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A Reader of Fictions: Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin

Just Breathe, Book 1

Author: Kendall Grey
Pages: 453
ARC Acquired from: Kendall Grey's Book Release Party!
Publisher: Howling Mad Press

Description from Goodreads:
Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

*This book contains graphic language, sex, and some violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

**The author will donate all profits from the sale of the JUST BREATHE trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face.

First Sentence: " 'Aren't you in that band?' "

Inhale came onto book radar (bookdar?) when I saw a rave review from Kara on Great Imaginations, followed, pretty soon after, by another fabulous review by Giselle of Xpresso Reads. Of course, being the person that I am, I only scanned their reviews, because I really do not like to impact my reading of books with reviews unless I'm making up my mind. I read enough to know I was interested, but, going into it, pretty much all I knew was that it had hot sex and whales.

From that, I was really expecting a slightly better than average romance novel. I thought there would be tons of hot sex and that the whales might be some sort of background story. Actually, Inhale is an epic paranormal romance. The paranormal elements are crucial to the story, and the romance feels like a part of that, rather than the other way around. I definitely wouldn't categorize this as a romance novel if I had to choose just one category.

The opening chapters of Inhale were a bit confusing. You're just sort of thrown into this fantasy world that was VERY different from anything I've read before. It's a bit complicated, and I really don't think I can do a great job of explaining, so I'll just say this: it may take a bit, but it will be worth it. Grey's world draws on some familiar themes but combines into something very unique and fantastical

Zoe and Gavin are both enthralling and strong characters, though they suffer a wee bit from instalove. That didn't bother me that much because of the circumstances under which they come together. They meet and get to know one another in the Dreaming and dreams just don't follow the same logic as Realis. There's also the small matter of the elements pretty much pointing out their feelings for them, although their bodies do that too. So, yeah, there are some seriously hot sexy times in here, not quite as many as I expected, but judging from some word counts from Exhale, I'd say there will be more.

Most of the other characters I don't feel like I got to know particularly well, except for Scarlet (who I want to punch in the face. From the brief bits I've gotten of them, Zoe's whale research team (the unfortunately and accurately-named Randy excluded) is totally awesome. Those four women make such a great time, and I love how much Adriene has Zoe's back. Oh, and I have to point out, too, how utterly fantastic it is that the women in this novel definitely come off as, if anything, stronger than the men.

The character I really want to know more about, though, is Sinnder. I get the feeling that he knows a lot more than he's letting in. Not only that, but I suspect he has his own secret agenda and depths. Scarlet seems like your average mean, power-hungry, evil wench so far, but Sinnder definitely seems like he has the possibility to be the bad guy you really, really root for (like Eric from True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse). If you have a thing for bad boys, this is so your book, because Gavin definitely falls under that heading too.

In case you missed it in the description, Kendall Grey is donating all of her proceeds to programs for whales, which is just so sweet. I loved the whales in the book, and I was so awed by and envious of Zoe's connection to them. That definitely took me back to The Ring of Endless Light, if you read that as a child. I've always felt that all animals are more connected and similar than we humans like to think, so this was perfect for me.

The most fun aspect of the novel I think was Grey's writing. She is so incredibly sassy and funny, and unapologetically foul-mouthed. And I just love it. I actually wanted to point out what I almost used as my favorite quote, because it's so Kendall Grey (I didn't end up using it because it's from the Acknowledgements): "Last but not least...To everyone who said no, this middle finger is for you. :-)"

For those of you afraid of self-pubs, don't worry; Inhale is well-written and well-edited. The Kindle version is only $2.99, which is totally worth it. I have zero doubt that the series will only get better from here, as we learn more about the characters and the fantasy world. Fyres could not keep me from reading more of this trilogy!

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote: "Because in that moment, this living dream was the only thing that made any sense."

"This flood (this flood) is slowly rising up swallowing the ground
Beneath my feet, Tell me how anybody thinks under this condition so
I'll swim (I'll swim) as the water rises up, the sun is sinking down

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Blogger Giselle said...

Yay so happy you enjoyed it! I expected more sex from the way Kara and Amy were talking too but it was still pretty hot! I liked the sassy dialogue the best and the paranormal lore was super original! And thanks for the shoutout!! :) And you don't like Randy (the name)? lol. Well I guess it's not that great, huh!? >.< Better than like, Rufus in the book I'm reading O_O

May 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Yay! I am so happy you liked it! Kendall has assured me that we will be seeing a whole lot more of Sinnder in the future, so there is that to look forward to. And more hot sex. *flails*

May 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I LOVE the song "Dark Blue!" I still remember listening to it on repeat when it first came out...

Glad you enjoyed this one!

May 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I feel like Randy is worse, though Rufus isn't very hot either.

Yay for sassy dialog!

And, no probs on the shoutout. If I was influenced by someone specific, they deserve it for being awesome!

May 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I had no doubt there would be more Sinnder in the next. And I imagine he'll get some hot sex of his own.


May 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Dark Blue is one of my favorites. I love the line "Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room?" That one doesn't apply to this book at all, lol, but it's my fav.

May 24, 2012 at 8:34 AM  

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