When Blood Calls by J. K. Beck

JKBeck-When Blood CallsI discovered a loophole in the New Author Challenge: if an author who’s books you’ve read before writes under a different name, you can read their new stuff and still count it as a new-to-you-author. So that’s why, even though I have already read and loved some of Julie Kenner’s books, I was finally able to get around to reading the first book in her Shadow Keepers series, When Blood Calls, written under her pen name J. K. Beck.

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion—until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she’ll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

Despite my love of Julie Kenner, I have very mixed feelings about When Blood Calls. I loved the dark, gritty world Beck created, I was sort of sucked into the plot and some of the secondary characters had a depth that isn’t usually seen in secondary characters. I even liked Sara and Luke. Yet, I simply could not get behind them as a couple. To me they didn’t click romantically.

Sara was a strong heroine who refused to let herself get overwhelmed by the paranormal world she was shoved into. I really liked that about her. She kept her head and her sanity when most people would have run away screaming. However, there were a few character flaws that I found to be really annoying/unbelievable. For instance, the fact that Sara was a smart, determined woman who wanted to make a name for herself and suddenly she was willing to jeopardize everything for Luke just because they had chemistry? It was some hot chemistry, don’t get me wrong and I’m all for “love conquers all”, but with Sara and Luke it felt unrealistic. They were too opposite; as if their personalities would end their relationship much faster than any external problems. 

There were more legal battles than actual physical fights which made the plot of When Blood Calls drag at those times. While I was sucked into the rest of the plot, I just skimmed through the legal battles. It didn’t matter because a character would basically mentally sum it up later.

I have conflicting feelings about When Blood Calls. I liked it yet it annoyed me to the point where I skimmed through some parts. I wouldn’t not recommend it to anyone but there are so many other books I would recommend first. That being said, I will eventually try to read the next book in the series, When Pleasure Rules, because I did like some of the secondary characters much more than I liked Sara and Luke. I’m just not sure when I’ll get around to it.

Shadow Keepers
When Blood Calls
When Pleasure Rules
When Wicked Craves
When Passion Lies
When Temptation Burns
When Darkness Hungers

About Casey 203 Articles
Casey is the founder of Heart Full of Ink, Director at Reading Until Dawn Con, and a full time cheese addict. She's been ranting and reviewing for Literary Escapism since 2010, and is part of the trio #3Bloggers1Series podcast. When she's not reading, looking for new books, or stalking authors online (waiting for more books), she can be found binge watching Netflix. But really, her life is all about DEM BOOKS!