Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Outcast by Lexi Blake Blog Tour

On the hunt for a vicious killer, Kelsey discovers that the true threat lies closer than she could have ever imagined.

It’s been months since Trent Wilcox was sentenced to exile, but Kelsey hasn’t given up on finding a way to bring him home. Grayson Sloane doesn’t share her enthusiasm. Loving two men is challenging enough without them being at each other’s throats, and she is unwilling to compromise on the future she knows is meant for them.

Kelsey’s only hope for bringing them all together comes in the form of the Hell lord who insisted on Trent’s exile – Gray’s father. Lord Sloane is willing to acquiesce on Trent’s punishment if Kelsey will do one little job for him. A stray wolf is on a killing spree in Wyoming and he’s killed a number of witches in Lord Sloane’s service. The situation is made all the more complicated by the presence of a sinister werewolf cult in the area. Lupus Solum is known for being cruel to their own kind, and even worse to outsiders.

Caught between a craven wolf cult, a brutal killer, a Hell lord, and a mounting pile of bodies, Kelsey is going to have her work cut out for her. But if she can solve the case, she might have a chance to earn her happily ever after.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 4
Buy Links

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“How does that make you feel, Gray?” Felix Day was in full-on shrink mode as we sat in his office, the late afternoon light illuminating the soothing interior.

“It makes me feel like murdering Trent.” Gray was using his calmest tone. Well, his most sarcastic tone, but it was also calm. Mostly. He wasn’t pleased with his current occupation.

“And Trent, how does that make you feel?” Felix asked.

“It makes me feel like I’m wasting my day pass, man.” There was nothing calm about Trent. He was perfectly exasperated. It was obvious the day had not gone according to plan.

But then what had he expected? Probably not thruples therapy.

As for me, I just wanted my guys to get along. It had been a full six months since my wolf guy had killed my demon guy’s brother. Now that sounds worse than it really is, a fact I’ve been trying my damnedest to get Gray—the demon hottie—to see. Gray’s brother had gone by many names on the Earth plane, but Stewart had been his most frequent alias. On the demonic plane, he’d been known as Nemcox and had been totally evil. He’d learned a secret about the king’s son…

I’m moving too fast. Like I said, it’s been a while. I should catch you up. I’m Kelsey Owens. I’m this weird thing that happens when a lone wolf forgets to wear a condom and humps a human lady. I’m what’s known as a Hunter. It basically means that I’m pretty strong and have a lot of werewolf senses, but I can’t actually turn into a wolf, though I do have a demon arm—and that’s another story entirely. I work for the King of all Vampire, who also happens to be the king of the supernatural world. I’m his Nex Apparatus. It’s kind of like a combo sheriff and assassin, with a dash of therapist thrown in. I’m involved with a gorgeous half-demon named Grayson Sloan and an insanely hot alpha wolf named Trent Wilcox. We had a few super-sexy encounters together and then came the aforementioned murder. But I didn’t see why that had to mean the end of our threesome. After all, the king and his wife and partner had gone through a ton worse and still got it on all the time, and in fairly public places.

I might be horny. Super horny. And my bio clock had started ticking. I wanted some baby making, and I couldn’t do that while my men were fighting, hence the therapy.

“You’re here on sufferance, wolf.” Gray was using his super-superior voice, the one he used when he knew a suspect was guilty and he could prove it. In the last few months, he’d gone back to his original job. Gray is a Texas Ranger. Not the baseball-playing kind. He’s a cop of the highest order and he works in the Ranger’s specialized crimes unit. By special they mean weird shit no one else wants to work. Basically he deals with supernatural crimes.

We’re kind of coworkers when you think about it.

It was his other job that worried me. Gray is also a dark prophet. Every now and then his eyes go midnight black and he starts to speak in what I like to call prophet rap. It’s usually a jumble of crap that doesn’t actually make any sense at all until you’re on the other side of it, but it impresses the other demons. Especially Gray’s dad, and he’s the one I worried about.

“I thought I was here to discuss potential parole,” Trent shot back with a shake of his head. “I thought you were willing to talk to me and find a way to work this out.”

Trent used to be the head of the king’s security. He had a great career, benefits, job security. Then he met a girl.

Yeah, I kind of wrecked that for him. Again, hence the therapy.

“This? You refer to the murder of my brother as this? I don’t want to work this out with you,” Gray replied, sitting back. “You misunderstand me, wolf. There is no parole. The king is high if he thinks my father will allow that to happen. The only reason you weren’t killed in the first place was to keep the peace. You will never be allowed your former place. And I have my reasons for helping Kelsey see you on a regular basis. I want Kelsey to fuck you out of her system so we can go back to normal.”

We were far from normal.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Felix said, taking in the three of us with an academic air. “Kelsey is dual natured, as you know. Unlike most were creatures, she’s not fully integrated. I know werewolves like to talk about their ‘wolf’ as being something that lives inside them, but that’s a euphemism. For Kelsey the ‘she-wolf’ part of her soul is separate, and she has different needs from the human portion.”

Not exactly. Honestly, the longer I live and accept the fact that I’ve got this gift, the more the she-wolf and I get along. I totally don’t lose control and try to kill people anymore. She-wolf and I kill people with purpose now, and we’re in total agreement on what we needed and that was sex.

“I’m perfectly willing to take care of all her needs.” Trent got that smirk on his face, the alpha wolf smirk. I shouldn’t find it sexy, but I do. “How about you go and talk to your father about this bullshit punishment and I’ll spend the few hours I have here in bed with our woman.”

I was actually all on board with that plan with the exception of losing Gray. I’d had a taste of symmetrical fucking and I wanted more. Not that I didn’t enjoy my sexy times with each of them, but there’s something about having four hands on my body that does it for me.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance

Whew! This book is a whirlwind of emotion, turmoil, sadness, and love. If you haven't read the previous books, you might find yourself a little confused, but they aren't necessarily needed. However, I would strongly suggest reading them in order, as they will make the most sense.

Trent and Gray and still at odds. Kelsey is caught in the middle. I love the dynamic between Kelsey and her men. The two alphas in this pack also have great chemistry, but theirs is sometimes harder to discern. Kelsey is trying everything she can to bridge the chasm between Gray and Trent. But with a strange mystery happening where Trent used to live, all three have to set out.

What makes this case even more suspicious is that Gray's dad "needs them" too. Gray knows his father and whenever he is around, something bad is bound to happen.

I really enjoyed watching this mystery play out. Betrayal is something that Kelsey is used to and when her stepfather also turns up, she knows that nothing good can come of that. She has to juggle Trent, Gray, her stepfather, and Gray's dad, all while trying to do her job.

I can't WAIT for the next book. This one sets up such a great beginning. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a true cliffhanger, but you are most definitely left hanging. It's amazing!

Outcast is the fourth installment in the Hunter series and most definitely cannot be read as a standalone, as all threads tie together. As for it being the ninth installment in the Thieves series, I can attest to how reading the Thieves series prior to the Hunter series is not a prerequisite. No doubt the emotional payoff is better, but I was never confused due to not reading it first. However, I will eventually go back and read the original series.

Since it had been a long while since I read the third in the series, and the events tying the books together are rather complicated, it did take me a bit to play catch-up. I almost wish I did a refresh of the series. But I will applaud Lexi Blake for giving amazing plot cues from past installments to spark the reader's memory. I'm never a fan of a rehash or info-dump, but this author releases just enough information to remember, without bogging down the novel with too much.

Gray and Trent are not on good terms, after the death of Gray's brother at Trent's hand to protect and save Kelsey. She is being pulled in two, while also feeling guilt for Gray's pain but justification in the death. She needs them to get along for all three of their wellbeing. This budding relationship issue adds an angsty yumminess that underlies the mystery to solve.

Gray's demon daddy needs a renegade wolf found just outside of Devil's Tower (thought this was awesome as I've visited and walked the base of the tower, so it was fun to imagine the goings on. The motel was spot-on from one I stayed in. LOL!).

No one trusts the demon, but they still do his bidding for diplomatic relations, while the royal family deals with Merlin. Little Lee, aka Big Lee's soul, Kelsey fears what will happen to the nosy child spy should the magician see him for who he truly is, the man he killed and was reborn into the little fella.

A team descends to locate the wolf and solve the mystery, and it was the retinue that made the novel so much fun. It was more humorous than I remember the previous books to be, with Little Lee and the butler in training, who just happens to be a 'too tall' satan. All the characters interacting with one another brought an endless source of entertainment as Kelsey dealt with her bickering mates, while sensing her abusive stepfather is out there a step ahead of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Outcast, looking forward to the next installment, while also feeling eager to go back to the very beginning and read the Thieves series. Where I did struggle, the book felt on the long side, without much happening for a large bulk of the novel. While I was entertained, I wasn't hooked, especially in the beginning as I struggled to place myself in who/what/where/when/why/how, but especially appreciate the author cluing me in.

The only issue stopping me from giving a five-star rating is simply the pacing, as I wasn't hooked, taking me several days to complete the novel, which is a rarity for me. But, on the flip side, you can say I savored it.

This might be Lexi Blake’s best writing yet. Kelsey has come into her own as a hunter and she kicks ass in her role as the king’s assassin. I love the way the simpler story of Kelsey’s hunt for a feral werewolf intertwines with the more complicated storylines that weave through the series.

I have to admit that I didn’t fully engage with the first part of this book. Kelsey’s attempts to keep both Trent and Grayson happy almost hit Anita Blake level whinging a few times in the first few chapters. Once the story gets going and Kelsey starts to track the feral wolf, the pace picks up and the story becomes more sharply focused. And then it gets exciting and complicated – and I may have let dinner burn while racing to the end of it.

I fell hard for Trent in this book. I hadn’t quite connected with him in previous books but he makes sense here and I love the way he steps up for both Kelsey and Gray. We go deep into his past in this book and I love that his personal history is a perfect fit for Kelsey and Gray. All three of our main characters have family problems in this book and I love the way they bond over their daddy issues.

I really loved the way the fae characters are central to this book. The world building is better than ever, and I love that I can still be intrigued by the details of Kelsey’s world. I don’t want to give away anything, but I loved seeing the characters away from home and I really loved the Hunter action in this story. This story doesn’t stand alone. New readers will need to start at the beginning of the Hunter series – though I’d probably recommend going all the way back to the start of the Thieves books.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Kelsey has never had it easy. Growing up as the child her father didn't like, she learned early to stay out of his way. Never knowing the reasons why, Kelsey not only wanted her father's approval, but his love as well. Trying to prove that she was worthy of his love, she found herself in a situation she didn't anticipate, couldn't control, and left her devastated when she learned who and what her father truly was: a murderer.

Except that man wasn't really her father. He was the man her mother was married to when she had an affair with a lone wolf and she was the result. No matter, Kelsey still hates him for what he not only did to her, but to her mother and brothers.

Now, years later, she has come face to face with the monster who haunts her dreams, only this time, she has more to protect than just herself. She has Trent and Gray and the possibilities of the children she saw in her prophesy. If she can manage to get them all of this situation in one piece, there's a chance that she can live happily ever after.

The catch? She has to do a favor for Lord Sloane, Gray's demonic father. By doing so, she will get Trent saved from the Outcast status he's currently in because of killing Gray's demonic half-brother. Knowing that there's more going on than meets the eye, Kelsey agrees. Her chance at the future she longs for is worth any risk on this plane.

Tangling with the monster who raised her, the demonic spirits from the Hell plane are just a few of the things that Kelsey must face in order to free Trent and Gray. Taking little Lee with her to Colorado where he meets his new bestie is probably not the smartest move, but she knows that she has to protect Lee against the forces that surround him as well.

I adored this book and especially the ending. I knew that painting had significance, just didn't see it coming to fruition in this manner.

Also Available in the Hunter Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Ripper post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Addict post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Sleeper Blog Tour.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

Connect with Lexi

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Outcast (Hunter #4) by Lexi Blake to read and review for this tour.

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