by Hailey Turner
A Standalone in the Soulbound Series
Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Spencer Bailey has spent his entire life under government oversight for something he can't change: his magic's affinity for breaking souls. After surviving the end of the world, Spencer joins the Supernatural Operations Agency with the intention of keeping his head down and his hands clean.
Tasked with tracking down a stolen artifact, Spencer wants to run his first case with the SOA by the book. The master vampire of the Seattle Night Court won't make that easy. Takoma is demanding and possessive, used to getting what he wants, and he lures Spencer into his Night Court with the seductive promise of freedom.
In the Pacific Northwest, ghosts are crawling out of the woodwork, demons are on the rise, and Spencer can't afford to make a mistake. Torn between the life he should lead and the one Takoma is offering, Spencer has to make a choice that won't break his soul, but it might just shatter his heart.
Violence and torture
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR and Hailey Turner for sending me an arc of Resurrection Reprise in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I have never read the Soulbound series.
It's on my TBR, but I haven't gotten around to it.
I have read the first two books in Hailey Turner's absolutely amazing Infernal War Saga (the third one will be out next year), and I fell in love with her storytelling.
So when I saw there was an opportunity to read a Hailey Turner arc, it didn't matter that I haven't read the other books in the series. I just knew I needed to read it.
I don't regret my choice.
First of all, even if you haven't read the Soulbound series, you don't have to to enjoy and understand this book. Do I think I would have loved it even more if I had read the series? Sure. I would have a more thorough background on all the characters that were apart of that series.
Does it in any way hinder the story not knowing all the knitty gritty details? Not at all. Hailey Turner adds just enough details from the series that you get an understanding of all the characters, and their backstories, without spoiling anything.
The story was excellent. Considering Spencer's job as a Special Agent, there is a mystery element to the story, and the ride to solving it is interesting and exciting. There are a lot of politics at play in this book, with the government, the Night Court (Vampires), God Packs (were-creatures), actual Gods, witches, warlock's and mages, etc ... There is never a chapter that felt filler, which is something I always appreciate with Hailey Turner's writing. Even steamy scenes - and we do get a few - they are always a part of the story as a whole. I never feel removed from the story for the sake of adding some spice. The romance and sex is interwoven in what I can tell is a very rich urban fantasy.
The supernatural/fantasy elements are great. It kind of reminded me of the Sookie Stackhouse series. KIND OF. This book is way better than that series - and I like those books, so take that how you will. Just how vampires are "out of the coffin" in Sookie Stackhouse, in the Soulbound universe, humans and the supernatural live with one another and are open about what they are. In all other ways, Resurrection Reprise is totally different. Vampires are pretty close to classic vampires, but the magic system is honestly impressive. I knew Hailey Turner was a great fantasy writer, but she is obviously just as great writing urban fantasy as well. Spencer's magic, and the his magic worked with Fatima, was some of my favorite scenes to read, because I've never read anything quite like it.
I'm definitely moving the Soulbound series up on my TBR, I can tell you that.
The characters were equally great, and likeable. Spencer is everything you want in a main character. Loyal and honest, strong, and has a sense of humor. His bond with Fatima is top-notch, because you can see and feel the love between them, and the deep knowledge they have of one another. Right down to her commentary on Spencer's poor choices in sexual partners - particularly when it comes to vampires. Tacoma is also fun to read, because he is deliciously dark, and definitely an alpha. For a very old and powerful vampire, he does good things. He protects those he loves, and the vampires in his court. He has reclaimed the land that was stolen from him and his people when he was human, and I love that there is a bit of justice in his (re)claiming of land.
It's funny, because if this book had any other author written on the cover, I wouldn't have read it. The title nor cover screams what kind of story is hidden amongst its pages. Hailey Turner is definitely one of those "instant buy" authors for me, though. If you have read the Soulbound series from her, read Resurrection Reprise. If you haven't read the series, but love urban fantasy and m/m romance, read this book.
Actually, read all of Hailey's work. I don't need to tell you how good her books are. Her talent speaks for itself.
Spencer: "Seriously, why?"
Fatima stuck her wet nose against his cheek, whiskers tickling his face.
Fatima: Get up. I am hungry.
Spencer turned his head into the pillow and squeezed his eyes shut.
Spencer: "No, I was sleeping."
Fatima: You will be late, and I will bite you.
Spencer opened both eyes to glare at her.
Spencer: "Do fucking not."
Fatima: Then get up.
Fatima said, sounding determined in the way she got when on the hunt.
Spencer: "Just don't be seen if you're going to steal any."
She turned her head up and gave him a scornful look, all peeled-back lips, wrinkled nose, twitching whiskers, and judging eyes.
Fatima: I will not get caught.
Spencer: "Sure, sure. Don't get me in trouble."
Fatima: I will get fish. You will get coffee so you are less annoying.
Spencer: "I lead you to fish, and this is the thanks I get."
His pulse kicked up, but he couldn't decide if it was out of fear or sheer arousal. He'd always been attracted to highly competent, sometimes murderous people, whether they were human or not. Fatima had always despaired of the times Spencer followed his dick and not his brain.
Takoma: "Adler thinks you belong to me. Perhaps you could use that to your advantage."
Spencer glanced at him, not trusting that offer one bit.
Spencer: "And what would you get out of that if I played along?"
He told himself he wasn't going to. He doubted his superiors would look kindly on him bringing on board a master vampire as his confidential informant for his first case with the SOA. But the idea of getting to see Takoma again was very tempting.
Takoma gave Spencer a once-over so aggressively thorough he felt as if he'd been sucker punched.
Spencer was pretty sure the flush that came to his face right about then wasn't caused by the heat charm.
Spencer: "Right. Entertainment."
Takoma: "Get in."
Spencer rocked back on his heels.
Spencer: "Pretty sure it's in the agency's employee handbook that I shouldn't put myself in danger on purpose."
Takoma: "I have it on good authority you are bored without a little danger in your life."
Fatima hopped in after him, clearly unimpressed with yet another life decision he was making.
Fatima: If you die, I will be highly displeased.
Spencer: "You and me both."
Spencer: "That could have gone better."
Fatima stared up at him with a judgmental look in her eyes.
Fatima: You are ridiculous.
Spencer: "I didn't even do anything."
Fatima: I will swat you.
Spencer pulled out his phone from his back pocket to call a rideshare.
Spencer: "How about I order you room service when we get back and you don't mock my terrible taste in bed partners?"
Fatima: Room service tonight and whenever I want.
Spencer: "You drive a heard bargain, but I'm willing to pay it."
Alyona: "Are you planning the murder of a federal agent again? You know I prefer more than a day's notice for something like that."
Haitao: "He's planning a seduction."
Alyona pursed her lips.
Alyona: "Well. That's different."
Fatima: Sucking face is not part of an investigation,
Fatima informed him hauntingly.
Spencer dragged the back of his hand over his mouth before collapsing his mageglobe.
Spencer: "At least it's not his cock."
Fatima: Yet. I give it five minutes next time, knowing you.
Makai: "Consider the visit a precautionary measure, then, especially if you want cooperation for your case."
Spencer: "Ooh, blackmail. I always like dealing with that."
Spencer: "You aren't staying?"
Spencer mumbled, rapidly losing his fight against sleep.
Takoma: "Your condo isn't built with my kind in mind."
Spencer: "I'll buy blackout curtains."
Takoma's laugh was low and amused.
Takoma: "Alyona will not be impressed with that."
Spencer: "She think's I'm trouble."
Takoma: "You are."
Fatima: You are thinking with your dick again. That never ends well.
Spencer squawked a protest before moving to save his report and close down his laptop,
Spencer: "Stop channeling Nadine."
Fatima: Someone needs to if you will not listen to reason. The master vampire should not be trusted.
Spencer: "I don't trust him."
At Fatima's extremely judgmental stare, Spencer shook his finger at her.
Spencer: "Put that face away. I don't trust him, but I also don't think he means us any harm."
Fatima: You thought the same of Lucien.
Spencer: "Admittedly, Lucien didn't kill me."
Fatima: That is a low bar, and you are barely clearing it.
Spencer: "I'm sure Tacoma just wants to see me about the case. It's not a date."
Fatima's nose twitched.
Fatima: You are hopeless.
Spencer: "Oops? You want to punish me later?"
Takoma's gaze darkened a little, the heat there at odds with the coolness of his body.
Takoma: "If you want."
Spencer: "I aim to please."
Spencer: "You owe me."
Tacoma: "And what payment would you require for your collaboration?"
Spencer told himself he wasn't going to say anything, but he couldn't stop the way his gaze dropped for a split second to Takoma's mouth. The master vampire smiled slowly, a knowing look in his dark eyes. He leaned in, mouth hovering over Spencer's as he spoke.
Tacoma: "I hope you had no plans for dinner."
Spencer drew in a sharp breath, heat coursing through him despite the cold wind coming off the bay.
Spencer: "What if I did?"
Tacoma: "You'll change them."
Spencer: "He could've called. That doesn't explain why you're in the Pacific Northwest."
Wade: "Oh, well, Patrick sent me because he thinks you're being dumb. Something about vampires?"
Wade wrinkled his nose before his brown eyes narrowed.
Wade: "Is that a hickey on your throat? Oh man, was Patrick right? Didn't London teach you anything?"
Spencer made a wordless, protesting sound in the back of his throat, aborting the motion of his hand as he instinctively tried to cover the hickey. The look-away ward was still present, but Wade's particular immunity to magic meant he'd seen right through it.
Spencer: "It's nothing."
Wade: "Uh, it looks like you got mauled, so it's something."
Wade: "How's my favorite girl?"
Fatima chirped happily.
Fatima: You are here!
Spencer: "I thought Lillian was your favorite girl,"
Spencer said, glaring at Fatima's smugly satisfied expression on her furry little face.
Spencer: "That's my psychopomp you're holding."
Wade: "Well, my niece is a princess among mortals, and Fatima isn't mortal, so she gets her own pedestal."
Spencer: "Are those hunters dead?"
Tacoma: "What do you think?"
Spencer: "I think you like giving me a headache."
Wade: "Please don't desecrate the living room. I need to sleep there tonight."
Wade said from behind them as he came out of the kitchen, digging into a bag of chips.
Spencer pulled back with a faint snort, lips stinging from the kiss. Takoma swiped his thumb over Spencer's bottom lip before pulling his hand away and leaving without saying goodbye. Wade went to the door and locked it behind Tacoma, grumbling under his breath.
Wade: "First Lucien, not him. I don't know what you see in either fang face."
Spencer: "Not that it's any of your business, but -"
Wade whirled around and pointed his finger at Spencer.
Wade: "No details."
Takoma: "You don't rule here."
Spencer: "Never said I did. Never said I wanted to. But I'm on my knees, begging you to do something Caitlin and Rufus won't expect because I think it'll help you."
Takoma: "And do you bed like this often?"
Spencer: "Only with people who I think matter."
Wade: "You know, it won't just be Patrick you'll have to deal with if Spencer gets hurt by you."
Takoma: "Do you count yourself in that effort?"
Wade looked up from his phone, the brown in his eyes gone, replaced by molten gold and black reptilian pupils, fiery red scales scattered up toward temple. It was rare Takoma felt like prey, but he did just then, even if he didn't let anyone see.
Wade: "I like Spencer, and I'd steal Fatima from him if she'd let me. Given half the chance, I'd eat you to save him the grief I'm sure you'll cause him, but Jono already said I couldn't. So. Be nice, and you'll never know what it's like to be a midnight snack for me."
Spencer: 'He thinks I'm going to listen to every demand he gives me."
Fatima lifted her head off her front paws to stare at him.
Fatima: You have a proven track record of being agreeable to what he wants.
Spencer: "Now you are just being rude."
Haitao's gaze cut to Spencer.
Haitao: "I brought you a distraction. Use it. I will keep you updated."
Takoma: "Good boy."
Spencer: "I can't -"
he managed to get out, blinking tears out of his eyes as Takoma's fingers kept touching him.
Takoma laughed softly, tongue licking around where his fingers were still buried inside Spencer.
Takoma: "You will."
He parted his lips, chest heaving, the shirt he wore sticking to his skin from sweat.
Spencer: "Takoma -"
Takoma: "You want to be good for me, don't you?"
Spencer closed his eyes, breathing sharply through his nose at those words, and couldn't stop the way his head jerked into a nod.
Takoma: "So keep being good."
Wade: "Holy shit, you are so gone on that blood-sucking asshole. I'm telling Patrick."
Spencer: "Please don't."
Wade: "No, no, I'm gonna tell him, but I'll do it on a video call because his face. He's going to make that face, you know the one I'm talking about."
Spencer rolled his eyes and sent off his text to Nadine.
Spencer: "I wish I didn't."
If anything, his sulky tone made Wade laugh harder.
William: "They're still capable of speaking if you want to see them. Otherwise, Stasya said to kill them."
Spencer: "I didn't hear that."
Wade: "I did."
Wade: "Spencer can't smell how pissed you are, but I can. I won't let you-"
Takoma: "What makes you think I would ever raise my hand to the man who guarded the heart of my Night Court against a threat when he had no obligations to do so?"
Takoma asked in a silky voice, staring the fledging down.
Wade glared at him for a few seconds more before finally nodding sharply.
Wade: "Glad you're not stupid. Just remember, I can eat you."
Takoma: "You are wasted at the SOA. You belong with me because you're mine."
Spencer made a sound that maybe would've been words if Takoma hadn't kissed him again. He was addicting, all fragile human flesh and a spine of steel that Takoma had borne witness to and coveted back in Manhattan. That their paths had crossed again for Takoma to have him? He was never letting the mage go again.
Spencer tangled his hands in Takoma's loose hair in a way he allowed no other and desperately kissed him back.
Spencer: "Yeah, yes, fuck, I'll be yours."
Patrick: "The good news is you stopped a Great Duke of Hell from getting a foothold in this world."
Spencer: "And the bad news?"
Patrick: "The paperwork on that is going to last you at least a month."
Behind Patrick, Wade was holding Fatima up to his face and repeatedly kissing her on the nose. She seemed enthralled. Spencer told himself he wasn't jealous.
Wade: "I left you the rest of my snacks in the car, okay? Don't share them with Spencer."
Wade told Fatima as he set her back on the ground.
Fatima: I will not.
Spencer: "You know she loves me, right?"
Wade waved off his words.
Wade: "Not enough to share snacks."
Wade: "I'm glad you're okay, but you still have terrible taste in partners.:
Spencer: "I thought you didn't like details."
Wade: "I don't, so shut up. Just know I'm judging you."
He was smiled as he pulled away though, clearly not judging Spencer too hard, despite his statement. He looked carefree and happy, at east with himself more than he'd been a few years back. Spencer quirked a smile at him, grateful that he could call Wade a friend.
Spencer: "Thank you. For everything."
Wade: "You can thank me by giving me joint custody of Fatima."
Spencer: "Not on your life. Get your bag, and get on the jet."