Monday, August 11, 2014

Review + Giveaway: The Hexed

Krewe of Hunters #13
Heather Graham
Adult Paranormal Romantic Suspense
400 pages
Harlequin MIRA
Available Now
Source: from TLC Book Tours for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
A place of history, secrets...and witchcraft.

Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn't be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her "crazy" great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby.

Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body's been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin's been led to a third body—by...a ghost?

Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem's rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or Devin's might be the next body in the woods...

The Hexed, despite being book thirteen in the Krewe of Hunters series, reads beautifully as a stand-alone murder mystery, blurring past and present as the horrors of the witch trials find life and death once again in modern-day Salem. Many times with paranormal mysteries that involve law enforcement, we as readers are subjected to a somewhat tedious progression from doubt to true belief with regards to the supernatural, either the hero or heroine taking a great deal of time to come to terms with the less scientifically explainable aspects of their case. With The Hexed however, we find zero hesitation from both Rocky and Devin, the two of them fully accepting the role of the paranormal in their lives despite not having an inordinate amount of experience with it; thereby allowing us to settle into the story quickly and easily, free as we are of their supernatural reservations.

Devin and Rocky are both smart and savvy individuals, methodical in their approach to finding the killer and thankfully not prone to any type of horror-movie stunts or antics to draw the killer out. Devin is a writer of children's books, and while she is a vital part of the investigation throughout, she never sticks her nose where it doesn't belong or isn't invited in an attempt to play detective. Instead, she listens to those with a badge and volunteers information when it seems relevant, always aiding them rather than hindering them with her presence.

Rocky is as intelligent and easily likable as Devin, and though his personal connection to the murders is a driving force behind his desire to see the killer come to justice, he's not so obsessed with the case that he can't see the forest for the trees. Like Devin, he listens to those around him and doesn't try to run roughshod over anyone on his team, instead valuing the different angles and approaches to the case each of them provides. When it comes to the romance between he and Devin, he's clearly attracted (as is she), but it's a very subtle aspect of the story, the tension between them just enough to make the romantic in us sit up and take notice.

Ms. Graham thoroughly entertains with the murder mystery element, her research on the Salem Witch Trials clearly extensive and perfectly integrated into the story so that we learn things we never knew without enduring the tedium of a full-on history lesson. With a large suspect pool to choose from, we're constantly kept on our toes, red herrings popping up chapter after chapter before being removed from the suspect list, only to find their way back on it a while later. The revolving door of plausible killers causes the gears in our minds to constantly turn, our guesses as to who the murderer could possibly be a running commentary even as we move through our day to day lives. Overall, The Hexed is quick and action-packed with a strong cast of characters and a fascinating look at Salem past and present, and I thoroughly look forward to going back and starting this series from the beginning.

Rating: 4/5

Buy The Hexed:

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New York Times and USA TODAY  bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels and has been published in more than 20 languages. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and the mother of five, she enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from locations such as Cairo, Egypt, to her own backyard, the Florida Keys. Reading is still the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.

Heather annually hosts the Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts a ball each year at the RT Booklovers Convention to benefit pediatric AIDS foundations.

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One lucky winner will have their choice of The Cursed, The Hexed and The Betrayed. A reminder that despite being a part of the Krewe of Hunters series, each book is its own story and can be read as a stand-alone. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US/Can only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out all the remaining stops on the tour for more reviews, interviews, and chances to win!

Monday, August 11th: Supernatural Snark
Wednesday, August 13th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, August 14th:  Reading Reality

Monday, August 18th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, August 19th: Saints and Sinners Books
Wednesday, August 20th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 21st: Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Monday, August 25th: Read-Love-Blog
Tuesday, August 26th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Wednesday, August 27th: Queen of All She Reads
Friday, August 29th: Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, September 2nd: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday September 2nd: Books a la Mode – guest post/giveaway
Wednesday, September 3rd: Ladybug Literature
Thursday, September 4th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, September 8th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 10th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, September 12th:  Bibliotica

Monday, September 15th:  Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, September 18th: Harlie’s Books


  1. I'm glad that you mentioned this reads well as a stand-alone, Jenny, because I would have been seriously thrown seeing it's book 13 otherwise! You KNOW I have a thing for murder mysteries, too, so this sounds right up my alley. I really like that the romance of this one is subtle, too, because I often find those arcs too cloying. Lovely review and feature, Jenny!

  2. I haven't had a paranormal experience. Sounds exciting! :D

  3. I have never tried one of her books, it seems everyone else has ;)

  4. Ha! Thi is the perfect book for Heather and I just saw that we are also on the Blog Tour lists! There was a time when all I read were Mysteries , maybe I need to get back and read a few:)

  5. The author seems very familiar...although I haven't read any of her reviews. But she has the kind of name that people/readers remember. :P Anyway, the mystery seems nice and I think this would be a great Halloween read. It's nice that it can be read as a standalone. Great review, Jenny! :)

  6. So glad to hear this can be read as a standalone, because it sounds awesome, and I think I would have just skipped it if I'd seen the #13 and not read your review. I love anything to do with the Salem witch trials and it sounds like this is a riveting mystery. I can't wait to see how the paranormal aspects play into it. Lovely review!

  7. I am happy to hear this is a stand-alone. I am sooo intrigued by Salem Witch Trials and have been dying to read a good mystery, so I am definitely going to check this one out. Thanks for the review, Jenny!

  8. I've read several books with Salem Witch Trial roots this year -- must be The Thing (which I like!). Love that Heather Graham can write a 13+-book series and still keep the books at standalone capacity. Sounds good!

  9. Kim loves these books! She's convinced me to add some of them to my TBR although I fail because I still haven't read any yet.
    I'm fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, and books related to that. One of my favorite books of all-time is The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
    That alone would be enough to make me want to give this a try. It helps that the mystery is well-written. I think I would really like this. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Jenny.

  10. I'm so glad these can be read as a standalone! 13 is awesome for a series, but not if you're behind - lol! Both you and Kim have convinced me that I need to check this one out. I love the whole idea of the "blurring past and present as the horrors of the witch trials find life and death once again in modern-day Salem." Lovely review again my friend :)

  11. I love that this can be read as a stand alone. Thankfully I have never had a paranormal experience (I would probably wet my pants if I did!) but I love reading about them!

  12. I don't think I've ever had a paranormal experience but one of my closest friends saw a ghost. freakyyy!

  13. It's been a while since I read a book by the author but I was mixed but I should try this series, it sounds good!

  14. I know that Graham is a HUGE name in Paranormal, so I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I have yet to give her books a try. But, I'm totally kicking myself now, especially after reading your review, and seeing that her 13th installment is still 4 star worthy. Wow!

  15. I have only read one book by her and I liked it well enough. I guess I am intimidated because she has so many series out there. At least you can read them as stand alones. Kimba reviewed this one as well and I must admit I am interested in the Salem Witch trial parts.

  16. Very cool! I like the idea of the story. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. Me read out of order? Surely you jest... ;) I love that it can be read as a standalone and this world, the history and the mystery sounds like it adds up to a book I want to read Oh... maybe I need to check out this series. Oh and as for the question on the rafflecopter... yes. :)

  18. I haven't read any of Graham's books before but i always hear paranormal lovers talking about her books so i know that one day i'm going to have to bite the bullet and read the book. I can't believe this is book 13 in the series. Sure, it can be read as a standalone but still! That's a lot of books in a series LOL!

  19. nope... which is one reason that I love reading about them :) Thanks for sharing!

  20. I have had several paranormal experiences, though it's been several years since the last one (thankfully).

  21. Yes, I have. When I was little, I always hear voices at night when I know everyone is asleep. When I got older, I started seeing shadows at night.

  22. I haven't seen ghosts or anything but I definitely get strong feelings about some places where bad things have happened. When I went to Pompeii I felt so sad and like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't wait to leave even though it was so interesting!

  23. I've been thinking about reading one of the books in this series. I like that it's mystery and paranormal and it sounds like something I would enjoy!

  24. Well, I do love the idea that this one can be read as a standalone even if it's part of a long series!
    And your review has made me want to add it to TBR list for sure!
    Brilliant review, Jenny!

  25. I have never read a book by Heather Graham, but I recently added her to my TBR, and seeing how much you're still enjoying the series at book THIRTEEN is making it move right on up the list. Great review, Jenny, and thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Ok my eyes almost glazed over when you said book 13! BUT I like that this could read as standalone. Murder Mystery and Salem Witch Trials both peaked my interest. I can handle a subtle romance if there's a lot of other things going on. I'll have to research this series a little more now.

  27. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks so much for being a part of the tour.

  28. No I haven't had a paranormal experience. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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