4 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: Reaper by Edward Kendrick

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Amazon

Title: Reaper

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 208 Pages

At a Glance: Reaper has action, suspense, and two very likable MCs.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Leading a double life can be challenging, as Reaper well knows.

Take one self-styled vigilante—Reaper. Add his alter ego, successful forty-one-year-old, investment counselor, Zack Ward. Then throw in Dallas Comstock, thirty-two, a beat cop, Zack’s lover and the only person who knows Zack is Reaper. The result is men on a mission. They protect homeless kids living on the streets while trying to find a new building for a soon-to-be demolished shelter belonging to Zack’s mentor, Brian Foster—the man who helped Zack get off the streets.

Someone seems to be kidnapping streetwise young girls. Reaper pulls together a team of street kids—Zip and his boyfriend, Colly, Raven and Sway—to stop the predator. At the same time Zack, with the help of his business clients, sets up a charity ball to raise money for the new shelter, Off-the-Street.

What happens next may strengthen Zack’s and Dallas’ love—or destroy it.

Dividers

Review: Edward Kendrick’s Reaper is a unique story that I could see as a graphic novel that would appeal to young adults, with a few minor changes. Reaper and Wrath are definitely the superhero types, and the setting seems to take us to another place and time, even though the Rockies are mentioned. This story has action, suspense, and a sense of safety and empowerment.

There are two very likable MCs, Zack Ward and Dallas Comstock, and there’s lots of warmth, humor and love shared between them.  Zack is an investment counselor during the day, and has a very comfortable life, but growing up wasn’t anything like it is now. He lived on the streets as a young teen, and did what he had to do to survive. With the help and encouragement of Brian, he got his life together, and now strikes out to help others who are less fortunate.

Dallas comes from a different family lifestyle.  He’s a police officer and is dedicated to his job. He worries but also understands Zack and his plight to take care of the homeless and the young people who have to survive on the street. There are very few people that know that Dallas and Zack are partners in more ways than one.

There are a lot of supporting characters in this story, especially all the young teens who befriend Reaper and Wrath.  We get to meet these colorful characters:  Zip, Colly, Raven, Sway and many others. Our superheroes also have a special friend in Brian, who runs “Off-the-Street” a shelter for homeless youth, where Reaper recruits Nate Brown to teach self-defense to the young people and helps to empower them to also be protectors for others.

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4.5 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Taz, Totally Bound

Review: The Hit Man Cometh by Edward Kendrick

Title: The Hit Man Cometh

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 178 Pages

At a Glance: All in all, a fun and exciting read. Well worth the experience.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Mick is a hit man sent after Gavin. Can Gavin, an ex-conman and a shifter, convince Mick they should join forces before Mick kills him?

Mick Whalen is a hit man hired to kill Gavin Wilde. However, when he tracks Gavin to a remote mountain cabin, he discovers that killing the coyote shifter is not in the cards. Especially when Gavin offers sex as an incentive to spare his life—an offer Mick does not refuse.

At Gavin’s insistence, they find out who hired Mick before someone else is sent to finish the job. The most probable person is a vampire with an ax to grind because of something Gavin did to him in the past. With the help of Gavin’s bear shifter friend Torben, and Torben’s vampire friend Brynja, they set out to stop the vampire—perhaps permanently.

Mick and Gavin decide to join forces since, as Gavin points out, he can teleport Mick away after a hit. The contracts come, and their rough bouts of sex heat up in the process.

However, they’re almost killed on a job—a job no one knew about except Mick’s friend and handler Johnny. When Johnny is murdered, they team up with the two other hit men who also once worked for Johnny, to find and eliminate his killer as well.

With death and destruction now both men’s way of life, will it draw them closer together—or destroy what has become more than just a friendship?

Dividers

Review: It’s been a while since I read a book by Edward Kendrick, and I won’t wait too long to read another. This book started out with an exciting hook: talented hit man meets even more talented shifter. Have your gun swiped from your hands before you can pull the trigger and…have incredibly hot sex? Yeah, good start to a book that kept me on my toes for the duration.

This story had a strong plotline to begin with. Gavin, the intended target, partners with Mick to figure out who had ordered the hit. Together they uncover that mystery only to find themselves lodged in a second, and equally intriguing, one. You, that’s right, you basically get two intense stories for the price of one.

There were some elements to the story which forced me to suspend my disbelief beyond the normal paranormal stuff. The main one was the plot twist once the first mystery was solved. I found it hard to imagine that Gavin would make the choice he made and had to say to myself, “The story is awesome so I’m just not going to over analyze that little twist.”

By far, the action and pacing of the story was its greatest strength. I found myself rushing to the next chapter just to find out what would happen. There was ample sex and it was written with a hint of BDSM, although I wouldn’t classify this story in that sub-genre.

What I loved about The Hit Man Cometh was how masculine both men were. There were no overly sentimental moments. One man wasn’t more manly than the other. And both had the same guarded typically guy trait of questioning their own feelings, wary of using the “L” word.

All in all, a fun and exciting read. Well worth the experience.

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4 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Genre Romance, JMS Books LLC, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Wrong Side of the Law by Edward Kendrick

Title: Wrong Side of the Law

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages/Word Count: 201 Pages

At a Glance: A very good read, indeed

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: Undercover cop Dan Hudson is framed for blackmail and kicked off the NOPD force. Enraged about that, and the fact that his lover refuses to stand by him, Dan moves to Denver, where he becomes Dirk Steele. He finds a job working for the Powells, who are pawnbrokers … and fences.

When he proposes to them than he put together a team to steal on demand for the Powells’ less than legitimate clients, a deal is struck and the team is formed. The team consists of Maverick, a thief; Tripp, a street kid who shoplifts to survive; and Fey, another street kid who is an excellent pickpocket and petty thief.

Now the question becomes, will the team succeed? And, equally important, will the attraction between Dirk, who has sworn off love, and Maverick — whose credo is only down and dirty sex — grow into something more? Or will they remain just ‘friends with benefits’?

Time will tell as the team takes on increasingly difficult jobs and a man from Dirk’s past shows up who could possibly throw a monkey wrench into the works.

Dividers

Review: One of the facets of Edward Kendrick’s books that I enjoy immensely is his world building skills. In this story we meet dirk, a man was is disenchanted with his life and who wants to start all over. We watch as he moves across states and finds another city to live in, and watch him figure out how to make a living there. When that takes Dirk to the wrong side of the law, we are sympathetic towards him due to his past and his poor handling of the law prior. It is a very different take on starting over and is proof of Kendrick’s skill when he makes it so believable and draws us further into the story.

The characters that surround Dirk are selected with care. We see the possibilities as he does, and as they come together to form a crew, we can see that Dirk has built a family of sorts to grow with. The romance that develops between Dirk and Maverick does so slowly, allowing trust to be established between them, as they have both been betrayed before.

The first half of the book is Dirk reflecting back on the previous two years since he started over. The story moves to the present with the introduction of Al Galvez, a figure from Dirk’s past. The entire pace of the story increases with the shift in focus, and I found myself more engaged with the characters as a result. The threat that Al represents creates anxiety, and the response from the characters keeps the pages turning quickly. When they all decide to relocate it doesn’t feel like running, rather protecting their family and their future. This was a truly fascinating glimpse into the lives of a bunch of characters on the wrong side of the law that didn’t feel like the wrong side at all. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Dirk and Maverick grow into their HEA, and also seeing the hope they had for their future. The true strength of the book comes from the reality that Kendrick builds of the life of a thief. The tricks of the trade that he walks us through, how to research your target and how to use all the tools the characters will need, are described in such a realistic manner that you simply believe the world of the book. Dirk has the background as an undercover police officer to make this foray believable and that makes all the difference in this book. A very good read, indeed.






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3 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Rena, Wilde City Press

Review: L’histoire de François: Vampire by Edward Kendrick

Title: L’histoire de François: Vampire (Mortal Angst #1)

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages

At a Glance: A good deal of missed opportunity

Blurb: Since his turning in 1022 young spy, François, has hated all humans. And yet, in 1347, he falls in love with one, only to be betrayed by Giles who tells his liege lord that François is a vampire. The lord blackmails François into spying for him. Years later, François gains his revenge on Giles through his son.

In 1876 New Orleans, François joins forces with Vasile, a master of the city, to take on human vampire hunters. Then Vasile’s human lover dies and Vasile turns to François for comfort. Will love ensue, or is François destined to always be alone?

Dividers

Review: L’histoire de Francois… is a paranormal historical novella that’s quite sweeping in its scope, as far as time period goes. It’s also the first volume of what looks to be a novella series centering on Francois, a young Frenchman who’s turned into a vampire and subsequently becomes a pawn for humans in times of war or bitter political rivalry. It’s a clever use of vampirism, really, seeing as how vampires are immortals and can withstand torture should they be caught spying. Francois – whose last name’s never revealed, but he comes from aristocratic stock – has a pretty rich history, which includes his turning, but we’re really not given much to savor.

The first half of the book focuses on Francois’s past, and the second half skips forward a few centuries and moves the action from France to New Orleans. Because of the novella’s length (about 20K words), so much history covered in such a short book means a lot of summaries and details left out. And that’s too bad because Francois’s history is incredibly rich and fascinating, and that doesn’t include his turning. He’s a seasoned spy at twenty-three, he comes from a line of nobles, and he’s got a bit of a rivalry going on with his older brother, Lothaire, who becomes peripherally instrumental in Francois’s fate. Since his family knows nothing about his secret life, the resulting tension or even perhaps ambivalence in Francois could’ve been explored.

As it happens, though, only his time with Giles is given some attention, and even then, it still has a rushed quality to it. The result of this for me was a lack of emotional connection with Francois. I felt no sympathy for him, even during those moments spent with Giles, and everything seemed so ephemeral and barely fleshed out that I didn’t care much about him by the end of the book. There’s a good deal of missed opportunity, and I wished the book just focused on the events of the first half, expanding Francois’s past and his experiences with Giles and the aftermath of Giles’ betrayal. If anything, the only real sense of emotion I got from the book was how much Francois hated humans, and that’s only because we’re always reminded of that fact, not necessarily shown or allowed to explore those experiences that ultimately led him to that much loathing.

The setting’s also not fully established or described in enough detail as to firmly plant the reader in both time and place. Besides the more generalized references to cities, we don’t really get to “see” Francois’s world, regardless of time period. And that just added to the diminishment of any emotional connection I might’ve enjoyed with the hero.

As this is the first book in a series, however, it probably serves a more general purpose of establishing Francois’s past, and the rest of the novellas following it might offer us something meatier to sink our teeth into – no pun intended.






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Edward Kendrick, Wilde City Press

Edward Kendrick’s “The Actor & the Thief” Steals The Show


“We find ourselves constantly in battle in the vast human theaters of conflict.” ― Bryant McGill


Title: The Actor & the Thief

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 26000 Words

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Once they were a couple. Now—they’re far from it.
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