Dana reviews Silk Dragon Salsa (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 4) by Rhys Ford (Published by DSP Publications, July 14, 2020, 202 pages. Audiobook released November 12, 2020. 7 hrs 22 mins length. Narrated by Greg Tremblay) An ebook copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the review for Black Dog Blues (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 1) click here.
To read the review for Mad Lizard Mambo (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 2) click here.
To read the review for Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 3) click here.
SoCalGov Stalker Kai Gracen always knew Death walked in his shadow. Enough people told him that, including his human mentor, Dempsey. Problem was, the old man never told him what to do when Death eventually caught up.
Where Tanic, his elfin father and the Wild Hunt Master of the Unsidhe Court, brought Kai pain and suffering, Dempsey gave him focus and a will to live… at least until everything unraveled. Now caught in a web of old lies and half-truths, Kai is torn between the human and elfin worlds, unsure of who he is anymore. Left with a hollowness he can’t fill, Kai aches to find solace in the one elfin he trusts—a Sidhe Lord named Ryder—but he has unfinished business with Dempsey’s estranged brother, a man who long ago swore off anything to do with the feral elfin child Dempsey dragged up from the gutter.
Reeling from past betrayals, Kai searches for Dempsey’s brother, hoping to do right by the man who saved him while trying to keep ahead of the death haunting his every step. Kai never thought he’d find love or happiness as a Stalker, but when Death comes knocking at his door, Kai discovers a fierce need to live life to the fullest—even if that means turning his back on the people he calls family.
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I can’t say that I was expecting what happened in this book. It was very interesting with some real twists and turns. After three previous books, I had thought I had a good idea of who Kai Gracen was, but I love that Rhys Ford was able to shake things up and bring a totally new element to this series.
As usual this author presents us with a rich and descriptive setting. The Earth as we know it, cracked and merged with the fae world including all the different creatures that came with the fae is very interesting. I really appreciate the world building with it’s grittiness and dark beauty. In my last review I mentioned that Kai Gracen was showing a softer side and he does sort of show that in this book.
Kai’s mentor Dempsey started showing health problems in the last book. In this book, Dempsey’s hard life takes it toll, but before he goes he passes on a revelation to Kai. Everything Kai thought he knew about how he came into Dempsey’s hands and away from his torturous creator was a lie. Now, I was just as surprised as Kai, but I was frustrated as he pulled away from all the human friends he had made, since they all knew the secret and kept him in the dark. Running away from those friends does has a side effect of him warming up to Ryder more, so that is a bonus.
Kai wants to find out who hired Dempsey to find him as a child, so he searches out Dempsey’s brother. It is a dual purpose mission, to find out info and to pass on Dempsey’s remains to his brother. In my opinion, the middle of this book is a lot of filler. Well written, interesting filler, but the journey Kai goes on is fruitless. Dempsey’s brother is not where he thought, and all Kai gets out of it is life-threatening danger. When he gets back home, Kai does work things out with his family of fellow stalkers. Kai also gets his confrontation with Dempsey’s brother in the form of a knockdown fight with his own brother, one of his past torturers.
After this fight, Kai is still in the dark about who wanted him captured when he was young. All the threats on his life and the upheaval finally has him admitting his feelings for Ryder though, and that is a bonus for me. While the series is not really a romance as much as a LGBT fiction series. the slow burn chemistry between them has had me on edge and I was so happy to see the chemistry between the two characters finally be fulfilled. So maybe the filler section did have a purpose, now that I think about it. It was the catalyst for Kai to open himself up just a little bit more.
Just as the beginning of this story holds an important twist to what we know about Kai Gracen, the end is equally crucial and throws in some shocking news. I wouldn’t quite call it a cliffhanger. but my desire for the next book is off the charts now. Kai does eventually find the original contract for himself in boxes from Demspey’s old house, that somehow never actually made it to Dempsey’s brother. Obviously, I can’t reveal more without it being a spoiler, but this really throws new light onto some old characters and has me wondering.
While I was given an ebook copy, I ended up listening to this story on audiobook. Greg Tremblay is a fabulous narrator who I would listen to anything by. He did wonderful as usual with this book. I definitely recommend this amazing story and series by this author. It keeps getting more intriguing as we go on. Also, if you enjoy audiobooks, you can’t go wrong with this narrator.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, an insane grey tuxedo cat as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Her narrators include:
Hailing from the chilly hills of upstate New York, award-winning narrator Greg Tremblay lends his voice to Rhys Ford’s “Kai Gracen” and “Cole McGinnis” series, “Murder and Mayhem” and a number of stand alone works. She is also narrated by Tristan James, a fabulous talent who voices her “Sinners”, “Hellsinger” and “415 Ink” series, and Derrick McClain, a rising, vibrant narrator who voices her “Wayward Wolves” series. In addition, Spencer Goss provides a rich narration for Fish Stick Fridays, the first novel in her Half Moon Bay series.