Friday, October 25, 2019

#Blog Tour / #Review - Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter #Urban #Fantasy

 Welcome to Gizmo's Reviews tour stop for Faith Hunter's Shattered Bonds, the Thirteenth installment in the authors Jane Yellowrock series. There is a nifty short story called Of Cats and Cars, as well as a tour wide giveaway! Thanks for stopping by!

Series: Jane Yellowrock # 13
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: ACE
Source: Publisher/Blog Tour
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Jane Yellowrock must dig deep and find strength within herself if she is to survive in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series.
Jane Yellowrock is vampire-killer-for-hire, but her last battle with an ancient arcane enemy has brought her low. She seeks retreat in the Appalachian Mountains to grieve the loss of her friends, and to heal—or to die—from the disease brought on by her magic.
But malevolent elements in the paranormal community still seek to destroy Jane, and a terrifying foe stalks her, even into the safety of the hills. With nowhere to run and her body failing, the rogue-vampire hunter and her inner Beast must discover a way to defeat this new threat, and find a form that gives her a chance to fight another day.

Shattered Bonds, by author Faith Hunter, is the Thirteenth installment in the authors Jane Yellowrock series. Jane is in a state of stasis as the story opens. She's abdicated all of her responsibilities of being the Dark Queen and Emperor of the Eurovamps. She's made no moves to take any territory or created her own army. She's told Edmund and Gregoire to take care of anything that might come up. After all, Jane's human body is withering away and dying of a magically induced cancer which seems to have no cure. The best she can do is remain in her beast form, or her half form which she easily can do. 

Jane's closest, including Eli & Alex Younger, Bruiser, Brute & Pea the grindylow, are with at Yellowrock Clan Home as she struggles to find a cure. But, that doesn't stop a dangerous adversary of targeting her people. When Angie has a bad dream, followed shortly after Edmund's connection to Jane being broken, Jane presumes the worst and prepares for another battle. Jane soon learns that a bunch of people have gone missing, & that New Orleans is under siege. Jane invites Molly and her family to stay with her in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. 

But, Jane's home is grounds for attacks by an powerful evil called Shimon Bar-Ioudas, Son of Darkness. Jane has a history with his family. A history that hasn't exactly been on the positive side for Shimon's family. Jane has faced dozens of villains in her time as a vampire hunter, Leo's enforcer, and the Sandre Duello fight which saw a distinct change in which characters survived, and which are thought to be dead. Shimon isn't afraid of anyone. He fully believes that he can force Jane and her friends to submit to his rule. 

He is also kidnapping and torturing others who readers of this series will discover upon reading the book. Jane has an ally, of sorts, in Lincoln Shaddock and his clan. Lincoln is someone you should really pay attention to. Good thing too since there are other clans that have gone rogue, and clans that are believed to be true dead. Molly's sisters are also forced to flee after they are attacked, while Jane's supposed allies Gee Di Mercy is missing and Soul is dealing with an internal war among her kind. Has Jane finally met the one villain she can't defeat?

As a reader of this series, I am always glad to revisit Jane and her Scooby gang. I have been waiting for the author to figure out whether or not she will kill off Jane, or find a way to save her before it's too late. How can you fix things when Jane is forever bonded to Beast? Does she force Jane into a situation where she loses Beast forever? Does she force Jane into a situation where she ends up being Beast 24/7? I think readers will find the answer a pleasant surprise and I hope I didn't spoil anything by even mentioning the Jane dilemma. One thing is for sure, the next installment will be an interesting read.

Of Cats and Cars—a story of Beast, copyright Faith Hunter: Part Four
Author’s Note: This is a short story that fits nowhere. The timeline isn’t perfect but the fans won this story by pushing Beast’s FaceBook page and getting us to three thousand Likes. It was seen online for 30 hours. It will eventually be placed in the timeline, edited, altered, and expanded. Enjoy!
Ed slid from his dusty jacket, folded it carefully and lay it at the foot of the bed.
Centered on the mattress was a boot box, placed there by their host, as instructed, when it arrived. The brand was chosen in honor of Jane, a tribute as it were, and the boots had been flown in, delivered to the ranch. He opened the shipping box and then the inner box. 
Pulling a pair low-heeled, black riding boots from the Lucchese box, Ed held them to the lamplight. The scent of leather filled the room, rich and aromatic and expensive. They were not his usual bespoke, being off-the-shelf, but they were handmade, snip-toed, and the workmanship was excellent. And … he had never worn footwear made from crocodile belly. 
New experiences were rare for a Mithran of his age. 
Something that might have been the stirring of excitement warmed him. He closed his door and stripped, showered fast in the small but elegant marble bath, before pulling on the blue-jeans and the shirt. Both were softer than expected. He ran his hand up the thighs and the arms, accustoming himself to the cloth. Stretched to put on his belt. He pulled on wool socks and slid the boots on. Stamped once with each foot. Not bad. “Prissy boy?” he murmured to himself. “We’ll see about that.”
He stepped from the room, stopped by the kitchen, the space spotless and, like the bath, ultra-modern in contract to the rest of the tourist trap cabin. He checked the brand of coffee, found it acceptable, and the year of the wine in the wine fridge. It wasn’t quite to his usual tastes but it wasn’t Mogan David, either. He could stand it. 
When he entered the living space again, Eli was waiting. The former Ranger was dressed similarly to him, except his boots were old and well-worn, and slung low on his hips was a double-holster gun belt. Not a weapons harness. A gun belt. Made from leather. There were six-shooters in each holster. Ed smiled slightly. “I haven’t seen a 45-caliber, centerfire Colt Single Action Army pistol in decades. Won’t the long barrel be difficult in the saddle?”
“Never bothered me before,” Eli said. He removed the weapon on his left, broke it open, and passed it to Ed. The weapon was old, heavier than modern weapons, but this one been reconditioned. 
“The gun that won the West,” Ed murmured, his finger on the trigger guard, glancing at the load. He clicked the barrel shut and checked the Peacemaker’s sights. “Nice. Though I never did care for a revolver. Give me a rifle any day.”
“We hunting tonight?” Eli asked.
Ed shrugged and moved to door. “If you wish. I think I’ll simply enjoy the ride, however. Once one has hunted human on horseback, little else seems to compare.” Eli went still as a hunting cat. Ed smiled. Eli and Alex wanted to play games. It had been a long time since anyone except Leo had baited him. He found it oddly enjoyable, to pull their tails. He went on. “Though that was a century and a half before you were born, Eli, and was a hunt of vengeance and judgment.” 
He opened the outer door and called over his shoulder to Alex, “Stay out of my room unless you are offering to be my meal, Alex.” TheKkid, who had been about to enter again, turned and walked away. “You will also not play silly human games like short-sheeting my bed, without facing the consequences. And take a shower. Please.”
Eli chuckled. “You’re a lot like Jane, you know that?”
“Mmmm,” Ed said, stepping outside, off the porch, and around the log cabin to the back, where he could hear voices and the stamping of horses. A light brightened a small barn and inside the covered, open area in front, four horses stood, three of them patiently, one dancing, edgy, tense. His night vision was far better than a human’s, and the prancing mare drew him. She was young, buff with pale brownish dapples and a darker buff-colored main and tail. Unlike his usual preferences, she wasn’t a big horse, standing barely fifteen hands, one inch, but she was regal and fiery and her spirit called to him. 
He crossed the space between them slowly, at an angle, his head turned slightly to the side, not staring at her with a predator’s gaze. But she caught his scent and snorted, stamping, smelling hunter, a scent that meant, to her mind, meat-eater. And likely smelling the cat creature on the air as well. He was glad he had rinsed off in the shower, to remove the cat-predator stink. The two scents on him might have sent her over the edge. He moved slowly, stopping often, and realized that Eli was watching him and so was Sam. And their host. He ignored them all, his entire concentration on stalking and winning the skittish mare. 
It took a good fifteen minutes, but he got close enough to breathe at her, and he was glad he had fed well before leaving New Orleans. His breath was warm, not the cold of the grave. She stamped and snorted, tossing her mane. She set one eye on him, the white showing all around as was common with the Appaloosa breed. When their eyes met, he sent out a tendril of compulsion and murmured, “Hello there, Lovely. You are beautiful, yes you are.” 
She pricked her ears and tilted her head, just a little. Interested. He moved toward her without raising his hands and his arm finally touched her. He offered her a sugar cube that he had taken from the kitchen coffee set. He held out his other hand to Sam, smelling what he needed next. “Carrot.”
A carrot was placed into his hand and he offered the treat. She chomped through it, her teeth white and strong. She took the other half and tossed her head, getting it into her teeth. When it was gone, she leaned her head in and breathed on him. He leaned back and breathed on her. They stood together for perhaps a half a minute before she tossed her head, nudging him back.
“What does she like best?” he asked, still without taking his eyes from the mare.
“Hard peppermint candy,” Sam replied. The grizzled man held out a candy, already free of the crinkly noisy wrapper. Ed took it and offered it to her. She lipped it off his palm and crunched it, blowing and snorting and making soft sounds of pleasure. He held out his hand to Sam and the old man gave him a handful. 
“I reckon this means you wanna ride her,” the other man said. “I usually ride Ginny. She’s a mite much for most riders.”
“Not for me,” Ed softly. “Saddle her. With a prissy saddle. An Australian cattle saddle, would be my preference, if you have one.” Ginny bumped him again and he gave her another peppermint. He stroked her broad face and grinned widely, turning to the taller man, their host and owner of the ranch, holding out his hand. He sent a small hint of compulsion into the man as their eyes met. 
“You mean the funny saddle with the thigh supports that stick up in front?” Sam asked, though it was clear he knew fully well what kind of saddle Ed had requested.
“If possible.” Speaking softly, Ed told them his seat size.
“Not sure we have that exact size but we’ll have something.” Sam limped into the back of the tack and grooming barn.
“Charles Iverson the Fifth,” the man said proudly, and stuck out his hand, all Texas graciousness.
“Edmund Hartley. Ginny and I are going to be the best of friends.” Ed petted her neck. The mare bumped him affectionately.


The moon had set and the night was darker than the armpit of hell, a fact that Sam said repeatedly, but they were on a dirt road, easy for Ed to see. Eli had dropped low light vision headgear over his head, gear Ed was fairly certain had not been on his person when they left the cabin. And despite the complaints, the rancher and Sam were comfortable anywhere on the property, which was a good since it was forty-thousand-acres. Not the largest ranch in Texas, which came in at more than nine-hundred-thousand-acres—but big enough for the average human to get lost in should someone determine to leave them here. Ed and Eli, were, of course, far too adept and experienced for such a possibility.
Despite the time of year—midwinter—the night was warm, and the horse under him was excited, full of piss and vinegar which was another term Sam had used. Ed determined to adopt it. Jane Yellowrock was full of piss and vinegar too. He’d use it on her when she was human-shaped again. 
Even as he thought that, the mare snorted and sidestepped, her hooves dancing and darting. He kept his seat. By a hair. He caught the scent of Jane on the air. Or, rather, the scent of her cat. No wonder the mare was salty. A cougar on the night wind and a vampire on her back. It was a near miracle she hadn’t bolted.
Once Ginny was warmed up, Ed took the lead and put her through her paces. He hadn’t known that only a few Appaloosas were gaited horses but he was in luck with Ginny. The lovely, dappled, roan mare slid into a slow-pace that was smooth as silk, like riding the clouds. She hadn’t been trained to jump or race, being used solely as Ivers’ personal mount and bred for a few foals for her excellent bloodline. She was ten years old—mature but with a lot of sass. Ed thought he might be falling in love.


Beast watched Edmund and three riders. Four in all, One for each toe-pad. Edmund and horse danced. Beast loved Ed. Would like to eat horse. But Beast thought Ed would say no. Beast chuffed with disgust and padded into the night. Beast was learning land. Claiming land. Had found scat of bobcat, of fox. Dry scent of rattlesnake. 
Beast stopped. Smelled something new. 
Tilted nose to wind, sniffed. Pulled in air over tongue and roof of mouth, Flehmen response, to smell smells. 
Scent was new thing. New cow. 
Ed had said new word. Wil-de-beast. Beast had thought Ed was talking about Beast, but … But maybe Ed was giving Beast a gift. Moving into the wind, Beast trotted, followed scent. Scent of new cow grew strong. Belly crawled over low flat hill. 
Beast saw many, many more-than-five big black cows with curled trees on head. Wil-de-beasts. Beast began to circle, learning new cows’ hunting grounds. Learning where fences were. Where road was. Learning high ground and low ground. Wil-de-beasts!

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Faith Hunter is the New York Times and USAToday bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, the Soulwood series, and the Rogue Mage series, as well as the author of 16 thrillers under pen the names Gary Hunter and Gwen Hunter. She has 40+ books in print.

Faith collects orchids and animal skulls, loves thunder storms, and writes. She likes to cook soup, bake homemade bread, garden, and run Class III whitewater rivers. She edits the occasional anthology and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain't.
For more, see
To keep up with her, like her fan page at Facebook:
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There’s a tour-wide giveaway! Prizes include a necklace made by Faith Hunter, Amazon gift cards, and copies of SHATTERED BONDS! Open to US residents only. 

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