Black Heart Loa (Hoodoo Series #2) by Adrian Phoenix
Publisher: Pocket/June 2011
“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally
Black Heart Loa picks up about 24 hours after the start of Black Dust Mambo with two gunmen bursting in on Kallie and the gang. Keep in mind, some super explosive secrets have JUST been revealed to Kallie about her past, and now her cousin Jackson has been abducted and buried alive, so time is of the essence. Kallie, Belladonna, and crew aren’t about to take this invasion lying down, but if they don’t get to Jackson in time, his number may be up. It doesn’t help that magic has gone haywire and the death loa Baron Samedi is on the loose, due to a summoning-gone-wrong. Also, the Hecatean Council is looking for Kallie, and it’s not because they want to shake her hand. Kallie is harboring a big, deadly secret, and there’s a storm coming…
Whew! Reading Black Heart Loa will get you more worked up than a Level 5 hurricane! Not in the dirty way, although there is some delicious sexy in this one. There’s just lots of stuff going on, and Adrian Phoenix expertly weaves her magic with multiple story lines, against the stormy backdrop of the Louisiana Bayou. Let’s see, you have Jackson getting kidnapped (and secrets of his past are lurking), a clan of loups-garous running around, magic going wonky (to sometimes humorous effect), a ginormous storm threatening to destroy the entire area… Oh, yes, then there’s that pesky loa inside of Kallie that some not nice folks are dying to get their hands on, not to mention the whereabouts of her soul is still a mystery. The bayou setting in this series is a character unto itself, so setting hoodoo magic and mayhem against it creates a thrilling atmosphere that you will certainly get lost in. In spite of the cornucopia of hotties running around (Layne, Jackson, Dallas, did I say Layne?), the theme of girl power is very much a defining part of Black Heart Loa, just as it was in Black Dust Mambo. Kallie and her best friend Belladonna will do anything for each other, and the women of their family, as well as the various loups-garous and Vessel clans are forces of nature. Seriously guys, this is a meaty book and you certainly won’t regret reading to the end, when Ms. Phoenix most certainly brings the sexy (grins fiendishly). She brings the awesome too, but that’s to be expected. I thought I enjoyed Black Dust Mambo, but Black Heart Loa was even better. Can’t wait for the next one!