Dante's Girl (A Kayla Steele Novel, Book 1)

Dante's Girl - Natasha Rhodes In her debut novel Natasha Rhodes brings us a story where love is supposed to conquer all, but what happens when the person you love is murdered and asked you to get revenge on those who killed them. Would you be able to pull the trigger?

Kayla was preparing for one of the best nights of her life, she knew her boyfriend was going to propose to her, but he never showed up. No phone call, text anything to tell her that he was not coming. Completely depressed she sets out on the town to drink her sorrow away, only to be attacked, almost raped and possible eaten, though Kayla is not too sure what she saw. As if her days could not get any worse, she discovers that Karrel had not stood her up, her had been murdered. Kayla now seeking answers to what she saw the night before and into Karrel's death. It will take her to places that only nightmares should be, but she will put everything on the line, as Karrel's once last request of her is to seek revenge on those who had him murdered. However, Kayla knows nothing of the dark world Karrel was working in (he was part of a group called Hunters) and has no idea who she can trust. All she wants to do is go home and cry but that is no longer safe as the enemy and the Hunters has discovered Kayla's existence and one or both will stop at nothing to make sure that she does not see her next day.

In all honesty I bought this book well over year ago and it has sat on my shelf all that time. In a effort to read the books that have been sitting on my shelf the longest, I have started "making" myself read these books. I think this book has sat on my shelf as long as it has because I have shifted in my reading to not include as much as paranormal romance which is what I thought this book would be. However, I could not have been more wrong. Yes, the entire premise is based around a woman's love for her boyfriend and essentially the influence everything that she does, but this does not mean that the book is about romance. Nonetheless, there are sex scenes in this book, but not that many, I think 3 tops, so nothing that would over power the story. This book really surprised me, I think for reasons stated above I thought that I was going to hate it and have to force myself through it, but I really enjoyed the book. There was a lot more action than I expected and the book turned out to be a fairly dark book (which made me even more happy). I have actually already looked into getting the second book as I want to see what happens next which I think tells you how much I liked it.

I liked the twist on human experimenting and the use of people's vanity as their ultimately downfall (I mean the book is based in LA, I don't know a place where more pressure is placed on looks). The human experimenting was something new to me in paranormal genre, I think I may have read a book or two that touch on the subject but it was often the different paranormal creatures that were being tested on rather than humans. The experiments that go on are down right freaky (don't worry Rhodes does not go into detail, you just find out the afterwards what the side affects were) especially what was done to the Vampire Cyan, I could not even imagine (I could compare it to a wolverine type but much worse). The cosmetic testing side affects that were going one made me never want to have any form of beauty treatment.

I liked Kayla as a character, though I do question her morals at times with her interactions with Mutt (Yes a werewolf named Mutt). I mean Karrel has just been murdered and all of a sudden you're in Mutt's arms a guy who is suppose to be your boyfriend's friend I guess grief does things to different people. I think that Kayla is a fairly believable character. After everything that she has been through all she really wants to do is run home and hide and I do not think that the reader could blame her for not being the kickass heroine in this book. There are other individuals who can fulfill that role. Kayla's role, I think, is to remind people of the human aspect of compassion when interacting with creatures that are not human. Not to say that Kayla does not through down, I guess better terms would be stumbling through it and running, lots of running. I like that Rhodes did not have Kayla all of a sudden become the kickass heroine, she needs to learn train ect before she is able to reach that point. I also like the Hunter Phil, he was nice comic relief within the book. I especially liked the scene with the guitar and the vampire near the end of the book (I had a nice laugh at that part).
The cover may throw you off and you will think that this is mainly a vampire book (I know it did for me), this book is more based about werewolves and werewolf hunters. Yes there are a few vampires within the book and while one might be one of the main enemies, they are still secondary to the werewolves.

This was a great novel debut, I was hard pressed to put the book down. It was well written with some great action scenes and plot line. I guess my one fault is knowing who the enemy is beforehand, but that does not mean that the backstabbing and twists and turns do not stop. I think fans of paranormal books should jump at the chance to read this book and hopefully series (i'll let you know once I read the second book). This book has a good blend of realism and paranormal aspects that I found refreshing. It was also scary to think about what cosmetic testing could be and really one of the most evil individuals within the book is a Human (I know it made me stop and think). The other nice thing about starting this series is there are 3 books already out, no need to wait a year before you are able to the next one. :)

Enjoy!!!!