trying to defuse the situation. "As far as I can tell, we all want the same goal. We want Marcy back. So let's start acting like we're on the same side." Tally's power pecked at my skin. My wolf growled and clacked her jaws, resenting the feel of it as it pressed against us. I turned and gave Tally my full attention. "How would you like this to run? You have our cooperation." I didn't need to specify "up to a point" because that went without saying.
Supernaturals tolerated each other for brief interludes when it was mutually beneficial. Tally blamed me for Marcy's disappearance and I owned that. I should've been more diligent. I couldn't keep running around pretending the Prophecy wasn't real and the supernatural race wasn't going to notice me. My negligence had put people I loved in danger and I owed it to Marcy to cooperate with her aunt.
"I don't care where they go"—Tally flicked her head toward the group—"but you're coming with me. We head back to my Coven and gather information, including from the wolf who you say is tracking her. Regardless of what we find, we move in two hours. I'm not leaving my niece in the hands of the Baldies any longer than necessary."
Nick stepped forward, composed as always. "Ms. Talbot, I'm sure there's a way we can find neutral ground—somewhere we can all gather that's not within your direct boundary or ours." I could always count on Nick to stay levelheaded. Tally's home base would be a giant disadvantage if we had a disagreement about how things should run. I smiled at Nick to show my appreciation. I'd missed his brown curls, golden eyes, and sweet smile. There wasn't a nicer guy on earth.
Tally shook her head. "It's too dangerous. The sorcerers will pick up our trail as soon as they arrive. Our signatures are all over this parking lot. We can't linger at any unwarded location or we'll be vulnerable to attack, and I don't have time to put up the necessary spells to keep us safe somewhere else. We head to my Coven, where I have full protection in place. No compromises."
Rourke took a single step forward. "You guarantee our safety first, or nobody goes with you, witch."
"Of course," Tally snipped. "What do you think I'm going to do—harvest your body parts for my bubbling cauldron? You'll be safe as long as the priority remains to get my niece back."
Tally had a point.
Because the sorcerers knew we'd arrived, protection was the most logical option. But the best thing for my team would be to keep some people on the outside in case things went wrong in the Coven. "Fine, the three of us will go with you." I motioned between Rourke, Nick, and me. "Tyler and Danny will head to the Safe House." I nodded to them both. "Find out anything you can on James's whereabouts. I want a phone call in less than two hours, whether you find something or not. Contact Dad," I told Tyler, "and let him know what's going on. After that, we rendezvous at an agreed-upon spot outside the Coven and head out."
"Jess—" Tyler started.
I cut him off in my mind.
Tyler, we don't have a choice. If I refuse to go with Tally, it'll bring more trouble than we need right now. And the priority is Marcy.
I don't like it. That witch could do a thousand things to you inside that house, not to mention she wanted to use you as ransom an hour ago.
Tally's original plan was to ransom me to the sorcerers, which was still a viable option if we couldn't track them. I'd trade myself for Marcy in a heartbeat, but not without a solid plan. Tyler didn't have to know that, and in order to move forward, we needed to pick Tally's brain about the sorcerers anyway. I hear you, but you're going to have to trust me on this. We'll take the necessary precautions, and I have an angry cat with me who's not about to let anything go wrong.
He grumbled but looked resigned.
"Give me the keys," I asked him out loud. Tyler reluctantly reached into his pocket and pulled them out. The Safe House was only a few miles away. They could make it on foot in a few minutes. Remember, we still have this. I tapped my finger to my temple, trying my best to reassure him. Then I glanced over at Rourke, who stood frowning at Tally.
She glared back, her arms still crossed.
"Before we leave, I want you to swear an oath, witch," Rourke said. "Or the deal is off. Covens are notorious for holding prisoners, and breaking layered wards by multiple witches is next to impossible."
"I swear not to hold you against your will," Tally stated evenly. "But I want a vow in return that you will do whatever we deem necessary to get my niece back, including a ransom if your wolf has failed to track her." She narrowed her eyes. "Without doing so, you risk a war with us."
Before Rourke could protest, I said, "I swear we will do everything we can to find your niece. Whatever it takes."
Tally nodded once, accepting me at my word.
"Keep your wits about you, then, Jessica," Danny quipped as he gently prodded an unhappy Tyler backward. "We'll plan on seeing you shortly." He winked as they took off into the night.
As they ran, their combined uncertainty jumped through my blood. Being an Alpha, even for this short time, wasn't an easy job. The responsibility for their well- being pressed down on me. We needed to find my father soon so he could take back their Troths and fix this.
I directed my attention to Tally. "I'll drive, because there's no way we're fitting in your car."
She didn't argue. Her silver two-door Camaro was still parked at a haphazard angle by the back door where she'd clearly spun it to a stop. The car had missed the mayhem of the Orb, but just barely. It had to have been warded against damage, because there wasn't a scratch on it.
I walked around to the driver's side of the Humvee with Nick following closely.
"I haven't had a chance to tell you," he said, reaching out to give me a quick hug, "but I'm incredibly glad to see you back so soon. It's been quiet around here with you gone. And as much as I knew you'd make it home, seeing you not dead, broken, or battered is the best gift I could've asked for."
"It's really good to see you too," I told him honestly, hugging him back. Nick had been my best—and only—friend growing up on the Compound, where physical strength had meant status, and we'd both had none. During our childhood we'd forged a solid, unbreakable bond and I was extremely happy to see him. "I'll fill you in on all the details as soon as I can, but Selene is going to be gone for a very long time, in a place where she can't touch us."
In the Underworld, specifically.
"I knew you'd beat her." Nick chuckled as he opened the back passenger door. "I never doubted you for a second." He cocked his head slightly as he got in. "Well, maybe I had a few errant thoughts, but they passed quickly enough."
I grinned as I climbed into the driver's seat. "The battle was intense and it wasn't very pretty." Rourke growled his agreement as he settled in next to Nick. Selene had eviscerated him, intent on doing the greatest possible damage to us both. Images started to invade my psyche and my wolf huffed. Time to change the scenery. "Nick, after we find Marcy, the next priority will be to prepare for New Orleans." We were due at the Vampire Queen's to provide guard duty services in three weeks and we couldn't go in unprepared. "I refuse to let Eudoxia gain the upper hand."
Tally slid into the front seat and slammed the door. She raised her eyebrow at me but stayed silent. Our business wasn't hers, and with a small nod, she acknowledged it.
The Vamp Queen's request for us to guard her was ridiculous at best, but I had sworn a binding oath, meaning that if I didn't deliver, bad things would happen. There was no doubt she had ulterior motives for wanting me on her home turf, so we had to prepare. I needed to know everything about vampires and how they worked. Having Naomi on my team was my ace in the hole, and between her and Nick, I hoped we could gather enough information to stay at least one step ahead.
I'd been a wolf for only a short time, but my on-the-job training had brought my skill level up exponentially in the last few weeks. I was fairly confident I could get Marcy back and survive my time with the Vamp Queen.
If not, life was about to become extremely interesting.
I turned the diesel engine over and the beast roared to life.
"By the way, where's Ray?" Nick asked, leaning forward. Raymond Hart, the detective who'd been the bane of my existence for a very long time, had accompanied us on the journey to find Rourke. As I'd fought Selene, he'd been brutally attacked by a vampire and, right this minute, I had no idea if he was dead or alive.
"Ray is in ... transition," I said, settling on an ambiguous word. I glanced sideways at Tally. "It requires some explaining."
I'd left Ray in the capable hands of Naomi, our vamp guide, who through an unexpected blood exchange, had not only become bonded to me, but also had become my friend and ally. Ray's wounds may have been too severe for any kind of transformation, but I'd given her the okay to try. I'd felt I owed Ray that much. In my opinion he had the right to choose his own death. Eamon, Naomi's brother, had ravaged him cruelly and it had been an awful way to die.
Nick nodded once without question. He knew me well enough to catch on; whether he liked the idea or not was hard to tell. He sat back in his seat, his face pensive. Ray was a tough human being, not necessarily someone you'd choose to become a supe. It's true Ray was rough around the edges and cranky, but Nick hadn't witnessed what he'd been capable of on the journey, as I had. In the end Ray had defended me and there had been a grudging respect growing between us. I desperately hoped, as a supe, he would come around to seeing our side of things.
If not, it was going to be a tough road. But there was no going back now.
I pulled away from the curb. "Where to?"
Excerpted from Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson. Copyright © 2013 Amanda Carlson. Excerpted by permission of Orbit.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
A Minnesota girl, born and bred, Amanda began writing in earnest after her second child was born. She's addicted to playing Scrabble, tropical beaches and Ikea. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids. Find out more about Amanda at www.amandacarlson.com or on twitter @AmandaCCarlson.
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Each book is as good as the previous. Awesome series
This is a really good series with a great female lead. I enjoyed Jessica and didn't get annoying like some female leads I have read about. The story line is awesome and I am loving Ray more and more. I hated him in the beginning lol. I can not wait for the next in this series.
I love this book. Its so amazing and the characters are all great. This author has easily become one of my favorites!
I just love this whole series and thought this book was the best one yet - which bodes well for the future. The author kept the storyline tight, the action well-paced, and the romance was frosting on the cake! There was a very good blend of seeing hat was coming next and surprisinf twists. Altogether a riveting addition to the series. If it were possible to give it more than 5 of 5 stars, I would Now I am anxiously waiting for the next one.
I simply loved her book Cold Blooded and her two previous novels. Ms Carlson is right up there with Laurell K Hamilton, Faith Hunter and Kelley Armstrong. Her plot is intriguing and moves at lightening speed. There is the correct amount of action and romance. Her characters are also intriguing and include an entire range of different and amazing supernatural characters. I cannot wait to read the 4th novel in this series. I would read the trilogy (so far only 3) in order. Ms Carlson is truly an amazing author. Larry W.
I would like to thank both NetGalley and Orbit for offering me the chance to read this ARC all in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influences this review. NOTE: If you have not yet read the prior books in this series, I strongly urge you to stop reading right here, and return only after you have read them in order. Unlike some series the individual books in this series do not work well as stand-alone books. There is far too much explained and set up in the first book, which the second book then expands upon, for this third book to make much sense without the information that came before. You certainly may read this as a stand-alone if you wish, but you will be missing out on large portions of the story. I was so excited to be given the honor of writing a review for this book, given how much I enjoyed the previous books in the series. And thankfully the book did not let me down, but instead offered another roller-coaster ride full of action and emotion, passion and power, and just plain old fashioned fun! <blockquote>Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked. On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early. Arriving on the Vampire Queen's doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team. The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn't realize is just how soon she'll have to cash it in...</blockquote> The story picks up pretty much where things left off in Hot Blooded, with Jessica and Rourke beyond anxious to cement their bond as mates, all while trying to survive the nonstop barrage of danger being thrown their way. Before they can even begin to consider relaxing they find Tally, Marcy's waiting for them at Jessica's office. And once again Jessica's life begins spiraling out of control - only this time she is bringing Rourke with her. Tally insists that Jessica and Rourke head to her coven, regardless of how Jessica & Rourke feel about it, and they aren't about to piss off the most powerful witch on the continent if not the world, no matter how badly they are craving some 'alone' time to make their bond complete. While there Jessica gets into a typical pissing contest with one of the witches, and because of that she and Rourke end up having to leave on a little scooter that can hardly clear the ground with Rourke's solid weight on it. And off they go, trying to get to their mountain to deal with Ray and give naomi a break, as well as having some alone time. But like all of Jessica's plans things don't work out as desired. This book, like the one before it, is filled with non-stop action as well as tender moments stolen whenever and where ever they can be. And Jessica & Rourke aren't the only new mated couple in town. It seems that Jessica is fulfilling this prophecy that she keeps hearing about and knowing far too little about - mating between different sects was unheard of until Jessica and Rourke, And within days there is another inter-sect mated couple, something that is scaring almost all sects, and part of the reason that sects that never before worked together are aligning on one side or the other of the coming fight. Once again Jessica has to deal with the Vampire Queen, but the question is, can she outsmart her on her own grounds? Jessica enters Euduxia's New Orleans house to make a deal, and one deal becomes two and things keep spinning farther and father out from the way the supes have always known them to be, causing serious problems. Not that this will stop Jessica from going after what she wants. Nothing is going to get in her way this time, for she is on a mission. And poor Rourke can only hang on for the ride, knowing that it will only get worse before it gets better - and this is proven out at the end of the book, with another killer cliff hanger leaving me salivating for the next book in the series. Throughout all of this Jessica continues to learn about her powers, and grow as a person, maturing as her adventures continue. She finally learns what kind of cat Rourke is, and has to come to terms with the surprise. But ever with the shock of this discovery her wolf is uber-confident that they are actually more powerful than their mate, which should be impossible since he is close to godhood if what Selene told her in the last book is true. Part of her maturing is learning to trust her inner-wolf and getting her wolf to learn to give the reigns back to Jessica when the situation requires it. Without a doubt this series continues to take the reader on a roller-coaster, fun-filled ride!
Read on October 14, 2013 Book Info Paperback, 336 pages Expected publication: October 8th 2013 by Orbit original title Cold Blooded ISBN 0316205222 (ISBN13: 9780316205221) edition language English series Jessica McClain #3 Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links AMAZON B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked. On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early. Arriving on the Vampire Queen's doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team. The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn't realize is just how soon she'll have to cash it in.. My Thoughts Just like in book 1 Full Blooded and book 2 Hot Blooded in the series we started off where last we left Jessica and from the beginning of Cold Blooded there is so much action that it seems like she never lets her guard down for one minute, with anyone other than a supernatural being this would be hard to accept but as others have said the magic of the paranormal makes it believable. From the previous two books we have had questions all along, good thing is some of them are now answered even though by the end of this story we have new questions that is all to the good as it means more time spent with Jessica and Company in future installments! This newest storyline has Jessica being targeted once again by those out to gain control of her power for themselves, what this means to Jessica at this point is she must find a way to fight the battle on her own terms in a place of her choosing and this entails heading to New Orleans for several reasons which are detailed fully as we progress in the story. The powers from her wolf have grown steadily for Jessica, in every transformation from human to Lycan she gains more and more and even when she stays in human form the wolf can transfer needed strength to Jessica at crucial moments. The end result of Cold Blooded is that we get a chance to see not only Jessica McClain grow into her abilities but also become more at ease with her role as Alpha as she exhibits more and more the leadership skills needed to command others at the proper moments. Secondary characters add depth and even moments of brevity from Danny at the least expected times. You will feel like these characters are finally coming into their own, especially Naomi as she takes on more substance as not only a trusted member of Jessica's group but one that has much to offer as a knowledgeable liaison to the vampire world. There are no words that can truly do justice to this adrenaline fueled, action packed,fiercely satisfying book in the series but it just gets better as it goes along so when the next installment comes out it will totally be on my "must read ASAP" list. Series just keeps amazing me and Jessica has fine tuned her abilities and become a fierce foe to be reckoned with! [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
Gripping read with non-stop action packed adventure! I enjoy the "Jessica McClain" series by Amanda Carlson. I was hooked just from her novella "Blooded" and have enjoyed the books that have come after. I like a strong herein and Jessica is that. She does not give up and keeps fighting for herself and thous she loves. Wow is all I can say! My god what an amazing book. Non-stop action, so many twists and turns, and the emphasis on humor. I could not put "Cold Blooded" done. I was drawn in and went along for an amazing ride. Jessica is such a great character and I love the world Amanda creates. I was GLAD to see Rourke and Jessica got to have there time together! It was great to finally learn what type of shifter Rourke is. I also loved the cliff hanger ending. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens next with Jessica and everyone. If you have not picked up this series I highly recommend it. You get so much action and adventure you don't know what to expect next.
Cold Blooded is the third entry in the Jessica McClain series. And like the similarly named (though differently spelled) John McClane, Jess finds herself facing increasingly difficult adventures. Though I think Jessica is left facing much larger gaps in power between her and the bad guys she is faced with. I doubt Bruce Willis ever had to face off demon lords or gods. What you do get in Cold Blooded could again, be counted in a Die Hard movie. Car chases, explosions, political plotting and over the top bad guys. Though the explosions are sorcerer driven and the cars are spelled to never run out of gas, so… you get the idea. One of the things this book has that the previous two did not (as well as all entries into the Die Hard canon) was a seriously hot love scene. Like destroying furniture level of sex scene. If any of you that had read the previous books hadn’t predicted Rourke and Jessica consummating the whole “chosen mate” thing in this novel, no amount of spoiler warning would help you. But I will leave that discovery to you. Not to mention the discovery of just what kind of shifter Rourke is. We already knew how seriously powerful he was at the end of the last book in the series. In Cold Blooded you finally get to see his beast. Aside from the ongoing storyline and mythology, there were several things that stood out for me in this book. Not the least of which was the nearly reluctant hero Jess McClain is. You would think that the more closely bound to her wolf she became the more violent she would get. More feral. More of a killer. But even when she is fighting for keeps and doing what needs to be done, you get the feeling she is always looking for the way out. There is also the parallels within the real world that ring for me. These may not be intended (and after my interview with the author, most weren’t) but I can see a lot of the world in the interaction between the supernaturals in this book. Notably, the effort Jess and the wolves are putting towards forming alliances with the other races. Especially within her own Scooby Gang style of group. Not only politically and as friends, but more than just her and Rorurke are forming inter-species romances. It brings to light (for me) a lot of the failings I see in our current leaders. Work the middle or fall. (And that would be the last of anything potentially political out of me.) Also, in looking at the romance between Rourke and Jessica, there is the fact of dealing with her family and their views on it. Sure, he is one of the most powerful supernaturals in the world, but he’s a cat. With the wolves dealing with the mated pair she has chosen, I am left feeling like we are watching the supernatural version of a LGBT outing in the family. Yet, we also the the acceptance that they give, even if it doesn’t make sense to them. But when it boils down to it, the book makes or breaks it for me on the plot and action. Both of which are hear in great amounts. As well as a rich mythology. Though I would suggest starting this at Full Blooded, book 1 in the series, I give this book… 5 Stars
Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3) by Amanda Carlson I love this series! This is another amazing book. I started reading it and could not put it down!! The story line is strong and to me it felt like I could just hop into the book. I'm not going to put any specifics in here cause I don't what to give anything away! But congrats on another amazing read!
I’m going to try my best to avoid any spoilers for previous books in the Jessica McClain series. I know it is a newer series by a relatively new author. There are still a lot of people may not have read books one and two yet. I highly recommend that you resolve that issue ASAP. Once again, Amanda knocked it out of the park with Cold Blooded. This book is just as fast paced and action packed as the previous books. We get to spend plenty of time with some the favorite characters we’ve seen in the past, especially a certain cat that had very little time in book two. *smiles* This book picks up right were book two left off. Jessica has found and rescued Rourke.. (Woohoo!) They finally get their time together, especially some alone. While it isn’t long lasting, it is well worth it. My favorite quote comes from Jessica while at Rourke’s cabin, “We broke the countertop.” This really made me laugh out loud. Tyler, Danny, Nick, Naomi and Ray are all with Jessica on this adventure. Jessica goes from one piece of chaos to another, it seems neverending for her. She visits the witches, fights demons and sorcerers and stops by to see the vampires, and that is just part of the story. We learn a lot about Jessica. She is really coming into her powers. We also learn how powerful her blood really is. We also meet several other very powerful beings. We also learn a lot about some the powerful beings we already know. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is a lot of behind the scenes plotting for power going on. Jessica learns about much of this as she goes and is very good about taking it all in stride. She is also very good at thinking on her feet to come out on top, even against beings way older and more experienced at negotiations than she is. Worst part about this book, the cliffhanger end. I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, I despise them. The last part of this book is setting up the first adventure into book four. I say first adventure, because if book four is anything like the first three, then there will be more than one adventure for Jessica and the gang. The narrator does a great job. She started doing the Jessica McClain series with book two. She does just as good as she did with it. I love how she voices Danny. He didn’t have a huge part in this book, but she nails his voice, in my opinion. She also does a great job with the vampire queen. If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it. It is great for people who like strong female leads, werewolves and a lot of action. If you’ve enjoyed Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, The Hollows by Kim Harrison , Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane and Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, then I think you’ll love this book.
A Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster Urban Fantasy!!!!!!!!! OMG! What can I say? I loved this book! It's a Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster urban fantasy in which the action never stops. I laughed, swooned, sighed, hyperventilated and loved every minute of it. First of all, this is not a stand-a-lone novel. You must read this series in order to fully enjoy each novel in it. Trust me! Each one is has been fantastic! Just don't jump into COLD BLOODED without reading the 1st novels, FULL BLOODED and HOT BLOODED, 1st! COLD BLOODED starts up right where HOT BLOODED left off. Jessica's best friend Marcy is still missing. The story opens with an orb explosion that creates a large hole in a parking lot where Jessica and her friends are gathering. She's being chased by the sorcerers and demons. Ray has been turned by Naomi after dying in HOT BLOODED. Jessica's father is missing and in trouble. All the enemy supes either want her life force or her blood or want her dead. So... Jessica and her friends are on the run and seeking a safe haven. Roark! OMG! Jessica's mate is HOT! He's a sexy beast that is just a perfect match for Jessica. I'll share two of my fav quotes from the book that I think sum it up. The 1st: When Valdov comments: So the rutting was a success, Jessica replies: "It was actually mind-blowing... AND the 2nd: When Jessica asks: Are you purring? Rourke answered: Yes. Just thinking about their scenes together has me swooning. You can look forward to learning more about the witches and vamps in this installment. Ghosts, fae and shocking new-to-the-series supes make an entrance. Overall, this was absolutely a fabulous read! Don't miss reading this series! You'll be hooked! Beyond Awesome! 5 Stars!
~This UTC Team Review is also posted at Under the Covers Book Blog What were your first impressions when you finished COLD BLOODED? Annie: COLD BLOODED ended up being my favourite of the series so far. I loved the emphasis on humor and the action was tightly-written, throwing in some surprises here and there that I wasn’t expecting! Angela: I agree with you Annie! Cold Blooded is THE BEST installment by far. Ms. Carlson had me at the very edge of my seat. There were so many twists and turns and nonstop action. Jessica and Roarke were amazing together.. Other thoughts were of Ray, Naomi, Danny, Tyler and even the Witches. I was excited with their character’s progress and involvement in the book. But what really grabbed me was Jessica’s kick ass role. She really rocked this book, IMO In this book, we finally get some sexy time! What did you think? Was it all that you had hoped for? Annie: I was SO GLAD Rourke and Jessica had their time together! For the entire series, their sexual tension has been off the charts and now we finally the explosive nature of them together in this book. I was pleased and am looking forward to reading more! Angela: Oh my gosh, I have been waiting for some Roarke action and Ms. Carlson delivered on her promise. I love that we finally find out what kind of shifter he really is. I love that he was able to stand back and let Jessica be the leader that she is. And of course, Roarke and Jessica had their moment of hotness. That was long overdue and well deserved. What was your favorite part of the book? Annie: I died laughing at the scooter part. It was hilarious and getting to see Rourke all pissy was fun to read! Angela: My favorite was at the very end. The suspense was off the roof and Jessica showed all her kick ass moves. She really had grown so much as the alpha of her pack and she now has full control over her powers. I have to say that the action at the end really had me reeling!!! Finally, what is your overall impression of COLD BLOODED? Annie: As I mentioned earlier, COLD BLOODED is my favourite of the series so far. Filled with action, hilarious antics and a heroine that I adore, the Jessica McClain series continues to get better with each thrilling instalment. Angela: COLD BLOODED was a gripping read with its action pack scenes and strong well developed characters. I just loved every bit of this book. *ARC provided by publisher
Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3) by Amanda Carlson 5 of 5 Stars Jessica McClain’s adventure continues in book three, Cold Blooded. Her secretary/best friend Marcy has been kidnapped by sorcerers. Tally, Marcy’s aunt, the most powerful witch in the country is holding Jessica accountable. Jessica and Rourke are in hiding from the sorcerers and demons who have teamed up against her. They decide to arrive early to New Orleans to seek assistance from the Vampire Queen, Eudoxia. There is never a dull moment in Jessica’s life. Amanda Carlson once again did a spectacular job in the development of this series. She has created numerous multi-dimensional characters, making the story believable. Jessica McClain, for example, is not perfect. She is a newly turned lycan/werewolf that is still learning her skills. She cares deeply for her friends and family and will do anything for them. This is a novel that is hard to put down. It is also exciting and creative enough that it makes the reader crave the next book in the sequence. I am really glad I discovered Amanda Carson’s Jessica McClain Series. It is a must-read for any paranormal fan. ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was amazing! It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. What Jessica and her small pack has to go through in this book is CRAZY!! I have easily fallen in love with these characters. This book starts off right where Hot Blooded ended.. Where is Mercy and James? And NOW who is gunning for Jessica’s blood.. This book really shakes up the Supernatural world sorcerers are teaming up with demons and the witches have come out to play with vamipres. Not only that the Queen of the Vampires will be owing the werewolves a debt.. I enjoy the way Jessica is really coming into herself and starting to understand her role in the world. I cannot wait to the next in the series it stinks that we have to wait until 2014!
An explosion hits the parking lot - a spell from the Sorcerers sent for Jessica. On the run yet bond to find her missing best friend, Jessica heads to the heart of the witches coven, with the most powerful witch in the country - Tallulah (Tally) Talbot. What Jessica learns there sends her on her run to help her father. Tally has an oracle that sees Jessica and her family and friends - good news and bad news. Away Jessica goes, hoping for the safety of her best friend Marcy and James and to help her father, while the Sorcerers and Demons follow on her tale working together to find her. Every Sect is after her. Jessica runs head first into the Vampires, who want her for their own reasons, looking to barter for protection. An explosive set of happenings, from action to love, all in one place here! Each page is full of new information and action. Jessica is one of a kind, in more ways than one, and draws people of all Sects to her - in one way or another. We start EXACTLY where Hot Blooded ended! With Jessica and Tally at Jessica's office, yet in the bushes now. So much happening here! But well organized and all is handled by Jessica as she goes. Much from the first two books lead to here. James and Marcy missing The Demon court date The vampire "party" Rourke!! *sigh* Every Sect after Jessica her powers and what she is the Southern pack and her Dad. All collide right here! Jessica's been having it rough. Supes are out to get her, attacking her at about ever turn. And it's taking all she has to not run off to find and save Rourke, but she knows she has to be prepared and get information first. There are rumors flying of Jessica and what she is and what she'll do. Each has more information about the prophecy. And maybe Jessica is what it says...maybe not? The supernatural world is all shaken up. Sects are teaming up with each other, the one thing the DO NOT do, all because of Jessica. Jessica's group is together because of her. Others are teaming up, to stop her. The supernatural world is changing. Including wolves as someone is messing with them. We have all our favorite characters once again. We see them all! Rourke is just plain amazing. Wow. Do he and Jessica finally get their moment? Well, you'll have to read to see. *giggle* We still have Tyler and Danny at Jessica's side helping her, along with her mate Rourke. We have Naomi and Ray as well. Oh, what we see of Ray. There is something different about him, Naomi can't control him. But just wait until you see what happens to/with him. Yep. You have to read for Ray. So, we've been waiting to learn more of Rourke. What he is, and oh so much more. Yep. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ONE! Everything we wanted, and much more, from Rourke. You HAVE to read this series in order. You don't have to read the Novella, but why not? It's one of the BEST novella's I've ever read, and I read lots. The ending is a touch of a hanger. The story line of this book ends, but there is new adventures started at the end of this one. Amanda knows how to hook her readers and make them salivate for the next. This series is high octane. If you love action packed, fast paced, heart thumping Urban Fantasy reads, this one NEEDS to be the TOP of your list. ASAP! There is even a touch of romance as a bonus. I don't know if I've mentioned it enough in this review (sarcasm) but you need this one. ;)
INITIAL THOUGHTS At 14% my initial thoughts were "I've Slipped straight back into this book and its characters. By 55% "It's gripping stuff." By 65% "Jessica is one heck of a kick butt female character!" Upon finishing this book my first thoughts were "Wow brilliant!!! Easily as good as the Women Of The Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong and I never thought I would be saying that about any series of books!" MY REVIEW I received an e-copy of this book early via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. So I like the cover as it really fits along with the rest of the covers in the series so far. Again I like the murky blue colour, which suggests night time. The theme of having the moon on the cover once again works well. The author quote by Karen Chance about the previous book is definitely a positive even though one of my pet hates is Author Quotes on front covers! What I do love though is a byline and this book has a great byline "Stalk The Night" and it's fitting as that is what Jessica does a lot in this book! Would the cover make me pick the book up from a book store shelf? Yes! So now to the book . . . Jessica arrives back after her last escapade in Hot Blooded, only to find that her best friend and employee Marcy has been kidnapped, so that lands Jessica a problem as Mary's Aunt is not too pleased and is a very powerful witch. A witch that it would be advisable to keep on the right side of! Jessica's father's right hand man, James has gone off alone somewhere too, and there's even bigger trouble with a rogue breakaway pack forming and planning on taking on Jessica's father's pack. The good thing about being back, is that Rourke is with Jessica so they get a little private time eventually to make their life-mate bond. Poor Jessica always seems to be getting into scrapes and sticky situations and this book is no different. there is plenty of action, and danger for Jessica! The Sorcerer's join forces with the Demons who want Jessica. It seems everyone is out for Jessica's blood and they don't seem so bothered whether or not she is alive or dead either. Some unlikely alliances are made for the fight in this book. As is becoming usual the Vampire Queen Eudoxia is at the centre of things, though we learn quite a few secrets about the Vampire Queen too. I really don't want to say much more about what happens as I think you should discover that yourselves by reading this brilliant book! I really do love how Amanda Carlson writes, her descriptions, her fight scenes and the characters, wow! Of course my favourite character is Jessica, a real kick butt woman! Her relationship with Rourke is red hot and he sound like the. perfect. man. doesn't he? I have also, and I know this may sound kind of odd, I've warmed to Naomi even more. I think how Ray's character has evolved and how he has been changed into a vampire and . . . .well you'll find out what else when you read the book! So did I enjoy the book?Enjoyed it? I loved it! Would I recommend the book? Yes, I would recommend the book and the whole series.I especially recommend this series to those who have read and loved the Women Of The Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong, This series really is as good as Kelley Armstrong's and I never thought I'd ever say that after reading those books. Would read another a book in this series? Oh YES! I'd read Bk#4 or a novella right now if there was one available. Would I read other books by Amanda Carlson? as I love her style of writing as well as the Jessica McClain Series the answer to that would have to be a big Yes please! QUOTE FROM THE BOOK I love the humour that is mixed into this book in generous perfectly placed areas of the book! The following quote is a great example: "Alana staggered like a drunk and laughed like a possessed cartoon character, she sounded like Woody Woodpecker on acid"
These are all made up, for your information. So if a cat is named after this book, dont be offensive or think thats their past. This is all made up, and i do not mind if you take the names! <p> Thunderclan! <p> Leader: Coldstar, a dark grey tabby tom. Mat.e is Fawnstep, app is Burnedpaw. <p> Deputy: Deathslash, a spiteful black tabby tom, no ma.te, no app crush is Hellraise. <p> Warriors: Dawnclaw, a white and orage she cat, m.ates with Greystep, app is Myntpaw ;D. Greystep, a gray tabby tom, m.ates with Dawnclaw, app is Darkpaw. Fawnstep, a rust colored she cat with fawn spots. M.ate is Coldstar, app is Drearypaw. Hellraise, a fire colored she cat, no m.ate but very pretty, app is Strikepaw. Tearfoot, a black tom with three legs. No app or ma.te crush is Hellraise. Silentstep, a strong Black tom, ma.te is Bloodpast, app is Mistpaw. <p> Medicine Cat: Dapplespot, a grey she cat with a white face. App is Hollypaw. <p> Queens: Jaybird, a silvery blue she cat, excpecting kits, ma.te is Deadsun, deseased. Bloodpast, a black and red she cat, three kits, ma.te is Silentstep. <p> Elders: Patherfoot, a slender black she cat. Thistleclaw, a dark grey tom. The two are m.ates. <p> Apprentices: Burnedpaw, an orange- brown she cat.(crush is Strikepaw). Myntpaw, a white and light grey she cat.(crush is none). Darkpaw, a black tom.(crush is Mistpaw) Drearypaw, a dark grey-black tom.(crush is Mistpaw) Strikepaw, a black and white tom.(crush is totally Burnedpaw!). Mistpaw, a light grey she cat.(crush is Drearypaw, but too shy.). Hollypaw, a black she cat with white features.(crush is forbidden, but totally loves Blackpaw) Blackpaw, a black tom with grey stripes.(crush is Hollypaw.) <p> Kits: Deadkit, a dark grey tom kit. Best freind with Hushkit. Foxkit, a rust colored she kit with white features. Midkit, a dark grey-black tom kit, bully to Hushkit [<<All these kits are Jaybirds kits! <<]. Hushkit, a rouges kit, adopted by Dawnclaw, a white and light grey she kit. Best freinds with Deadkit. <p> Other cats: <p> Will be introduced in the story! Thnx! Next result is whos related to who, third is comments where i can talk back, and fourth and beyond is THE GOOD STUFF!!! Hope yall like it!