A Alisa Release Day Review: Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen #3) by Rhys Ford

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

Urban fantasy is my favorite genre and I’ve found it’s difficult to find a true UF with a m/m romance subplot.  As a result I was really excited when I read the first Kai Gracen book all those years ago.  I was over the moon when the author released the second book in the series and had high hopes for this newest installment.  The author sticks to a traditional UF plotline with a romance weaved throughout.  This newest book is my favorite one so far.
The blurb does a good job explaining the overall plot.  Kai, Ryder and Ryder’s cousin head down to Mexico to rescue some elfin refugees and along the way they run into all kinds of trouble.  There are underground tunnels and caves filled with monsters, black dogs, fires, stabbings, betrayals and new friends.  The entire thing was a wild ride from beginning to end.  Each of these books is fast paced and filled with twists and turns.  They’d make fantastic action movies.
One of my favorite things about this series is the world building and the area it is set in.  If you are familiar with the San Diego, Ca area you will recognize a bunch of things and their very creative twists in this new landscape.  I also find an extra joy when I know the area a book is set in well.  Even more so when the author knows it well too.
The best part of this book for me though was the relationship development.  The UST between Kai and Ryder has been jumping off the pages since they met in the first book.  This thing between them is a very slow burn but Ryder steps it up a notch here.  He knows Kai has a bunch of complicated issues and his acceptance and patience lead to some very tender moments.  Ryder brought his romance A game here and I admit I was a bit swoony in places.  His gestures may not seem big in a traditional romance, but for Kai they were perfect.  I loved Ryder even more by the end of this one.
The story ends with a bang.  I flipped to the last page and immediately thought “I need the next book NOW!”.  If you are a fan of this series I highly recommend this.  You need to read it as soon as it comes out.  If you have not read this series before you could follow this plot. You would enjoy the mission they’re on but you would be missing out on the emotional impact of the relationship. I recommend that you start with book one.
Cover:  The cover was done by Chris Mc Grath.  I like the cover and think it fits well with the first two in the series.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by DSP Publications
ASIN B07L8LZSLK
Edition Language English
Series Kai Gracen #3

Mad Lizard Bites(.05)

Black Dog Blues

Mad Lizard Mambo

Jacked Cat Jive

A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen #3) by Rhys Ford

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

In a series that by turns has been dark, gritty, wondrous, and wild in the previous stories, Jacked Cat Jive has me gobsmacked with it’s , dare I say it, jacked up gloriously layered plot,  the multiple story threads running and twisting and turning each pulling your attention this way and that, while the author carefully weaves a vivid complicated tapestry that will pull them all back together into a stunning whole.

It’s a stunning series, grounded in a warped universe where dragons fly over cracked highways, elven palaces grow themselves, and the peace between humans and non is tentative at best in a world where neither quite understands the new laws of nature and reality can buckle along with the ground.

If someone would ask me what are my favorite elements, I couldn’t tell them, because there are far too many.  From the world building to the characters and the weirdly complicated, often twisted relationships.  This is a harsh landscape, not only of land but of the mind and soul.  And Rhys Ford gives us the same tortured, determined, and incredibly real beings that now inhabit it.

Kai Gracen has undergone many changes since , the first story in the series, Black Dog Blues.  He’s grown, learned more about his past, accepted responsibilities ,j and given much thought as to what his genetic pool makes him as a person.  It’s a journey of self that continues, along with his relationship with Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court (Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen #2).  Talk about your slow burn!  They haven’t even kissed yet!  And it’s book three!

This story is so crammed full of high adventure, suspense, breathtaking hijinks and political manipulations of all sorts along with the just ol pull at your heart emotions that this author never forgets is needed as the heart that holds it all together.  It’s the perfect combination of them all and I couldn’t stop reading once I started, I think I ended somewhere around 3 am.

We are introduced to new characters even as we brace to let old ones go. Ford breaks our hearts even as she prepares us for further attachments and excitement to come.  Really this is my favorite story in the series yet.  And that is saying something.  Because this series is already full of favorites.

The writing is tight and flows like a fast moving river.  The characters are both real and fantastical, flawed and incredibly moving.   And the universe building, which continues to evolve, is absolutely stunning.

If you love urban fantasy, here is a series for you.  But they are not standalone stories but should be read in the order they are written.    Already I’m primed for the next in the series.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kai, Ryder, and everyone they care for.

I highly recommend this and all the stories listed below.  Stay tuned

Cover Artist: Chris McGrath. I like the cover, Bright, colorful although not quite as edgy nor my idea of Kai.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by DSP Publications
ASIN B07L8LZSLK
Edition Language English
Series Kai Gracen #3

Mad Lizard Bites(.05)

Black Dog Blues

Mad Lizard Mambo

Jacked Cat Jive