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August 31, 2015

Loved It: Midnight Hunter by Kait Ballenger

Series: Execution Underground 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HQN Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Romantic Suspense

Hunters of the supernatural, THE EXECUTION UNDERGROUND are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but can dark temptation destroy good intentions?

Occult specialist and witch hunter Dr. Shane Grey is called upon to investigate a string of crimes that bear all the hallmarks of black magic. But he can't take on this daunting assignment for the Execution Underground alone. He'll need the help of Vera Sanders, a witch with a dark past—and a woman who disturbs him as much as she intrigues him.

Vera is determined to ignore the dangerous chemistry between herself and Shane so she can prove her loyalty to his cause; otherwise she risks the wrath of the Execution Underground once again. If she can't make Shane trust her, they won't stand a chance in hell of defeating the evil that's terrorizing their city. No easy task, considering old habits die hard…and Vera may be the very person responsible for luring Shane into a killer's trap.

3.5 to be exact


Trust on Kait Ballenger to deliver a fast paced adventure, a full length novel that reads like a novella. Whaa?! Yup, MIDNIGHT HUNTER is one of those books that just flows. I mean when a novel opens with digging up a grave a la Sam & Dean (Supernatural), you know you're in for a good ride, right?

So here's what:

  • I love that MIDNIGHT HUNTER can stand alone so readers who are new to the series won't be intimidated catching up or would feel required to read 2.5 books before they dip their tippy toes into this novel. That said, I still encourage y'all to read all the Execution Underground novels so you'll have the pleasure of meeting te other Hunters and, of course, take pleasure in reading KBallenger's work.

  • I love that our hero, Dr. Shane Grey, is nerd, a geek, an academic, an intellectual. The world needs more MEN like Shane, who is more brains than brawn. Oh, and he's good in bed as well, because that's important too, right ladies? 

  • I liked that our villain here is a necromancer, a cold-hearted sociopath who's not too smart, but still managed to make my skin crawl. 

  • I liked the cameos done my previous Execution Underground MC's. Jace and Frankie are having twin girls, and he's still not besties with Damon. I'm not sure which hunter is getting a book next, I'm hoping it's sexy Scot, Kellan MacKenzie. Although I find it odd that he's walking around town wearing nothing but a kilt. Aren't Hunters supposed to stay on the D/L?

Now here's why I didn't love MIDNIGHT HUNTER as much as the other books, and it has something to do with our heroine, Vera. 

First of all, Vera is a likable character. She has some baggage but she's no drama queen. She's resilient, steadfast, and independent. However, Vera felt very cliché to me. I mean why does she have to be a stripper, who's also a working student, who has an addiction (in this case it's black magic and not some random susbstance), who's also a witch? Why can't she be something else, someone who's equally interesting, but less expected

And the stereotype becomes glaring when you place Vera side by side with Dr. Shane Grey. I mean I can't and won't argue their romance, they're matched no doubt about it. I'm just not a fan of the juxtaposition here, the multi-layered forbidden/opposite-attract romance felt too much on some places for me (student:teacher; hunter:witch; something spoilery). I guess I prefer subtlety and heightened tension versus something that's obvious and expected.

But don't be deterred, let me remind you that my particular review is subjective to my personal preferences. I also want to highlight that MIDNIGHT HUNTER is more suspense-mystery than a paranormal romance so my little gripes about the romance is very minimal compared to the overall scheme of things. I enjoyed reading Execution Underground 3, I love the diversity of the characters and cases the Hunters are taking and naturally, I look forward to the next book. Fingers crossed it'll be Kellan's.


Learn more about the EXECUTION UNDERGROUND here


Kait Ballenger is a full-time paranormal romance author, wife, bellydancer, graduate student, and soon-to-be-professor. She is the multi-published, award-winning author of the Execution Underground paranormal romance series. With a B.A in English from Stetson University, Kait is currently earning an M.F.A in Writing. Kait believes anything is possible with hard work and dedication. One day, she hopes to be a bestseller and to see her novels on the big screen. Look for the next two books in her page-turning Execution Underground series: Twilight Hunter, book one (August 2013) and Immortal Hunter, book two (January 2014).



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47 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed the first 2 books but I haven't read this one yet, I'm curious though mainly while seeing your review eright now It sounds like a good one again!

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    1. This fits the series really well. The second one is still my favorite though

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  2. I love when it just flows, suddenly it's over and awesome

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    1. Yup, some books, even the good ones, get laborious to read mid-point, I didn't feel that here.

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  3. Oh good, I love strippers! lol. I get what you're saying though, it's a lot. I want to read this, but I'll start with the first book.

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    1. Yeah, I think I've had my fill of strippers in my PNRs

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  4. Oh dang this sounds really good. I do love paranormal romance.

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  5. I feel the need to meet Dr. Shane, let me just say that quickly. Sounds like my kind of guy! Hmm, I'll be one clicking later on after work, so the first book may just get tossed in. Nice review!

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  6. Anything a la Sam and Dean is a good thing. :P

    So glad this was like that and a good read. It sounds fantastic! I'm off to Goodreads to add it. ;)

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    1. Well Kait is a Supernatural fan so I'm not surprised there. I like the nod to the Winchester brothers though :)

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  7. I love Kait and I can't believe I forgot this was coming out!! UGH! Bad author-fan!! The last book absolutely killed me so I need me some action this time around. I'm looking forward to this - awesome, fair review, girly!!!

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    1. You still have time! Comes out tomorrow, pre-order now, it's on a deal... thank you!

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  8. Hm, I'm sensing a lot of potential in the character of the good doctor. None of it has anything to do with his respectable profession ;)

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    1. Book boyfriend material most definitely

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  9. Glad for it being okay to read out of order, but contrarily that makes me want to be a good girl and read them in order. ;)

    Too bad for the cliched heroine, but if the other elements are strong then I can live with it.

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    1. There's no series arc and the character connections are "loose" so you won't feel like you're missing something important to enjoy the installment. But yeah, I still recommend readers try it in order, it's always better that way.

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  10. You caught my attention. I need to read this series.

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  11. Ah, hell yeah. A nerd hero? LOVE. Too bad Vera is a cliche but I like the sound of the book overall and I'm glad it works as a stand alone.

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  12. Oh wow! I've been curious about this series but I do think I need to start it. I just love a book that flows well. Brilly!

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    1. Yup, if the writing is there, it's halfway done convincing you that the story is as real as it gets

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  13. Sounds like the flow is done really well. A novel that reads like a novella, never heard that description before. It's nice when a series can be read as a standalone, although I often prefer to read a series in order as then things make sense more and you'll recognize the previous main characters. Too bad they focussed on the cliché and obvious contrast in the roamnce and in the character Vera. Subtle and surprising works better for me usually. Great review!

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    1. There's some books that are so well paced it reads fast and easy.... yeah I wish Vera was a bit different, I mean who goes to class wearing stripper costumes?

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  14. I really enjoy this series. I agree with you Vera was not my favorite. I had some of the same issues you did, also with the teacher/student forbidden romance. This one was fast-paced and flowed along It was not my favorite in the series, but still well worth reading and of course I love the cameo's. Great review!

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    1. Yeah, I think it's enough that she's a witch, he's a hunter with that extra family thing in the background. The teacher/student felt overkill, plus who wears their stripper clothes for class?? Like that's so obvious!

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  15. Braine I'm on a massive slump and I need your help in picking a good romance for me to read :P I feel like romance always pull me out of my weird reading slump. I'll check this series out too, maybe I'll enjoy it. I do love 'em PNRs (even though this particular book is not really PNR) I think I'll re-read Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh ;) -Amir

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  16. Oh I think I could enjoy this one. I love that I don't have to read a whole slew of books to catch up. Awesome!

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    1. That's always a plus, like if you're sated you can just stick to one, if you want more there are other books to get.

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  17. a cliché character is never fun but it seems like this was still a good read overall.

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    1. Yes ma'am, I'm still a fan and will continue on with the series.

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  18. This series is new to me but looks like it would be something I'd enjoy. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Sharon, it's a great PNR series for sure ;)

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  19. This is the second good review I've read for Midnight Hunter. I'm going to have to check out this series as I'm very curious. And I'd like to meet Dr. Shane. I like nerdy heroes. ;)

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  20. You had me at geek and necromancer..yep.

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    1. Abs of steel! They're smart abs too ;)

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  22. Great to see there were cameos from characters you've met before. And the villain is a necromancer... love that! Great review!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    1. Yup, a dude waking up the dead is always a good sign

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  23. Every time I see a new book out in this series I think I need to start it and then I don't.I really need to remedy that.Great review.

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  24. Oh good gravy! I can't wait to get this one. :) I've loved all the previous books and look forward to continuing the series. :)

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