Review: Soul Struck (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #3) by Jacob Z. Flores

Like the electricity he commands, Pierce Blackmoor streaks through life on raw power and pure sexual energy. His conquests on the battlefield and in the bedroom form his foundation, but that bedrock crumbles when his younger brothers’ abilities surpass his own. Pierce finds himself at an all-time low, and clawing his way back to the top becomes his only concern.

Pierce's plan to reassert his dominance, however, takes a backseat when he wounds Kale Aquilo, an emissary of the Beast King, lord of all shifters.

Kale’s beguiling nature shoots like a lightning bolt straight to Pierce’s soul, and when the soft-spoken Kale relays that a virus is killing his people, Pierce abandons his quest for power to do something he has never done before—protect someone other than himself.

As Kale, Pierce, and his brothers struggle to find the root of the magical virus spreading plague across Aeaea, the shifter island, they face a gauntlet of old and new foes. Soul struck, Pierce and Kale must uncover the truth behind the conspiracy gathering in the shadows.

Let me start off by saying I am a bit biased with this series. I am so stupidly in love with it that I can’t take my heart glasses off to see anything, but how much freaking fun I have had so far. It’s not normal for me to read authors back to back let alone devour an entire series, but I can’t stop reading. I have to know… everything.

This truly is a series and I would read it in order. Lucky for you and for me, all the books are out so there is no waiting to see what happens next and for that I am thankful. I was kicking myself that I waited so long to read the series but now, I know it was the right thing because I could go from book to book and satiate my OCD.

Brief history of the series before we did into this book… Spell Bound was book one where we meet the Blackmoors, a warlock family of boys trusted to be one of the protector covens of the Gate. The Gate is the center of all magic for a simple explanation. In Spell Bound, we met the youngest brother Mason, who at the time hadn’t come into his power yet and big brother Pierce was the traditional oldest male with an attitude of arrogance to match. Mason meets Drake, his now boyfriend who is not magical, unless you count his bad ass free running as magic, but has an aversion to magic… it doesn’t affect him at all and we have yet to find out why. I adored the hell out of book one and just love Mason and Drake to pieces.

Blood Tied was book two where we get middle child Thad’s story. And boy is he on par for middle child syndrome, though Thad buries his nose in books to deal with his brothers. Thad is bitter and heart cold to the touch and it’s fitting as his powers have to deal with ice. But strange things are afoot at the Circle K when Thad rescues Adien, a fire fae who also happens to be a prince and sorts of stuff goes down between two worlds. I liked Thad and Aiden though I’ll admit to being confused with the “love triangle” in the beginning and kinda wanting the bad boy Ben to be with Thad. Now sure what that says about me now that I’ve read the book and really met Ben, but whatever.

So now we get to Pierce’s story. Pierce, the arrogant older brother who has no idea how to deal with the fact that his younger brothers are coming into more power than him and possibly becoming stronger. This is totally evident in how the book begins, with the brothers fighting with magic which leads Pierce to tap into more of his that he has no control over. Pierce’s magic deals with energy with a focus on electricity and when he loses control, he shoots a few things from the sky. But Pierce being Pierce gets all butt hurt about his mistake and takes off on his motorcycle where his meet cute with an adorable man named Kale packs one hell of a punch. *winks*

I knew that I would love Pierce’s story. I have a thing for redeemable assholes and that is what Pierce truly is. I wouldn’t say that all of his arrogance is a mask or shield he puts up to protect him from getting hurt but a good amount of it is. He has the pressure of responsibility of becoming High Priest of his Coven after his father and he wonders if he is up for the challenge. Pierce, also is terrified of losing what he loves after the death of his mother. None of the Blackmoor men have really dealt with the loss of the most beloved woman in their life and each of them has coping mechanisms, but Pierce has a few extra.

I hadn’t been looking for power. I’d been looking for Kale.

I loved that we know Pierce as the man whore who doesn’t pick between genders. Pierce is pretty fluid with his sexuality and if you turn him on, he’ll turn you out and forget your name but then he meets Kale and it’s Pierce who is the one being turned inside out.

Kale, yes that is his name and, no, I didn’t immediately go to the leafy green when I read it because this is a book about magic and magical creatures. Kale can mean slender in Gaelic which is how Kale is described, or if you read the Top Definition (and #3) in Urban Dictionary for Kale it totally nails his character! Kale was amazing, he is brought to the human world from his shifter island of Aeaea on a mission to save his kind from a deadly virus. And no matter how much he likes Pierce upon their first meeting, he must get to the Conclave and do as they is bid.

Good lord. The Conclave drives me up the wall. These hidden robed figures who pop in and out when they feel it’s necessary and all the damn secrets they keep and how they treat the protector covens of the Gate irked the hell out of me. So much that went down in all three books could have been prevented if they just talked to the families. The miscommunication meets blind obedience that they use as a standard is just not acceptable and yet, it kinda fuels the story arcs so I guess it’s okay. Doesn’t mean I didn’t flip them off numerous times while reading and yeah, that includes you too Gerald Wa!

Ugh and anyway.

The shifter aspect in this story is not one I have read before and I was entranced by it. I love how it’s not the norm of alpha/beta/omega pack politics but one of true spirit animal guidance with a side of OMG that is so freaking fracking cool! Yep, that’s all I am going to say about that.

How did this even happen? I lived my life according to my wants and desires. I did what felt right, when it felt right, and with whom it felt right. I didn’t give two shits about what anyone else wanted or needed, but ever since I met Kale, that wasn’t me at all. I was protecting him, believing in him, and wanting him to feel safe. It was like I’d unearthed my soul.

Goodness me! Pierces growth after meeting Kale was a pleasure to read. He not only opened up to the man whose adoration for The Backstreet Boys is truly epic, but he let himself feel the emotions he’d been bottling up inside. For a warlock who harvests and controls energy, stuffing your emotions down so far can only lead to a magical sort of backup that will explode and fates help us all if Pierce can’t control it. Wow. This book, I knew I loved it but as I sit and write this review I can’t stop the fangirling that is flowing through my fingers! I have to put it out there that the slow burn to the romance of Pierce and Kale was done so well! I wouldn’t have bought it if Pierce had gone for his norm with Kale. They both needed to take the time as the relationship was so new and important to them both. The slow burn was exactly what was needed and I loved the hell out of it.

It was time to let go of our old rivalries. With Adam, Edith, and me as the next generation of high priests, we had the potential to change the magical community into anything we wanted.

Now, I know I have already said a crap ton of nothing but rambles in the review but I need to add that I am loving the way the protector covens are coming together… finally. It’s about time the Proctors [White Magic = Witches], the Stonewalls [Gray Magic = Wizards] and the Blackmoors [Black Magic = Warlocks] begin to break down the damn walls that separate them and see that they are stronger together. This book gave us a glimpse into seeing the families start to see one another as allies and not the enemy. And I just hope that at some point, Adam Proctor gets a damn HEA because that boy needs one badly! *taps foot and waits*

Soul Struck was such a fun book. It had everything that I love about the series; hilarious banter, romantic declarations, exciting adventure, fast paced action and at the heart of the story, family. Such a fantastic series and now don’t mind me as I dive into the next book to see WTF the Conclave is so damn afraid of.

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

See our previous reviews:

Spell Bound - Book #1
Blood Tied - Book #2

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