Series: Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy 1
Format: Digital (FREE from Amazon)
Witch Way Bends is a good introduction to the series, it gives you a feel of things and a taste of OHardin's writing style and world building. I enjoyed book 1 of the Bend-Bite-Shift and I love the plot and the direction its going. Devan Stowe is a witch and she's going up against her father, Eden Stowe, for his involvement in child trafficking and other offenses made against the supernatural world. The entire story is yet to unfold but looking at the premise, OHardin is hinting at something ginormous and I hope it turns out to be one of those epic things.
As for the romance concept, Devan and Kent are not my favorite. Though their attraction to each other is obvious from the start, there's something about their chemistry that left me wanting.
Witch Way Bends might be a slow start for me but it sure did whet my appetite for BITTEN SHAME. It left me with a lot of questions by the end of the book and I am more than eager to get some answers about who Eden Stowe is, the story behind the Organization for Supplication or Org, and the role Devan, Kent and the rest of the Company will play to bring it down.
Format: ARC from the author
Release Date: May 25, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Jill Prescott returned from self-imposed seclusion to help save her best friend Devan’s life. Throwing herself into Devan’s problems and bringing an evil organization to its knees might just be the distraction she needs to keep living without the only man she’s ever loved. Her life changed forever when she was hired to spend a week with Doc Massey. On the day she became a vampire her youthful innocence ended, but Doc’s love rescued her from being consumed by the darkness. The shadow of that former life continues to loom over her, keeping her from realizing her own self-worth. Running from her past only brings her closer to a destiny that is inextricably connected to what she is trying to escape… Every gift has both a reward and a price, because All of it fits.
The more I read this series, the more similarities I see with Nora Roberts' Circle Trilogy, which was a surprisingly good series by the way. In BITTEN SHAME we read the story of Jill Prescott, Devan Stowe's bestfriend, who unwittingly found love in Allen "Doc" Massey, a doctor for the Org tasked to care for those children Eden Stowe sold to them. We see the stages of their relationship starting from an innocent dance that developed into a passionate relationship which led to an unfortunate life threatening accident that forced Doc to turn Jill into a vampire. Jill didn't manage a very graceful transition and she really gave Doc some serious trouble over this both as a form of punishment and accepting and controlling the darkness that's overtaking her. This bumpy part of their relationship took a grave turn and things ended badly for both of them.
I love you, Jill Prescott. I love you and if you'll come home with me now, I'll teach you all I know. I'll show you how it works and I'll love you for as long as I can. - Doc
I read somewhere that some readers find the past-present style of storytelling distracting, not in my case. I actually think it helped with the pacing of the story, instead of one continues line we have alternate chapters of Jill's past and how it affected or altered her present. It helped me got to know Jill better and appreciate her as a character and her subsequent growth. She's so exuberant and has an openness about her that Doc found truly appealing, Jill reminded him of life and what its like to live and have something to live for. OHardin played the light and dark contrast, both literal and figurative, wonderfully.
As for the main plot, our knowledge about the Org isn't far off from the information we've gathered from Witch Way Bends and I have yet to see how the plot will thicken in this aspect. On a personal note, I'm not a fan of "Doc" as a name for a character, I understand it's short for doctor but it just doesn't roll over my tongue like Allen would. LOL Overall, I still want to see this series through.
Bitten Shame Prologue
Jill stood in what had become her bedroom in her friend's house and watched as Devan walked away. As she murmured another goodnight, she felt a prickle run along her skin bringing her attention back to the fact that Langston was waiting outside her room for her. Her lips drew into a severe line when the giant man quietly opened the door and approached her with steps too soft for his massive body. His size was such that he should have sounded like a herd of elephants entering the room. He exuded calm and patience and she tried to draw from his composure but her stomach still turned into knots. Even being a vampire, Jill experienced all the same emotions and feelings she’d had before she was changed. At this very moment she was both terrified and sickened.
Langston’s easy smile didn’t help soothe her any, but instead caused her to open her mouth and begin talking in short breaths. “I wish we had more time. I wasn’t prepared to do this yet. I don’t like doing this at all, you know? It’s not right. It makes me feel dirty…”
“It is not dirty when it is consensual. It is the best way to prepare you. We do not have time now, and we all need the rest,” Langston began to use his large hands to unbutton his grey shirt.
Horrified, Jill reached out and waved her hands to keep him from removing his clothing any further. “No,” Jill shouted, “I can take just as well from your wrist. I can’t… I can’t from your neck. That’s too intimate… you know?”
He touched her chin in a gentle manner, not as a lover would do but more as a father might. “Shoulders back, Jill. Tomorrow you will be free, no matter if you succeed in your quest or not.”
It was an ominous sort of comment, because failure meant her death. Still, strange as it seemed, his words provided her with a sort of solace; an end to her life would at least stop her constant torment. Releasing the ball of tension in her gut, she laughed and shook her head. “Ah, Andre, you’re something else, ya’ know that?”
He showed little or no reaction to the pet name. There was no denying the impressive stature of this tall and beefy guy. When they first met she’d thought instantly of Andre the Giant, and the name had just stuck in her mind.
She took his enormous hand in her small one, marveling at how warm he felt to her touch. As a vampire, her body was forever cold and although she could register the feeling, she couldn’t warm herself with it. The heat passed through her and disappeared just as quickly.
“The reverie,” she whispered, her lips trembling as she hovered them just over his skin. “Are you sure? There’s no reason not to. It isn’t right for you to feel pain for my benefit…” she trailed off as she felt his eyes bore into hers. They had discussed this, several times actually, since the moment he first suggested she should feed off his blood. Each time he refused the reverie which would hypnotize him and thereby allowing her to pierce his skin and suck his blood without pain.
Jill brought his wrist to her lips and closed her eyes. She willed her incisors to lengthen, and with a quick and sure thrust she dug them into his skin. Langston remained immobile. When the first metallic taste of his hot blood splashed her tongue, she tried to pull away, but he took the back of her neck and held her fast to his wrist. Giving in, she sagged against his side and began to suck like a hungry babe.
The taste of him was intoxicating. She hadn’t had fresh blood in such a long time. She was like an addict taking a hit after years of sobriety. And to complicate matters further, Langston’s blood was bursting with strength. His magic tingling her throat with each deep swallow of the luxuriously thick and decadent liquid. Her limbs began to throb and pulse with energy.
This was why she’d fought so hard against the idea of taking Langston's blood. She was afraid that getting just a taste of the real thing again would destroy her ability to resist in the future. She didn’t want to stalk hosts in the night and she didn’t want to take a supplicant; she didn’t want to drink the life-blood from a living creature again.
Most importantly of all, she didn’t want to remember that this was what had broken his will. She didn’t want to take the chance again that someone else would break her own will and give her a reason to forget him…