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Joint Review: The Bastard by Inez Kelley

21636649Where did you get the book: Netgalley ARC/Purchased

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: Out now

 

In the battle between good and evil, humans have never been more than collateral damage. Now they are prey. Mankind doesn’t need a hero. It needs a sinner.

Corrupt. Wicked. Nefarious. Contemptible….

The Baddest Boys in History are back!

You read about them in school. Now learn the truth. Real men. No vampires, no werewolves, no shifters. Just down and dirty raw power —sin to sin, evil to evil, bad to bad. They fight for humanity. It was that or eternal damnation.

They agreed to risk their souls. No one told them they would lose their hearts.

 

Coming this summer, Inez Kelley’s self-publishing debut.

BADDEST BOYS IN HISTORY Book #1 THE BASTARD

THE BASTARD: Vike died in blood, in battle, in betrayal. His ruthlessness was second only to his brutality. Now one woman makes his blood sing and he’ll stop at nothing to save her. He only has to face half of Hell to do it.

THE BEAUTY: Lacy is unknowingly descended from an ancient Holy line. Someone is slowly destroying her life and wants her dead. A fierce Viking comes to her rescue, and in his arms, she finds more than safety.

 

THE BAD NEWS: If Vike can’t protect Lacy, he’ll have to kill her. And for a bastard, what’s one woman worth when the entire world is in jeopardy?

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

 

Lou: I heard Has tweet about The Bastard and it sounded crackilicious so it didn’t take long for Has to convince me to read it. The Bastard was a cracky read and it had similar shades of Ward’s early BDB series, but with Angels and Demons and bad men from history fighting the good fight against evil. The Bastard’s worldbuilding I thought was pretty stable. It didn’t veer off into different worldbuilding rules *cough BDB *cough* and I definitely think Inez Kelley has set up a series that I think is going to be popular. While I enjoyed the book, I did have some issues. Three issues in particular which really upset me. But the positives first. There’s a clear outcome in this series. The bad guys are really, really bad. And cruel. And demonic. While Vike is a man of his history and time so when we learn his true identity and his deeds, it didn’t make me point my finger at him and go YOU EVIL BASTARD. He was a bastard. But he wasn’t evil.

 

Has: I was instantly hooked on the premise of this new series by Inez Kelley and I love the idea of a brotherhood of warriors who were taken from famous figures from history–and not the good side. I really liked how she set up the mythology of angels and demons which is influenced by a variety of myths and legends which I really liked. I also found the world-building really solid and well thought-out, and I liked that there was this huge battle of fallen angels and an angel leader who skirts close to the edge, bringing together a group of warriors who were violent and infamous in their lifetime.

Although I was concerned but curious on how Inez Kelley would tackle and redeem a bad boy hero and I was pleasantly surprised because Vike/Eric wasn’t as harsh as his own past historical action and I really liked how hard he fell for the heroine, Lacy. There was a nice balance with a sweet romance that grows over the course of the book in the midst of dark  tone and evil actions of the villains.

 

Lou: Yes, all things considering, Vike was pretty tame towards Lacy in the first part of the book. He was very sweet, took care of her, and threatened to beat up the other guys if they talked smack about her. He literally threw an axe at one of them but I won’t say who! The only time that Vike steered off course for me is when he chloroformed Lacy and kidnapped her. His nickname, The Bastard, was apt at that point. I wanted to chuck things at his head because up to that point he was a great guy. And I didn’t like that he and his mates left Annie, Lacy’s sister in a diabetic coma and how they manhandled her as she collapsed to the floor. I can take bad boy heroes but number one rule is, do not harm the heroines.

I liked Lacy as a character. She was sweet and she was very comfortable in making moves on Vike. BUT. Her character was very domestic–and there’s nothing wrong with that. But her entire character was there to clean and feed the compound. It’s only until towards the latter parts of the book did she show some steel and backbone. I just wanted her character to have a little more edge towards her, and be forefront in the story.

 

Has: I agree with you about Lacy and her domestic role, although there was nothing wrong in enjoying and loving of taking care of people. But I did wish she showed more of her spark and mettle much more earlier because she was pretty passive when Vike rescues her from the demons. And when she sees his co-workers aren’t exactly above board, she doesn’t question their jobs and duties, but I liked how she really kicked arse towards the second half of the book. I didn’t mind that she was more domestic goddess in her role in the book because I think that Vike and the other warriors really needed that. Although I did like the twist with them absconding with Lacy and leaving Annie who slipped into a diabetic coma and the person who rescued her was totally unexpected. I really am hoping we will see more of those two in future books because I really like the promise of that pairing.

However I did a few issues with the book, we discussed this earlier and this about the villain of the book, Satan. While I liked and enjoyed the gritty tone of the book and THE BASTARD pushed a lot of boundaries. But there were few instances in the narrative that gave me pause so I am going to put them in a spoiler tag and there are trigger warnings.

Spoiler

[spoiler]
I was taken aback with several scenes involving Satan, one included him of raping the dead daughter of one of his minions and inferring to bestiality which made my jaw drop.
[/spoiler]
End Spoiler

I get that this is a dark book, and obviously the character is the ultimate villain but I did wish there was some kind of warning. I also felt there was an element of campness with this character so it was kind of jarring to see him undertaking these acts. But it did underline this was a much darker and gritty series.

 

Lou: Those were the issues I had with the book that really upset me. I felt as if they were done for shock value. The scene with the burning child was very distressing and I stopped reading there and then. In fact, I emailed a reading friend and had to rant about those particular scenes. But I picked up the book again because I was enjoying the book. And the book is enjoyable but like Has, just be warned about some of those triggers above. Sam, the evil angel, was evil but at times the camp surrounding him was at odds with the despicable acts. It didn’t gel for me.

Vike and Lacey’s romance is very hawt, and Inez Kelley does smoking hot smexy scenes. I enjoyed the romance and I think she’s created some intriguing characters. There is solidarity and loyalty amongst them and I can’t wait to read their future books. But there are shades of BDB and I didn’t know what to make of the ending with Lacey and the choice she made. One that was understandable but I didn’t understand how Annie would never find out.

I think The Bastard was a solid romance but I had some issues which affected my enjoyment a little. Nonetheless, I’d definitely be picking up and reading future books in the series.

I give The Bastard a B-

 

Has: This was a fabulous start of a promising series, and I agree that there were some sizzling love scenes with a sweet romance. Vike and Lacy were engaging and entertaining leading characters and there are some fantastic scenes of humour especially with the rest of supporting cast of characters who shared great chemistry which balances out the dark tone. Inez Kelley has really put a lot of thought and detail into this series and I liked how she used different mythologies and legends which added colour and vibrancy into the mythos of the series. I am looking forward to how things play off in the subsequent books.

I give The Bastard a B+

 

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By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

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