I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hunter Hunted by Keri Arthur
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery
Published by KA Publishing Pty Ltd on August 14, 2018
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Fireborn, Wicked Embers, Flameout, Blood Kissed, Demon's Dance, Hell's Bell, Wicked Wings, Deadly Vows, City of Light
Third in the Lizzie Grace paranormal fantasy mystery series and revolving around two witches, partners, and companions.
At last! A real date with Aiden!! And we finally get the answer to that eviction question posed in Hell’s Bell, 2. Phew. Seems Lizzie and Belle have a lot of friends, lol.
We finally know why Lizzie is on the run from her family. And she’s terrified that the documents she was forced to sign will hold up in court. From the sound of her parents…she’s right to be afraid.
Hmmm, it’s a good reminder that help should always be appreciated in some way. And Lizzie has some work to do here. Okay, Lizzie does appreciate the help Katie gives her…probably because it’s so unusual! AND touches on Aiden. It’s a good opportunity for her character arc, growth-wise.
It’s all first person protagonist point-of-view from Lizzie’s perspective, and she’s evolving. Those teasing comments Arthur makes about Lizzie’s mother almost dying the one time she tried to redirect wild magic definitely encourage that line of thought. It’s all in the eyes, and you can follow her progress from Hell’s Bell when her green eyes were rimmed in silver…now they are silver with the wild magic pulsing within her. Makes you wonder just how powerful Lizzie will be by the time the wild magic is done with her!
Conflicts, conflicts… It’s bad enough that werewolves are being skinned alive, but there’s that werewolf custom at Christmas. And Lizzie is terrified that Aiden will get caught up with another woman. Those heretic witches from blueblood families who are stronger than Lizzie. Ashworth’s unrelenting curiosity about Lizzie’s background — and that hair of hers does not help.
Well that’s fun, lol, all those lust potions that spilled all over them. Another fun note, okay, so it’s more of a practical one are those meetings Aiden and Jack hold to share ideas and build a network…that has led to a serious downturn in crime. Too bad this “concept” doesn’t seem to work amongst all law enforcement. Just think how many crimes would be solved, ahem.
Lizzie and Belle are strong women in a town of strong people, rolling with the punches, and always stepping up to help whatever their doubts. In many ways, the elders have accepted them too easily, Aiden included. I’d’ve liked to see more stress and strain before they’re appreciated. Them brownies must be really good!
It incorporates a brisk pace (to fit it all in) in this action-packed tale, and the characters add quite a bit to it. They’re primarily compassionate and supportive. Well, except for the bad guys who contribute to our own perception of the witches. Nice way to do away with info dumps!
Christmas is a time for newcomers and getting to…know…them. This custom only adds to Lizzie’s stress, as the evidence mounts up that the new evil in town is determined to claim the wild magic…and the reservation for his own.
With that body count rising of skinned werewolves, who knows if there will be any left.
Lizzie Grace is a witch with a gift for psychometry and precognition whose being is bonding with the wild magic. Isabelle “Belle” Kent is her best friend and a fellow witch, as well as her familiar. Her gifts involve talking with spirit guides and she’s highly telepathic. Both women are in hiding.
Lizzie’s parents are among the most powerful. Julius is Lizzie’s brother. Ava is Belle’s mom; Nellie was Belle’s grandmother.
Castle Rock, Australia, is…
…the capitol of the Faelan Werewolf Reservation, one of seven in Australia.
The Psychic Café is…
…the restaurant Lizzie and Belle opened in Castle Rock. Penny is their middle-aged waitress. Frank is the dishwasher. Mike is the cook. Mrs Potts is one of their regulars and founder of the gossip brigade. Henry is her missing, womanizing husband. Freddie is the man who drives Mrs Potts where she wants to go. Gina is another regular and part of the gossip brigade. Karla is supposedly one of the brigade and one of Mrs Potts’ friends. Millie is Henry’s daughter from an affair some thirty-five years ago.
The Rangers are…
…the reservation law enforcement and include Aiden O’Connor as the head ranger — he’s rather leery of Belle’s telepathic abilities, and as the oldest son, heir to his alpha father. The other seven rangers include Mac, Tala Sinclair who is second-in-command, Byron, Jaz (Levi Marin is her barista husband), and Duke. Ciara O’Connor is Aiden’s sister and the coroner. Maggie is their receptionist and a ranger-in-training.
Jenny Wright had been the previous head ranger. Senior Detective Jack Byrnes is a Bendigo cop. Besides Aiden, Ciara, and Katie, The eight O’Connor siblings include Michael.
Zak Marin is a bartender at Émigré, a handyman, and is/was dating Belle. That boy made a bad decision. Raphael Beaumont is visiting a sister. Jamison O’Connor was barely twenty. Angus Sinclair had been a good friend of Aiden’s father. Kenny Sinclair and Jeni Marin are yet more victims.
A Pot of Magic, Tea and Tinctures, the Tea Cauldron, and the Black Samovar in Ballan (that’s run by Francesca Waverley) are shops that sell paraphernalia used by low-powered witches. Joseph Hardcourt is a manager at the Randley hotel. Lucy Allan runs the A-Line Accommodation Park campground where Charles Randall and the Browning brothers — Shaun, Bryan (a car nut), and Hale — have been staying.
…a popular alien-themed nightclub owned by an ancient vampire, Maelle Defour.
The wild magic arises…
…from wellsprings and must be protected by a witch to ensure it doesn’t attract evil. This reservation has two wellsprings of wild magic. and Ira Ashworth is the RWA witch who has been temporarily assigned to protect it. He’s also too curious about Lizzie and Belle. Eli is Ashworth’s partner, a retired RWA witch, who comes to help Ira after he’s wounded.
The newest wellspring is protected by Gabe, the previous reservation witch, and the soul of his werewolf wife, Katie, Aiden’s sister. Anna Kang, an RWA witch, is on the mend (Blood Kissed, 1). Frederick Ashworth is supposed to be the new reservation witch.
There are six witch bloodlines: three are bluebloods — Marlowes, Kangs, and Ashworths — and three are “commoners” — Sarrs, Fitzgeralds, and Waverleys. Lizzie is from the Marlowe line while Belle is a typical Sarr witch. A vetted witch has gone through the accreditation process, which aligns them to a major or minor house. An unvetted witch is usually a half-breed who has not undergone accreditation or registration. For a dark witch to become a master, they must defeat their master. There’s a claim that dark magic prematurely ages the user.
The High Witch Council is the governing body for witches while the Regional Witch Association (RWA) handles regional issues. The Heretic Investigations Center (HIC) hunts down rogues. Chester Ashworth, a.k.a., Raymond Chester, is one of them, a rogue witch hunter, but not related to Ira.
Jonathan Ashworth went rogue thirty-five years ago. Frankel Kang is number one on the heretic hit list. George Sarr has also turned traitor. Trent Price is an assassin. Abby Jones had been his contact.
Werewolves are a branch of humanity that evolved specific DNA adaptations. All werewolf reservations participate in the exchange program to keep the bloodlines vibrant.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a background of deep purples with a light gray sky behind the red-haired Lizzie kneeling and concentrating on a bright yellow and orange ball of energy focused between her hands. Aiden, as a wolf, stands behind her in profile, guarding. The silhouettes of trees framing them adds to the spooky atmosphere. The author’s name is in white at the top. The title is white and large at the bottom at Lizzie’s ankles. The series information is in a colonial blue below the title.
The title refers to those skinned werewolves, the Hunter Hunted in a nasty reverse.