Author ~ Rhys Ford
Publisher ~ DSP Publications
Published ~ 3rd February 2015
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
The Kai Gracen Series: Book One
Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.
It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.
But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.
No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.
This author plunges you straight into a gritty scene that totally showcases her ability to create sounds, smells and the essence of a scene from mere words.
Wet black dog could make a dead man vomit, and the smell would soak through the metal bed of my truck.
In the middle of the gore we meet Kai, owned by Dempsey and trained as a stalker of the black dogs mentioned above and anything else required. The relationship Kai has with Dempsey is gruff and often hard and my initial thought was that I didn't like the man. Did he care about Kai or was he too old and too harsh to ever change his ways?
You know it's not good to eat on the run, and a stalker should always have his man's back. Be a shame if I'd spent all that time beating some sense into you and left that bit out.
But Dempsey's not the other MC here, although I originally thought he was. No, the other main character here is Ryder - Elfin lord, with a whole agenda that includes keeping Kai close, but not in the way you are thinking. Kai has some secrets in his blood, and Ryder has more than a few of his own. Then there are elfin politics, problems with humans and a mass of people from Kai's past who are out to get him back.
This is a book that has to be read slowly if you want to understand everything that is going on. The Sidhe/Unsidhe and Dawn Court and Dusk Court were a little confusing and not explained as well as I thought they should be. I'm still not sure what the Merge is despite the glossary at the beginning of the book and a map would have also been really handy to help work out where a lot of the action took place. It's that type of paranormal book - a whole new world created which is both interesting and frustrating all at the same time.
I do hope that this book is part of a series, because there were so many unresolved threads left at the end. You should also know that this book is not a romance but more of a horror/action story. There is a lot of fighting, especially with those black dogs, which are explained in the book, and I was thrilled that Dempsey showed his true colors at the end. But to me the book is far from finished although an enjoyable read for action buffs everywhere.