07 December 2014

Master of Ghouls (Spectr #2) by Jordan L. Hawk

 Caleb Jansen’s old life is in ruins after being possessed by the vampire spirit Gray. Now all Caleb wants is for Gray to be exorcised so he can adjust to living as a registered paranormal. Instead, District Chief Kaniyar of SPECTR offers him a new choice: be locked away for public safety, or come work for the very agency he’s spent years trying to avoid. The only good thing to come from Caleb’s possession is his relationship with federal exorcist John Starkweather, but even that seems doomed to end before it can really begin.

John’s newest case is a nightmare: someone is summoning demons and forcing them to possess women and boys snatched from the streets of Charleston. If his team can’t find the summoner soon enough, the possessions will become permanent, transforming the victims into ghouls. To make matters worse, he barely prevents Gray from feeding on their only lead.

Can John shield his heart from Caleb, who only seems interested in a temporary hook-up? Can Caleb keep Gray under control while they hunt for the summoner? Or will the cost of solving the case be higher than any of them could have guessed?

Because the master of ghouls has set his sights on a new target: Gray.
In this second book in the SPECTR series, Hawk once again delivers. Caleb is dealing with the fallout of his brother having died, his sister-in-law turning on him, having to register as a paranormal, and worst of all, being invaded by a drakul (or in our terms Vampire). In Master of Ghouls, Caleb is offered a job he can’t refuse with SPECTR. As Gray –his drakul – can sniff out NHEs (non-human entities), he is called upon to help Starkweather on his cases. This is both good and annoying.
Gray, on the other hand, is learning more about what it is like to live in a living human body. During his entire existence, he has only taken over dead bodies. But now, his food smells better, tastes better, and best of all? There’s sex. Gray feels protective of  both Starkweather and Caleb, though he does have trouble with their ‘human nonsense:’ Worries about nothing, guilt, things he truly doesn’t understand – including not killing humans who have been taken over by NHEs, but can still be exercised.
In this story, someone is up to something. Humans are being forced to accept ghouls into their bodies but nobody knows why. On the trace of the mastermind, Starkweather, Caleb, Gray, and two SPECTR agents run afoul of his ghoul army. We have a ghoul temptress, a traitor set on capturing Gray, and a bitchy SPECTR agent.
Add in stimulating sex scenes, the reality of NHEs, and Hawk’s wonderful story telling, and you have a fantastic book.
5 stars. Most definitely.
As an addendum, I have now listened to the audio of Master of Ghouls, narrated by Brad Langer.
Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. He is very good at the voices for the characters so you really know who is speaking, but I truly love how he develops Gray as a personality in this book and it gets better from here on out. His ‘voice’ for Gray is so unique, so…Gray…that you just know who it is. Fantastic to listen to and a great addition to the series. Hawk does an amazing job of finding narrators for her books.


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