Hellbent & Heartfirst by Kassandra Sims

12 May

Favorite line: “Jacyn could admit that honkeytonks were made for elongated vowels and songs about cheatin’ and heartbreak.” (p. 12)

Jacyn Boaz went to Biloxi, Miss., to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She’s exhausted and it isn’t long before she is introduced to a world she never knew existed. A world with mythological creatures and supernatural explanations. A world that her new lover, Jimmy Wayne Broadus, introduces her to.

Jimmy is a rancher, former rodeo rider and hunter of the supernatural. He protects an ignorant world from the dark. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina all natural barriers and ‘rules’ for the supernatural have been thrown out the window. This leaves him in Mississippi in search of a killer.

A snake woman is feeding off the souls of hurricane victims and he plans to stop the creature. He’s not alone on this venture, though. Jacyn will be his new partner and together the two may be able to save the community from the danger stalking them.

I like the cover of this book. The black shaped demon behind Jimmy is pretty cool. It is one of the few things positive I have to say about Hellbent & Heartfirst.

I didn’t like this book. I tried to force myself to complete it, but editing errors and just plain dislike prevented me from finishing the story. From early on the book had major malfunctions. One of the biggest for me involved imps and brownies.

I’m listing the definitions of imp and brownie. I knew they were different creatures, but this story doesn’t differentiate them.

Oxford English Dictionary definition of an imp:

A little devil or demon, an evil spirit.”

Oxford English Dictionary definition of an brownie:

“A benevolent spirit or goblin, of shaggy appearance, supposed to haunt old houses, esp. farmhouses, in Scotland, and sometimes to perform useful household work while the family were asleep.”

Page 61 & 62: “The imps squatted down and stared back at her, twisting his head at comical angles. . . The imp collapsed all of a sudden into the little heap of sticks again. . . So you kidnap brownies and sell them for a living. . . How’d you know that was a brownie?”

It didn’t help that little episodes like this happened:

Page 54: “The anger slipped in just like a firecracker going off. He gets tired of this. Most people like him stick close to one another.”

I couldn’t relate with the accents and use of dialect, the nonstop role of alcohol in relation to the young lead characters, or the language the characters used. Preconceived notions of rednecks are thrown in and maybe they are a draw in for some people, but for me it completely turned me off.

I’m not trying to dog Ms. Sims. She has at least three published novels under her belt. I haven’t even tried to write a book. However I do know what I like. I may not realize what that entails until I read something, but this book was not for me. I hope the rest of y’all have a great time with the book. I did not.

To be fair I’ve linked to other reviews at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, Janicu’s Book Blog and Romance Reviews Today.

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4 Responses to “Hellbent & Heartfirst by Kassandra Sims”

  1. Rosie May 13, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    Scoop, email me RnG1180@aol.com. I have some info about a site that needs reviewers and has a backlog of books and arcs. I thought of you because of the note on your sidebar.

  2. scooper May 14, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Rosie- Thanks. Done.

  3. Graeme May 14, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Thanks for the link! I didn’t think too much of this one either (different reasons though…)

  4. scooper May 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Graeme- I kinda got that. 🙂

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