The Relinquished Hood by Kendrai Meeks

I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Relinquished Hood in exchange for a review. I’d read the first one and loved it so very much, so when Kendrai Meeks offered me the second, I naturally jumped on that opportunity.

The Blurb

A werewolf and a hood bound by loss, trying not to kill each other. A vampire haunted by his shameful legacy. A mysterious stranger who’s more than he seems. How many monsters and secrets lurk in the halls of the WWL Corporation?

Geri Kline’s attempted estrangement from all things supernatural has her turning her back on her wolfslayer legacy, and worrying about more human things, like how to dress for the first day of your summer internship? Which shoes go best with silver daggers and crossbows? And how do you spy on your vampire bosses without getting caught?

She’s always heard that politics make strange bedfellows. Turns out, corporate espionage makes worse roommates. True, having a werewolf living with her might be the best security system ever, but half of the time, the danger they face is from each other. Both she and Tobias suffer from instincts that could drive them to ruin. Forcing themselves to work together and figure out what the corporate vampires at WWL are doing mixed up in a series of werewolf deaths may end in tragedy. Or worse still, friendship.

The Cover

 

The Review

This book takes up almost immediately (although not quite) after the first book ends. It’s Geri’s summer-time adventure in Chicago, working with Karmarov the vampire scientist, hosting her reluctant-ish werewolf friend Tobias, and flirting like mad with the sexy slayer Caleb. (Protip: be careful when searching for “sexy slayer” or you’ll end up seeing images of Buffy Summers you weren’t expecting.)

This was the SFW image I found. Totally relevant. Unlike the other with Spike and, uh, some photo manipulation…

The storyline was intricate and involved without being overwhelming. I had no idea until the end that *mumble spoilers mumble* was *mumble* and that *mumble* was on their side all along! (More or less on Geri’s side…)

The growing friendship between Tobias and Geri is so well-crafted and never loses sight of the fact that he is grieving his mate and his brother, but also still alive, and intricately bound to Geri.

The part that was hardest for me was Geri’s relationship with her mother. I’m so confused about what’s going on with them. On the one hand, I hate mommy dearest with a passion, but on the other? I know she’s working some angle, and I probably still hate her, but maybe not? I don’t know and I hate it!

The plot of the vampire genetic research is so well woven with Geri’s continuing journey towards self-actualization and recociling her place in the world as both a woman and a hood.

This is exactly how I picture Karmarov in the lab

I developed so many feels – SO MANY FEELS – about Geri’s path, and if I wasn’t afraid that sharing them with Ms. Meeks would result in me not getting an ARC of book 3, I’d share them all.

I’m even more impressed with the world-building and craftsmanship of this book than the previous, and appreciate the humor sprinkled throughout. A book that elicit the wide range of emotions I felt while reading this one is a rarity.

The Quotes

SO MANY FUNNY THINGS! There was more than once that I laughed out loud on the bus.

“Well, then, Geri Kline, the next time I have a package, I’ll expect to see it in your hands.”

 

I look at a vampire the same way I look at a politician: down, until given a reason to do otherwise.

 

…Amy wrapped me up in a hug. Maybe she was a supernatural, some sort of preternatural hugging monster heretofore unclassified in the hood annals.

Ugh…I feel you, Geri.

 

The Verdict

The first book was a fascinating journey into a modern Red Riding Hood. This book continued down that path. I love the mythology that Ms. Meeks has woven into her story – not only the Red Riding Hood fairy tale, but the tale of The Seven Ravens, and the histories of vampires, slayers, and werewolves.

Do yourself a favor and grab this book immediately.

4.5 unreserved stars!

I’m looking at this book the way the wolf looks at Red Hot Riding Hood.

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