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Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: The Burning Bush by Kenya Wright

The Burning Bush

Habitat Series, #2

by Kenya Wright

Publisher: Dragonfairy Press (Sept. 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook (427 pages)
Source: Review Request by Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 stars)
Summary
After Dante Bottelli’s slaughter of Vamp-owned Mixbreeds, Lanore and Zulu execute a well-planned attack that hits Dante where it hurts the most—his pockets. But their attack triggers a chain of unfortunate events, and allows Detective Rivera to blackmail Lanore.

Rivera forces Lanore to investigate his case, the Burning Bush Murders. Someone's been tying girls to bushes and setting them on fire. Lanore must find the killer, or Rivera goes public with his information.

Meanwhile, Dante won't take his defeat without a fight. He counterattacks and the Santeria habitat, as well as Lanore’s and Zulu’s lives, is changed forever.


At A Glance
Halfway through this book, I just knew it was going to be another 5 star story like the first book, Fire Baptized. Then the second half was like watching puppies being tortured.

The Good
Here's The Story...
Dante Bottelli has slaughtered mixbreeds for years so Lanore and Zulu, mixbreeds themselves, decide to get him back by blowing up one of his companies. But when corrupt cop, Detective Rivera, finds proof of Lanore's involvement, he blackmails her into helping him solve the Burning Bush Murders. Two girls have been found tied to bushes set on fire, a fire that cannot be extinguished. Lanore has no other choice but to help find the killer. But along the way, Dante continues to seek vengeance for his destroyed building by hitting Zulu and Lanore where it hurts most, their friends and family.

Wright's World...
I just love Wright's writing style. She is not afraid of the grit or horror of discrimination and injustice. The world she creates in her stories is both horrible and mesmerizing. I was glued to the pages, either on the verge of tears or trying to hold back hysterics. The conditions these mixbreeds have to live in day after day just get worse with each book. I couldn't imagine living in this world. It's truly heartbreaking.

Lanore
But what makes this book and series so amazing is the characters. Lanore was awesome in the first book, Fire Baptized. I liked her less in this book but she still remains to be a strong female lead who fights her own battles. She is compassionate and hardworking. She is in love with two men, and they are in love with her. Lucky wench. I noticed this book had a lot more romance and relationship stuff in it. I was happy to see that because this is the best and most interesting love triangle I have ever seen.

Zulu...
Zulu is still frightening as ever. Though I love Meshack, Zulu has my heart a little more. I like his brooding and protectiveness and the way he cares so much for Lanore. Sometimes he's a gentle giant, and other times he is straight up horrifying. His beast form use to scare the crap out of me, but not anymore. We get to meet his beast form more in this book and I love him as much as I love Zulu. I like how these shapeshifters' beast forms are like different people, different souls. It makes things so much more interesting.

Meshack...
Meshack was the same sexy jokster. He is more than hot, he is sizzling. He eats and breaths sex. I still hate him for cheating on Lanore all those years ago, but it's hard to stay mad at him when he brings on the charm. Meshack also shows his violent side in this book. Lanore and Zulu being together is almost killing him. It really is sad. Meshack and Lanore have a connection no one can break. They have been together since they were kids and nothing will separate them, not even Zulu. But will Meshack be a friend or a lover when this all ends? Who knows.

Damn You Cliffhanger...
The mystery kept me on my toes. I didn't know who the killer was or what Dante was really up to in the scheme of things until Wright wanted me to know. The world-building was perfect. The humor is above par. The action was exhilarating and the heartbreak was unbearable. The emotional rollercoaster Wright took me on was hard to take sometimes. I am dying to read the next book. Especially after that cliffhanger ending.

The Bad
Don't Hurt My Puppy...
So you might be asking yourself why I gave this book 2.5 stars when I have so many great things to say about it. Well, let me be straight with you. These 2.5 stars have nothing to do with Wright's writing ability, the plot, or the story. These 2.5 stars completely represent how much I "enjoyed" this book. This was a 5 star book until about half way through. Then things went down hill. This is what it was like reading this book:

"Oh, look at that cute puppy. He is sooo adorable. I want to love him forever. He means everything to me. Wait, why are you taking my puppy? What are you doing!! Stop hitting my puppy. OMG, you are going to kill him. You can't kick him like that. Please, stop. What are you doing with that knife? Don't torture my puppy, please!!!"

And then whoever is torturing my puppy slits it throat. That was what it was like reading the second half of this book.

Really, Lanore?
Am I being dramatic? Yes, but seriously. I have never had a book leave me in such a state of depression as this book did. I cannot believe the things Wright did in this installment. It was so horrible, so unfair, so eye-gougingly horrific I could barley finish it. And why did all these bad things happen? Because Lanore decided to grow a conscience. But not a good conscience, a stupid, useless conscience that made everything worse. Lanore's compassion and second guessing herself got people hurt and got people killed. And you know what she does to these people who have ruined her life? She doesn't want to kill them. She actively protects them from being killed. I can't. I just can't watch people be this stupid and only grow worse. These people are killers but she wants to handle them with kid gloves. Well, then she deserves everything that happens to her, but the people who get dragged down with her don't deserve it.

Not My Cup of Tea...
Okay, enough with my tangent. Let me end this by saying that this 2.5 stars is completely a personal preference rating. I don't like sad books and I don't like sad endings. I want to walk away from a book feeling happy or at least satisfied. That didn't happen with The Burning Bush. Anybody who can handle some pretty gut-wrenching events in stories will love this book. I am just not one of those people.

The Snuggly
I truly think Wright writes the best sex scenes ever. And most of the time, the sex gets interrupted, but the time leading up to it is just amazing. Like horny fireworks. I know that doesn't make sense but that's how I feel. The sexual tension she puts on the pages is malleable. I can smell, taste, and feel it. I just don't know who Lanore is going to end up with. I love both men so much.

Final Thoughts
The Burning Bush was a great story with amazing characters. This book is hard to put down because you end up caring for everyone so much. But when an author rips your heart out by killing and hurting the people you love in a series, it's hard to walk away feeling good about anything. Approach this book with caution. Hopefully the next book will make some things better. Recommended to those who love this series no matter what happens.
Quotes
"Must you not wear a shirt?" I sucked my teeth.

"I have you alone in a cellar where no one can hear you call for help. You're lucky I still have my pants on."

"You're like a romantic serial killer."

*****

"And will you be living with the damn cheetah for the rest of your life?" He (Zulu) slid his fingers up my shirt and tugged at the bottom of my bra. "Will our children be calling him uncle weird-guy-that-stays-in-our-house?"

"No. They'll be calling me Daddy." MeShack stood in the doorway. His feline eyes concentrated on Zulu's hands.

...The room just thickened with both men's power and stubborn testosterone.
Habitat Series:
Book #1: Fire Baptizied
Book #2: The Burning Bush


13 comments:

  1. Gosh! That really does sound horrific! I'm with you - books that really upset me and make me feel bad aren't books I want to read. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, and when things happen that make you feel ill it's not enjoyable anymore!
    Hope you have had plenty of chocolate to try and recover ;) x

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    1. That's exaclty right. It made me feel ill. Even though it was a great book, it just wasn't for me.

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  2. I love this series. I was shocked by the turn the book took, but Kenya's writing is awesome and I cringed to the end. Maybe sometimes you have to enter the dark side before you get to the light. I just bet the next one will be great! I'm still not sure who I want her to end up! They are both so yummy. I agree about her sex scenes. Hot!
    I used the same excerpt in my review!

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    1. It really is a great series. Both men are so yummy it should be illigal.

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  3. Puppies being tortured? Oh no. Sorry that it wasn't what you expected. The guys sound yummy though.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. LOL, puppies weren't tortured, but the pain of watching them being torured was the same. It felt like that.

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  4. I am intrigued and not a little freaked out! I am going to put this series on my look for list. I sometimes like things to take a dark twist, but I have to be in the right state of mind. Excellent review

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  5. Love the cover. I couldn't help but stop and stare.

    Thanks for the warning. I hate--I mean it! Hate--books that rip my guts out. I put them down and promise myself I will never read the author again.

    This way I can still read something, but nothing harsh.

    Great post! :-)

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    1. LOL, yeah, it will gut you. The cover is amazing though.

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  6. Great review! I completely understand that. I am not a fan of what I call the 2nd book syndrome where there has to be so much heartache packed into a book to bridge to a better conclusion. I don't like sad stories. I am all for conflict and moving the story along, but I do not like feeling like my heart is completely broken, or that feeling that nothing is going right. On another hand, the cover of this one is spectacular and I would probably wait until there were more in this series before so I could immediately dive into one that hopefully had less conflict right after. Old Follower :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

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    1. That's a good plan. Not being able to read the next book when I know things will get better is what makes it worse.

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