Blood & Honey (a.k.a A Stab in the Heart)

I’m wrecked. Absolutely, thoroughly wrecked. Blood & Honey took a part of my soul with it, and I can’t believe I have to wait until NEXT YEAR to read the third book in this series. Shelby Mahurin, how could you?? 

Let me start this off by saying this book was definitely a “second book” if you know what I mean, and I felt like I read the whole thing with my heart in a vice grip. The energy of this book was much darker and far more desperate than the first. We were all on edge during Serpent & Dove, waiting for the moment when Reid discovers that Lou is a witch. Those pins and needles were nothing compared to the emotions I felt while reading this book. 

Immediately the story picks back up right where Serpent and Dove left off, with Lou, Reid, Ansel, Beau, Coco, and Madame Labelle on the run from the wrath of Morgane. The tension between Reid and Lou physically hurt my heart after we watched them fall in love before. Reid is no longer a Chasseur, he’s now knows he’s a witch, and Lou… is losing herself each time she performs magic. When they had to split up, I felt the despair within them further driving them apart. I think what made this book so intense for me was that I not only could picture each scene but also feel the emotions of Lou and Reid deep down. Reid… the poor guy had his entire existence turned upside down: the woman he loves is a witch, he himself is a witch, and he killed the only person who has ever supported him. I did see some reviews saying that they found Reid was rather annoying during this book *scoffs internally*. While I can see that he seriously needed to break free from his past assumptions, I didn’t find him annoying in this. Could be I’m just obsessed with him though. 

As for Lou… to be honest, she low key drove me nuts when she wouldn’t recognize the fact that she was losing herself with each dark spell she performed (may or may not be an unpopular opinion). No wonder Reid was terrified to practice magic. She had kept it suppressed for years to stay hidden, and when she finally started using it again, it was as a weapon. When she trades in memories to keep nature’s balance, she’ll lose herself in the process. It’s obvious she doesn’t realize how dangerous that is. No one can tell her so… which further drove me crazy. Everyone and their mother (literally) knew something was wrong with her, but she shuts all of them out. I wanted to smack her and tell her to stop deflecting or soon she won’t have anyone close to her except the matagots (which btw, I’d like more info on those guys… were they just hanging around her because she was turning into her mother? We never got the real rundown on why she attracted so many). 

There were many new characters introduced in this book, maybe even too many characters… but I’m not complaining too much. I think it was interesting that there were so many players in the game against Morgane, and I liked seeing them all come together. Sometimes I felt like it was hard to keep track of them, and I think I could have done without all of Claud’s crew and the extra blood witches. However, I do think it was necessary to bring so many new faces to the story because Lou and Reid needed literally all the help they could find.  

I don’t want to talk about it… but that ending. When Coco warned Lou that a man close to her heart would die, a man that she loved, I immediately panicked that the vision concerned Reid. And I REFUSED to accept that, like definitely might have shouted “NO!” during that scene (see above: obsessed with Reid). Then my mind started spinning, thinking of every man within their allied forces. The closest men I came up with were Beau, Claud, and… Ansel. I narrowed it down to Ansel with a heavy heart, but I was still focused on the fact that there was no way Reid would stay safely put above the catacombs. Lou snuck off, with the help of the blood witches (!!!) and expected that would keep Reid from going down below… but girl, really??? You really thought sealing the tunnel from him would keep him from following you, or at the very least, finding other entrances? Come on. Obviously Reid finds another way down there. Lou finds Celié and who suddenly shows up? Ansel… and my heart completely dropped because then I knew it was him. He was going to die, and there was nothing Lou could do about it. Beautiful, sweet Ansel… who deserved so much more than to be slaughtered by Morgane. All I have left to say is that Shelby Mahurin better deliver on the next book to make up for that heinous crime. 

I had my suspicions during the story that the blood witches were not what they seemed, but I honestly didn’t expect La Voisin to be in cahoots with Morgane. I also think I might have screamed another “NO!” at the end when they forced Lou to drink a controlling spell. Of course the book ends right there, of course it did nothing to soothe my aching heart, of course I have to bite my nails as my thoughts race as to how they could possibly win in this upcoming battle. 

I mentioned I’m wrecked, right? 

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