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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Hot Blooded

Hot Blooded - Amanda  Carlson ****Also posted as a guest review at paranormalhaven.com**** When I first read Amanda Carlson’s Full Blooded earlier this year, I recall being a little dubious. The “Chosen One” is not one of my favorite tropes in urban fantasy, but when I finished the book, I was very excited for the sequel. I always love when books manage to surprise me, and that’s exactly what Full Blooded did. Hot Blooded is the second book in the Jessica McClain series and it’s a fantastic sophomore effort from Amanda Carlson.At the start of Hot Blooded, Jessica has to rescue her mate, Rourke, from the vengeful goddess Selene. Truth be told, I’m not very invested in Rourke. There really hasn’t been enough interaction between the two of them to make me believe in their mate bond, I mean I want him to survive because our main character does, but I wouldn’t be broken hearted if he ceased to exist. Armed with two wolves, a human cop, and two vampires, Jessica sets out track down Rourke and kill Selene. Part of the “Chosen One” mythos is Jessica is the only female werewolf to ever have been born, and there is a prophecy about a “True Lycan” who will vanquish all evil. Whether Jessica is the True Lycan is subject for debate, but all the evidence certainly seems to suggest this is the case.One of the most interesting aspects of Hot Blooded is watching Jessica coming to terms with being a werewolf and her interactions with humans and other supernatural creatures. She hasn’t been a wolf her whole life and doesn’t always know what’s “normal” for a wolf and what’s not. This creates a very interesting dynamic with the other wolves accompanying her, as well as the vampires. She doesn’t think like a “Pack” wolf, and her actions do create conflict. I found her unwillingness to kill and the ability to think things through a pretty refreshing change from other shifter books that I’ve read in the past.The pacing is spot on within Hot Blooded. Nary a dull moment, with good character development, especially in regards to the human cop, Raymond Hart. Through her quest to rescue Rourke, Jessica encounters a bunch of monsters, including evil goats and death bats of the Underworld. Wholly creative, I’m absolutely entranced by the world Amanda Carlson has created. That being said, I did have a couple of issues. One, I’ve already mentioned. There is hardly any page time with Rourke and I just don’t feel as connected to him as I’d like. He seems like a very capable love interest, but at this point, I don’t have enough invested in his character to really care with what happens to him. The other issue is that because of this Prophecy, we don’t know the potential of Jessica’s abilities, and they keep growing as the book goes on. It’s not my favorite plot device, to make the main character keep growing more powerful with each book. Takes away an excellent way to build tension, but that’s just a personal quibble of mine. On the whole, I’m very excited for the next Jessica McClain novel, they are an excellent addition to the genre of Urban Fantasy.