Review: Wounded Soul by Annabelle Jacobs

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Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Pages: 245

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One night can change everything…

Jesse Sykes has lived far longer than his youthful appearance suggests. Becoming a vampire after tragedy struck seemed the only option when his soul was shattered, after all he’s no stranger to having to hide what he is from the rest of the world. But eternal life isn’t without problems or heartache.

With a good job and great friends, Ian Moreton’s life would be almost perfect—if only he wasn’t in love with his best friend. His feelings are unrequited, and in an effort to move on, he takes a chance on a one-night stand with the handsome stranger he meets in a bar.

Jesse knows the risks of becoming attached to a human, but with neither of them looking for anything serious, where’s the harm? At least, that’s what Jesse thinks until his chemistry with Ian proves off the charts.

A second hook-up solidifies their connection…and brings Jesse to his senses. He scrambles to protect Ian from danger, but it’s already too late. With Ian unwittingly drawn into a world he knows nothing about, events are set in motion that will change both of their lives forever, and it’s up to Jesse to steer them safely through it.

I love to be surprised by books (who doesn’t?). In the Romance genre, that happens more often than not, due to the usually vague summary in the backcovers. This one is no exception. It looks like a long blurb, but it is mostly the classic babbling that doesn’t reveal anything interesting. Just a few works to know about what are the heroes and what kind of romantic dynamic we are going to find. Nothing is actually revealed about the story per se. It is a risk we take with this genre, but it is worthy most of the times. Let’s see what the unwrapping of this book brought to my life!

In this story we meet Ian, a human who has a big crush on his best friend; even though he knows there is nothing to do over there. Willing to get over it, he lets to be pushed to meet other guys and have a much deserved good time. Here enters Jesse, the sexy stranger who woes Ian in a couple of steamy sessions and makes him forget all about Blake. But one tiny detail is kept in the dark: Jesse is a vampire. Not many humans know about them and they are closely monitored by a secret police department to make sure they behave and follow the rules. Same police where Blake is about to start his training…

After a few chapters, it is usually easy to foretell what is going to be the direction of a Romance novel. Not all the details, but the big picture about the drama brewing and possible issues. This time the author was able to misdirect me, which I find kind of refreshing (I know it sounds a bit pretentious…) and one of the reasons I have enjoyed this book quite a lot. The situation looked clear: best friend that I love ignores me that way, a new hook-up that rocks my world makes me forget best friend, new hook-up is secretly a vampire, best friend is jelous of new hook-up, best friend hunts vampires… It was there. Clear as day. When I thought that was about to happen, the story takes an unexpected turn and my smugness is obliterated from my face. I must thank the author for putting this reader in his place. I won’t make assumptions next time. Who am I kidding? It will happen again. Trying to guess what is coming is part of the fun!!

The story (the real one, not the one in my head) is not only unexpected, it is also very well paced with an amount of tension that kept me on the verge of madness more often than not. Without any shred of doubt, this book is what we could call a page-turner. It was a constant battle between the good guys and the bad guys. But I don’t mean a exchange of fists and the stabs of fangs. It is more like a race where honor competes against cruelty. Both of them trying to take the other one down, but with good laid plans instead of violence (well, less violence that usual). The last chapters are actually quite stressful, because during one paragraph the good guys had the advantage and in the next the opposite team hold all the cards. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t sure if the good guys were going to be the winners at the end. What a ride!!

The weakest link of this book are the characters. Don’t get me wrong, they are fine and I have enjoyed meeting them; but they are not as noteworthy as the rest of the book. Ian, Jesse, Blake, Cate and Lys are really nice guys which everybody would love to have in their lives; but all of them are cut from almost the same cloth. All of them are good humored, polite, loyal and without any quirk or annoying habit. They are too perfect if you ask me. But I do love the interactions among them. Reading about that kind of tight friendhips always brings joy to my soul (I’m getting old…). There is a character that I have enjoyed quite a lot even though he has made me foam through my mouth and cursed like a foul mothed pirate: Peter. Yes, the Dark Side has also its appeal. He is one of those evil characters that I LOVE to hate. The book wouldn’t have been that good without his twisted games.

I always like to mention something about the romantic part of the story, but this time there is not much to tell. Yes, Ian and Jesse are explosive together. The naughty scenes are really good, making your heart pump blood faster than usual; but they are also a bit too long and a bit repetitive. I’m glad the author hasn’t sold us the truest love story there is, because their relationship is not at that point or anywhere closer to it. And, being honest, it is for the best. It feels more sincere. There is also a question that is nagging at me since the first encounter between Ian and Jesse: if the heart of a vampire doesn’t beat… how can the blood get to the proper place to ensure that the sexual act can be performed? Magic, I guess…

Not a perfect a book, but it is not far from being one. I need to pick more books by Annabelle Jacobs, because the ones I have read so far have a style I really like and have left me with a huge smile in my face.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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This book hasn’t presented me with many new words to pick from. I have chosen one that is very apropos for this time of the year:

drizzle: to rain gently and steadily

That kind of rain is pretty common where I live, so now I have an English word to call it. Well, at least I will use that word after the mandatory cursing. It may be tiny drops, but they are SO annoying!!

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