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Kai Gracen Series Book Four
Rhys Ford
LGBT Fantasy Romance
DSP Publications
July 14, 2020

SoCalGov Stalker Kai Gracen always knew Death walked in his shadow. Enough people told him that, including his human mentor, Dempsey. Problem was, the old man never told him what to do when Death eventually caught up.

Where Tanic, his elfin father and the Wild Hunt Master of the Unsidhe Court, brought Kai pain and suffering, Dempsey gave him focus and a will to live… at least until everything unraveled. Now caught in a web of old lies and half-truths, Kai is torn between the human and elfin worlds, unsure of who he is anymore. Left with a hollowness he can’t fill, Kai aches to find solace in the one elfin he trusts—a Sidhe Lord named Ryder—but he has unfinished business with Dempsey’s estranged brother, a man who long ago swore off anything to do with the feral elfin child Dempsey dragged up from the gutter.

Reeling from past betrayals, Kai searches for Dempsey’s brother, hoping to do right by the man who saved him while trying to keep ahead of the death haunting his every step. Kai never thought he’d find love or happiness as a Stalker, but when Death comes knocking at his door, Kai discovers a fierce need to live life to the fullest—even if that means turning his back on the people he calls family.

Special Release Day Triple Review!

She Said – Melissa Brus

He Said – Ulysses Dietz

She Said – Gloria Lakritz

Reviewed by Melissa Brus
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Feral and Fantastic. Brutal and Beautiful. Lethal and Lyrical. These are some of the wonderful dichotomies that are ever present in this series of books by Rhys Ford. They describe not just the story that we are given, but also our main character Kai Gracen.

Continuing the dystopian fantasy that has been the backdrop for the Kai Gracen series, in this fourth book, Rhys Ford reveals some secrets that have been kept from Kai about his past, secrets that change how he sees almost every relationship in his life. These secrets lead him on a run that can lead to some answers about how he came to be in the Stalker life and in Dempsey’s life.

Sprinkled into this dark and hardscrabble adventure are precious moments of vulnerability from our intrepid Kai. He shows us the depth of his feelings, mostly in how uncomfortable he is with those emotions, but they are there none the less.

The changing relationship between Kai and Ryder is very intriguing. Kai seems to begrudgingly be admitting that maybe he likes the fae lordling more than he thought. Maybe. The proof could be that he shares his coconut and marshmallow coated chocolate cupcakes.

This installment of adventures gives fans of Kai’s world a great ride and sets up the next book gracefully. Urban fantasy fans will be thrilled with yet another amazing book for their library.

Reviewed by Ulysses Dietz
Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team

There is so much about Rhys Ford’s books that I shouldn’t like—too violent, to gory, too frenetic—and yet I always love them, and this one especially. Why? Because her books are so very witty, so smartly written, so carefully written. Kai Gracen is someone I adore – prickly and damaged, but so strong, such a powerful survivor. Such a smartass. All the secondary characters – Cari in particular in this book, but Dempsey, Jonas, and (for me most of all) Ryder; are rich and full-bodied (like a fine California wine).

The narrative here brings us all to a moment of transition in Kai’s life, and reminds us that he’s older than we think he is. We dip more into memories of his “childhood” as a chimera—half breed child of Sidhe and Unsidhe. In opposition to that we dip into his evolving relationship with Ryder, Sidhe lord, whose elfin palace grows a new tower just for Kai based on a single kiss.

Wait, what?

There’s another of the charms of this strange elfin/human melange, created in a cataclysmic merge of not just two civilizations, but two physical worlds. There is much about San Diego (and, off-page, other places in the world that are noted) that remains recognizable and “now.” But onto this world “we” know, there is this other, bizarre, magical world, with creatures heretofore unseen. For example, no more airlines, because dragons see airplanes as tins of food. LOL, and ugh.

The special focus of this plot is a personal quest on Kai’s part, a quest to find information that Dempsey has told him will answer questions about his life “before.” Raised human, Kai is pure elfin, but mixed-race elfin, if you will. He has always rejected his elfin self, because of what can rather feebly be called an unhappy home life. This quest, and of course the presence of Ryder in his life, force him to rethink his identity as elfin.

The book is filled with hair-raising, page-turning, sometimes disgusting action. This is balanced with moments of tenderness and romance that feel authentic because they come from a writer who knows what that means.

Typically, it’s not a cliffhanger ending, but a last line that makes the reader turn the page and groan with frustration that there’s nothing there. Book five, oh yes, bring it on!

Reviewed by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer & Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

I am a huge fan of Rhys Ford and her writings; whatever the genre! Her style is unique, with beautiful descriptions, with discussions of different cooking, discussing of different ethnic foods, and of course with lots of mayhem thrown in. It seems to fit her as her Island heritage and personality suits her writing!

There is no genre in which her writing doesn’t excel; whether it is her murder mysteries, sexy/anxiety Inkers at 415 Ink and one of her Urban Fantasy world, of which Kai Gracen was born.

This stunning was born during ‘The Merge’ where the Human and Elfin worlds collided into humans having to face that the paranormal world exists. It takes place where Rhys knows best, Southern California. The story is fraught with danger, killing, intrigue and Ryder *sigh. Ryder is a Sidhe Lord of the Elfin Court who has fallen hard for Kai. It took to book three for their first kiss; which magically a tower grew for Kai in the middle of the Sidhe Court. That was some kiss! Rhys has given us a host of many other side characters that have given meaning to the story both good and bad.

Kai was born, sold as a baby and tortured until he was bought and raised by Dempsey as his own. Kai has been happy working with his adopted family doing runs as a Stalker; fighting dragons and the wild monsters has been his main life. But Ryder comes into his life and Kai now has ‘’maybe” some feelings for him, making Kai wanting to find out more of his past. These feelings for Ryder are uncomfortable for him as his need brings on feeling he hasn’t really had before.

Loving Kai and seeing Ryder giving him meaning has changed Kai. He wants to be more….I am so into this series, I can’t say enough about it….It’s messy, scary, sometimes bloody…..Its Magical!