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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Book Review! Huntress by Selene Kallan

Huntress Prey (Bonded by Blood and Magic #1) by Selene Kallan 
Genre: Adult Fiction (Paranormal / Fantasy)
Date Published: December 14, 2021
Publisher: Self

After almost three centuries of running from my past, I should be used to loneliness. Being a mythological monster isn’t compatible with relationships. But the craving for company grows stronger every day, turning routine into an endless nightmare and making me wish for an end to my immortality.
The explosive encounter with a beautiful, lethal fae who knows what I am and how to destroy me reminded me of that proverb: be careful what you wish for.

I thought fate could not surprise me after almost six hundred years. And then there she is—the echo of the brave young woman I’ve heard legends about. Only she isn’t human anymore, but a vampire, the greatest enemy of my species. After a fight that could have killed us both, and an uneasy truce, I am left with burning curiosity and so is she.
But will curiosity be enough to quench her thirst for my blood and my impulse to kill her before she strikes?

Huntress Preyis the first book in the Bonded by Blood and Magic series by Selene Kallan. I liked the overall premise of this story, but it was hard for me not to zone out, because it was quite draggy and wordy in areas. I really struggled to stay focused during these times. I would loved to have seen more action or something happening during these times to keep the plot moving along. Or, maybe we could have spread out the character introductions a little more and let them add their own drama along the way, because I was introduced to a bunch of characters all at once in the beginning, and I'll be honest, I didn't keep them straight at all. Valentine and Axel are interesting though, and those are the two that matter most when it's all said and done. This is the first book I've read by this author, and I'm a little curious to see where it goes from here.

Huntress by Selene Kallan was kindly provided to me by Rockstar Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.


Faster, faster; I thought desperately, silently urging my trembling, exhausted body to move.
The sodden, muddy, heavy skirts did not help what was already a difficult trek across the forest. Barefoot and sore. Parched and terrified.
“You can’t run away from me, little girl, I can smell you!” the bastard mocked.
I bit my tongue to avoid crying out as my right foot slid on a sharp rock and pain lanced up my leg. Bleeding was the worst thing that could happen right now.
Please, please.
But who was I begging for help?
Long ago, had I forsaken the idea of a merciful god.
“Where are you?” he chanted. His voice sent yet another bolt of fear down my spine.
I knew what he was, what kind of monster had hidden behind the refined appearance of a wealthy man. I had seen it so many times before, cruelty and evil wrapped in an attractive package, but not like him. Not like the beast that preyed on innocents and was now determined to destroy me.
Something hit my side and sent me flying. I crashed down against a tree trunk, sprawled on the wet ground, unable to draw air to my lungs, a cry trapped in my burning throat.
I fought against the heavy press of unconsciousness; feared being at his mercy without being able to fight.
A groan left my raw throat as I gulped air and forced my body up. Frantic, I looked around, back against the rough bark of the tree. It was an eerie night, with no moon or stars to illuminate the dense expanse of the forest. I flexed my knees, reaching out and desperately trying to find something, anything, that could serve as a weapon.
My hand closed around a rock just as I saw a flash of bright feline eyes in the gloom.
“Got you,” came the rough, inhuman voice.
Faster than I could react, he was standing in front of me.
Unbidden, a cry left my lips, cut off by the hand that closed around my throat. He was almost a foot taller than me, something bizarre considering I was almost six-foot-tall. I tried to hit him with the rock, but he trapped my wrist, squeezing. His strength was colossal, impossible. He clenched his hand tighter, and I heard the crack of my bones. My hand opened reflexively, letting go of the useless rock. A strangled sound left my lips. It would have been a piercing cry if not for the pressure around my neck.
Fetid breath hit my face, my eyes locking with the beast’s eyes. As if by some thrall, I couldn’t look away.
“Do you know how much it cost me to get such high-quality cattle?” he growled.
Cattle. People, they were people, you miserable bastard! I wanted to scream.
He came closer to my face, growling low. Painful fear ran down my spine, my whole body shook, my heart thundered. His hand tightened around my neck and I began to drift.
He violently shook me back to consciousness. My head throbbed.
“Not so fast,” the beast said, upper lip curling to expose sharp, inch-long fangs that glinted like blades in the gloom. “Let’s see how you taste first.”
My eyes widened. I kicked out and smacked with my left hand, but it was as useful as hitting a wall of rock. He released my neck, and I drew in enough air to let out a weak croak just as he savagely bit me and lancing pain cut through the base of my throat.
It burned.
I could feel the beast’s sharp fangs embedded deep in my vein; hear his long gulps. My body became paralyzed with fear as my lifeblood was taken. The beast growled and released me. I fell to the ground like a discarded rag doll.
The beast snarled and spat my blood. “Disgusting,” he sneered. “A complete waste of time and money.”
An echo of pain pulsed in my heart. The knowledge that the man I had called father not only trafficked with the lives of innocent people but was also willing to sell his own daughter to the best bidder was sickening.
I supported part of my weight with my left hand and tried to move, fueled by fear and the desire to live.
A blow to the side had me flying again. My chest smashed against another tree. All the air left my lungs, a few of my ribs cracked. I couldn’t scream, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move. Could do nothing but watch as the beast neared me. And I could see him now, see the muscular frame and the wind-ruffled black hair, the disturbingly handsome face, and wicked silver eyes with cat-like pupils. There was so much malice in him I would have retched if my stomach hadn’t been empty; if I could move.
“Should I just kill you now or take you with me?” he pretended to muse. A cruel smile spread across his face, making him look demonic. “I do not think you have received the punishment you deserve.”
Why am I not dead yet? I agonized.
I didn’t have the energy to stand. The sharp ends of my broken ribs stabbed me with every ragged breath; I could taste blood on my tongue.
“Yes, I think we can still have some fun together,” the beast said, taking a step closer.
I hated the tears that clouded my sight, the sheer terror that made me want to beg for mercy. But I wouldn’t. I knew that would please him and the last thing I wanted was to give any satisfaction to that monster.
He knelt beside me, silver eyes bright with repugnant excitement. A surge of adrenaline shot through my body, giving me the strength to rise on my elbows and stand, barely managing one step before being yanked off my feet to fall face-first onto the ground, my skin breaking and burning as the bastard dragged me to his side. He turned me roughly to face him, his hand clamping down on my throat. I kicked and scratched, no air entering my lungs. My chest was heaving, my broken ribs an unrelenting agony that blackened my sight. Slowly, my body went limp.
The beast shook me roughly to keep me from drifting. A shivery sensation wrapped around my skull.
“Open your eyes,” he commanded.
I did at once, knowing he was invading my mind, hating it even though I had the terrifying suspicion that was the least he was going to do to me.
Still, I fought back against his clutch in my mind, imagining talons tearing through the invisible hands choking my will; throwing every bit of mental force I could summon against him.
His eyes widened, and his upper lip curled to expose those huge fangs. “Interesting, such a waste of potential,” he jeered, looking down at me as if I were an item on a shelf. “Who knows? Maybe after you receive your deserved punishment, I might still find a purpose for you. What do you say?”
An unbidden cry rose in my throat. His iron clutch turned it into a barely-there whimper.
His other hand took hold of my corset, tugging. Panic flooded my veins, chilling me to the bone. His eyes locked with mine, holding me prisoner so I couldn’t fight. I gagged, not wanting to imagine what it meant that he was tearing my clothes off, begging the universe my body would break and give up soon.Please let me die, let me die, let me die—

Selene Kallan is a fantasy author who daydreams about her imaginary worlds most of the time. Her obsession with vampires, and all things supernatural, has made her an avid reader. She loves writing, discovering new metal bands, and watching superhero movies. She is also feeling a little crazy while writing about herself in third person, but apparently, this is the way to go. 

To learn more about Selene Kallan and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, InstagramBookBub, and Twitter.

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