Urban Fantasy is my all time favorite genre and so I was really happy when I came across the first book in this series awhile back. I've been anxiously awaiting this follow up book and I can say I was not disappointed. This was super good.
This picks up a few months down the road and Kai is still doing his Stalker runs. He and Ryder have seen each other a bit but haven't worked together since their first time. Kai is doing his best to avoid Ryder because he's still struggling with his feelings. Ryder needs to go on a dangerous mission and asks Kai to help him. Against his better judgment Kai agrees and the plot takes off from there. This book was fast paced and read like an action movie. There were a bunch of side characters that provided plot twists and a bit of comedy.
In addition to the fun plot, I love the world building in this series. Love it!! I live in the area the book is set in and I think that makes it all the more awesome for me. I totally know all the places the author is talking about and I love how she's twisted and changed it. (I am thankful though that I can pass Pendleton without the dragons trying to eat me). Even if you don't know the area first hand I think that the images are so well done that you'll be caught up in it too.
The best part of the book though for me is Kai. He's so grumpy and cynical yet underneath he holds on to a bit of hope and a great deal of love (although he'll never admit to either of those things). Ryder is a great compliment for Kai. I liked Ryder in book one but wasn't sold on the relationship. After this one though I totally am. Ryder is so patient with Kai. Watching him slowly get Kai to open up was beautiful. The love story is a slow burn and there aren't any smexy scenes. It works really well for this couple though. Anything more wouldn't seem realistic after the things Kai has been through. For me there were some really tender and moving moments between the two men in this. One in particular, at the end, that was swoon worthy.
I guess you could read this as a standalone but I wouldn't recommend it. I think you need to start with the first book to get a feel for the world and the two main characters, Kai and Ryder.
Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.
Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.
Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.
The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.