Dana reviews Killer Heart (Blade & Dust Book 1) by Rhys Lawless (Ebook published by Rhys Writes Romance on November 29, 2019, 352 pages. Audio released April 23, 2020. Narrated by John York. Listening Time 7 hrs 41 mins) A review code was provided in exchange for an honest review.
They’re sworn enemies.
Witches and witch hunters can never fall for each other…
Wade is a witch hunter with a cursed heart.
But everything he’s come to know about those evil creatures is about to be challenged by one man…
Caleb’s love life is a mess.
He’s given up on love, but as an empath, love never gives up on him.
When he meets a witch hunter with a cursed heart, he comes up with a plan.
✓ Trade hearts
✓ Stop the witch hunters
✓ Have a bisexual awakening
✓ Go their separate ways
If they want to fix their lives, they’ll have to learn to trust each other. Can they overcome their hatred and work together or will they end up ruining both their lives?
Killer Heart is an MM urban fantasy with lots of magic, powerful emotions, a passionate blooming romance and a touch of kink.
This is Book 1 in the Blade & Dust series with a mild cliffhanger and a happy for now ending.
This is a first time author and narrator listen for me. I was drawn in by the blurb because I am a fan of paranormal romance, especially when witches are involved. The cursed heart part was intriguing but also confusing to me before starting the story, but I definitely wanted to give this one a chance. The story was so much more than I thought it would be.
There is definitely a gritty tone to the story. We are introduced to Wade, who works for a witch hunters council. He has hunted down a witch and murders her before he steals her spells and snorts them. He is a killer and addicted to spells like they are drugs. It doesn’t endear him to me at all. However, I don’t really know if the witches are good or bad, so I had to reserve my judgment. Caleb is a witch who runs a flower shop but is also tasked to find out who is murdering witches by their policing agency. His empath abilities are handy when trying to subdue someone coming at him since he can project as well as take in emotions. Caleb has become tired of feeling so much though.
Their meeting was interesting because they both had reason to hate each other, but they were also attracted (which was strange for Wade, who thought he was straight) and they were both in a position to help each other out. Things were not as cut and dried as they seemed and both the witch hunters leader and the witches council leader held secrets about Wade and Caleb’s pasts. Memory loss, betrayal, lies and deception were revealed as the story goes on. The plot was thick but never lost me. Though Caleb wanted to trade Wade’s cursed heart for his own, he realizes he just wants Wade’s cursed heart to love him instead. I don’t want to brush away Wade’s past actions because I wouldn’t want Caleb to fall in love with a cold blooded murderer but rest assured the secrets that are revealed make it acceptable to fall in love with their love story.
The world building of this book was fantastic. The blurb mentions the witches and the witch hunters but a whole host of paranormal characters live alongside the human world without them knowing it. There are trolls, incubi, vampires, and even phoenixes. I was pleased by the narration. The narrator did a good job of voicing these English characters without making them sound too stuffy. I would definitely listen to him again and I have definite plans to read or listen to the next books in this series.
Rhys writes gay romance. He has been writing since the tender age of 11 and hasn’t really stopped since.
He publishes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the pen name Rhys Lawless and contemporary sweet and steamy romances under Rhys Everly.
Rhys currently lives in London, UK with his husband and their 12-year-old puppy.
You can find out more about him and his works-in-progress by joining his Newsletter or his Facebook group, Rhys Everly After.