Title: The Takedown (Superpowered Love #8)
Author: Katey Hawthorne
Release Date: June 6 2017
Genre(s): Mystery & Suspense, LGBTTQ, Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 189
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
Jody Aguirre’s family was kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters. After a few days of captivity, he’s all that’s left. Using his frosty awakened superpowers, Jody manages to escape and is rescued from the side of the road by Bren Faulkner’s stretch Town Car. Bren, a hot-thermal awakened with government connections, promises to help find the witch hunters who destroyed Jody’s life.
While navigating his trauma and pain, Jody comes to rely on Bren for more than just food, his house, and his superpowered connections. Brendan is all that reminds Jody what’s left to live for, and a strong advocate for justice vs. vengeance, like the proverbial knight in shining armor he is. As their affection for one another deepens and their attraction becomes impossible to deny, Bren wonders if acting on their feelings would be taking advantage. Jody, meanwhile, struggles to claw his way back to something like normality, knowing that Bren’s part of the solution, not the problem.
But none of it matters, if they don’t take down those witch hunters.
I read this as a standalone even though it’s part of a series
The story is told in first POV.
The first meeting of MC is intriguing: Jody just escaped from captivity and Brend picks him up from the side of the road. After being kidnapped and tortured and witnessing death of his family, Jody is understandably a mess. Bren is older, wealthy and his motivations are hard to guess.
From there the story unfolds. The emotional buildup is excellently done: the writing is smooth and the impact past events had on Jody is painstakingly obvious. He goes through stages of grief, rage and acceptance. Eventually, he comes to realization that life is still worth living and there are things he still wants. Bren is with him every step of the way, a loving and supportive presence anchoring him to life.
I especially liked author describing what books Jody reads and what music he listens, since they give us insight into Jody. Even Bren, so inscrutable at the beginning, slowly blossoms under Jody’s regard.
In comparison, the action plot felt aimless. It’s largely in the background and since it was big draw for me when reading the blurb the book itself was somewhat of a disappointment. The mystery served largely to enhance Jody’s emotions and drive his relationship with Bren. The book is more of a romance than romantic suspense.
Also, while I can see Jody and Bren becoming friends and falling in love with each other, the physical attraction was missing. I lasted through half of one sex scene and skimmed the rest. It just didn’t feel real.
The pet peeve I had with this book is that nowhere in the blurb was mentioned that Bren is trans. (I went back and checked when that first came up) I rely heavily on book description and warnings to suss out whether I’m going to like the book. Sometimes I read the book because of warnings,sometimes I read it despite the warnings, but I do want the warnings. I’m disappointed it was missing.