Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix

Synopsis: "An eye for an eye is never enough."

Kallie Riviere, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm--the deadliest in a century--is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a "loup garou "designed to steal her heart--literally.

At 416 pages, it says an awful lot that I wanted this book to continue. I didn't want it to end. As much as I enjoyed Black Dust Mambo, I liked Black Heart Loa even more.

Black Heart Loa begins immediately where Black Dust Mambo left off. Kallie, Belladonna, Gabrielle and Divinity are still in Bayou Cypres Noir, dealing with the events of BDM. Jackson, Kallie's hot pirate cousin, is missing and his mojo bag is discarded on the floor. Kallie knows there is something wrong, and sets out to find Jackson.

Layne, who had been driving home, changes direction to go to Dr. Herron's home in Chacahoula to confront the spirit of Dr. Herron's wife. He wants to avenge Gage from the previous book, and make sure that Kallie is protected. Layne's bike gets hit by a truck and he is then knocked out cold until Belladonna and Kallie find him. The biggest drawback to this book is that Layne is unconscious for half of this book.  Unfortunately, when Layne wakes up, he has a passenger in addition to Lord Agustine.

A hurricane is raging towards Louisiana at the same time this story is taking place. For some reason, since the end of BDM, all of the magic in Louisiana is going wonky. For example, the wards the hoodoos set up to deflect tropical storms are suddenly attracting them like a magnet. Of course, it has to have something to do with Kallie, her loa, and the black dust hex she breathed in previously.

Kallie rushes to save her cousin, Jackson, who has been taken by an interesting group of people in the swamps of Louisiana. I don't want to say too much about them, because I don't want to spoil it. All this time, Baron Samedi, the loa of death, is chasing Kallie, trying to free her loa. We see our favorite pixie-leprechaun-devil McKenna show up to help Layne exorcise one of his passengers.   She is as fiesty as ever and still hates Kallie.  Once Layne is free, he does whatever he can to help Kallie.

Along the way to finding Jackson, we are introduced to a new character, Devlin Daniels, who seems sexy, scary and powerful. I really hope we see more of him, but not to the detriment of the wonderful Kallie-Layne relationship. I am especially looking forward to seeing Devlin again, after this quote:

"I've got yo' scent," he said, nostrils flaring. "I can find you anywhere. Anytime. Yo' heart be mine, Kallie Riviere, hoodoo woman."

Kallie eventually finds out, with the help of Devlin, how to make things right for everyone, which requires a lovely chapter of her exploits with Layne. Yum :) Layne and Kallie's relationship definitely grows in this book, and it seems to be solidifying. The connection between Kallie and Layne seems to be something special. There is a physical shock between them when they touch, and if I were Kallie, I'd be touching Layne Vallin as much as humanly possible! The book ends with the two of them making plans, which I assume is what we will read about in Book 3.

I am looking forward to reading more about Belladonna in the third book of this series. I love her relationship with Kallie, and I hope she gets a storyline. In this book, she served more as comic relief and as a companion to Kallie. I want to hear more about Dallas, as well, who spent this entire book recuperating from the events in Black Dust Mambo.

"Speaking of tiny skivvies I think that's what you both should wear during your inevitable cage fight. We can even call your soon-to-be epic battle the Die-You in the Bayou. Sell tickets.”

I recommend that you read the first book in this series, Black Dust Mambo, before reading this one. There are a lot of things mentioned in Black Heart Loa that happened in the previous book, and Adrian Phoenix, to my happiness, doesn't rehash the storylines completely. I would have been lost if I read Black Heart Loa without reading the first book in this series.


Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy said...

Great job!! I'm so proud of our newest Terrible Blogger on the block! Yay! It looks great. As usual excellent review!! Keep up the great work Jamie, and you'll be a blogger pro in NO time!!;)

Pennsylvania Book Chick said...

Thank you, Miss Vain ;-) Hopefully I'll be able to read and review some newer books soon. And many thanks to Cat for giving me the opportunity.

Underworld Love Addiction said...

Great job :)

Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy said...

How cute!!! You have a new moniquer!! I love it!!! ;) The Pennsylvania Book Chick sounds so fun & mysterious!;)))

Great job Cat, adding her to your blog!;)

Pennsylvania Book Chick said...

Thanks, Becky!

Pennsylvania Book Chick is just a log in I have. Since the creativity of "Jamie" is so brilliant (read my sarcasm) I though I'd give myself an even more creative (sarcasm again, lol) name. Ha!

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